Sean Penn with Jane Smiley

Monday, April 2, 2018
Sean Penn
in conversation with Jane Smiley
discussing his debut novel,
Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff

Ann and Jerry Moss Theatre
New Roads School
Herb Alpert Educational Village
3131 Olympic Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90404

$45 General Admission Seat + a copy of Sean Penn’s book
$55 Reserved Section Seat + a copy of Sean Penn’s book
* Signed books will be available for pick up at check in. 

Sean Penn has been nominated five times for an Academy Award® as Best Actor for Dead Man WalkingSweet and LowdownI Am Sam and won his first Oscar® in 2003 for his searing performance in Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River and his second in 2009 for Gus Van Sant’s Milk. He has worked as an actor, writer, producer and director on over one hundred theater and film productions. As a filmmaker, Penn has crafted powerful dramas such as The Indian Runner, The Pledge and Into the Wild, which garnered him nominations from the Directors Guild Awards and Writers Guild Awards. Additionally, Penn wrote and directed the United States’ contribution to the compilation film 11’09’01. In 2002, he penned a prescient open letter, which he published in The Washington Post and New York Times, to President George W. Bush against the planned invasion of Iraq. In 2004, Penn wrote a two-part feature in The San Francisco Chronicle after a second visit to the war-torn Iraq and in 2005, he wrote a five-part feature in the same paper reporting from Iran during the election which led to the Ahmadinejad regime.  Additionally, Penn published interviews with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Cuba’s President Raul Castro for The Nation and The Huffington Post; Penn’s interview with Castro was his first-ever with an international journalist.  

“It seems wrong to say that so dystopian a novel is great fun to read, but it’s true. I suspect that Thomas Pynchon and Hunter S. Thompson would love this book.”   
—Salman Rushdie

“Bob Honey is the absurd embodiment of the high-octane American entrepreneur turned global menace… He is brethren to Terry Southern’s Guy Grand and William S. Burroughs’s Dr. Benway. Honey is a full-bore gladiator.”
—Douglas Brinkley, bestselling author, professor of history, Rice University
“Stunning poetic runs, crazy and chaotic. It’s A Clockwork Orange world on Adderall. When I finished it, I immediately hugged my dog.”
—Art Linson, author, producer of Fight Club and Sons of Anarchy
Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff is a darkly humorous novel that tells the picaresque story of Bob Honey, a middle-aged, divorced, disillusioned man living in a nondescript house on a nondescript street in Woodview, California. The novel is a revised and expanded work based on an audiobook (no longer available) narrated by Penn and released in October 2016 under the pseudonym Pappy Pariah. 
Bob Honey has a hard time connecting with other people, especially since his divorce. He’s tired of being marketed to every moment, sick of a world where even an orgasm isn’t real until it is turned into a tweet. A paragon of old-fashioned American entrepreneurship, Bob sells septic tanks to Jehovah’s Witnesses and arranges pyrotechnic displays for foreign dictators. He’s also a contract killer for an off-the-books program run by a branch of US intelligence that targets the elderly, the infirm, and others who drain this consumption-driven society of its resources.
When a nosy journalist starts asking questions, Bob can’t decide if it’s a chance to form some sort of new friendship or the beginning of the end for him. With treason on everyone’s lips, terrorism in everyone’s sights, and American political life sinking to ever-lower standards, Bob decides it’s time to make a change—if he doesn’t get killed by his mysterious controllers or exposed in the rapacious media first.
Jane Smiley is the author of numerous novels, including A Thousand Acres,which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and most recently, Golden AgeSome Luckand Early Warning, the volumes of The Last Hundred Years trilogy. She is also the author of five works of nonfiction and a series of books for young adults. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she has also received the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature. She has appeared several time at Live Talks Los Angeles, most recently to interview Charmaine Craig for her novel, Miss Burma.

Jane Smiley

Thursday, October 22, 2015
8:00pm (Reception 6:30-7:30pm) 

An Evening with Jane Smiley 

discussing the writing life and her novel
Golden Age

William Turner Gallery
Bergamot Station Arts Center
2525 Michigan Avenue,
Santa Monica, CA 90404

$20 General Admission
$30 Reserved Section Seat
$45 Includes Smiley’s book + Seat in reserved section
$95 Pre-event reception + Reserved Section seat + book 

Jane Smiley is the author of numerous novels, including A Thousand Acres, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and most recently, Some Luck and Early Warning, the first volumes of The Last Hundred Years trilogy. She is also the author of five works of nonfiction and a series of books for young adults. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she has received the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature.  She previously appeared at Live Talks Los Angeles for the first book in the trilogy, Some Luck; and also interviewed Dave Barry and Gary Shteyngart at Live Talks Los Angeles. Videos in the links.

Golden Age is the much-anticipated final volume, following Some Luck and Early Warning, of her acclaimed American trilogythat brings the remarkable Langdon family into our present times and beyond.
A lot can happen in one hundred years, as Jane Smiley shows to dazzling effect in her Last Hundred Years trilogy. But as Golden Age, its final installment, opens in 1987, the next generation of Langdons face economic, social, political—and personal—challenges unlike anything their ancestors have encountered before.

Michael and Richie, the rivalrous twin sons of World War II hero Frank, work in the high-stakes world of government and finance in Washington and New York, but they soon realize that one’s fiercest enemies can be closest to home; Charlie, the charming, recently found scion, struggles with whether he wishes to make a mark on the world; and Guthrie, once poised to take over the Langdons’ Iowa farm, is instead deployed to Iraq, leaving the land—ever the heart of this compelling saga—in the capable hands of his younger sister.

Determined to evade disaster, for the planet and her family, Felicity worries that the farm’s once-bountiful soil may be permanently imperiled, by more than the extremes of climate change. And as they enter deeper into the twenty-first century, all the Langdon women—wives, mothers, daughters—find themselves charged with carrying their storied past into an uncertain future.

Combining intimate drama, emotional suspense, and a full command of history,Golden Age brings to a magnificent conclusion the century-spanning portrait of this unforgettable family—and the dynamic times in which they’ve loved, lived, and died: a crowning literary achievement from a beloved master of American storytelling.