Sjón in conversation with Hari Kunzru; Introduction by Björk
Björk introduces Sjón; and Sjón in conversation with Hari Kunzru.
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Jane Smiley: 2015 National Book Festival
Jane Smiley and NPR's Lynn Neary discuss "Some Luck" at the 2015 Library of Congress National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.
Speaker Biography: Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jane Smiley has written many critically acclaimed and popular novels, including "The Greenlanders," "Ordinary Love and Good Will," "A Thousand Acres," "Horse Heaven," "Good Faith," "The Georges and the Jewels" and her latest book, "Some Luck." She has also written for the New Yorker, Horseman, Harper's, The Nation and other publications. In 2001 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters and in 2006 she received the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature. Smiley was a fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts in 1978 and 1987.
Stephen L. Carter: 2015 National Book Festival
Stephen L. Carter discusses "Back Channel" at the 2015 Library of Congress National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.
Speaker Biography: Stephen L. Carter is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale University, where he has taught for almost 30 years. He is the author of seven acclaimed works of nonfiction and three best-selling novels. He has a law degree from Yale and clerked for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Carter's first novel, "The Emperor of Ocean Park," spent 11 weeks on The New York Times best-seller list in 2002. His latest novel is "Back Channel," a suspenseful reimagining of the events that became the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Tom's Book Club: "The Art of Stillness" by Pico Iyer
LARB editor-in-chief Tom Lutz talks with author Pico Iyer in this exclusive interview for Tom's Book Club.
In Conclusion: A Poets Laureate Conversation
Don Share moderates a discussion with Charles Wright and Charles Simic to conclude Wright's term as Poet Laureate.
Speaker Biography: Charles Wright was 20th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress.
Speaker Biography: Charles Simic was 15th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress.
Speaker Biography: Don Share is managing editor of Poetry magazine.
Kluge Center Panel: 2015 National Book Festival
Manuel Castells, Morton Kondracke & Julia G. Young discuss their work on a panel celebrating the 15th anniversary of the John W. Kluge Center at the 2015 Library of Congress National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.
Paul Goldberger & Barry Bergdoll | Building Art
Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks with MoMA curator Barry Bergdoll about Goldberger's new book on Frank Gehry, Building Art.
Join Paul Goldberger, architecture critic for Vanity Fair (formerly of the New Yorker), as he celebrates the launch of Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry. Goldberger’s immersive study of the man behind such landmarks as Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA promises a wealth of inspiration and fascinating anecdotes. Joining the discussion in the Rare Book Room is MoMA curator and Columbia professor Barry Bergdoll.
On Stalin's Team by Sheila Fitzpatrick
Stalin was the unchallenged dictator of the Soviet Union for so long that most historians have dismissed the officials surrounding him as mere yes-men and political window dressing. On Stalin’s Team overturns this view, revealing that behind Stalin was a group of loyal men who formed a remarkably effective team with him from the late 1920s until his death in 1953.
Drawing on extensive original research, Sheila Fitzpatrick provides the first in-depth account of this inner circle and their families, vividly describing how these dedicated comrades-in-arms not only worked closely with Stalin, whom they both feared and admired, but also constituted his social circle. Readers meet the wily security chief Beria, whom the rest of the team quickly had executed following Stalin’s death; Stalin’s number-two man, Molotov, who continued on the team even after his wife was arrested and exiled; the charismatic Ordzhonikidze, who ran the country’s industry with entrepreneurial flair; Andreev, who traveled to provincial purges while listening to Beethoven on a portable gramophone; and Khrushchev, who finally disbanded the team four years after Stalin’s death. Among the book’s surprising findings are that Stalin almost always worked with the team on important issues and that after his death the team managed a brilliant transition to a reforming collective leadership.
Taking readers from the cataclysms of the Great Purges and World War II to the paranoia of Stalin’s final years, On Stalin’s Team paints an entirely new picture of Stalin within his milieu—one that transforms our understanding of how the Soviet Union was ruled during much of its existence.
Sabaa Tahir: 2015 National Book Festival
Sabaa Tahir discusses "An Ember in the Ashes" at the 2015 Library of Congress National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.
Speaker Biography: Best-selling author Sabaa Tahir spent her childhood reading and listening to the radio in the Mojave Desert and dreaming of growing up as a pirate or bear. After graduating from the University of California, Los Angeles, she became an editor for the Washington Post. Her wildly popular debut novel, “An Ember in the Ashes," is set in a fantasy world with hints of ancient Rome and tells the story of Laia, a slave fighting for her family, and Elias, a young soldier fighting for his freedom. A highly anticipated sequel is scheduled for release in 2016. Besides writing, Tahir has a passion for music, especially indie rock, and frequently puts together playlists. She loves all of her characters, even the bad ones.
The Bill of the Century: A Literary Discussion with Clay Risen
Clay Risen discusses his book "The Bill of the Century: The Epic Struggle for the Civil Rights Act" (2014).
Speaker Biography: Clay Risen, a senior editor with the New York Times, is the author of "A Nation on Fire: America in the Wake of the King Assassination" and "The Bill of the Century: The Epic Struggle for the Civil Rights Act."
Kenyan author Okwiri Oduor read from her prize-winning short story, "My Fathers Head" and participated in a moderated discussion.
Speaker Biography: Okwiri Oduor is an author and winner of the 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing.
Acclaimed author Joyce Carol Oates, singer-songwriter Ben Arthur, poet and filmmaker Nick Twemlow, award-winning illustrator Roman Muradov, and dancer Sarah Fiske will present an inspired series of linked performances, followed by a conversation, led by Kevin Larimer, about the creative process and the roots of inspiration.
Nina Ansary introduces Jewels of Allah: The Untold Story of Women in Iran
Challenging the popular narrative of Iranian women deprived of freedom and power following the 1979 Islamic revolution, the new book by Iranian women's rights expert and historian Nina Ansary reveals an alternate portrait of Iran's female population in the 20th and 21st centuries. By digging into the actual impact of government policies, religious beliefs, and social norms, Ansary reveals the unintended increase of educated women following the repeal of gender equality laws, the influence of increased access to textbooks and women's magazines, and the powerful female voices and accomplishments by women in both Iran's past and present.
Heidi Julavits' The Folded Clock: A Diary
Heidi Julavits' The Folded Clock: A Diary
Paul Halpern: 2015 National Book Festival
Paul Halpern discusses "Einstein's Dice and Schrödinger's Cat: How Two Great Minds Battled Randomness to Create a Unified Theory of Physics" at the 2015 Library of Congress National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.
Speaker Biography: Paul Halpern is a prolific author and a professor of physics at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. He has written numerous articles and more than a dozen books on science with interests ranging from space, time and higher dimensions to the cultural aspects of science. He has appeared on various television and radio programs for the History Channel, Discovery Channel, PBS and NPR and has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, Fulbright Scholarship and an Athenaeum Literary Award. His popular books include “Countdown to Apocalypse,” “The Quest for Alien Planets,” “The Cyclical Serpent,” “The Structure of the Universe,” “Cosmic Wormholes,” “Time Journeys,” “Faraway Worlds,” “The Great Beyond,” “Brave New Universe,” “What's Science Ever Done for Us?,” “Collider,” “What's the Matter with Pluto?” and “Edge of the Universe.” His most recent book is “Einstein's Dice and Schrödinger's Cat: How Two Great Minds Battled Randomness to Create a Unified Theory of Physics."
James Shapiro introduces 1606: William Shakespeare and the Year of Lear
Ten years ago James Shapiro won the Samuel Johnson Prize for his bestselling book 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare. Now, to mark the forthcoming 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, comes a compelling look at a no less extraordinary year in his life: 1606.