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Literary Death Match

Posted by Jan Gardner  May 13, 2009 01:05 PM

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This just in:

The Boston debut of the Literary Death Match is Thursday, May 21, at the Paradise Lounge (doors at 7 p.m., show starts at 8).

The Literary Death Match, a brainchild of Opium Magazine, features a mix of four established and up-and-coming contenders, armed with a sample (no longer than 8 minutes) of their own literary work. They are paired off to read excerpts in front of a live audience and panel of three all-star judges, who score them on literary merit, performance, and intangibles. After each pairing, the judges take turns spouting off-the-wall commentary about each story, then select their favorite to advance to the finale.

The finale is when the “death” part of the match comes into play. It’s time for these authors to show off their physical prowess in an author-on-author battle of absurd and comical proportions. Every finale is unique and always a surprise; past matches have included a laser tag duel, stab a hole in Nebraska (while blindfolded), recycled bottle basketball, urban (aka: trash bag) sack races, and a Pulitzer Prize author Cyrillic-off. The winner of the finale is crowned king or queen of the Literary Death Match, and given a medal.

The Readers:
Steve Almond ("Not that You Asked")
Jeannie Greeley (Stuff Boston Magazine columnist)
William Giraldi (fiction editor at AGNI)
Jane Roper (Babble.com)

The Judges:
Tom Perrotta ("Election," "Little Children")
Eve Bridburg (Grub Street founder)
Christopher Monks ("The Ultimate Game Guide to Your Life")

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About off the shelf News about books, authors, and publishers from The Boston Globe.
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Nicole Lamy is editor of the Globe's Books section.
Jan Gardner writes the "Shelf Life" column for the Globe's Books section.
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