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Strange Hours

September 28, 2023 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm


Rebecca Bengal, in conversation with Michael Parker, in celebration of her new collection, Strange Hours: Photography, Memory, and the Lives of Artists. Alexa Dilworth will serve as moderator! ASL interpretation will be provided.

Copies of Strange Hours will be available for purchase during the event. You can also preorder your copy.

Note: this event will take place on our second floor, which is up a flight of stairs.

About Strange Hours:

A photograph lives in multiple eras at once: the time of its making, the time of its unveiling, the time of its subsequent rediscovery. —Rebecca Bengal

In Strange Hours: Photography, Memory, and the Lives of Artists, published this season by Aperture, Rebecca Bengal considers the photographers who have defined our relationship to the medium. Through generous essays and interviews, she contemplates photography’s narrative power, from the radical intimacy of Nan Goldin’s New York demimonde to Justine Kurland’s pictures of rebel girls on the open road. Bengal brings us closer to pioneering artists and the personal and political stories surrounding their images. She travels with Alec Soth in Minneapolis, searching for the houses where Prince once lived, and revisits Chauncey Hare’s 1979 protest against the Museum of Modern Art. She speaks with Dawoud Bey about his evocative portraits and explores Diana Markosian’s cinematic take on her family’s immigration to the US. Throughout Strange Hours, Bengal’s prose is attuned to the alchemy of experience, chance, and vision that has always pushed photography’s potential for unforgettable storytelling.

About Rebecca Bengal:

Rebecca Bengal is a writer of fiction, essays, and documentary journalism about art, literature, film, music, and the environment. A regular contributor to Aperture, her writing has been published by the Paris Review, Vogue, Vanity Fair, the New York Times, Oxford American, Southwest Review, the Believer, the Guardian, and the Criterion Collection, among many others. She contributed a new short story to Kristine Potter’s monograph Dark Waters (also out from Aperture in Summer 2023) and she has contributed stories and essays to books by Carolyn Drake, Justine Kurland, Paul Graham, Danny Lyon, and Charles Portis. A MacDowell fellow in fiction and a former editor at American Short Fiction, DoubleTake, and Vogue, she holds an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers in Austin and a BA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Originally from western North Carolina, Bengal lives in Brooklyn.

About Michael Parker:

Michael Parker is the author of seven novels and three collections of stories. He has received four career-achievement awards: the Hobson Award for Arts and Letters, the North Carolina Award for Literature, the R. Hunt Parker Award, and the 2020 Thomas Wolfe Prize. The three-time winner of the O. Henry Prize, Parker has published short fiction and nonfiction in the Washington Post, the New York Times, Oxford American, Runner’s World, Men’s Journal, and others. He taught for twenty-seven years in the MFA Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and since 2009 he has been on the faculty of the Warren Wilson Program for Writers. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.

About Alexa Dilworth:

Alexa Dilworth (she/her), an independent writer, editor, and curator, began her career as managing editor of DoubleTake magazine at the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) at Duke University. She then became the publishing director and senior editor at CDS, where she also directed the awards program, including the Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize and the CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography. She has edited over seventy books, most recently Road Through Midnight: A Civil Rights Memorial by Jessica Ingram, Where We Find Ourselves: The Photographs of Hugh Mangum, 1897–1922 by Margaret Sartor and Alex Harris, Reality Radio: Telling True Stories in Sound by John Biewen and Alexa Dilworth, Aunties: The Seven Summers of Alevtina and Ludmila by Nadia Sablin, and Legendary: Inside the House Ballroom Scene by Gerard H. Gaskin. Dilworth has a BA and an MA in English from the University of Florida and an MFA in creative writing (poetry) from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa.


September 28, 2023
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
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Letters Bookshop
116 W Main St,
Durham, NC 27701 United States
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