Building Stories: Chris Ware in conversation with Zadie Smith

Chris Ware’s graphic novel Building Stories is a compilation of narratives about the inhabitants of a Chicago apartment building. Without a semblance of beginning or end, Ware’s stories illustrate bits of life that are heavy with allusions to the nature of American society and the human condition. Many credit Ware with ushering the graphic medium into the realm of “serious literature,” and few others have been as quick to pick up on this literary talent as Zadie Smith, who included Ware in her anthology of short stories, The Book of Other People.

Following the release of Ware’s Building Stories and Smith’s newest novel, NW—an exploration of a set of characters in a London neighborhood—the two will come together on LIVE’s stage to discuss the role of space and place in their own works.

As Gabriel Winslow-Yost writes in his review of the book in the December 20 issue of the NYR, “Throughout Building Stories, Ware’s attention to the awkward physicality, the constant humiliations and cruelties of human existence is as precise and as brutally funny as it is in his previous work.”

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