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Van Alen Virtual Book Club:
A Paradise Built in Hell
Rebecca Solnit

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Van Alen Book Club is a purely virtual affair for the time being. In an effort to recreate the conversational nature of our meetings within this new format, space is limited for this event. 

June 30, 7–8:30 pm

A Zoom link will be provided to registrants prior to the event. 


In A Paradise Built in Hell, Solnit explores the spirit of mutual support and generosity communities often show in times of crisis. The book is a celebration of those who give the best of themselves in the worst of times and a reminder that supporting those people and their kindness — and reimagining our systems around it — can change communities for the better.

This month’s book is available at a discount from the following independent booksellers:
Community Bookstore (Park Slope) – 20% discount
Greenlight Bookstore (Fort Greene) – 15% discount
(Just say you’re with Van Alen Book Club at check-out)

Our discussion will be moderated by Diana Budds.

Diana is a New York–based writer interested in how design affects and reflects culture. She’s currently a Senior Story Producer at Curbed where she reports on architecture, urbanism, technology, and product design. She covered these topics and more while on staff at Fast Company and Dwell, and her work has appeared in Kinfolk and on Eye on Design and Vox.com. She has recently written on how the design of physical space can respond to the challenges of a 21st Century pandemic and the removal of racist statues from the public realm.

Van Alen Book Club meets the last Tuesday of every month (except December) in our street-level space. Our discussions, moderated by some of our favorite urbanists, use the urban experience in fiction and non-fiction as a springboard to ask how we experience cities, and how we want to make them in the future. Meetings are open to all, and include pizza, wine, and beer.

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