The following event description is adapted from the Gramercy Books website. The event image was originally published on the Gramercy Books website.
Join in an evening of illusion and enchantment! Professional magician, showman, podcaster, and storyteller Joshua Jay (BA '05) performs his trickery and discusses how magicians think and why magic matters with longtime Ohio State Department of English professor and author Michelle Herman.
The Ohio State University Department of English is Gramercy’s Community Partner for this exclusive program.
The door to magic is closed, but it’s not locked. Joshua Jay, one of the world’s most accomplished magicians, not only opens that door but brings us inside to reveal the artistry and obsessiveness, esoteric history, and long-whispered-about traditions of a subject shrouded in mystery. In How Magicians Think, he goes one step further by bringing us right into the mind of a magician—how they develop their other worldly skills, conjure up illusions, and leave the rest of us slack jawed with delight time after time. Along the way, Jay reveals another kind of secret, one all readers will find meaningful even if they never aspire to perform sleight of hand: What does it take to follow your heart and achieve excellence?
In 52 short, compulsively readable essays, Jay describes how he does it, whether it’s through the making of illusions, the psychology behind them, or the way technology influences the world of magic. He considers the aesthetics of performance, discusses contemporary masters, including David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, and David Blaine, and details how magicians hone their craft. And answers questions like: Can a magic trick be too good? How do you saw a person in half? Is there real magic in the universe? The answers, like so much in magic and life, depend on you.
Joshua Jay has performed on stages in more than 100 countries. He is a headliner at Hollywood's Magic Castle and a former World Champion in Sleight-of-Hand. He is the author of MAGIC: The Complete Course and, for children, Big Magic for Little Hands. He consulted on illusions for Game of Thrones and helped the US Postal Service with their "Art of Magic" postage stamps. Joshua has performed on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show with James Corden, he fooled Penn & Teller on their hit show, Fool Us, and he starred in his own off-Broadway magic show, Six Impossible Things.
Says David Copperfield about How Magicians Think, “Joshua Jay is a superb, innovative conjurer with an unrelenting love of the art. This captivating book is proof of that passion.”
Michelle Herman is a novelist, essayist, and columnist for Slate. A longtime professor in the creative writing program at The Ohio State University, her most recent books are Devotion, a novel, and Like A Song, a collection of essays.