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

GAMBIER, Ohio — Gramercy Books in Bexley will host an in-person discussion with award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Anthony Marra facilitated by Kenyon College Associate Professor of Film Jonathan Sherman on Thursday, August 25 at 7 p.m. 

Marra’s “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.


About Kenyon College: Founded in 1824, Kenyon is the oldest private college in Ohio and the first institution in the U.S. to implement the model of faculty members serving as academic advisors. With a curriculum rooted in the liberal arts, Kenyon students and faculty aspire to a nuanced understanding of the world and all who inhabit it. Kenyon is a top producer of Fulbright Fellows and ranks second among Division III institutions for fostering NCAA Postgraduate Scholars. Home to the Kenyon Review, one of the nation’s most esteemed literary magazines, Kenyon celebrates a rich literary tradition that promotes writing across academic disciplines. 

About Jonathan Sherman: Jonathan Sherman is a graduate of Wesleyan University (Bachelor of Arts, film studies) and Columbia University (Master of Fine Arts, film production and screenwriting). His most recent feature film, “They/Them/Us,” stars Amy Hargreaves and Joey Slotnick. He has also directed “Breathing Room,”and “I’m With Lucy,” a romantic comedy starring Monica Potter, Gael García Bernal, Julie Christie, Anthony LaPaglia, John Hannah and Harold Ramis. It was the opening night film at the 2002 Deauville Film Festival in France and has been released in more than 50 countries worldwide. Sherman’s latest film is the short film, “Saturday Morning, 9:28am.”

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