In conversation with Paul Holdengräber, Pico Iyer will unravel the mysterious communion he has always had with Graham Greene, illuminated now in The Man Within My Head. Iyer, at home nowhere, will examine the nature of his elective affinities with Greene—their shared restlessness and refusal to make a home in any faith, country or category.
Pico Iyer is the author of two novels and eight works of non-fiction, including Video Night in Kathmandu, The Lady and the Monk, The Global Soul and The Open Road. He writes frequently for The New York Review of Books, Harper's, The New York Times and many other publications; his most recent articles have discussed the workers of the Fukushima nuclear plant, the power of stillness and the fiction of Somalia.
Even if you've never played Dungeons & Dragons, you probably know someone who has: The game has had a profound influence on our culture. Released in 1974—decades before the Internet and social media—Dungeons & Dragons is one of the original ultimate nerd subcultures, and is still revered by more than thirty million fans. Now, the authoritative history and magic of the game is revealed by an award-winning journalist and life-long dungeon master.
From its origins on the battlefields of ancient Europe, through the hysteria that linked it to satanic rituals and teen suicides, and to its apotheosis as father of the modern video game industry, Of Dice and Men recounts the development of a game played by some of the most fascinating people in the world. Chronicling the surprising history of D&D's origins (one largely unknown even to hardcore players) while examining the game's profound impact, Ewalt weaves laser-sharp subculture analysis with his own present-day gaming experiences. An enticing blend of history, journalism, narrative, and memoir, Of Dice and Men sheds light on America's most popular (and widely misunderstood) form of collaborative entertainment.
From Subhash's earliest memories, at every point, his brother was there. In the suburban streets of Calcutta where they wandered before dusk and in the hyacinth-strewn ponds where they played for hours on end, Udayan was always in his older brother's sight.
So close in age, they were inseparable in childhood and yet, as the years pass — as U.S tanks roll into Vietnam and riots sweep across India — their brotherly bond can do nothing to forestall the tragedy that will upend their lives. Udayan — charismatic and impulsive — finds himself drawn to the Naxalite movement, a rebellion waged to eradicate inequity and poverty. He will give everything, risk all, for what he believes, and in doing so will transform the futures of those dearest to him: his newly married, pregnant wife, his brother and their parents. For all of them, the repercussions of his actions will reverberate across continents and seep through the generations that follow.
Epic in its canvas and intimate in its portrayal of lives undone and forged anew, The Lowland is a deeply felt novel of family ties that entangle and fray in ways unforeseen and unrevealed, of ties that ineluctably define who we are. With all the hallmarks of Jhumpa Lahiri's achingly poignant, exquisitely empathetic story-telling, this is her most devastating work of fiction to date.
Samuel Delany's revealing autobiographical love story, Bread & Wine: An Erotic Tale of New York, tells the story of a romance that defied social norms and brought two unlikely people together across the boundaries of class, race and convention. Delany was a successful novelist, essayist and professor, when he met Denis, a homeless man selling books on the street in Manhattan. They slowly developed a friendship that grew into a caring relationship—despite the immense differences in their lives. By turns bizarre, humorous and touching, Bread and Wine has garnered praise from the likes of Neil Gaiman, Edmund White and Alan Moore. Delany talks about the story with Mia Wolff, the co-creator of the graphic novel that grew out of it. Out of print for years, Bread and Wine has now been reissued by Fantagraphics Books. When most researchers arrive at the Library of Congress, their journey of discovery begins in the Main Reading Room. As the home to the library's reference collections, the computer catalog center, and knowledgeable reference staff, the Main Reading Room's purpose is to make library research easily accessible to anyone with enough curiosity to pursue it. This video includes general information about the library's staff and material resources, the reader ID process, and encourages researchers to experience all that the library has to offer. Speakers include 2012 Library of Congress Junior Fellow Kristen Schumacher and Library staffers Cheryl Adams, Kathy Woodrell, Steven Davenport, Abby Yochelson, Thomas Mann, Kristi Conkle and Judy Robinson. Alissa Quart, author of Branded and Hot House Kids, is back with a new and insightful look at America's emerging subcultures. Now Quart, who Quiet author Susan Cain has called, "one of the smartest cultural interpreters of her generation" is back with Republic of Outsiders: The Power of Amateurs, Dreamers, and Rebels. Tracing the increasing impact of marginal culture on America's pop mainstream—from slow food, to Indie-rock, to gender-fluid activism—Quart shows the power and promise that outsiders bring to our increasingly interconnected world. She traces the stories of specific individuals and shows the enormous impact they have through what she calls " identity innovation," proving in the process that being "weird" can be a source of strength. Join us for an evening for exciting discussion about the changes taking place in our culture today!
Susan Cain joins Alissa Quart, for this very special conversation in our rare book room.