As a veteran stand-up comic, an actor in beloved movies and series like The State, Stella, Wet Hot American Summer, and more, and a New York Times best-selling author, Michael Ian Black has seen a lot. Which is why the surprise of seeing middle age rear its ugly head in the form of a grim medical diagnosis was so, well, surprising. In Navel Gazing: True Tales of Bodies, Mostly Mine (but also my mom's, which I know sounds weird), he trains his irreverent comedic eye on the foibles of the forty-and-up set.
For a different perspective on middle-aged man in general, and on one very funny middle-aged man specifically, join Michael and Slate’s editor-in-chief and Culture Gabfest co-host Julia Turner for a conversation in the Rare Book Room.
The Lost Time Accidents is the triumphant, outsize return of Whiting Award-winning novelist John Wray. Coming on the heels of the best-selling Lowboy, it’s a wild ride through time, space, history, and science, with a burning core of heartbreak. Telling the story of a man unstuck in time, it’s a blisteringly inventive work that cements Wray’s reputation as a vanguard talent in American fiction.
John is joined in conversation by another wide-ranging 21st-century talent, New York Times columnist and novelist Colson Whitehead, He's the author most recently of The Noble Hustle, as well as Zone One, The Colossus of New York, and sundry other modern classics, the recipient of Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowships, and a fellow Whiting Award winner.
On October 24, 2015, The Nation feted its 150th anniversary with an unprecedented celebration at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn in a renovated Civil War–era Tobacco Warehouse. Featuring acclaimed writers and activists channeling iconic Nation voices from the past, plus music and comedy, the evening was hosted by Nation writers and MSNBC hosts Chris Hayes and Melissa Harris-Perry and featured readings and reflections by Tony Kushner, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Bill McKibben, Eve Ensler, Calvin Trillin, Victor Navasky, Laura Flanders, Kai Wright, Zephyr Teachout, Mychal Denzel Smith, along with a moving live performance from the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.
In this inimitable reading, Eve Ensler, the pathbreaking feminist playwright, reads from an essay on political exiles by the great anarchist Emma Goldman, whom Ensler calls “my revolutionary mother and inspiration,” someone who understood that “there is no revolution with sex and dancing.” Published in The Nation in 1932, Goldman’s essay spoke of “the cruel plight of the political refugees” after World War I, who continued to believe that someday “the workers will wake up from their leaden sleep, that they will once more take up the battle for liberty and well-being.”
On October 24, 2015, The Nation celebrated its 150th anniversary with an unprecedented celebration at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn in a renovated Civil War-era Tobacco Warehouse. Featuring celebrated writers and activists channeling iconic Nation voices from the past plus music and comedy, the evening was hosted by Nation writers and MSNBC hosts Chris Hayes and Melissa Harris-Perry and featured readings and reflections by Tony Kushner; Katrina vanden Heuvel; Bill McKibben; Eve Ensler; Calvin Trillin; Victor Navasky; Laura Flanders; Kai Wright; Zephyr Teachout, Mychal Denzel Smith along with a moving, live performance from the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.
In this inimitable reading, the award-winning dramatist Tony Kushner, a longtime Nation contributor and editorial board member, reads and comments on the novelist Zona Gale's historic essay, "The United States and the Artist," first published in The Nation's 60th anniversary issue, in 1925. (He also amusingly explains why he rejected readings by Jean-Paul Sartre and Gore Vidal.)
Hanna Pitkin, Professor Emerita of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, talks about her life and career with Nancy Rosenblum, Professor of Ethics and Politics in Government at Harvard University and Co-Editor of the Annual Review of Political Science. Dr. Pitkin discusses her childhood, growing up between two "Jewish intellectual left-wingers" who fled 1930s Germany to Oslo, Prague, and eventually Los Angeles. She describes how her refugee status and acquisition of new languages led her to become a scholar in political science. In 1967, she published "The Concept of Representation," which won the 2003 Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science "for her groundbreaking theoretical work, predominantly on the problem of representation." She went on to study other topics such as gender and politics in Machiavelli and Hannah Arendt's concept of "the Social."