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Tag: conversation

Lisa Wells in Conversation With Lydia Millet

Like many of us, Lisa Wells has spent years overwhelmed by news of apocalyptic-scale climate change and a coming sixth extinction. She did not need to be convinced of the stakes. But what can be done? Wells embarked on a pilgrimage, seeking answers in dedicated communities — outcasts and visionaries — on the margins of society. Wells meets Finisia Medrano, an itinerant planter and misanthrope leading a group of nomadic activists to rewild the American desert. She finds a group of environmentalist Christians practicing “watershed discipleship” in New Mexico; another group in Philadelphia turning the tools of violence into tools of farming — guns into plowshares. She watches the world’s greatest tracker teach how to read a trail, and visits botanists who are restoring land…

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Chris Stuck in Conversation With Kimberly King Parsons

A Black man’s life, told in scenes — through every time he’s been called nigger. A Black son who visits his estranged white father in Los Angeles just as the ’92 riots begin. A Black Republican, coping with a skin disease that has turned him white, is forced to reconsider his life. A young Black man, fetishized by a married white woman he’s just met, is offered a strange and tempting proposal. The nine tales in Chris Stuck’s Give My Love to the Savages (Amistad) illuminate the multifaceted Black experience, exploring the thorny intersections of race, identity, and Black life through an extraordinary cast of characters. From the absurd to the starkly realistic, these stories take aim at the ironies and contradictions of the American…

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Matthew Clark Davison in Conversation With T Kira Mahealani Madden

Matthew Clark Davison’s Doubting Thomas (Amble Press) chronicles a challenging and disruptive year in the life of a young, gay teacher in the waning years of Obama’s America. Thomas McGurrin is a fourth-grade teacher and openly gay man at a private primary school serving Portland, Oregon’s wealthy progressive elite when he is falsely accused of inappropriately touching a male student. The accusation comes just as Thomas is thrust back into the center of his unusual family by his younger brother’s battle with cancer. Although cleared of the accusation, Thomas is forced to resign from a job he loves during a potentially life-changing family drama. Davison’s novel explores the discrepancy between the progressive ideals and persistent negative stereotypes among the privileged regarding social status, race, and…

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Daisy Hernández in Conversation With Amy Stewart

Growing up in a New Jersey factory town in the 1980s, Daisy Hernández believed that her aunt had become deathly ill from eating an apple. No one in her family, in either the United States or Colombia, spoke of infectious diseases, and even into her thirties, she only knew that her aunt had died of a rare illness called Chagas. But as Hernández dug deeper, she discovered that Chagas — or the kissing bug disease — is more prevalent in the United States than the Zika virus. Today, more than 300,000 Americans have Chagas. Why do some infectious diseases make headlines and others fall by the wayside? After her aunt’s death, Hernández begins searching for answers about who our nation chooses to take care of…

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Trystan Reese in Conversation With Andrew Solomon

When Trystan Reese was just a year into his relationship with Biff (now his husband), the couple learned that Biff’s niece and nephew were about to be removed from their home by Child Protective Services. Immediately, Trystan and Biff took in one-year-old Hailey and three-year-old Lucas, becoming caregivers overnight to two tiny survivors of abuse and neglect. From this surprising start, Trystan and Biff built a loving marriage and happy home — learning to parent on the job. They adopted Hailey and Lucas, and soon decided to grow their family biologically with a child that Trystan, who is transgender, would carry. Trystan’s groundbreaking pregnancy attracted media fanfare, and the family welcomed baby Leo in 2017. In How We Do Family: From Adoption to Trans Pregnancy,…

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Benjamin Percy in Conversation With Victor LaValle

It began with a comet… At first, people gazed in wonder at the radiant tear in the sky. A year later, the celestial marvel became a planetary crisis when Earth spun through the comet’s debris field and the sky rained fire. The town of Northfall, Minnesota, will never be the same. Meteors cratered hardwood forests and annihilated homes, and among the wreckage a new metal was discovered. This “omnimetal” has properties that make it world-changing as an energy source… and a weapon. John Frontier — the troubled scion of an iron-ore dynasty in Northfall — returns for his sister’s wedding to find his family embroiled in a cutthroat war to control mineral rights and mining operations. His father rightly suspects foreign leaders and competing corporations…

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Daniel Barbarisi in Conversation With Jason Gay

Daniel Barbarisi’s Chasing the Thrill (Knopf) is a full-throttle, first-person account of the treasure hunt created by eccentric millionaire art dealer — and, some would say, robber baron — Forrest Fenn that became the stuff of contemporary legend. When Fenn was given a fatal cancer diagnosis, he came up with a bold plan: He would hide a chest full of jewels and gold in the wilderness, and publish a poem that would serve as a map leading to the treasure’s secret location. But he didn’t die, and after hiding the treasure in 2010, Fenn instead presided over a decade-long gold rush that saw many thousands of treasure hunters scrambling across the Rocky Mountains in pursuit of his fortune. Barbarisi first learned of Fenn’s hunt in…

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MY BEGGING CHART virtual event with Keiler Roberts

Keiler Roberts celebrates the release of her new graphic novel, My Begging Chart. Keiler is joined in conversation by special guest Jessica Campbell (Hot or Not, XTC69) to discuss the new book. Click here to join the live virtual event on Wednesday May 26, 5pm PST. Preorder the book here and receive a free signed and illustrated bookplate by Keiler Roberts! Keiler Roberts mines the passing moments of family life to deliver an affecting and funny account of what it means to simultaneously exist as a mother, daughter, wife, and artist. Drawn in an unassuming yet charming staccato that mimics the awkward rhythm of life, no one’s foibles are left unspared, most often the author’s own. When Roberts considers whether or not to dust the ceiling…

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Jonathan Taplin in Conversation With Robbie Robertson

Jonathan Taplin’s extraordinary journey has put him at the crest of every major cultural wave in the past half century: he was tour manager for Bob Dylan and the Band in the ’60s, producer of major films in the ’70s, an executive at Merrill Lynch in the ’80s, creator of the Internet’s first video-on-demand service in the ’90s, and a cultural critic and author writing about technology in the new millennium. His is a lifetime marked not only by good timing but by impeccable instincts — from the folk scene to Woodstock, Hollywood’s rebellious film movement, and beyond. Taplin is not just a witness but a lifelong producer, the right-hand man to some of the greatest talents of both pop culture and the underground. With…

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Alex McElroy in conversation with Chelsea Bieker, Genevieve Hudson, and Kimberly King Parsons

Alex McElroy, The Atmospherians, in Conversation with Chelsea Bieker, Genevieve Hudson, and Kimberly King Parsons We are pleased to welcome former Portland (now Brooklyn) resident Alex McElroy reading from their debut novel The Atmospherians, in conversation with Chelsea Bieker, Genevieve Hudson, and Kimberly King Parsons. The Atmospherians follows two best friends—Sasha and Dyson—who start a cult to reform problematic men. Sasha Marcus was once the epitome of contemporary success: an internet sensation, social media darling, and creator of a popular women’s wellness brand. But a confrontation with an online troll has taken a horrifying turn, and now she’s at rock bottom, fortressed in her apartment while men’s rights protestors rage outside. All that once glittered now condemns. Sasha’s oldest childhood friend, Dyson—a failed actor with…

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