Author Event: David Goodwillie in Conversation

Page 158 Books is pleased to present a virtual author event featuring author David Goodwillie in conversation with author and music journalist David Menconi and musician and writer Kelly Crisp about Goodwillie’s new novel KINGS COUNTY. Please note that this is a digital event hosted on our Crowdcast channel. You can register and attend the event here.


“Goodwillie captures the rapturous soul of a bygone Brooklyn: the songs, the sex, the bars, the youth! And then the churn of relentless change, the broken hearts, the crushing realities. But it is the searing burn of discovery that makes Kings County a true and continual delight.” —Joshua Ferris, author of Then We Came to the End


It’s the early 2000s and like generations of ambitious young people before her, Audrey Benton arrives in New York City on a bus from nowhere. Broke but resourceful, she soon finds a home for herself amid the burgeoning music scene in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. But the city’s freedom comes with risks, and Audrey makes compromises to survive. As she becomes a minor celebrity in indie rock circles, she finds an unlikely match in Theo Gorski, a shy but idealistic mill-town kid who’s struggling to establish himself in the still-patrician world of books. But then an old acquaintance of Audrey’s disappears under mysterious circumstances, sparking a series of escalating crises that force the couple to confront a dangerous secret from her past.


From the raucous heights of Occupy Wall Street to the comical lows of the publishing industry, from million-dollar art auctions to Bushwick drug dens, Kings County captures New York City at a moment of cultural reckoning. Grappling with the resonant issues and themes of our time—sex and violence, art and commerce, friendship and family—it is an epic coming-of-age tale about love, consequences, bravery, and fighting for one’s place in an ever-changing world.


David Goodwillie is the author of the novel American Subversive, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and the memoir Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time. Goodwillie has written for the New York Times, New York magazine, and Newsweek, among other publications. He has also been drafted to play professional baseball, worked as a private investigator, and was an expert at Sotheby’s auction house. A graduate of Kenyon College, he lives in Brooklyn. 


David Menconi was a music critic and arts reporter at the News & Observer in Raleigh from 1991 to 2019. He has also written for Rolling Stone, Spin, Billboard, New York Timesand His books include the 2012 biography Ryan Adams: Losering, A Story of Whiskeytown (University of Texas Press), and his next book will be a history of North Carolina music for UNC Press. He also hosts “That Old North State Radio Hour,” a weekly show about North Carolina music, on That Station, 95.7-FM in Raleigh, NC.


Kelly Crisp lives in New York City and upstate New York. She writes about trauma, women, and violence. Her account of the heroic women who survived the Golden State Killer’s earliest violent spree appeared in Rolling Stone, and is currently being expanded into a book. Kelly is also writing a novel set in the Deep South about a family of itinerant survivalists—fishers, farmers, grifters—getting into and out of jams, at the precarious and magical moment just before chemical companies, big farming, and aquaculture transformed the natural and economic landscape of North Carolina forever. 


Previously, Kelly founded and toured worldwide with the art rock band The Rosebuds. She has seven full-length albums, over 200 published songs, and twenty-two top-secret volumes of hand-written tour journals that absolutely cannot be published during the lifetimes of any parties involved. She holds an MFA from Columbia University, where she was also a teaching fellow, and a MA in Language and Literature from UNC Wilmington.


Please note that this is a digital event hosted on our Crowdcast channel. You can register and attend the event here.

Event Type: 
Event date: 
Tuesday, August 25, 2020 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
415 S Brooks Street
Suite B
Wake Forest, NC 27587
Kings County Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781501192135
Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - July 28th, 2020

Step It Up and Go: The Story of North Carolina Popular Music, from Blind Boy Fuller and Doc Watson to Nina Simone and Superchunk Cover Image
ISBN: 9781469659350
Availability: In Warehouse, Usually Ships to Store in 1-5 Days
Published: University of North Carolina Press - October 19th, 2020