Astra Magazine Launch: Ecstasy, presented by Nadja Spiegelman, Aria Aber, Leslie Jamison, Catherine Lacey, Samuel Rutter and Alexandra Schwartz

April 14th

McNally Jackson Seaport

Join the Editor-in-Chief of Astra Magazine and a selection of contributors to its debut issue to discuss this new, landmark addition to the field of international letters

Astra Magazine is a brand new international literary magazine, an emerging must-read for anyone interested in the best new literature from around the world. Astra Magazine will connect readers and writers from around the world - New York to Mexico City, Lagos to Berlin, Copenhagen to Singapore and beyond. We want to bring about a new, borderless, and vital mode of reading, with a focus on literature in translation and original writing in English. We’re interested in the inter: the overlaps, the in-between, the authors who defy easy categorization. We are on the cusp of a new era, more isolated and more interconnected than ever before. Astra is a magazine of this new moment, bringing us together while, the world over, we create a new language for ourselves.

We ask that all guests show proof of vaccination and wear masks on the night. 

Astra is like a gorgeously curated jewel-box you can’t wait to unpack. Inside is one marvel after another: living, breathing works of art and literature, some rendered in sparkling and loving translation, all overflowing with life and thought and consciousness of a shared moment in a world that has never felt smaller or more rich. There is no other magazine like this.” — ELIF BATUMAN, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of The Possessed, The Idiot, and the forthcoming novel, Either/Or.

“Destined to shine brightly in the literary firmament, Astra Magazine is here to remind us that we should always read and write with a joyful disregard for borders of any kind.” — HERNAN DIAZ, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of In the Distance and Trust

Astra is the magazine we need right now. It’s full of stunning work from a broad range of voices, a magazine both intimate and universal, in the way all good writing is.” — NATHAN ENGLANDER, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of For the Relief of Unbearable Urges and What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank

“As a writer whose work is often difficult to classify, I am attracted to Astra Magazine’s agenda of publishing writers who exist in the 'inter,' whose writing defies neat categorization. The debut 'Ecstasy' issue is stirring in its international orientation and ambitious in its scope and content. ” — LAURA LINDSTEDT, Finlandia Prize winning author of Oneiron and My Friend Natalia

Astra Magazine is vital. As an American citizen born outside the US, I am especially attracted to their idea of publishing writing that rejects borders, and that a writer should not, can not, represent an entire country. The first issue allows space for each extraordinary writer to speak only for themselves.” — IMBOLO MBUE, Bestselling author of Behold the Dreamers and How Beautiful We Were

Nadja Spiegelman Nadja Spiegelman is the editor in chief of Astra Magazine, a new international magazine of literature. She is the author of the memoir I'm Supposed to Protect You From All This, as well as three children's books, including Lost in NYC. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The New York Review of Books, and more.

Aria Aber is based in Berkeley, CA. Her poems are forthcoming or have appeared in The New Yorker, New Republic, The Poetry Review and elsewhere. She is the author of Hard Damage, which won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize and a Whiting Award. She is currently a Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University, and serves as the poetry editor for Astra Magazine.



Leslie Jamison was born in Washington, DC, and grew up in Los Angeles. She has worked as a baker, an office temp, an innkeeper, a tutor, and a medical actor. A graduate of Harvard College and the Iowa’s Workshop, she is the author of the essay collections The Empathy Exams, a New York Times bestseller, and Make It Scream, Make it Burn, as well as a critical memoir, The Recovering, and the novel The Gin Closet, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Harper's, Oxford American, A Public Space, Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Believer, among others, and she is a columnist for the New York Times Book Review. She teaches at Columbia University and lives in Brooklyn with her family.

Catherine Lacey is the author of four works of fiction: Nobody Is Ever Missing, The Answers, Certain American States and Pew. Her fifth book, Biography of X, will be published in 2023. Her honors include the 2021 NYPL's Young Lions Fiction Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Award, and inclusion on Granta's list of Best Young American Novelists. She lives in New York and Mexico.



Samuel Rutter is a writer and translator from Melbourne, Australia. His work has appeared in Harper's, The New York Times, The White Review and The Paris Review, and he is a regular contributor to ARTNews and T Magazine. He is the Deputy Editor of Astra Magazine.



Alexandra Schwartz has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2016. She was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle’s Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing for 2014.




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