Featured Speakers

John Irving

John Irving


National Book Award Winner • Bestselling Author • Screenwriter

John Irving is an award-winning American novelist and screenwriter. He is the author of The World According to Garp (1978), The Cider House Rules (1985), A Prayer for Owen Meany (1989), and A Widow for One Year (1998).

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Kiese Laymon


Bestselling Author • Social Critic • Essayist

Kiese Laymon is a Black southern writer from Jackson, Mississippi. In his observant, often hilarious work, Laymon does battle with the personal and the political: race and family, body and shame, poverty and place. His savage humor and clear-eyed perceptiveness have earned him comparisons to Ta-Nehisi Coates, Alice Walker, and Mark Twain. He is the author of […]

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Esi Edugyan

Esi Edugyan


Novelist • Essayist

Esi Edugyan is only the third writer, after M. G. Vassanji and Alice Munro, ever to win the Giller Prize twice.

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Susan Orlean

Susan Orlean


Bestselling Author • Journalist • Essayist

New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean has been called “a national treasure” by The Washington Post. Her deeply moving explorations of American stories both familiar and obscure have earned her a reputation as one of America’s most distinctive journalistic voices. A staff writer for The New Yorker for over twenty years and a former contributing editor at Rolling Stone and Vogue, she has been praised as […]

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Krista Tippett

Krista Tippett


Public Radio Show Host • Journalist • Author

“It’s always been very important to me to enlarge imaginations about how this part of life we call religious and spiritual actually works in real, far-flung, 21st-century lives.”

—Krista Tippett

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Alex Kotlowitz

Alex Kotlowitz


Bestselling Author • Journalist • Documentary Filmmaker

Alex Kotlowitz unpacks America’s troubled legacy of racial injustice, and explores the poverty and violence that are its inevitable consequences. His next book, American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago, out in March 2019, has the potential to change our national conversation about violence, race, and poverty.

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Mitchell S. Jackson

Mitchell S. Jackson


Author • Filmmaker

TED Fellow Mitchell S. Jackson is the author of Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family (March 2019). This hybrid—part essay, part memoir, part history—uses stories of Jackson’s family and friends to speak to larger issues in American culture, including the racial history of Oregon, whiteness in America, the prison system, drug addiction, criminality, sex work, violence, and broken families.

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Eli Saslow

Eli Saslow


Pulitzer Prize Winner • Journalist • Author

In his Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage for The Washington Post, Eli Saslow, who has been called “one of the great young journalists in America,” reveals the human stories behind the most divisive issues of our time. From racism and poverty to addiction and school shootings, Saslow’s work uncovers the manifold impacts of major national issues on […]

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Subjects

New & Noteworthy

Coders

Praise for Coders

Forthcoming

March 2019

Autumn Light: Season of Fire and Farewells

Praise for Autumn Light: Season of Fire and Farewells

Forthcoming

April 2019

The Other Americans

Praise for The Other Americans

This deftly constructed account of a crime and its consequences shows up, in its quiet way, the pressures under which ordinary Americans of Muslim background have labored since the events of 9/11.

J. M. Coetzee

City of Girls

Praise for City of Girls

Forthcoming

June 2019