Help novelist Charles Bock and his family

Tickets for this star-studded benefit to assist acclaimed New York novelist are on sale. Buy yours now by clicking here

Charles Bock (Photo by Diana Colbert)

I met novelist Charles Bock when he was in the final stages of writing his first novel, “Beautiful Children.” We met while Charles was toiling anonymously as a day-rate writer. A 2008 New York Times Magazine cover story described it as  “a very unhappy stint as a rewrite man at a supermarket tabloid.”

However unhappy that time may have been — and there’s not doubt of that — there were some good moments too.

Many of us were rooting for Charles to succeed, to finish the novel and break out of tabloid hell. We were proud to see him get a book deal, and even more proud to read the extraordinary result of his 11 years of labor.

We came to realize that despite projecting a tattooed, tough-guy image, Charles is a warm, loving man with a great rock-and-roll spirit.

In on Dec. 11, December, 2008, less than a year after the novel was published, Charles and wife Diana Colbert had a lovely daughter, Lily.

In July 2009, Diana was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia. By November 2009, she had a bone-marrow transplant. Diana was hopeful and positive in posts on her Facebook page. But a few months ago, the disease returned.Obviously, this has taken a great toll — financial as well as emotional — on this beautiful little family.

In the true spirit of caring, some of the Bocks’ literary friends decided to throw a big rent party at PS 122 on Feb. 6. They’ve lined up a bunch of their literary pals to provide services to auction and entertainment for the party. (Read more about it in Charles’ hometown newspaper, the Las Vegas Sun and on The New York Times ArtsBeat blog.)

Here’s a preliminary lineup — and it’s stellar

This will be a party to remember — and all for a great cause!

Welcome to the World’s Most Literary Rent Party Ever.

Why a Rent Party?

We’re coming together to support Charles Bock, author of the novel Beautiful Children, and his young family.

What to Expect?**

– Rollicking songs by John Wesley Harding and the English UK. Special guest singers: Claudia Gonson of the Magnetic Fields, Rick Moody, and Tanya Donelly, formerly of Throwing Muses, The Breeders, and Belly. Introductions by Sean Wilsey.

– Brilliant, funny performance artist John Kelly.

– Short but entirely winsome readings by Mary Gaitskill and Jim Shepard.

– Completely unprofessional guidance from the experts at our literary advice booth: Susan Cheever, Joshua Ferris, Rivka Galchen, Amy Hempel, A.M. Homes, Alison Smith, Hannah Tinti, John Wray.

– IQ-enhancing raffle prizes like a brand new Ipad and a bouquet of books signed by America’s favorite authors, including Jonathan Safran Foer, Jonathan Franzen, Nicole Krauss, Richard Price, and George Saunders.

– Silent auction items that are so original, they almost defy reality. Amy Hempel walks your dog; Gary Shteyngart flatters you shamelessly and buys you hot dogs; Joshua Ferris bakes you a key lime pie, and more.

– Roving magicians and clowns, potent cocktails, delectable treats, and surprises too wondrous to mention in advance.

What to Bring?


*For bios of all our performers, click here.

*Program subject to change, so please forgive us if it does.

Tickets are $125 and $75 and are available by clicking here. If you can’t attend the benefit, you can still help by making a donation via PayPal.


One response to “Help novelist Charles Bock and his family

  1. Pingback: UPDATE: The Bock Family Benefit is SOLD OUT!!! | Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone?

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