The gloomy tales that fill New York City author Richard Price’s catalogue have never let up, punishing the reader as they investigate crime and urban drama with rigorous dialogue and provocative themes. “Clockers, ” “Freedomland” and his most recent, 2003’s “Samaritan,” did this with remarkable fluidity. Price’s newest, “Lush Life,” works much in the same way, a mystery of sorts that introduces Eric Cash, a Lower East Side bartender who still clings to dreams of being an actor or a writer. On the street with a co-worker, they are both put at gunpoint—what really happens is anyone’s guess, as how Cash tells the story it becomes more and more hazy. Price’s crime writing—which he has recently sharpened scripting for HBO’s “The Wire”—has never been as terse, nor as unmerciful. He discusses “Lush Life” this afternoon as part of the “Writers on the Record with Victoria Lautman” series, which only has a couple more installments left before the stage goes dark. (Tom Lynch)
Richard Price discusses “Lush Life” March 9 at Lookingglass Theater, 821 North Michigan, (312)337-0665, at 11:45am.