Featured Speakers

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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Kiese Laymon

Novelist • Social Critic • Essayist

In his observant, often hilarious work, Kiese 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 a groundbreaking essay collection, How to Slowly Kill Yourself […]

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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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Alex Kotlowitz

Bestselling Author • Journalist • Documentary Filmmaker

Award-winning journalist and bestselling author Alex Kotlowitz has been exploring issues of race, poverty, and immigration in America for more than three decades. His 1991 book, There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America, garnered national recognition for its compassionate, unflinching portrait of Pharoah and Lafeyette Rivers and their […]

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Mitchell S. Jackson

Mitchell S. Jackson

Author • Filmmaker

“Mitchell Jackson writes into Portland like Edward P. Jones writes into Washington, DC, with his judicious left eye on the full hearts of his characters and his vigilant right eye attuned to the wolf at their door. His classically orchestrated novel, The Residue Years, is suffused with humor, lyricism and compassion… Jackson is a powerfully confident […]

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New & Noteworthy

A Spark of Light

Praise for A Spark of Light

Page-turning…a novel that puts its finger on the very pulse of the nation that we live in today.

The San Francisco Book Review

Heavy: An American Memoir

Praise for Heavy: An American Memoir

Kiese Laymon is an amazing, courageous and brave novelist and essayist.

The Michigan Quarterly Review

The Library Book

Praise for The Library Book

Mesmerizing . . . A riveting mix of true crime, history, biography, and immersion journalism. . . . Probing, prismatic, witty, dramatic, and deeply appreciative, Orlean’s chronicle celebrates libraries as sanctuaries, community centers, and open universities run by people of commitment, compassion, creativity, and resilience.

Booklist (starred review)

The Feral Detective

Praise for The Feral Detective

The Feral Detective is hilarious and terrifying and wrenching. Phoebe is one of the grandest, funniest heroes I’ve come upon in a long time.

Megan Abbott, author of Dare Me and The End of Everything

Rising Out of Hatred

Praise for Rising Out of Hatred

I couldn’t put this book down. This is essential reading for our political moment. Eli Saslow is among the best nonfiction writers working today, and here he writes about a gifted young man trained to be a champion of hate who then encounters love, and hope, in the world he hated. This is a story about the long struggle of America’s racist history told through the battle over a single American soul.

David Fahrenthold, Pulitzer Prize winning political correspondent at The Washington Post

To Obama: With Love, Joy, Anger, and Hope

Praise for To Obama: With Love, Joy, Anger, and Hope

A splendid piece of work.

Michael Lewis, bestselling author of The Big Short and Moneyball

Night of Miracles

Praise for Night of Miracles

Elizabeth Berg’s characters jump right off the page and into your heart.

Fannie Flagg on The Story of Arthur Truluv

Shameless: A Sexual Reformation

Praise for Shameless: A Sexual Reformation

If Saint Augustine were to return to life and live among us now, he would be Bolz-Weber.

Phyllis Tickle, author of The Divine Hours and The Great Emergence