Books Jacket Copy

Literary Death Match featuring Molly Ringwald, Wednesday

I want to tell you a secret: I might know who is going to win Literary Death Match on Wednesday night. That's because Antoine Wilson told me he wants to bribe Molly Ringwald to vote for him, and then I saw them talking.

OK, I introduced them.

It was after the PEN Center USA's awards dinner last month; Ringwald and her husband, Panio Gianopoulos, were headed out the door. Wilson said he wanted to meet Ringwald, because she'd be judging him in the upcoming Literary Death Match. Conversation ensued.

Admittedly, Wilson dropped the bribe idea right away. Instead, there was some discussion of writing habits. And of children. And of books -- Ringwald's is "When it Happens to You"; Wilson's is "Panorama City."

Literary Death Match is the not-overly-serious reading series that's delivered with a heavy share of comedy. It's the kind of place where an author could stand on stage and offer a bribe in front of the whole audience if they liked. For all I know, this has been done -- host Todd Zuniga has held hundreds of Literary Death Matches. In addition to Los Angeles, the series has been held in San Francisco, New York, London, Oslo, Tulsa, Edinburgh, Dublin, Toronto, Miami ... the list goes on.

I was a judge once. No bribes to be had, but Literary Death Match generously gave me drink tickets for beer.

On Wednesday, four readers will compete. That's Wilson, Adam Novy ("The Avian Gospels"), Tracy McMillan ("Why You're Not Married ... Yet") and Shawna Kenney, ("I Was a Teenage Dominatrix" -- not a novel, a memoir).

The readers will be evaluated by a three-judge panel. That's Ringwald, UCB's Matt Walsh and comedian Maria Bamford. They select the finalists.

Even if piles of cash were being exchanged, the judges wouldn't be able to determine the winner of Wednesday's Literary Death Match. That's because the two finalists go up against each other in a contest that's part literary, part bonkers: throwing cupcakes, doing something blindfolded, facing off with Silly String.

Did I mention there's beer? It's at Busby's East, which has a full bar.

ALSO:

Nate Silver versus the pundits

L.A. as scene of the crime in "The Care and Feeding of Exotic Pets"

At Skylight Books, Obama books beat Romney books by a landslide

Carolyn Kellogg: Join me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
  • New L.A. reading series asks: Fact or fiction?
    New L.A. reading series asks: Fact or fiction?

    In the past, fiction disguised as fact has infuriated readers. Oprah Winfrey took James Frey to task for the exaggerations in his not-entirely-true memoir "A Million Little Pieces." Author Misha Defonseca was ordered by a court to return $22.5 million for her fabricated memoir of being a Jewish...

  • Keeping literature dirty
    Keeping literature dirty

    I was almost sorry to see the developers of the Clean Reader app — which would have allowed squeamish or morally didactic readers to remove profanity from books — take “immediate action to remove all books from our catalogue” last week, in response to authors...

  • The strange, true tale of the naked bookseller
    The strange, true tale of the naked bookseller

    In Quartzsite, Ariz., at the sprawling Reader's Oasis bookshop, readers can purchase their books from a man known as the naked bookseller. Also known as Paul Winer or Sweet Pie, the naked bookseller has been selling books for 24 years.

  • Emily St. John Mandel's 'Station Eleven' wins the Tournament of Books
    Emily St. John Mandel's 'Station Eleven' wins the Tournament of Books

    It's been a good few months for Emily St. John Mandel. Her novel "Station Eleven" was a finalist for the National Book Award, and landed on the PEN/Faulkner shortlist and the longlist of the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction. Even George R.R. Martin is a fan. And now: Here comes the Rooster.

  • New 'Dragon Tattoo' Girl book cover revealed
    New 'Dragon Tattoo' Girl book cover revealed

    It's a banner day for fans of Lisbeth Salander: The girl with the dragon tattoo is returning in "The Girl in the Spider's Web." The book will hit shelves Sept. 1; its cover was released today by Knopf.

  • New Elmore Leonard stories to be published in June
    New Elmore Leonard stories to be published in June

    Elmore Leonard was a prolific writer when he was alive, and in death, well, nothing has changed. He's still got new work coming.

Comments
Loading