The Lavin Agency is a speakers bureau, based in New York City and Toronto. We exclusively represent leading thinkers, writers, and doers who inspire ideas and dialogue that make the world a better place.
Salman Rushdie explains why prose literature—more so than movies, television, and theater—has historically been, and continues to be, at the forefront of opposition to tyranny. Though literature can survive tyranny, the writers behind the ideas seldom do. The question becomes: how can imaginative artists continue to tell the stories of their time without being assaulted, jailed, or worse.
Rob Walker’s Significant Objects, a collection of 100 creative tales attached to unremarkable second-hand finds in the interest of exploring the value of narratives, is launching at New York’s Strand Bookstore this weekend.
From the publisher:
Can a great story transform a worthless trinket into a significant object? The Significant Objects project set out to answer that question once and for all, by recruiting a highly impressive crew of creative writers to invent stories about an unimpressive menagerie of items rescued from thrift stores and yard sales.
That secondhand flotsam definitely becomes more valuable: sold on eBay, objects originally picked up for a buck or so sold for thousands of dollars in total — making the project a sensation in the literary blogosphere along the way.
But something else happened, too: The stories created were astonishing, a cavalcade of surprising responses to the challenge of manufacturing significance. Who would have believed that random junk could inspire so much imagination?
"The reason why books endure is not that people dislike them or there’s a controversy around them. The reason why books endure is because there are enough people who like them. It’s the only reason why books last. It’s the people who love books that make them last, not the people who attack them."
Salman Rushdie, legendary author and Lavin speaker, talking to the New York Daily News about his controversial book The Satanic Verses.
Margaret Atwood has just released I’m Starved for You, a new ebook described as “a tale of love and lust in an Orwellian near future… an entertaining yet harrowing story that lays bare the very real dangers of trading liberty for safety.”
Here’s Lavin speaker Salman Rushdie at the Toronto International Film Festival last week (we were there!): “Every writer I know who’s had a successful experience having their book turned into a film has felt [an] intimacy with the director.” His triple-Booker Prize-winning novel, Midnight’s Children, is currently being directed by Deepa Mehta.