http://www.democracynow.org - In the history of the planet, there have been five known mass extinction events. The last came 65 million years ago, when an asteroid about half the size of Manhattan collided with the earth, wiping out the dinosaurs and bringing the Cretaceous period to an end. Scientists way we are now experiencing the sixth extinction, with up to 50 percent of all living species in danger of disappearing by the end of the century. But unlike previous extinctions, the direct cause this time is us — human-driven climate change. In The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, journalist Elizabeth Kolbert visits four continents to document the massive "die-offs" that came millions of years ago and those now unfolding before our eyes. Kolbert explores how human activity — fossil fuel consumption, ocean acidification, pollution, deforestation, forced migration — threatens life forms of all kinds. "It is estimated that one-third of all reef-building corals, a third of all fresh-water mollusks, a third of sharks and rays, a quarter of all mammals, a fifth of all reptiles, and a sixth of all birds are headed toward oblivion," Kolbert writes. "The losses are occurring all over: in the South Pacific and in the North Atlantic, in the Arctic and the Sahel, in lakes and on islands, on mountaintops and in valleys." In tribute to Joan Didion's iconic 1967 essay, on leaving New York, "Goodbye to All That," a group of contemporary female essayists have come together to recount their own experiences with the city. The result is an anothology that recounts the lives of the current generations of American writers and their struggles, and sometime failures, to make New York their own.
Editor Sari Botton will be joined by several contributors who will read from their pieces. Readers include Dani Shapiro, author of five novels, including Family History; Emily Gould, co-founder of Emily Books and author of the forthcoming novel, Friendship; and Chloe Caldwell, author of the essay collection Legs Get Led Astray, which came out from Future Tense books in 2012. This event is in tribute to contributor Maggie Estep, who sadly passed away shortly before this event.
4:10 Dani Shapiro
14:50 Emily Gould
21:35 Sari Botton
31:44 Chloe Caldwell reads Maggie Estep
Author Chang-rae Lee talks about his newest novel, ON SUCH A FULL SEA.
Chang-rae Lee is the author of the novels NATIVE SPEAKER, A GESTURE LIFE, and ALOFT, which was a New York Times Bestseller and Notable Book. NATIVE SPEAKER was awarded the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, the Barnes & Noble Discover Award, and an ALA Notable Book of the Year Award. A GESTURE LIFE won the Anisfield-Wolf Literary Award, the Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award, and the NAIBA Book Award for Fiction, and was cited as a Notable Book of Year by the New York Times, Esquire, Publishers Weekly, and the Los Angeles Times. Mr. Lee has also written stories and articles for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Food & Wine, Granta, and many other publications.
His fourth novel, THE SURRENDERED, will be published in March 2010.
Chang-rae Lee was born in Seoul, Korea. He was educated at Phillips Exeter, Yale, and the University of Oregon. He is a professor in the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University, where he teaches creative writing.
Tuesday, January 7, 2013
S. Stevan Dweck Center
Acclaimed novelist Joyce Carol Oates talks with BuzzFeed Books editor Isaac Fitzgerald about her new novel Carthage.
Joyce Carol Oates has been hailed as "one of the great artistic forces of our time," and her prolific literary output has been a major contribution to contemporary literature. She visits Strand in celebration of the release of her latest novel. Carthage examines the effects of a young girl's disappearance on a small town, and the lingering shadows of the violence of war on daily life in America. A frightening and gorgeously imagined story of youthful loneliness and familial disintegration, Carthage is the latest work from one of American's greatest living writers.
Joining Joyce this evening is Isaac Fitzgerald who, in his own words, has been a firefighter, worked on a boat, and been given a sword by a king, thereby accomplishing three out of five of his childhood goals. He's written for The Bold Italic, McSweeney's, Mother Jones, and The San Francisco Chronicle. He is a co-owner of The Rumpus, co-founder of Pen & Ink, and editor at BuzzFeed Books.
Acclaimed biographer Barry Miles discusses his new work, Call Me Burroughs, with John Tytell.
Decades ago, Norman Mailer made the assertion that "William Burroughs is the only American novelist living today who may conceivably be possessed by genius," and few writers have come close to the sheer production and effect that Burroughs had on an entire literary generation.
In his newest biographical work, celebrated writer Barry Miles provides a closer-than-ever glimpse of Burroughs' legacy, from his well-known writings, to his experimental recordings and visual arts projects, as well as snapshots of his personal life. Barry is also the author of the wildly popular volume, Hippie, which lends shape and cohesion to a period of great change in American history.
Joining Barry for the evening will be Pulitzer prize winning biographer John Tytell, author of the Paradise Outlaws: Remembering The Beats.
Stephen Wade presents a talk related to the research for his recent book, The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience, which takes as its starting point 13 iconic performances captured on Library of Congress field recordings between 1934 and 1942 in locations reaching from Southern Appalachia to the Mississippi Delta and onto the Great Plains. Through decades of research and detective work, musician Stephen Wade tracked down surviving performers and their families, fellow musicians, and community members. Weaving together loving and expert profiles of these performers with the histories of these songs and tunes, Wade brings to life largely unheralded individuals — farm laborers, state prisoners, school children, cowboys, housewives and mothers, loggers and miners — whose music has become part of the wider American musical soundscape. By exploring how these singers and instrumentalists exerted their own creativity on inherited forms, "amplifying tradition's gifts," Wade shows how a single artist can make a difference.
Speaker Biography: Stephen Wade is an American folk musician, writer and researcher. Growing up in Chicago in the 1950s and '60s, Wade was exposed to a number of vernacular musicians who had moved north to the city from the Mississippi Delta and the Southern Appalachians.