Featured Speakers

Justin Torres

Justin Torres


National Book Award Winner • Bestselling Author • Novelist

Justin Torres is a novelist celebrated for a distinctly lyrical style that weaves truth and fiction, blending genres as he explores queer art, love, lineage, life, and death—and the multifaceted dynamics between family, friends, mentors, and strangers—through narrative. He is the author of the “shimmering, fable-like novel” (Washington Post) Blackouts, winner of the 2023 National […]

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Alejandro Varela

Alejandro Varela


Public Health Storyteller • Novelist • Cultural Commentator

In Varela’s latest book ‘The People who Report More Stress: Stories’ , “A searing collection about gentrification, racism, and sexuality” (Publishers Weekly Starred Review), is a collection of tales about parenting, long-term relationships, systemic and interpersonal racism, and class conflict. He is also the author of ‘The Town of Babylon’, a finalist for the National Book Award.

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Roberto Lovato


Award-Winning Author • Journalist • Cultural Commentator

Roberto Lovato is a human rights activist, award-winning journalist, and the author of Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs, and Revolution in the Americas. A recipient of a reporting grant from the Pulitzer Center, Lovato has chronicled some of the most pressing issues facing communities across the US and the rest of the Americas. 

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Dr. Ricardo Nuila

Dr. Ricardo Nuila


Educator • Author • Physician

Over his decade-long career as a practicing physician, Dr. Ricardo Nuila’s first-hand experiences have fueled his writing on health disparities, healthcare policy, and the interface between art and medicine. His stunning debut, The People’s Hospital: Hope and Peril in American Medicine, which details the stories of five Houstonians unable to access healthcare in his hometown of […]

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Speakers by Subject

New & Noteworthy

Cue the Sun!

Praise for Cue the Sun!

The finest kind of pop-cultural narrative history: inquisitive, discerning, surprising, thoughtful, informative, and lively; underpinned but not weighed down by its serious intent; and written with a storyteller’s verve, a journalist’s skepticism, a critic’s astuteness, and a fan’s loving eye.

Michael Chabon, author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

An Encyclopedia of Gardening for Colored Children

Praise for An Encyclopedia of Gardening for Colored Children

Kincaid and Walker are unafraid to spin the world differently and make it matter in new ways.

The New York Times Book Review

The Collapsing Frontier

Praise for The Collapsing Frontier

Lethem has talent to burn.

Village Voice Literary Supplement

The Princess of Las Vegas

Praise for The Princess of Las Vegas

A wonderful book….I absolutely could not put it down.

Anne Lamott, New York Times best-selling author of Bird by Bird

Fire Weather: On the Frontlines of a Burning World

Praise for Fire Weather: On the Frontlines of a Burning World

All-too-timely…. This book is both a real-life thriller and a moment-by-moment account of what happened—and why, as the climate changes and humans don’t, it will continue to happen again and again.

The New York Times

Memory Piece: A Novel

Praise for Memory Piece: A Novel

Dazzlingly inventive and knowing, Memory Piece is a bold and affecting novel about resistance, solidarity, and friendship.

Dana Spiotta, National Book Award finalist and author of Eat the Document

The Morningside

Praise for The Morningside

A multifaceted gift of a novel that only Téa Obreht could conjure onto paper.

Karen Russell, author of Orange World and Other Stories

American Mother

Praise for American Mother

Artfully structured and delivered with propulsive intensity and heart.

Pico Iyer, author of The Art of Stillness

An American Dreamer

Praise for An American Dreamer

Brilliantly reported and staggeringly important, An American Dreamer delivers a gripping story that is as illuminating and poignant as it is a punch in the gut.

Beth Macy, New York Times bestselling author of Dopesick

Burma Sahib

Praise for Burma Sahib

With piercing prose, Theroux lays bare the fraudulent and fiercely despotic nature of the British Empire. This brims with intelligence and vigor.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

By Any Other Name

Praise for By Any Other Name

Jodi Picoult is that rare, one-in-a-million writer whose books both squeeze your heart and expand your mind.

Emily Henry

The King Years

Praise for The King Years

Compelling portraits placed in the excitement of a period when oppressed and powerless people moving together changed themselves and their country profoundly and permanently.

The New York Times

When We Flew Away: A Novel of Anne Frank Before the Diary

Praise for When We Flew Away: A Novel of Anne Frank Before the Diary

We can highly recommend Alice Hoffman’s novel of Anne Frank’s life. We hope it will persuade young readers that contributing to a better world is both necessary and possible.

Ronald Leopold, Executive Director, Anne Frank House