Paradise Bought

Paradise Bought  | Events Calendar
Illustration by Johan Hjerpe for Headless.

With Katie Kitamura, Joseph O'Neill, Jill Magid, and Mary Poovey


Triple Canopy | 155 Freeman Street

Triple Canopy celebrates the publication of Headless, a murder-mystery by the elusive author K. D., with a reading and a rumination on offshore finance and human sacrifice.

Headless is a delirious romp through the world of offshore finance, conducted by a British ghostwriter who seems to have uncovered a sacrifice-obsessed, Bataille-inspired secret society of global economic elites who will do anything to maintain their power. The ghostwriter, John Barlow, is hired by the Swedish conceptualist artist duo Goldin+Senneby to investigate Headless, an offshore firm registered in the Bahamas. Barlow happily agrees to write up his investigation as a mystery novel, to be published under the name K. D. But soon Barlow is implicated in the decapitation of a police officer in Nassau, and his novel becomes a matter of life and death. The more he struggles to grasp the plot, the further he slips into the dark world of covert capitalism.

Authors Katie Kitamura and Joseph O'Neill, artist Jill Magid, and scholar Mary Poovey will read from Headless and discuss the mystery genre, the difficulties of ghostwriting (and of employing ghostwriters), the free rein of capital, narratives of financial crises and credit economies, Georges Bataille’s formulation of sovereignty, the concept of xenospace, and the pleasures of fiction that insistently impinges on reality.

Katie Kitamura is the author of Gone to the Forest and The Longshot, both of which were finalists for the New York Public Library's Young Lions Fiction Award. She has written for numerous publications including the New York Times, the Guardian, Granta, and Wired, and is a regular contributor to Frieze.

Jill Magid is an artist and writer living in Brooklyn. She has had solo exhibitions at, among other venues, Tate Modern, London; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Berkeley Museum of Art, California; Tate Liverpool; and the Security and Intelligence Agency of the Netherlands. Magid is also the author of four novellas. She has received awards from the Fonds Voor Beeldende Kunsten and the Netherland-American Foundation Fellowship Fulbright Grant, and is a 2013–15 fellow at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics.

Joseph O'Neill is the author of five books, the most recent being The Dog, a novel. O'Neill's previous novel, Netherland, was named one of the “10 Best Books of the Year” for 2008 by the New York Times and won the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Prize.

Mary Poovey is Samuel Rudin University Professor of the Humanities and Professor of English at New York University. Her two most recent books, A History of the Modern Fact and Genres of the Credit Economy, examine the emergence of the modern disciplines. Her current work focuses on financial crises, both past and present.