“It’s nearly impossible to remember the New York literary world before Amanda Stern started her Happy Ending series. She’s given us space in which we are all brave.’’ -Nelly Reifler (author of See Through; Elect H. Mouse…)
The Happy Ending Music & Reading Series, founded by the writer Amanda Stern in 2003, is a cultural program designed to highlight the personality behind creative artists. Authors read for ten minutes and are required to do something onstage they’ve never done before: they must take a risk. The musical guest opens and closes each show with two short sets of six songs. One of those songs must be a cover song, and the musician’s challenge is to get the entire audience to sing along. An artist live-draws the show, and the results are projected in real time on a screen. Happy Ending has managed to circumvent the usual pitfalls of literary readings by carving out a unique space for cross-disciplinary exchange that reaches a broad audience. This New York City Institution has welcomed over 700 writers and artists. Previous guests include Lena Dunham, Zadie Smith, Aimee Mann, Nelly Reifler, Laurie Anderson, Moby, Colson Whitehead, James Salter, Vampire Weekend and Sarah Jones. Stern curates, produces, and hosts Happy Ending.