Talking to Strangers

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“A stranger is someone who we know in only one dimension.” Malcolm Gladwell talks to the Economist’s Anne McElvoy about his latest book, Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know (Little, Brown, 2019), in which he examines how interactions between strangers often go wrong using high-profile cases such as the trial of Amanda Knox and the death of Sandra Bland as examples.

Leslie Jamison

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“I wanted to find a way to write about people that felt guided by a spirit of appreciation and empathy.” Leslie Jamison speaks about the ethical complexities involved in nonfiction writing at a 2017 talk at Claremont McKenna College. Jamison’s second essay collection, Make It Scream, Make It Burn (Little, Brown, 2019), is featured in Page One in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

The Good Immigrant

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“There’s this kind of irresolvable trap that occurs when you’re too young to have any power but old enough to know that you want some.” Jenny Zhang reads from her essay “Blond Girls in Cheongsams,” which is included in the collection The Good Immigrant: 26 Writers Reflect on America (Little, Brown, 2019) edited by Nikesh Shukla and Chimene Suleyman.

Chigozie Obioma

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“My work is a tragic form of fiction that is both European and African at the same time.” In this interview for the Louisiana Channel, Chigozie Obioma speaks about how his early influences of Shakespeare and Igbo folklore led him to write his debut novel, The Fishermen (Little, Brown, 2015). Obioma is featured in “Portraits of Inspiration” in the January/February issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Where’d You Go, Bernadette

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Where’d You Go, Bernadette (Little, Brown, 2012), Maria Semple’s comedic novel narrated by a teenage girl searching for her agoraphobic architect mother who has gone missing, has been adapted into a feature film. Directed by Richard Linklater, the movie stars Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup, Laurence Fishburne, Judy Greer, and Kristen Wiig.

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Tom Wolfe: Blood Lines

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This independent documentary film directed by Oscar Corral explores Tom Wolfe’s writing life and his fourth novel, Back to Blood (Little, Brown, 2012), which is set in Miami and focuses on the subject of immigration. Wolfe died at the age of eighty-seven on May 14, 2018.

The Broken Heart of James Agee

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Leslie Jamison reads her essay “The Broken Heart of James Agee” from The Empathy Exams (Graywolf Press, 2014) for a reading series hosted by the Center for Documentary Studies and the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University. Jamison speaks about her new book, The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath (Little, Brown, 2018), in “The Infinite World” by Michele Filgate in the May/June issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

David Sedaris’s Process

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“Usually it’s the worst thing you can admit about yourself that most people can relate to.” David Sedaris, whose latest book, Theft by Finding: Diaries (1922–2002) (Little, Brown, 2017), is an edited compilation of his diary entries, expresses his thoughts on working on drafts and combining laughter with sorrow in this PBS NewsHour video. David Sedaris Diaries: A Visual Compendium (Little, Brown, 2017), edited and photographed by artist Jeffrey Jenkins, is featured in “The Written Image” in the November/December issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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