Portlandia and Transparent actress, Sleater-Kinney guitarist, NPR contributor, screenwriter and all-around cool person Carrie Brownstein has spent three years working on a deeply personal and revealing memoir. Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl is a narrative of Brownstein’s life in music, from ardent fan to her days as a guitarist for Excuse 17 – a pioneering band in the Riot Grrrl scene – to her success as both a comedic performer and rock luminary as Sleater-Kinney rose to the top of the indie-rock world. Hear the story of the dawn of the underground feminist punk-rock movement that would define music and pop culture from one of its founding mothers.
Tony Award-winning actor and producer Wendell Pierce had leading roles in the HBO series The Wire and Treme and has appeared in feature films including Selma, Ray and Waiting to Exhale. He will star as Clarence Thomas in HBO’s upcoming series Confirmation opposite Karry Washington, who will portray Anita Hill. Since Hurricane Katrina, Pierce has been helping to rebuild the flood-ravaged Pontchartrain Park neighborhood in his native New Orleans. His new memoir The Wind in the Reeds: A Storm, A Play, and the City That Would Not Be Broken, reminds us of the collaborative potential art has to help heal ourselves, our families and our communities.
MIT technology and society specialist psychologist Sherry Turkle (Alone Together) has been called the Margaret Mead of Digital Culture and our techno-Freud. In her latest book, Reclaiming Conversation, she discusses the power of conversation and the importance of reclaiming it in the digital age. Turkle argues that social media provides the illusion of companionship without the demands of intimacy, causing us to sacrifice authentic communication for mere connection. With digital technology still in its infancy, however, she says that there is ample time for us to reshape how we build and use it.
After four failed attempts, Diana Nyad emerged onto the shores of Key West, Florida, after completing a 110-mile, fifty-three-hour, record-breaking swim through shark-infested waters from Cuba. Why, at age 64, was she able to achieve what she could not as a young woman? She shares her unforgettable journey – physical, spiritual, emotional, psychological –a triumphant tale about facing fears, following a passion, and living life with no regrets. A sports broadcaster filing for NPR, Fox Sports, ABC’s Wide World of Sports, and the New York Times, Nyad is one of our most compelling storytellers.
Maria Popova’s wildly popular blog “Brainpickings,” which started as a weekly e-mail to seven friends, now has fans like William Gibson, Drew Carey, Mia Farrow and Biz Stone and is included in the Library of Congress permanent web archive. A recent sampling includes Sylvia Bornstein on Pablo Neruda, 19th century illustrations of owls and ospreys, and Mark Rothko on beauty, friendship and art. Popova, a self-proclaimed “curious mind at large,” has written for Wired UK, Atlantic, New York Times, and Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab, and is an MIT Futures of Entertainment Fellow. She appears in conversation with Alexis Madrigal, Fusion’s Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, former senior editor at the Atlantic and staff writer at Wired, and author of Powering the Dream.
United States Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, the first Mexican American to hold the position, learned to love poetry by singing about the Mexican Revolution with his mother, a migrant farmworker in California. Inspired by her spirit, he has spent his life crossing borders, erasing boundaries and expanding what it means to be American. Herrera’s appointment comes as the country is debating immigration, a recurring subject of his work, which has been collected in books like Border-Crosser With a Lamborghini Dream and 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross the Border.
Dennis Lehane has had the kind of career most authors would kill for. Already riding high with a string of New York Times bestsellers, Lehane found Hollywood producers hungry for his dark plots, unforgettable characters and cinematic thrills. From the multi-Oscar-winning Mystic River (for which he was nominated for adapted screenplay) to Gone, Baby, Gone to Shutter Island and The Drop, Lehane is increasingly in demand in the film industry, and has written for acclaimed series like The Wire and Boardwalk Empire. He discusses his book-to-film career, as well as his most recent novel, World Gone By.
Todd Haynes’ provocative films subvert narrative structure and resound with transgressive, complex eroticism. His work includes Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, a psychological docudrama about the life and death of the singer that is satirical yet compassionate; Poison, an exploration of AIDS-era deviancy, alienation and persecution told as a vox-pop documentary, ’50s sci-fi horror fantasy and gay love story; and Safe, the story of a San Fernando Valley housewife (Julianne Moore) who is literally allergic to the 20th century, both a brilliant analogy for the AIDS crisis and a coolly devastating portrait of despair and isolation.
Hear radio being created in front of your ears and go behind the scenes of some of today’s most popular narrative radio shows and podcasts with their creators and producers, including Snap Judgement’s Glynn Washington and 99 Percent Invisible’s Roman Mars. Noted graphic novelist Jessica Abel tells their story in her new book Out on the Wire, which offers an unexpected window into this new kind of storytelling.
Actress Felicia Day (Buffy, Supernatural, The Guild, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog), self-proclaimed “Queen of the Geeks,” has achieved fame on her own ‘weird’ terms. She appears in conversation with world-renowned alternate reality game designer Jane McGonigal to celebrate the release of her memoir You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) and spread the message that embracing individuality fuels creation, community and innovation on the Internet and beyond.