Yesterday, Arts Desk sent Benjamin R. Freed to cover Adam Mansbach‘s appearance at P.J. Clarke’s, where the author was promoting his spoof of children’s books, Go the Fuck to Sleep. Freed filed this dispatch in iambic fucktameter.
Adam Mansbach signed his vulgar tome before and after his speech. At 15 bucks a copy, who wouldn’t want Go the Fuck to Sleep?
The audience asks the author the usual questions. “Influences?” “Advice?” “What did you read?” “James Baldwin,” he says. “I don’t fuck around with James Baldwin.” This Mansbach fellow is kind of a creep.
“The book resonates among parents,” says Michael DiRienzo.He’s a lobbyist who works up the street. “I hope my son doesn’t know the word ‘fuck’.” Good luck with that, pal. If the kid’s 5, he can probably read.
Jean Traub, an attorney, brought her toddler son. He’s crying, is this book what Traub needs? “He’ll understand when he’s older,” she says. For now the kid’s just going to scream.
In an age of Tiger Moms and Outliers, Mansbach has rattled the scene. His dirty picture book tops the bestseller list. Swearing at children, it seems, rakes in the green.
Journopalooza with books this wasn’t. So I attempted to get some liquid relief. But I wasted 15 minutes trying to get to the bar—it was blocked! It was time the fuck to leave.