Unbound at BAM

Greenlight Bookstore partners with the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) to bring today’s most renowned authors to Brooklyn for the national launch of their latest works in BAM's gorgeous theatrical spaces. Past guests include Alec Baldwin, Sara Bareilles, Staceyann Chin, John Cleese, Elvis Costello, Lena Dunham, Neil Gaiman, Roxane Gay, Masha Gessen, N.K. Jemisin, Saeed
Jones, Jonathan Lethem, Morgan Parker, Orhan Pamuk, Dab Rather, Arundhati Roy, Rebecca Solnit, Gloria Steinem, Alice Waters, and others.

Tickets or RSVPs are required for admission to all Unbound events; some tickets include a copy of the book, distributed at the event. Click the "Buy Tickets" button below each event to reserve your seat through BAM.org. Featured Unbound books are for sale at 15% off at the Greenlight at BAM kiosk on the night of the event only. You can also use the "Add to Cart" buttons at the bottom of this page to purchase a book without attending an event; include any signing requests in the Order Comments field at checkout.

All BAM Unbound events have been canceled or postponed until further notice.  Please look for communication from BAM about updates, refund options or rescheduled dates.

Our Spring & Summer 2020 Season

Offsite (BAM, Peter Jay Sharp Building)
Tuesday, March 31, 2020, 7:30pm
Book Launch: Alicia Keys presents More Myself: A Journey
Tickets $35-$65 (all tickets include a pre-signed book)

In celebration of the launch of her new book More Myself, Alicia Keys comes to BAM for an evening of storytelling and music, shared from behind the piano.

As one of the most celebrated musicians in the world, Keys has captured audiences with her heartfelt lyrics, extraordinary vocal range, and soul-stirring piano compositions. Away from the spotlight, she privately grappled with heartache: her challenging and complex relationship with her father, her people-pleasing nature that characterized her early life and career, the loss of privacy, and the oppressive expectations of female perfection, some of which she put on herself. More Myself is Alicia’s journey from childhood to now: at once a riveting account and a clarion call to readers to define themselves in a world that rarely encourages a true and unique identity.

Audience members will have the opportunity to submit a question before the event. Each ticket includes admission to the event, as well as a pre-signed hardcover copy of More Myself; books are distributed at the event, and additional books are for sale.

BAM is located at 30 Lafayette Ave




Offsite (BAM Fisher)
Monday, April 6, 2020, 7pm
Book Pre-Launch: David Lan presents As If By Chance: Journeys, Theatres, Lives
Tickets $25; $45 with book

Former Young Vic artistic director David Lan celebrates his forthcoming memoir with an intimate evening of discussion. Lan is joined in conversation by close creative collaborators, including director and producer Stephen Daldry, surveying an extraordinary career through the lens of the relationships that are at the heart of it.

As If By Chance is described by Lan as “a work of memory,” weaving together his childhood in South Africa, his transformation of the Young Vic into a world-class theater, and his collaboration with artists from around the world on A View from the Bridge, A Man of Good Hope, Yerma, The Jungle, The Inheritance, Medea, and so many more.

“This book is as David Lan himself: sincere, passionate, vulnerable, open, serious, loving. A great read for fans of the theater and of humanity.”—Ivo van Hove

Following the moderated discussion, Lan and guests will take questions from the audience, with a signing and reception to follow.

BAM Fisher is located at 321 Ashland Place




Offsite (BAM Fisher)
Tuesday, April 7, 2020, 7pm
Book Launch: Sasha Geffen presents
Glitter Up The Dark: How Pop Music Broke the Binary
In conversation with Thora Siemsen, with DJ set by SHYBOI
Tickets  $15; $30 with book

Why has music so often served as an accomplice to transcendent expressions of gender? How did the question “is he musical?” once become code for “is he gay?” In a straight, cisnormative culture, why is music so inherently queer?

Join us for an evening of discussion and DJ’ing to celebrate the launch of Sasha Geffen’s Glitter Up The Dark: How Pop Music Broke the Binary. This sharp, insightful, wide-ranging survey of the queerness inherent to pop music’s history starts with early blues and the Beatles and continues with David Bowie, Prince, and Missy Elliot. Geffen explores how artists have broken out of the confines mandated by gender essentialism and set the stage for today’s conversations about trans rights and recognition of nonbinary and third-gender identities.

This evening looks at music’s ability to melt rigid social roles in a subliminal and ambiguous exchange between performer and listener, and puts that theory into practice. Writer Thora Siemsen joins Geffen for a moderated conversation, followed by a discussion with the audience. We then open the floor to music and dancing, with a DJ set from SHYBOI.

Copies of Glitter Up the Dark are distributed at the event, and additional books are for sale.

BAM Fisher is located at 321 Ashland Place




Offsite (BAMcafé)
Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 7pm
Mariana Enriquez, Aminatta Forna, and Ligaya Mishan discuss
Tales of Two Planets: Stories of Climate Change and Inequality in a Divided World
Including work and reflections by Ian Teh and Tayi Tibble
Hosted by John Freeman, editor
Tickets $15; $30 with book

BAM, Greenlight, and beloved writer and editor John Freeman convene an evening of readings and discussion to celebrate his new book. By bringing together the words and ideas of innovative creative voices—including Freeman, Mariana Enriquez, Aminatta Forna, Ligaya Mishan, with contributions by photographer Ian Teh and poet Tayi Tibble—this event is intended to break down borders and compel us to think about climate change as a set of collective issues that affect us beyond nationality.

Building from his acclaimed Tales of Two Americas, Freeman’s new anthology, Tales of Two Planets: Stories of Climate Change and Inequality in a Divided World, aims to help us see how the environmental crisis is being experienced around the globe. From Bangkok to Nairobi, climate change is hitting some of the most vulnerable communities where they live and at the same time creating communities by necessitating previous separate groups to work together. What for some in the global north is an issue of contact, for many others is one of daily survival—affecting health care, housing, and employment. In essays, fiction, poetry, and photographs, this collection brings the headlines of our global climate crisis back to an individual scale and makes it urgent again.

Copies of Tales of Two Planets are distributed at the event, and additional books are for sale.

BAMcafé is located in the Peter Jay Sharp building at 30 Lafayette Ave




Offsite (BAM Howard Gilman Opera House)
Saturday, May 9, 2020, 7pm
Mike Birbiglia Live!
celebrating the release of his book
The New One: Painfully True Stories From a Reluctant Dad
Tickets $49+

Fresh off his hit Broadway show and Netflix special The New One, comedian Mike Birbiglia returns with an all-new show celebrating the release of his book The New One: Painfully True Stories From a Reluctant Dad. His last show was about birth. His new show: death. Join him as he takes on life’s darkest topic with the only weapon we have: jokes.

Birbiglia has performed his one-of-a-kind solo comedy shows for audiences worldwide, from the Sydney Opera House to Broadway. His shows The New One, Thank God for Jokes, and My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend are all on Netflix. He’s also the author of The New York Times bestseller Sleepwalk With Me and Other Painfully True Stories.

Suggested for ages 13+

BAM is located at 30 Lafayette Ave




Can't make it to an Unbound at BAM event?  You can still order the featured books below, and request a signed or personalized copy in the Order Comments field at checkout!  Signed books will be available following the scheduled event. Please note that purchase of a book is not equivalent to purchase of a ticket. 


More Myself: A Journey Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250153296
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Flatiron Books - March 31st, 2020

As If by Chance Cover Image
ISBN: 9780571357796
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Faber & Faber - April 21st, 2020

Glitter Up the Dark: How Pop Music Broke the Binary (American Music) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781477318782
Availability: Available to order (allow for shipping time to bookstore or direct-to-home)
Published: University of Texas Press - April 7th, 2020

Tales of Two Planets: Stories of Climate Change and Inequality in a Divided World Cover Image
By John Freeman (Editor)
ISBN: 9780143133926
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Penguin Books - August 4th, 2020

The New One: Painfully True Stories from a Reluctant Dad Cover Image
By Mike Birbiglia, J. Hope Stein (Supplement by)
ISBN: 9781538701515
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Grand Central Publishing - June 16th, 2020