Bill also reflects on his conversation a decade ago with Nobel-prize winning novelist Doris Lessing who passed away in London at the age of 94.
When Bill asks Lessing, whose literary career spanned six decades, if she ever stops writing this is how she answered: "No, I'm compulsive and I deeply think that it has to be something very neurotic. And I'm not joking, it has to be. Because if I've finished a book and this wonderful release, which I'm now feeling; it's off, it's in a parcel, it's gone to a publisher. Bliss and happiness. I don't have to do anything, nothing — I can just sit around. But, suddenly it starts, you see. This terrible feeling that I am just wasting my life."
Cartoonist Lynda Barry appears at the 2013 Library of Congress National Book Festival.
Speaker Biography: Lynda Barry is a writer and cartoonist who lives in rural Wisconsin. She's authored 19 books and received numerous awards and honors for her work, including two William Eisner awards, the American Library Association's Alex award, the Washington State governor's award, the Wisconsin Library Association's R.R. Donnelly award and the Museum of Wisconsin Arts Lifetime Achievement Award. Her work has appeared in many publications, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Vanity Fair, Esquire, Newsweek, Time, Salon, Mother Jones, Poetry Magazine and Tin House. She is currently assistant professor in interdisciplinary creativity at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Discovery Fellow at the UW Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. Her new graphic novel is The Freddie Stories.
Join us for an exclusive conversation with acclaimed Robert Stone, author of Death of The Black-Haired Girl, and Rachel Kushner, author of The Flamethrowers.
Robert, a winner of the National Book Award and two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, returns with Death of The Black-Haired Girl, his first novel in ten years. Death of The Black-Haired Girl traces the story of a cynical professor and his affair with a brilliant, passionate young student. With his signature blend of uncompromising insight and deft characterization, Robert examines the unintended damage people to themselves and each other. Robert will speak about his writing and answer audience questions!
Joining Robert for the evening will be Rachel Kushner, author of this year's widely acclaimed novel The Flamethrowers, heralded by James Wood as "scintillatingly alive." You won't want to miss out on this chat between two contemporary masters of fiction.
THE EVERYTHING STORE is the definitive story of Amazon.com, one of the most successful companies in the world, and of its driven, brilliant founder, Jeff Bezos.
Amazon.com started off delivering books through the mail. But its visionary founder, Jeff Bezos, wasn't content with being a bookseller. He wanted Amazon to become the everything store, offering limitless selection and seductive convenience at disruptively low prices. To do so, he developed a corporate culture of relentless ambition and secrecy that's never been cracked. Until now. Brad Stone enjoyed unprecedented access to current and former Amazon employees and Bezos family members, giving readers the first in-depth, fly-on-the-wall account of life at Amazon.
According to Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs, "Jeff Bezos is one of the most visionary, focused, and tenacious innovators of our era, and like Steve Jobs he transforms and invents industries. Brad Stone captures his passion and brilliance in this well-reported and compelling narrative."
Brad Stone has covered technology in Silicon Valley for over 14 years, with publications such as Newsweek, The New York Times, and Bloomberg Businessweek.
PEN PRESENTS: "Who's Afraid of Free Speech?" Powered by Google in conjunction with The Atlantic brought together David Simon (HBO's The Wire), E.L. Doctorow (Ragtime), Masha Gessen (The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin), Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran), and moderator James Fallows of The Atlantic to the forefront of the massive surveillance debate playing out on Capitol Hill and in the headlines.
The panelists reflect on the relationship between privacy, identity, self-expression, and censorship to address challenges to free expression in the digital age, including the impact of surveillance on creative freedom, the disintegration of geographic boundaries and cultural context online, and the powers exerted by corporations as the new de facto content adjudicators.
From Jezebel.com, the popular website for women, comes a must-read encyclopedic guide to pop culture, feminism, fashion, sex, and much more.
Within months of Jezebel's May 2007 appearance on the new media scene, fans of the blog began referring to themselves as ""Jezzies"" in comment threads and organizing reader meet-ups in cities all over the world. By 2008, the devotion of the self-appointed Jezzies reached such a fever pitch that the New York Times ran a feature story about them and parody blogs and copycat websites began popping up right and left.
With contributions from the writers and creatives who give the site its distinctive tone and broad influence, The Book of Jezebel is an encyclopedia of everything important to the modern woman. Running the gamut from Abzug, Bella and The Baby-sitters Club, to Xena, Yogurt, and Zits, and filled with entertaining sidebars and arresting images, this is a must-read for the modern woman.
Join us for an evening with the New Yorker's Hilton Als, as he reads from his latest volume, a cultural cross-examination called White Girls. Released by McSweeney's and hailed in a Publishers Weekly starred review as "compassionate," White Girls marks Hilton's first full release in fourteen years.
In accordance with the new volume, Donna Seaman of Booklist calls Hilton "a fine, piercing observer and interpreter, a writer of lashing exactitude and veracity." White Girls includes deft, smart observations on race, gender, and history, and explains a vast categorical concept that Hilton dubs "white girls"... a thread of our cultural past in present that he claims includes the likes of Truman Capote, Malcolm X, and Flannery O'Connor. Hilton has written for the New Yorker since 1989, and became a staff writer in 1994. He's the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, and also contributes to the New York Review of Books.