Featured Speakers

Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr


Pulitzer Prize Winner • Bestselling Author • Novelist

“Anthony Doerr writes beautifully about the mythic and the intimate, about snails on beaches and armies on the move, about fate and love and history and those breathless, unbearable moments when they all come crashing together.” —Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins Since the publication of his first story collection, The Shell Collector, in 2002, Anthony […]

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Elizabeth Berg


Bestselling Author • Novelist

“Before I became a writer, I was a registered nurse for ten years, and that was my ‘school’ for writing—taking care of patients taught me a lot about human nature, about hope and fear and love and loss and regret and triumph and especially about relationships—all things that I tend to focus on in my […]

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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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Clive Thompson

Clive Thompson


Journalist • Author • Tech Industry Expert

Clive Thompson is a longtime contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, a columnist for Wired, and the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better and Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World.

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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 the powerful and provocative memoir Heavy (which won the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction), the groundbreaking essay collection How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, and the genre-defying novel Long Division.

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The Lacks Family


The Lacks Family of THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS

The Lacks family has enthralled audiences across the country by talking about their mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Henrietta Lacks, and her transcendentally important contributions to science. The international success of Rebecca Skloot’s New York Times bestseller, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, has left people keenly interested in the Lacks family and Henrietta’s legacy. In their appearances, the family shares with audiences […]

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Sheri Fink

Sheri Fink


Pulitzer Prize Winner • Bestselling Author • Journalist

Winner of a Pulitzer Prize for journalism and a National Magazine Award, Sheri Fink is the author of Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital. The book is a landmark investigation of patient deaths at a New Orleans hospital during Hurricane Katrina, and a suspenseful portrayal of the pursuit of justice […]

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Jeanne Marie Laskas

Jeanne Marie Laskas


Bestselling Author • Journalist • Memoirist

Jeanne Marie Laskas is one of the most incisive, wide-ranging, and appealing voices in contemporary journalism. An “intrepid reporter and great storyteller” (Kirkus), she has been writing longform narratives for GQ, Esquire, and other magazines for more than 20 years. She has profiled everyone from Mr. Rogers to Vice President Joe Biden, and has done […]

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Edmund White

Edmund White


Novelist • Social Critic • Memoirist

Across biography, social history, and memoir, in both fiction and nonfiction, Edmund White has chronicled the gay experience in the United States from the closeted 1950s through the AIDS crisis and beyond. But as William Goldstein wrote in Publishers Weekly, “To call Edmund White merely a gay writer is to oversimplify his work and his intentions.” […]

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Diana Abu-Jaber

Diana Abu-Jaber


Author • Essayist • Memoirist
Paul Beatty

Paul Beatty


Bestselling Author • Novelist • Poet

John Berendt


Bestselling Author • Journalist • Essayist

Elizabeth Berg


Bestselling Author • Novelist
Chris Bohjalian

Chris Bohjalian


Bestselling Author • Novelist • Human Rights Advocate
Nadia Bolz-Weber

Nadia Bolz-Weber


Pastor • Bestselling Author • Memoirist
Katherine Boo

Katherine Boo


Pulitzer Prize Winner • Bestselling Author • Journalist
Taylor Branch

Taylor Branch


Pulitzer Prize Winner • Bestselling Author • Historian

Jessica Bruder


Journalist • Author

NoViolet Bulawayo


Novelist • Essayist • Short Story Writer

Ana Castillo


Author • Essayist • Poet
Vikram Chandra

Vikram Chandra


Bestselling Author • Novelist • Memoirist

Justin Cronin


Bestselling Author • Novelist
Dr. Matthew Desmond

Dr. Matthew Desmond


Pulitzer Prize Winner • Bestselling Author • Urban Ethnographer
Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr


Pulitzer Prize Winner • Bestselling Author • Novelist
Heidi Durrow

Heidi Durrow


Bestselling Author • Novelist • Essayist
Esi Edugyan

Esi Edugyan


Bestselling Author • Novelist • Essayist

Dr. Brian Fagan


Archaeologist • Author • Climate Change Historian
Sheri Fink

Sheri Fink


Pulitzer Prize Winner • Bestselling Author • Journalist

David Finkel


Pulitzer Prize Winner • Bestselling Author • Journalist

Richard Ford


Pulitzer Prize Winner • Bestselling Author • Novelist
Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert


Bestselling Author • Novelist • Memoirist
Julia Glass

Julia Glass


National Book Award Winner • Bestselling Author • Novelist
Dr. Alice Goffman

Dr. Alice Goffman


Author • Social Justice Advocate • Urban Ethnographer
Jeff Goodell

Jeff Goodell


Author • Energy & Environment Expert • Investigative Journalist
Dr. Allyson Hobbs

Dr. Allyson Hobbs


Author • Essayist • Historian
Alice Hoffman

Alice Hoffman


Bestselling Author • Novelist • Short Story Writer
Dr. Thomas Homer-Dixon

Dr. Thomas Homer-Dixon


Author • Energy & Security Expert • Political Scientist
A.M. Homes

A.M. Homes


Novelist • Essayist • Memoirist
Nancy Horan

Nancy Horan


Bestselling Author • Novelist
John Irving

John Irving


National Book Award Winner • Bestselling Author • Screenwriter
Pico Iyer

Pico Iyer


Bestselling Author • Essayist • Travel Writer
Mitchell S. Jackson

Mitchell S. Jackson


Author • Filmmaker
Gish Jen

Gish Jen


Novelist • Essayist
Tayari Jones

Tayari Jones


Bestselling Author • Novelist
Hillary Jordan

Hillary Jordan


Bestselling Author • Novelist

Piper Kerman


Bestselling Author • Memoirist • Social Justice Advocate

Sue Monk Kidd


Bestselling Author • Novelist • Memoirist
Tracy Kidder

Tracy Kidder


Pulitzer Prize Winner • Bestselling Author
Lily King

Lily King


Bestselling Author • Novelist

Laura Kipnis


Social Critic • Author • Essayist

Lisa Ko


Novelist • Essayist
Alex Kotlowitz

Alex Kotlowitz


Bestselling Author • Journalist • Documentary Filmmaker

James Howard Kunstler


Urban Planning Advocate • Novelist • Social Critic • Journalist

The Lacks Family


The Lacks Family of THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS
Laila Lalami

Laila Lalami


Novelist • Author • Essayist

Stephanie Land


Economic Justice Advocate • Bestselling Author • Journalist
Jeanne Marie Laskas

Jeanne Marie Laskas


Bestselling Author • Journalist • Memoirist

Kiese Laymon


Bestselling Author • Social Critic • Essayist
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon


Bestselling Author • Journalist • Women’s Advocate
Jonathan Lethem

Jonathan Lethem


Bestselling Author • Novelist • Essayist
Anthony Marra

Anthony Marra


Bestselling Author • Novelist • Short Story Writer
Ayana Mathis

Ayana Mathis


Bestselling Author • Novelist • Essayist
Colum McCann

Colum McCann


National Book Award Winner • Bestselling Author • Novelist
Jeremy McCarter

Jeremy McCarter


Cultural Historian • Bestselling Author
Maaza Mengiste

Maaza Mengiste


Novelist • Essayist • Social Justice Advocate
Susan Orlean

Susan Orlean


Bestselling Author • Journalist • Essayist
Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult


Bestselling Author • Novelist
Eli Saslow

Eli Saslow


Pulitzer Prize Winner • Journalist • Author
Lisa See

Lisa See


Bestselling Author • Novelist • Memoirist
Joshua Wolf Shenk

Joshua Wolf Shenk


Bestselling Author • Essayist • Curator
Rebecca Skloot

Rebecca Skloot


Bestselling Author • Journalist
Rachel Louise Snyder

Rachel Louise Snyder


Domestic Violence Advocate • Journalist • Author

Paul Theroux


Bestselling Author • Novelist • Travel Writer
Clive Thompson

Clive Thompson


Journalist • Author • Tech Industry Expert
Krista Tippett

Krista Tippett


Public Radio Show Host • Journalist • Author
William T. Vollmann

William T. Vollmann


Novelist • Journalist • Short Story Writer

Jesmyn Ward


National Book Award Winner • Essayist • Memoirist
Edmund White

Edmund White


Novelist • Social Critic • Memoirist