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Christopher Hitchens talks with Salman Rushdie about his memoir
at the 92nd Street Y.
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Rain Taxi talks to Amber Tamblyn
Rain Taxi spoke with poet Amber Tamblyn before she read from her book of poems, Dark Sparkler, at Magers & Quinn Booksellers on March 12, 2016.
Discussion of Donald Trump's "The Art of the Deal"
Politico Senior Writer Michael Kruse, Wall Street Journal Senior Writer Monica Langley, and Carlos Lozada of the Washington Post, participated in a roundtable discussion of Donald Trump's book, "The Art of the Deal," first published in 1987.
Joshua Hammer: "The Bad-ass Librarians of Timbuktu" | Talks at Google
Authored by Joshua Hammer, one of today’s most seasoned journalists, THE BAD-ASS LIBRARIANS introduces readers to Abdel Kader Haidara, a mild-mannered historian and librarian from Timbuktu who morphed into one of the world’s greatest smugglers and pulled off a brazen heist worthy of Ocean’s Eleven. A true story, this “vivid, fast-paced narrative” (Kirkus Reviews) is a tale of triumph and positivity that takes place in the Islamic world—something that has sadly been missing in recent months, and arguably recent years. A recent review from Publishers Weekly sums the book up beautifully: “Hammer does a service to Haidara and the Islamic faith by providing the illuminating history of these manuscripts, managing to weave the complicated threads of this recent segment of history into a thrilling story.”
Haidara’s story begins in the 1980s when, as a young adventurer and collector for a government library, he journeyed across the Sahara Desert and along the Niger River to track down and salvage thousands of ancient Islamic manuscripts that had fallen into obscurity. Through his efforts, the city acquired 350,000 precious volumes, many written during the Golden Age of Timbuktu in the 1500s. Tragically, his efforts nearly unraveled when Al Qaeda militants seized control of Timbuktu and most of Mali in 2012. As the militants tightened their control, Haidara organized a clandestine and dangerous operation to sneak all 350,000 volumes out of Timbuktu, by road and by river, to the safety of southern Mali. THE BAD-ASS LIBRARIANS recounts Haidara’s heroic and ultimately successful effort to outwit Al Qaeda and preserve Mali’s literary patrimony.
Today, the manuscripts are held in a dozen specially-prepared safe houses in Mali’s capital of Bamako, which were set up by Haidara with funding from several European countries, including Switzerland and Germany. Now that they’re safe, Haidara’s focus is digitizing and cataloging them, and fundraising for their eventual return to Timbuktu.
Helen DeWitt's First Time | My First Time | The Paris Review
Helen DeWitt discusses her first novel, “The Last Samurai.” Part of “The Paris Review”'s “My First Time” video interview series.
You May Also Like: Taste in an Age of Endless Choice by Tom Vanderbilt
Why do we get so embarrassed when a colleague wears the same shirt? Why do we eat the same thing for breakfast every day, but seek out novelty at lunch and dinner? How has streaming changed the way Netflix makes recommendations? Why do people think the music of their youth is the best? How can you spot a fake review on Yelp?
Our preferences and opinions are constantly being shaped by countless forces – especially in the digital age with its nonstop procession of “thumbs up” and “likes” and “stars.” Tom Vanderbilt, bestselling author of Traffic, explains why we like the things we like, why we hate the things we hate, and what all this tell us about ourselves.
With a voracious curiosity, Vanderbilt stalks the elusive beast of taste, probing research in psychology, marketing, and neuroscience to answer myriad complex and fascinating questions. If you’ve ever wondered how Netflix recommends movies or why books often see a sudden decline in Amazon ratings after they win a major prize, Tom Vanderbilt has answers to these questions and many more that you’ve probably never thought to ask.
Tom Vanderbilt has written for many publications and is a contributing editor of Wired (U.K.), Outside, and Artforum. He is the author of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us) and Survival City: Adventures Among the Ruins of Atomic America. He has been a visiting scholar at NYU’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management, a research fellow at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, a fellow at the Design Trust for Public Space, and a winner of the Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, among other honors. He lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Deirdre McCloskey, "Bourgeois Equality"
Economist and historian Deirdre McCloskey discusses her book, "Bourgeois Equality: How Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions Enriched the World," in which she looks at the growth of wealth during the Bourgeois Era.
Premilla Nadasen, "Household Workers Unite"
Premilla Nadasen, associate history professor at Columbia University, recalls how African-American domestic-workers sought to form labor organizations during the middle of the 20th century. She speaks with Columbia University professor Alice Kessler-Harris.
Emma Cline talks about The Girls
The Girls is the powerful debut novel from Emma Cline. In this interview she tells us more about California, her childhood and the allure of the girls who people her novel.
California. The summer of 1969. In the dying days of a floundering counter-culture a young girl is unwittingly caught up in unthinkable violence, and a decision made at this moment, on the cusp of adulthood, will shape her life....
'This book will break your heart and blow your mind.' Lena Dunham
Evie Boyd is desperate to be noticed. In the summer of 1969, empty days stretch out under the California sun. The smell of honeysuckle thickens the air and the sidewalks radiate heat.
Until she sees them. The snatch of cold laughter. Hair, long and uncombed. Dirty dresses skimming the tops of thighs. Cheap rings like a second set of knuckles. The girls.
And at the centre, Russell. Russell and the ranch, down a long dirt track and deep in the hills. Incense and clumsily strummed chords. Rumours of sex, frenzied gatherings, teen runaways.
Was there a warning, a sign of things to come? Or is Evie already too enthralled by the girls to see that her life is about to be changed forever?
Maria Konnikova & Brian Koppelman | The Confidence Game
Join Maria Konnikova, bestselling author and New Yorker columnist, as she looks into The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It . . . Every Time. From Melville to The Usual Suspects to Bernie Madoff, the art of the con in fact and fiction remains enduringly fascinating. Learn the ins and outs of why we’re wired to get roped in, fleeced, and spun back out, from one of our leading psychological storytellers.
Maria is joined in conversation by filmmaker, producer, and writer Brian Koppelman, whose work on the screenplay for Ocean’s Thirteen places him squarely in the lineage of the con-fascinated.
Michael Eric Dyson on the Black Presidency
Michael Eric Dyson is one of our nation’s premier intellectuals and a staunch defender of civil discourse. Nowhere is this more evident than in his keen-eyed view of the Obama presidency. By turns heralding and lambasting, Dyson follows the President’s navigation of race and racism in America—including the national crisis spawned by the traumatic killings of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, and others. Now with his long-awaited book, "The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America," Dyson returns to Chicago to discuss the meaning of America’s first black presidency. Dyson will be joined in conversation by Laura Washington, columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and political analyst for ABC-7 Chicago.
Oby Ezekwesili, Ibukun Awosika, TY Bello: "Smashing the Glass Ceiling"
To mark the 2016 International Women's Day, three extraordinary women leaders in Nigeria discuss "Smashing the Glass Ceiling" and navigating the limitations placed on women in African societies.
Oby Ezekwesili - Nigeria's former Minister of Education, former Vice President of the World Bank and leader of the #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) advocacy group
Ibikun Awosika - Business leader and first woman chairperson of a leading Bank in Nigeria
TY Bello - Celebrity photographer, songwriter and philanthropist
Moderated by Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor
Emma Straub | June 13, 2016 | Appel Salon
Emma Straub, bestselling author of The Vacationers, on Modern Lovers. With Metro News columnist Sue Carter.
Justin Peters & James Marcus | The Idealist
Slate correspondent Justin Peters comes to Strand to launch The Idealist: Aaron Swartz and the Rise of Free Culture on the Internet. He talks with James Marcus, author, translator, and deputy editor of Harper’s, about Swartz’s tumultuous life as a coding wunderkind, his co-founding and development of Reddit and Creative Commons, and the federal case against him that allegedly pushed him to suicide.
Dan Savage & Esther Perel: "Love, Marriage & Monogamy" | Talks at Google
Googler Logan Ury talks to author and sex advice columnist Dan Savage, as well as "Mating In Captivity" author Esther Perel, in the fifth of our Modern Romance talks. They discuss infidelity, new models for marriage, abstinence-only sex education, and monogamy.
5 Under 35 Celebration Panel Discussion
Colin Barrett, Angela Flournoy, Megan Kruse, Tracy O'Neill, and Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi participate in moderated discussion with Benjamin Samuel, programs manager at National Book Foundation, sponsors of this program honoring young emerging writers who are poised to make a lasting impression on the literary landscape.