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New School Literary 'Salons' to Feature Jhumpa Lahiri, Tracy K. Smith

Writer Jhumpa Lahiri will speak at The New School in summer 2012 about her book
Writer Jhumpa Lahiri will speak at The New School in summer 2012 about her book "Unaccustomed Earth."
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Getty Images/Riccardo Savi

MANHATTAN — New Yorkers looking to curl up with a good read this summer can sign up for book clubs in Greenwich Village — where the writers themselves make special appearances. 

Authors Jhumpa Lahiri, Tracy K. Smith and Jeffrey Eugenides will meet with small groups of readers at this year's Summer Literary Salons at The New School, beginning June 4. 

The salons offer bookworms three separate evening discussions of a book, led by a member of the New School's writing faculty. The author then joins the conversation for a reading and conversation during the third and final session. 

New School spokesman Sam Biederman said the salons — which have been offered since 2003 and have included authors Jennifer Egan, Joyce Carol Oates and John Ashbery — draw big-name talent to the Village. 

"The Summer Literary Salons, they take advantage of the New School's position as a beacon of the Downtown literary scene," he said. "We're able to get some of the most influential voices in literature to come here, and the sessions are affordable." 

Discussions on Jeffrey Eugenides' novel "The Marriage Plot" and recent Pulitzer Prize-winner Tracy K. Smith's book of poems "Life on Mars" kick off the series on June 4. 

Classes on Lahiri's novel "Unaccustomed Earth" and poet Kevin Young's "The Grey Album" begin June 11. 

Rounding out the series, discussions on Lucette Lagnado's memoir "The Arrogant Years: One Girl's Search for Her Lost Youth" and Fanny Howe's book of poems "Come and See" start June 18. 

Each three-session salon costs $230 and can only accommodate 22 people. Participants, who can sign up online or at a New School open house this Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. at 66 W. 12th St., are asked to read the featured book before the first session begins. The first 100 people to register for classes at the open house will receive a $100 discount.