Catherynne Valente mixed burlesque belly-dancing, improvised music, and literature for the Nov. 21 launch party of her new book, The Habitation of the Blessed.
Putting the different arts together made for an experience that you don’t get out of from any regular book reading. Dancers moved passed the audience to the stage and the band played rhythmic music. All the while Valenti read from a book of medieval wonder.
The book is based on the legend of Prestor John, king of a mythological kingdom that contained wonders from griffins to the fountain of youth. So it’s fitting that this mishmash of different artist helps conjure up the exoticism from imagining a distant magical kingdom at the basement floor of WORD Bookstore in Brooklyn.
And for one day Valente fans they got the addition to be exposed to the music of Brian Francis Slattery and the West Constantinople Squeezebox All-Stars and the dancing of Jezebel Wood, Mary Cyn, and Katie Lennon.