Bruce Benderson, novelist and cultural critic, is touring the Northwest with the talk/musical/film program "Harvesting the New Degeneracy: A Research Tour of North Pacific America," and will stop in Astoria at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15 at the former Bank of Astoria, 1215 Duane.

Benderson's travels and research will lead to a book-length essay speculation on the character and future of North Pacific America to be published next winter by Clear Cut Press, an Astoria-based company.

Benderson is a New York-based writer and author of "Pretending to Say No" and "User." His book-length essay, "Toward the New Degeneracy," looks at New York's Times Square, where the rich and poor once mixed in a lively atmosphere of drugs, sex and commerce. Benderson argues that his kind of mingling of classes has been the source of many modern avant-garde movements and he laments the disappearance of that particular milieu. In the United States his work has appeared in Nest Magazine, The New York Times, Village Voice, Out and The Stranger.

During the Friday, Nov. 15 performance music will be performed by cello and accordion duo Lori Goldston and Kyle Hanson, the film "Another Movie About Cars and Water" will be shown and Benderson will read and converse. All ages are welcome. Admission is $5 and Clear Cut Press subscribers are free.

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