Money and Madness

Can money really buy freedom? Why do we strive for wealth, even when it threatens to imperil us? Alexander Maksik’s The Long Corner and Whiting Award winner Hernan Diaz’s Trust both masterfully tackle these universal human dilemmas as they explore the gravitational pull of capital, the permeable nature of reality in a chaotic world, and […]

What Is Real?

Three authors invite readers to contemplate the meaning and nature of reality. Reflecting upon how the decisions we make (or don’t make) determine our fate, Antoine Wilson (Mouth to Mouth), Windham Campbell Prize recipient Yiyun Li (The Book of Goose), and Sarah Manguso (Very Cold People) explore how history and class intersect to shape our […]

Character Studies

The flawed but deeply compelling protagonists of Elizabeth Nunez (Now Lila Knows), Claire Messud (A Dream Life), and Don Lee (The Partition) struggle to form intimate relationships and do what is right. These three authors offer stunning portraits of humanity that challenge stereotypes and resist simplification. Moderated by writer and critic Carolyn Kellogg.

A Critical and Constructive Conversation About Elite Power and Change

From interminable inequalities and injustices to culture wars, our challenges can seem intractable and our discourse stubbornly fixed. Join Bill McKibben (The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon) and Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò (Elite Capture: How the Powerful Took Over Identity Politics, and Everything Else) as they look with fresh eyes at systemic elitism in […]

Are We Doing It All Wrong? Searching for Satisfaction in Marriage and Parenthood

Heather Havrilesky (Foreverland: On the Divine Tedium of Marriage) will be in conversation with New York Times’s Jessica Grose about the fantasies, and the reality, of finding happiness at home.  From the enormous economic burden of parenting (and general lack of social support available to families) to the assorted ruptures and reassessments ushered in by […]

School Daze

Surviving high school is hard! But how does one withstand falling in love for the first time, a secret brotherhood up against an ancient evil, or a prestigious prep school that’s secretly vampires-only? Moderated by the NYT bestselling author Maureen Johnson (the Truly Devious series) with authors Ebony LaDelle (Love Radio), Andy Mientus (Fraternity), and […]

Caught Up In History and Memory

If history is written by winners and memory is notoriously unreliable, how do contemporary novelists engage with both history and memory to shed light on their hidden and forgotten corners? In Gina Apostol’s Bibliolepsy, a young woman seeks salvation in books, sex, and love during the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines, whereas in Estelle-Sarah Bulle’s […]

Crime & Punishment

Award-winning author Joyce Carol Oates spins unsettling tales of crime and suspense in her short story collection Extenuating Circumstances. In Dwyer Murphy’s An Honest Living, an unwitting private eye gets caught up in a crime of obsession between a reclusive literary superstar and her bookseller husband. And in The Family Chao, three apparently successful brothers […]

Poetry and Play

Poets Chen Chen (Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency), Darrel Alejandro Holnes (Stepmotherland), Rachel Mannheimer (Earth Room), and Bianca Stone (What Is Otherwise Infinite) discuss how poems use humor, pop culture, and political histories as artistic strategy. Moderated by Gala Mukomolova (Without Protection).

Walt Whitman Initiative Tane Poetry Library: Grand Opening Celebration! (In-Person)

The Walt Whitman Initiative is thrilled to welcome you to the opening of our free, open-access Tane Poetry Library! Come peruse our 600-plus-volume-and-growing-collection, built entirely from donations from our generous supporters. Stay to enjoy performances by Tim Cusack (“I Ping the Body Electric”) and Compagnia de’ Colombari in and around our historic reading space, and […]

Writing Women’s Lives Through Food (In-Person)

Food is a terrific entry point into the lives of women, one that historians and biographers have increasingly explored. Yet writing about women’s lives through the lens of food presents specific craft challenges. This panel of writers discusses those challenges and opportunities, potential pitfalls and how they work to avoid them, and why this is […]

Who’s Afraid of Childhood? (In-Person)

Book bans are on the rise. Last year, the American Library Association tracked 729 attempts to remove library, school, and university materials, involving 1,597 titles—double the number in 2019. Shedding light on the most recent spate of censorship, “Who’s Afraid of Childhood?” explores books set in childhood to highlight denial and resistance to depicting its […]

Where Dogs Bark With Their Tails: Estelle-Sarah Bulle and Naomi Jackson (In-Person)

Join Estelle-Sarah Bulle, French novelist, and Naomi Jackson, author of the widely acclaimed novel The Star Side of Bird Hill, for a discussion on Bulle’s bestselling debut novel, Where Dogs Bark with Their Tails. Where Dogs Bark with Their Tails examines the legacies of capitalism and colonialism, the experience of being caught between worlds, the […]