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Hannah Levene: Greasepaint

April 10 - 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


“Greasepaint stages a butch past that feels like it should be a future; and a version of New York that should be a galaxy. What’s more, the novel lends itself to playing ‘pick your favourite character’ with your gay friends like it were a boy band; and yet, it sings better. Levene is a talent to reckon with.”
— Isabel Waidner

It’s always lovely to see a local writer get published, and here with no less than the great US indie, Nightboat — a shop favourite, who champion “writers whose work resists convention and transcends boundaries”. So please join us to celebrate local writer and poet Hannah Levene’s truly original ode to 1950s lesbian social culture, Greasepaint.

Set against a backdrop of 1950s America, Greasepaint follows a group of all singing, all dancing butch dykes and Yiddish anarchists on their Friday nights out and about in New York.

Fabulated out of oral histories, anthologies, as well as the fiction of the butch-femme bar scene and Yiddish anarchist tradition, Greasepaint is a rollicking whirlwind of music and politics — an experimental romp forming a portrait of a community staged in a never ending Friday night around the bar, where “it’s always Friday and it’s always the bar and it’s always the 1950s, wherever and whenever we are.”

In one of many bars, Frankie Gold sings while Sammy Silver plays piano after a day job at the anarchist newspaper. The Butch Piano Players Union meets in the corner next to the jukebox. Laur smokes on the back steps, sweaty thigh to thigh with Vic. Frankie’s childhood sweetheart Lily turns up at yet another bar to see a second Sammy play every Friday night. And before all that, there’s always dinner at Marg’s.

Hannah will be in conversation with Norwich-based poet and author Sophie Robinson. After the talk, there’ll be time for audience questions and a book signing. Don’t miss it!

Hannah Levene studied MA Gender, Sexuality and Culture at Birkbeck, and holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Roehampton University, focusing on new butch literature. Greasepaint is her debut novel.

Sophie Robinson is a poet and writer. She has published three books of poetry, most recently Rabbit (Boiler House Press, 2018). She has taught creative writing for over a decade, most notably at the University of East Anglia. Sophie has also been published in The Guardian, BOMB, The Quietus, Believer Magazine, Stylist, The White Review and N+1, amongst others. She is the founder of Devotion, a practice-based creative writing workshop.

Hannah Levene: Greasepaint
Wednesday 10th April
The Book Hive, Norwich
FREE (suggested donation of £2 on the night to cover wine and heating)
Refreshments available
Doors 6:30pm for a (prompt) 7:00pm start
Limited to 40 places —  book your spot now to avoid disappointment!


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April 10
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


The Book Hive (Norwich)
53 London Street
Norwich, NR2 1HL United Kingdom
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