Black Bird Bookstore

Author Reading w/ Nicole Haroutunian + Recess Collective

Join author Nicole Haroutunian for a reading of her latest book Choose This Now, a novel-in-stories that takes on art, labor, romantic love, pregnancy, and parenthood—and the role of friendship in forging a life. Co-hosted by Recess Collective.

About Choose This NowInseparable friends Val-and-Tal are used to making their decisions together. But what happens when their choices become their own? Choose This Now, a novel-in-stories, illuminates the small moments that shape their lives across nearly twenty years. On Val’s 21st birthday—which falls on Halloween—a sudden act of violence interrupts a longed-for kiss. This unfinished moment haunts Val year after year until she materializes in a new town to confront her past. Tal, an aspiring painter, vacillates between dedicating herself to art and literally burning it all down. As they fall in and out of love, start and restart careers, and become mothers, Valerie and Taline struggle to define themselves, with and without each other. Choose This Now takes on art, labor, romantic love, pregnancy, and parenthood—and the role of friendship in forging a life.

Nicole Haroutunian is the author of Choose This Now (Noemi Press, forthcoming March 2024) and the short story collection, Speed Dreaming (Little a, 2015). Her work has appeared in The Georgia Review, Story, Tupelo Quarterly, the Bennington Review, Joyland, Post Road, Pigeon Pages, Tin House’s Open Bar, and elsewhere. As an editor of Underwater New York, she co-curated the literary work for a book by Elizabeth Albert entitled Silent Beaches, Untold Stories: New York City's Forgotten Waterfront (Damiani Editore 2016). With Apryl Lee, Nicole co-founded Halfway There, a reading series in Montclair, NJ. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College.

Recess Collective builds inclusive community-centered spaces committed to supporting families from the time of pregnancy through the first four years by providing opportunities for perinatal education, play, creativity, support & connection.