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Battle of the New York literary balls

March 31, 2010 |  7:58 am


This week, the Paris Review announced that it will hold its annual spring gala, the Revel, on April 13. Philip Roth -- whose first story was published in the magazine in 1958 -- will be presented with its Hadada Award. The host committee is a stellar literary lineup, including Salman Rushdie, David Remnick, George Packer, Gary Shteyngart, Paul Auster and Peter Carey; proceedings will kick off in style:

Benefit chairs Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg will welcome guests to Cipriani 42nd Street. The evening’s celebration kicks off with rousing music, followed by an elegant dinner and a memorable program featuring luminaries from New York’s literary community.

That's pretty glamorous and, as it's a fundraiser for the magazine, the evening carries a glamorous price tag: individual tickets start at $500. There are higher levels of support, but you know what they say -- if you have to ask, you can't afford it.

Those packing thinner wallets have an alternative: One Story Magazine's first-ever Literary Debutante ball. One Story, which publishes many first-time authors, is riffing on the idea of "debut," smashing up the stiff tradition of being presented into society with writers who are just starting out. In a ceremony hosted by John ("I'm a PC") Hodgman -- who wrote One Story issue No. 1 -- award-winning authors will present new writers. Expect hilarity to ensue.

One Story's Literary Debutante Ball, whose committee includes Michael Cunningham, Elizabeth Gilbert, Ben Greenman and Colson Whitehead, will be May 21 at the Old American Can Factory in Brooklyn. Tickets are $50 and, for the big literary spenders, sponsorships are available for $500 and up.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Dancers at the Viennese Opera Ball in February. Credit: Justin Lane/ EPA