July 05, 2006 at 08:30 AM EDT
Absurdistan Author Gary Shteyngart and Pop Sensation Sondre Lerche Featured in the Next ''Upstairs at the Square'' on Wednesday, July 19, at the Union Square Barnes & Noble; Journalist Katherine Lanpher Again Hosts the Program

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world's largest bookseller, today announced the next event in its new series, "Upstairs at the Square," held at the Union Square Barnes & Noble in Manhattan (33 East 17th Street at Union Square). On Wednesday, July 19, at 7:00PM, Gary Shteyngart, author of the new bestselling novel, Absurdistan, and singer-songwriter-guitarist-bandleader and Norwegian chart-topper Sondre Lerche, will discuss art - and the art of making it - in America as well as in New York, which both call home. They will read and perform their work. Journalist Katherine Lanpher will again host the program. Admission is free, and no tickets are required. Seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Gary Shteyngart - author of Absurdistan, praised by The New York Times Book Review as "so immodestly vigorous, so burstingly sure of its barbaric excellence, that simply by breathing, sweating and standing upright it exalts itself" - was born in Leningrad in 1972 and came to the United States seven years later. His debut novel, The Russian Debutante's Handbook, won the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction and the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction. The novel was also named a New York Times "Notable Book," a best book of the year by The Washington Post and Entertainment Weekly, and one of the best debuts of the year by The Guardian. Absurdistan has been translated into ten languages. Shteyngart's fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, GQ, Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, and many other publications.

Still in his early twenties, Sondre Lerche (www.sondrelerche.com) has already released two critically acclaimed albums, and been called "one of the most talented new names in contemporary pop" by The Los Angeles Times. He has appeared on the Conan O'Brien and Carson Daly shows, toured with Elvis Costello, Jason Mraz, Nada Surf, Liz Phair and Ed Harcourt. His new album, Duper Sessions, is a fresh, back-to-basics collection of songs that showcases a more intimate side of this gifted singer-songwriter. Inspired by Chet Baker, Caetano Veloso and even David Lynch, Duper Sessions transports the listener into a different time and place, filled with melody and romanticism. The album is Sondre Lerche's tribute to the music he loves.

Katherine Lanpher is an award-winning print and broadcast journalist. Springboard Press will publish her first book, Leap Days: Chronicle of a Midlife Move, this October.

The third event in "Upstairs at the Square" will be held at the Union Square Barnes & Noble on Wednesday, August 16, at 7PM.

Audio downloads of all three events, including the series premiere on June 21 with Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, and singer-songwriter Jen Chapin, whose latest album is Linger, will be available on Barnes & Noble.com (www.bn.com/writers).

About Barnes & Noble, Inc.

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world's largest bookseller and a Fortune 500 company, operates 797 bookstores in 50 states. For the fifth year in a row, the company is the nation's top retail brand for quality, according to the EquiTrend(R) Brand Study by Harris Interactive(R). Barnes & Noble conducts its online business through Barnes & Noble.com (www.bn.com), one of the Web's largest e-commerce sites and the number one online bookseller for quality among e-commerce companies, according to the latest EquiTrend survey.

General information on Barnes & Noble, Inc. can be obtained via the Internet by visiting the company's corporate Web site: http://www.barnesandnobleinc.com.

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