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Brooklyn, Ep. 6

March 8, 2016 — To celebrate 10 Years of Literary Death Match, we returned to our Brooklyn home at The Bell House to put on a show for the ages, as the masterful lineup of can't-miss wonderments combined to bring an instant classic to the sold out crowd, as the brilliant night finished with Victor LaValle outdueling Idra Novey  in a battle of Lone Star Lit to win LaValle the LDM Brooklyn 10-Year Anniversary crown.

But before the finale was even a thought, the night kicked off with Lucinda Belle, harpist & Oscar long-listed singer playing a pair of tunes for the packed house.

Then it was time for Round 1, as Belinda McKeon, Irish Book of the Year Award-winning novelist of Solace, stepped up to read a stellar excerpt from her new novel Tender, about a green journalist cutting her teeth on an interview with a curmudgeonly auther who patronizes her. Next up was Novey, translator and author of the novel Ways to Disappear and the poetry collection Exit, Civilian, who told the tale of a translator and a loanshark.

The mic was then handed to the night's trio of all-star judges: Ophira Eisenberg, comedian, host of NPR's Ask Me Another, author of Screw Everyone; Michael Shannon, award-winning actor (99 Homes, Boardwalk Empire, Revolutionary Road); Wyatt Cenac, comedian, actor, writer and former Daily Show correspondent. The three traded hilarious quips and wonderful praise for each author before making the night's first impossible decision, as Novey was advanced as the night's first finalist. 

Then the brilliant Brooklyn eve zipped into Round 2, with LaValle, multi-award-winning author of The Ballad of Black Tom, The Devil in Silver and Big Machine, who read a stirring piece about a 20-year-old son taking care of his ailing father. Finally, it was Saïd Sayrafiezadeh, PEN/Robert W. Bingham Fiction Prize finalist of Brief Encounters With the Enemy, and When Skateboards Will Be Free who blew minds with a tale about having activists parents and how it affects you as an adult.

Then, again, the judges were center stage as they riffed and hilarified with brilliant commentary before huddlign up a second time and deciding the night's second impossible decision, naming LaValle the night's second finalist.

Then up stepped LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga who announced the night's finale: Lone Star Lit, in which he read off 1-star Amazon book reviews written about classic books while the finalists (and volunteers from the audience) guessed at the books they described. With everything to play for it was Team LaValle who nailed the final answer, winning him the LDM Brooklyn, Ep. 6 medal and literary immortality to go with it.