Save the date: Tuesday, January 6, 2015 @​ 6.p.m.

A literary and performance event with author Carol Bergman and her theatrical friends who will read from her new collection of very short stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, verbal snapshots and mini-essays. In these subtle, profound and original works, each using a different narrative persona, Bergman demonstrates her experience as a phrasemaker and storyteller. Like Lydia Davis and Czeslaw Milosz, her writing is both unique and difficult to classify. Humorous, perceptive, precise, wry, sometimes chilling, she writes about war and peace, love and disappointment, the mundane and the sublime, with deep attention and warmth.

Copies of “Nomads” will be available for purchase and signing.

The Cornelia Street Café
29 Cornelia Street/​Downstairs
1 to Christopher Street-Sheridan Square,
A,B,C,D,E,F to West 4th
Reservations: 212 989-9319

$8.00 includes a drink


What is this collection? What is it about? Describing it to my agent, I have to platform: It's like Lydia Davis. Or it's like Czeslaw Milosz. But also, it's not. Let me explain.

Lydia Davis, former wife of Paul Auster and a well-known translator (French/​English), has received a lot of attention this year. I had one of her volumes on my Kindle, the other I bought in hard cover after hearing her read at the PEN World Voices Festival. Unexpectedly--because I usually find her work austere, even cold--I found her very funny. I thought, my goodness, all these years I have been writing similar, much warmer "stories" and wondering how to classify them so they could be published. Are they prose poems? Flash fiction? Mini-essays? Probably, all of the above.

I write them betwixt and between other projects, as the muse hits. When I was working on "Another Day in Paradise; International Humanitarian Workers Tell Their Stories," I wrote many aphoristic "somethings," about war, for example. Some of these are re-worked and collected here. A few have been published. Or, I might write a paean to a mountain, or a tongue-in-cheek description of a breast augmentation advertisement in the subway.

After the Lydia Davis reading, I pulled out my folders and took a look at these scribblings--nearly 150 of them, I'd say-- and I started to revise them. I'm older and, I hope, a more evolved writer than I was years ago, so the stories changed as soon as I began the first sentence. And that has been an interesting process; going back to old work and making it work.

As I write this "Coming Soon" post on my website, I'm about sixty pages into the revision. I plan to finish by the time the NYU term starts in late September. It's my summer project. Thankfully, it has (mostly) been cool in the city and the windows are open: fresh air. Also, there are only two boxes left from my recent move.

Enjoy the rest of your summer, dear reader, and I will let you know the publication date of NOMADS soon.

Carol Bergman’s articles, essays, and interviews have appeared in The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, and Her essay, “Objects of Desire” was nominated for the Pushcart Prize; her short stories have appeared in many literary magazines. She is the author of biographies of Mae West and Sidney Poitier, a memoir, Searching for Fritzi, two books of novellas, Sitting for Klimt and Water Baby and two novels, Say Nothing and What Returns to Us. She compiled and edited Another Day in Paradise; International Humanitarian Workers Tell Their Stories, nominated for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize. She lives in New York City and teaches writing at New York University.