Los Angeles Public Library Podcasts: ALOUD @ Centr

Los Angeles Public Library Podcasts: ALOUD @ Centr

United States

The following podcasts were recorded live in the Los Angeles Central Library's Mark Taper Auditorium as part of the award-winning ALOUD at Central Library speaker series presented by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. ALOUD podcasts are updated on a monthly basis. Initial funding for ALOUD podcasts was made possible by Arent Fox LLP.

Episodes

Michael Chabon and David L. Ulin | Moonglow  

 In 1989, fresh from the publication of his first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Michael Chabon traveled to his mother’s home in Oakland, California, to visit his terminally ill grandfather. Tongue loosened by powerful painkillers, memory stirred by the imminence of death, Chabon’s grandfather shared stories the younger man had never heard before. From the Jewish slums of prewar South Philadelphia to the invasion of Germany and the heyday of the space program, Moonglow collapses an era into a single life and a lifetime into a single week. Hear from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author as he discusses his latest literary masterpiece—a novel of truth and lies, family legends, and existential adventure.Click here for photos from the program. 

Tim Wu and Madeleine Brand | The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads  

 In nearly every moment of our waking lives, we face a barrage of advertising enticements, branding efforts, sponsored social media, commercials, and other efforts to harvest our attention. In his new book, The Attention Merchants, Tim Wu, author of the award-winning The Master Switch who coined the phrase “net neutrality,” explores the rise of firms whose business models are the mass capture of attention for resale to advertisers. Wu visits ALOUD for a revelatory look at the cognitive, social, and unimaginable ways that industries feeding on human attention are transforming our society and ourselves.Click here for photos from the program.

Rebecca Solnit and Christopher Hawthorne | Stories from the City  

 What makes a place? The stories of a city are inexhaustible and contradictory as cities themselves are in constant conflict between memory and erasure. Writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit’s latest work in a trilogy of atlases (New York, New Orleans, San Francisco) portrays the myriad ways we coexist and move through a city depending on our race, gender, age and so much more.  In conversation with architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne, Solnit expands our ideas of how cities are imagined and considers how they might look in the immediate future. Join a discussion with two people who have thought deeply about the possibilities of the infinite city.Click here for photos from the program.

T.C. Boyle and Michael Silverblatt | The Terranauts  

 One of today’s greatest American novelists, bestselling author T.C. Boyle visits ALOUD to take audiences deep inside his electrifying, eco-visionary new novel. An epic story of science, society, sex, and survival, The Terranauts follows the high-pressured lives of eight scientists—four men and four women—closely monitored under glass in E2, a prototype of a possible off-earth colony. With characteristic humor and sharp wit, Boyle plays out his real-life environmental concerns as he experiments with the future of humanity.Click here for photos from the program.

Hisham Matar and Louise Steinman | The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between  

 When Hisham Matar was a university student in England, his father was kidnapped. One of the Qaddafi regime’s most prominent critics in exile, he was held in a secret prison in Libya. Matar, the author of In the Country of Men, a Man Booker Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, chronicles his journey home to his native Libya after the fall of Qaddafi in search of the truth behind his father’s disappearance. Matar shares from The Return, his impassioned new work that weaves the intimacy of a memoir with the suspense of journalism to offer a moving reflection on exile, art, family, and the history of a revolution.Click here for photos from the program.

Emma Donoghue and Ramona Ausubel | The Wonder  

 With all the propulsive tension that made Room an international bestseller, Emma Donoghue’s new masterpiece, The Wonder, is a tale of two strangers who transform each other’s lives. Set in Ireland in the 1850s, an English nurse arrives in a small village to keep watch over a young girl who has been fasting for months and claims to be living only on manna from heaven. Is it a miracle or fraud or something else? Donoghue shares with ALOUD audiences her latest riveting psychological thriller with Ramona Ausubel.Click here for photos from the program.

The Black Panthers: Portraits from an Unfinished Revolution  

 “What happens to revolutionaries in America?” This was the question photojournalist Bryan Shih sought to answer through his lens and the first-person narratives gathered in this powerful new book, Portraits from an Unfinished Revolution, released on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party’s founding.   These intimate and rarely heard stories of rank and file party members whose on-the-ground activism—from voter registrars, medical clinicians, and community teachers—contribute missing pieces to a skewed historical record and offer lessons for the future. #BlackLivesMatter activist and organizer Melina Abdullah joins Panthers Ericka Huggins, Norma Mtume, and Phyllis Jackson for an important examination of the past, present and future of groundbreaking social movements.Click here for photos from the program.

James Gleick and Charles Yu | Time Travel: A History  

 Leading chronicler of science and technology and best-selling author of The Information and Chaos, James Gleick visits ALOUD with a mind-bending exploration of time travel through literature and science. His latest book, Time Travel, tracks our cultural, philosophical, technological, and evolutionary understanding of time—from H.G. Wells to Doctor Who, from the electric telegraph to the steam railroad. Novelist Charles Yu, a masterful storyteller who turns time inside out in his fiction, joins Gleick in conversation to delve into the looping paradoxes of the past, present, and future. Click here for photos from the program.

Riad Sattouf and Elvis Mitchell | The Arab of the Future 2  

 Best-selling cartoonist and filmmaker Riad Sattouf shares from his highly anticipated continuation of The Arab of the Future—a recollection of his childhood as his family shuttled back and forth between France and the Middle East. Sattouf’s latest graphic memoir travels to his father’s hometown of Homs, where the young Sattouf attends schools and attempts to dedicate himself to becoming a true Syrian in the country of a dictator. Hear from one of today’s most original voices as Sattouf acutely observes life’s small daily moments while sweeping through issues of politics, religion, and poverty in a voice both darkly funny and piercingly direct.Click here for photos from the program. 

Sharon Olds and Robin Coste Lewis | The Body in Question  

 Following the Pulitzer prize-winning collection Stag’s Leap, Sharon Olds’ newest book of poems, Odes, addresses and embodies love, gender, and sexual politics through the powerful and tender age-old poetic form of the ode. National Book Award winner Robin Coste Lewis’ stunning poetry debut, Voyage of the Sable Venus, considers the roles of desire and race in the construction of the self through lyrical meditations on the black female figure. Join us as these poets read from their intimate work and interrogate the structure of the body through its pleasures and sorrows, complex aesthetics and universal truths. 

Maureen Dowd and Adam Nagourney | The Year of Voting Dangerously  

Before you cast your ballot this November, join ALOUD for an evening of political takes and takedowns with New York Times Pulitzer-winning columnist Maureen Dowd. The bestselling author has covered Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton since the ‘90s and now in her new book, The Year of Voting Dangerously: The Derangement of American Politics, she plunges into one of the most bizarre and divisive campaigns in modern history. With her trademark cocktail of wry humor and acerbic analysis, Dowd traces the psychologies and pathologies behind this treacherous battle for our nation’s highest office.

Mary Beard | SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome  

 In SPQR, an instant classic from one of our foremost classicists, Mary Beard narrates the history of Rome while challenging the comfortable historical perspective that has existed for centuries. With precision and flair, the National Book Critics Circle finalist guides us through ancient brothels, bars, and back alleys to sift fact from fiction, myth and propaganda from historical record. Hear from Beard as she unpacks the unprecedented rise of a civilization that– even two thousand years later–still shapes many of our most fundamental assumptions about power, citizenship, responsibility, political violence, empire, luxury, and beauty, while simultaneously adding to the narrative entire groups of people omitted from history.

An Evening with Colson Whitehead  

 What if the Underground Railroad were no mere metaphor, but an actual secret network of tracks and tunnels, conductors and steam locomotives beneath the Southern soil? In a spellbinding tour-de-force, prize-winning author Colson Whitehead’s new novel, The Underground Railroad, an Oprah’s 2016 Book Club selection, chronicles a young slave’s adventures through the antebellum South as she makes a desperate bid for freedom. Join us for a fascinating meditation on American history as Whitehead discusses this brilliantly imagined odyssey through time and space.Click here for photos from the program. 

Alexi Pappas and Sharon Ann Lee | Tracktown: On the Run  

 Fresh off this summer’s Olympics in Rio, “renaissance runner” Alexi Pappas takes a break with ALOUD to discuss her far-reaching talents and interests. Beyond representing Greece’s Olympic team in the 10,000 meters race, Pappas writes poetry, essays, and makes and stars in films, including a semi-autobiographical movie, Tracktown, which recently premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival. A celebrity in the Twitter-sphere—even her signature top bun has its own Twitter account—Pappas will team up with fellow tweeter extraordinaire Sharon Ann Lee of @culturebrain, to muse on the life of a runner, training with men, eating infinite bowls of pasta, and balancing many forms of self-expression on and off the track.Click here for photos from the program, and click here to view "The Elite Runner," the first in a series of short films co-created by Alexi Pappas and Jeremy Teicher.

The End of Ice: Stories from Greenland’s Northernmost Villages  

 Greenland’s ice sheet is now shedding ice so fast (five times faster than it did in the 1990s) that scientists have labeled Greenland’s seasonal sea ice “a rotten ice regime.” For 20 years, writer Gretel Ehrlich has traveled with Inuit hunters in Greenland, listening to their narratives and observing changes in their traditional hunting. This past spring, she went with some of those Inuit hunters to Paris, with plans to speak at the climate talks which were dashed when terrorists struck the city. In conversation with award-winning NPR journalist Neal Conan, Ehrlich reports on her experience in Greenland and Paris and discusses the challenge of climate change—how can we move from “it’s too late…” to “there’s much we can do”?Click here for photos from the program. 

Live From the Vault: Rare Recordings of James Baldwin  

 Co-presented with Pacifica Archives Join us for a live broadcast (on KPFK 90.7 FM) dedicated to the voice of author and civil rights activist James Baldwin. Brian DeShazor, host of From the Vault radio program will air rare recordings of Baldwin from 1963-1968, including: an oration called the Artist’s Struggle for Integrity; a reading from Giovanni’s Room; Baldwin’s fiery speech after the murder of four girls in Birmingham, Alabama; and his introduction of Dr. Martin Luther King (taped in the home of Marlon Brando) weeks before King’s assassination. DeShazor is joined by two writers who’ve thought deeply about Baldwin’s work—novelist Nina Revoyr and Melvin L. Rogers, Associate Professor of Political Science and African-American Studies at UCLA—to reflect on Baldwin’s impact on literature and society. Click here for photos from the program. 

Eileen Myles and Maggie Nelson: Why We Write  

 For twenty years, groundbreaking poets Eileen Myles (Chelsea Girls; I Must be Living Twice) and Maggie Nelson (National Book Critics Circle Award, The Argonauts) have been friends, mutual influences, and interlocutors on the experiences of living in a poetry and gender inflected writing world. Myles’ latest work—a collection of old and new poems—refracts a radical world and a compelling life.  Nelson’s genre-bending memoir, The Argonauts, calls for radical individual freedom and the value of caretaking.   Together on stage to read both poetry and prose, these two ground-breaking writers then will join in conversation to, as Myles says, “let thoughts rip.”Click here for photos from the program.

PEN Emerging Voices: A Reading  

In partnership with PEN Center USA, ALOUD presents the culminating event of PEN’s 2016 Emerging Voices Fellowship to mark the program’s 20th anniversary. Revisit this evening of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction with readings from the 2016 Fellows: Marnie Goodfriend, Jian Huang, Wendy Labinger, Natalie Lima, and Chelsea Sutton; featuring an introduction from this year’s Emerging Voices mentors: Carmiel Banasky, Claire Bidwell Smith, Patrick O’Neil, Mike Padilla, and Alicia Partnoy. The Emerging Voices Fellowship is a literary mentorship program aiming to provide new writers who are isolated from the literary establishment with the tools, skills, and knowledge they need to launch a professional writing career.  

Ben Ehrenreich: The Way to the Spring  

 For three years, award-winning journalist Ben Ehrenreich has been traveling to and living in the West Bank, living with Palestinian families in its largest cities and smallest villages. Placing readers in the footsteps of ordinary Palestinians, Ehrenreich’s new book, The Way to the Spring, offers some of the most empathetic reporting ever to emerge from the turbulent region. With a keen eye for detail, he paints a vivid portrait of life in three Palestinian villages, interspersed with crash-course history lessons on the Israel-Palestine conflict. In conversation with Amy Wilentz, National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author and former Jerusalem correspondent for The New Yorker, Ehrenreich discusses the journalist’s mission to listen and understand the complexities of human experience.Click here for photos from the program. 

Rosanne Cash and Joe Henry | Composed: The Intersection of Poetry and Song  

 Like dreams, poetry and song enter our lives by way of a mystery—unrecognized and often uninvited. Both represent the speaking of the otherwise unspeakable: the place where real truth is unencumbered by fact, time is made elastic, and narrative emerges from the abstract to tell us something of who we are. Listen in for a special evening of music and conversation with two leading voices as songwriters and authors Rosanne Cash and Joe Henry (both multi-GRAMMY Award winners) reflect on the transcendence of language through poetry and song.Click here for photos from the program. 

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