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Sunday
Jul172011

Paris, Ep. 2

July 17, 2011 — Within the steamy and sexy Le Carmen confines, the Literary Death Match's triumphant return to Paris — presented by Shakespeare & Co. — saw Paris Literary Prize-winner Rosa Rankin-Gee bring home the Literary Death Match crown in quickstrike du pain-tossing fashion over fellow finalist Rachel Zucker

A wild Anais Nin/Henry Miller manger-off! (Click to see all the pictures.)But before the bread was first thrown, the night began with Rankin-Gee (author of the novella The Last Kings of Sark) up against poet brillianteur mastermind Matthew Rohrer (Destroyer and Preserver). Rankin-Gee was fantastic as she moved through her teeth-rich tale that had the jam-packed house applauding. Then up-stepped Rohrer who read two series' of poems, the second of which danced between topics of love and aging. 

The mic was then handed to the night's cast of superstar judges: all-world scribe Nathan Englander (author of For the Relief of Unbearable Urges and The Ministry of Special Cases), spectacular comedian Sebastian Marx (host of Pranzo's New York Comedy Night), and Minnie Moskowitz's keyboardist extraordinaire Tara Mulholland. Marx loved Rankin-Gee, in part because he was reminded of eating a viciously hard baguette, softened by the blood in his mouth, while Mulholland enjoyed how Rankin-Gee's mic-holding had her flipping off the judges in both the English and American style. She also praised Rohrer's stillness, and acknowledged his feet were well placed (second position). Englander was a fan of both Rankin-Gee's accent and the ability to poke fun at Rohrer (who he works with at NYU). After a tense deliberation, Englander announced that Rankin-Gee would be the night's first finalist. 

After a mojito- and wine-fueled intermission, Round 2 began with Zucker (author of Home/Birth: a poemic — co-written with Arielle Greenberg) up against hometown hero Mabrouck Rachedi (author of Le Poids d'une âme). Rachedi led the charge with an excerpt from his novel Le Petit Malik, followed by Zucker who read a pair of delectable, crowd-winning poems. 

The mic was again handed to the judges, with Marx loving Rachedi's choice to use the term "Swiss cheese" instead of emmental or comté, while Englander felt Rachedi radiated niceness. About Zucker, Englander referred to judging Zucker — who he's known for 20 years — as Hungary judging Russia in ice skating against the United States during the Cold War, but he found her second poem so depressing it made Cormac McCarthy's The Road feel like James and the Giant Peach. Mulholland noted that Zucker's stillness was even more impressive than Rohrer, and loved that she said "hot" in the American way ("haaat") and not the English way (haute).  

Again the judges were faced with an impossible decision, but in the end gave Zucker the nod, advancing her as the night's second finalist. 

Then LDM creator Todd Zuniga took center stage to explain one of LDMs most madcap finales. Rankin-Gee and Zucker were tasked with launching a croissant, a pain au chocolate and a spear-like baguette through the gaping, postered mouths of either Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller. Once the bell rung, and the crowd erupted, Rankin-Gee was businesslike getting right on with it, scoring three consecutive breadpoints in such speedy fashion, Zucker was just readying to launch her baguette for the first time when Rankin-Gee was announced champion, with a closer-than-it-appeared final score of 3-0, winning Rankin-Gee the LDM medal and literary immortality with it. 

Follow LDM on Twitter and/or Facebook now! / Suivez-nous sur Twitter et/ou Facebook dès maintenant. 

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Reader Comments (6)

When is Paris LDM Ep. 3?

July 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBéa

We're talking late-November. You around then, Béa?

July 19, 2011 | Registered CommenterLiterary Death Match

and when is Brussels LDM Ep. 1?

July 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCaloumero

September 29th, if all goes the way it's going. You coming?

July 20, 2011 | Registered CommenterLiterary Death Match

Sure! Where?

July 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCaloumero

The plan is... Espace 53. Just trying to lock it down, now. Add me (Todd Zuniga) on Facebook, and I'll make mention when we spread our wings Brussels-ward...

July 20, 2011 | Registered CommenterLiterary Death Match

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