Hooray for Hollywood: Book Discussion Focuses on Golden Age of Film

Kenyon College’s Jonathan Sherman will discuss Anthony Marra’s latest novel “Mercury Pictures Presents” set against the backdrop of Old Hollywood.

By Yvonne Johnson

Gramercy Books in Bexley will host an in-person book discussion about award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Anthony Marra’s “Mercury Pictures Presents” facilitated by Kenyon College Associate Professor of Film Jonathan Sherman on Thursday, August 25 at 7 p.m. 

“Mercury Pictures Presents” is an epic tale of reinvention and survival, crossing continents from wartime Italy to Old Hollywood, and spotlights the often unseen players looking for a break within the studio system. “The success of ‘Mercury Pictures Presents,’ both the novel and the Hollywood entity it depicts, is evanescent and ambiguous, enduring and clear all at once,” writes Matthew Specktor of the New York Times. 

“‘Mercury Pictures Presents’ manages to be both heartbreaking and humorous,” Sherman says of Marra’s new novel. “He is amazing at detailing the interior lives of so many different kinds of characters and making them all three-dimensional and real. I loved it!"

Sherman has directed four feature films, including the recent Columbus production “They/Them/Us,” which opened nationwide earlier this year. His first film, “Breathing Room,” was released in more than 25 countries worldwide. His next film, the romantic comedy “I’m With Lucy” produced by Gaumont, the largest film studio in France, was released in more than 50 countries worldwide. Deeply committed to developing the film community in Columbus, Sherman serves as president of the board of Film Columbus and a board member of the Greater Columbus Arts Council.

Marra is also the author of “The Tsar of Love and Techno” and “A Constellation of Vital Phenomena,” winner of the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and longlisted for the National Book Award. 

Tickets for the event cost $27 and can be purchased here, and include a copy of “Mercury Pictures Presents” at a 15% discount. Registrants are strongly encouraged to read the book prior to the program. The event will be held at Gramercy Books, 2424 East Main Street, Bexley, Ohio, 43209. Proof of full vaccination is required to attend, and masks are encouraged.