Featured Speakers

Dr. Imani Perry

Dr. Imani Perry

Public Intellectual • Cultural Historian • Author

In her books, including NAACP Image Award Nominated Breathe: A Letter to My Sons, Imani Perry reflects the beautiful and deeply complex history of Black thought, art, and imagination. Her next book, South to America out in winter 2022, is a narrative journey through the South, positioning it as the heart of the American experiment for better and worse.

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Masha Gessen

Masha Gessen

National Book Award Winner • Bestselling Author • Journalist

One of the most trenchant observers of Russia and its history, Masha Gessen is a journalist, activist and bestselling author of nonfiction, including the National Book Award-winning The Future Is History. Their latest, Surviving Autocracy, is a bracing overview of the calamitous trajectory of American democracy under the Trump administration.

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Jeff Goodell

Jeff Goodell

Author • Energy & Environment Expert • Investigative Journalist

Rolling Stone contributing editor Jeff Goodell is a prominent expert on climate change and energy policy. His newest book, The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Reshaping of the Civilized World, is an immersive look at the global crisis of rising oceans.

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Kiese Laymon

Bestselling Author • Social Critic • Essayist

Laymon is a Black southern writer and the author of Heavy: An American Memoir, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, and Long Division. In his observant, often hilarious work, Laymon does battle with the personal and the political: race and family, body and shame, poverty and place. 

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Stephanie Land

Stephanie Land

Bestselling Author • Journalist • Economic Justice Advocate

Land’s bestselling debut memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive recounts her story as a single mom navigating the physical, economic, and social stigmas that domestic workers face, all while radiating a parent’s hope and resilience.

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Dr. Brian Fagan

Archaeologist • Author • Climate Change Historian

A leading authority on human adaptation to the environment and climate change throughout history, Fagan, author of The Great Warming, The Attacking Ocean, and nearly 50 other books, places the climate crisis of today in a crucial historical context.

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Dr. Matthew Desmond

Dr. Matthew Desmond

Pulitzer Prize Winner • Bestselling Author • Urban Ethnographer

Princeton sociologist, Pulitzer Prize-winner, and MacArthur “Genius” Matthew Desmond’s Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City is a landmark work of scholarship and reportage that has forever changed the way we look at poverty in America.

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Dr. Danielle Allen

Dr. Danielle Allen

Political Theorist • Public Intellectual • Cultural Commentator

Harvard’s Dr. Danielle Allen is a political theorist widely known for her work on justice and citizenship. Troubled by the fact that so few Americans actually know what the Declaration of Independence says or how it affects them, the MacArthur “Genius” set out to explore the document with her students in Our Declaration, revealing that our nation’s founding text is not just a historical one but rather an animating force that can change the course of our everyday lives.

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Speakers by Subject

New & Noteworthy

Cloud Cuckoo Land

Praise for Cloud Cuckoo Land

Doerr demonstrates a singular gift for bringing these complex, fully realized characters to empathetic life in this brilliantly imagined story.

Booklist, starred review

My Book of the Dead

Praise for My Book of the Dead

[A] powerful testament to strength and resilience. Its historical references to the struggles our communities have endured and its addressing of political perils and climate crises are lessons needed for this time.

Nancy Mercado, author of It Concerns the Madness

Climate Chaos

Praise for Climate Chaos


South to America

Praise for South to America

It is given to few people to scale the peaks of the academy and of the public square, but Dr. Perry is one of those precious few. She’s the best of best right now.

Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels

Between Two Kingdoms

Praise for Between Two Kingdoms

This is a propulsive, soulful story of mourning and gratitude—and an intimate portrait of one woman’s sojourn in the wilderness between life and death.

Tara Westover, bestselling author of Educated

The Color of Success

Praise for The Color of Success

Historian Wu sets the record straight, offering the manner in which Asians worked to overcome prejudice from the 1890s through more recent events, including WWII, the communist revolution in China, and the Korean and Vietnamese wars.


Preaching on Wax

Praise for Preaching on Wax

Martin has crafted a tight, well-conceived narrative… a pleasure to read.

Journal of American History

Hour of the Witch

Praise for Hour of the Witch

Another surprise read from the fabulously protean, New York Times best-selling Bohjalian.

Library Journal

Voices from the Pandemic

Praise for Voices from the Pandemic

The breadth of Saslow’s reporting astonishes, as does the directness and vulnerability of his interview subjects. This powerful, unputdownable account should be required reading.

Publishers Weekly, starred review

The Book of Magic

Praise for The Book of Magic

Filled with secrets and splendor and light and dark, the novel works as well as a stand-alone as it does as a conclusion to a mesmerizing series. It casts a spell.

Matt Haig, New York Times best-selling author of The Midnight Library

Out of the Sun: On Race and Storytelling

Praise for Out of the Sun: On Race and Storytelling


The Arrest

Praise for The Arrest

An impeccably executed, moving, and wildly inventive tale of madness and narrative at the end of the world. Lethem is at the top of his game.

Emily St. John Mandel