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The Free Library Podcast is an easy way to participate in the author events and lectures that take place at the Central Library.

The Free Library Podcast is an easy way to participate in the author events and lectures that take place at the Central Library.
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Philadelphia, PA


The Free Library Podcast is an easy way to participate in the author events and lectures that take place at the Central Library.




Amy Tan | Where the Past Begins: A Writer's Memoir

In conversation with Laura Kovacs, associate director, author events ''Powerful'' and ''full of magic'' (Los Angeles Times), Amy Tan is the author of the beloved novels The Joy Luck Club, a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award and for which she also co-wrote the film adaptation screenplay; The Kitchen God's Wife; The Hundred Secret Senses; and The Valley of Amazement, a decades- and continents-spanning story of three generations of women. In...

Duration: 00:55:51

Van Jones | Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together

A CNN political contributor and host of a popular recurring primetime special bearing his name, Van Jones was a green-jobs advisor to the Obama administration, overseeing billions in environmental recovery spending. His two bestselling books are The Green Collar Economy and Rebuild the Dream. One of Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World, he is the founding president of Rebuild the Dream, an initiative to restore economic opportunity, as well as the cofounder of Ella Baker Center...

Duration: 01:10:06

James McBride | Five-Carat Soul

''Absorbing and darkly funny'' (San Francisco Chronicle), James McBride is the author of the National Book Award winner The Good Lord Bird, in which a young boy born into slavery joins abolitionist John Brown's doomed mission. His nonfiction books include the New York Times bestselling memoir The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother and Kill ‘Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul. His other novels are Miracle at St. Anna, which he adapted for...

Duration: 00:49:57

E.J. Dionne, Jr. and Norman J. Ornstein | One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported

In conversation with Dick Polman, "Writer in Residence" at the University of Pennsylvania, and national political columnist at WHYY News E.J. Dionne Jr. is a syndicated columnist who appears twice weekly in The Washington Post and nearly 100 other newspapers, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a professor at Georgetown University. A regular commentator on National Public Radio and on other radio and television programs, his New York Times bestselling books include Why the...

Duration: 01:18:17

Jeffrey Eugenides | Fresh Complaint: Stories

''Lyrical and portentous'' (The New York Times), Jeffrey Eugenides is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Middlesex; The Virgin Suicides, which was adapted into a feature film by Sofia Coppola; and The Marriage Plot, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist that explored love and idealism in the early 1980s. A professor of creative writing at Princeton University, he is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the...

Duration: 00:59:52

Mervyn King | Brexit and the Future of the Global Economy

The governor of the Bank of England and Chairman of its Monetary Policy Committee from 2003 to 2013, Lord Mervyn King steered the U.K.'s central banking institution through the financial crisis of 2008 and the ensuing recession. Currently a professor at NYU and the London School of Economics, he was named Baron King of Lothbury in 2013 and a Knight of the Garter in 2014, and he is a Fellow of the British Academy. In The End of Alchemy, ''an outstandingly lucid account of postwar economic...

Duration: 01:08:25

Jennifer Egan | Manhattan Beach with Carmen Maria Machado | Her Body and Other Parties

Jennifer Egan won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for the novel A Visit from the Goon Squad. Her other books of fiction include the National Book Award Finalist Look at Me, the bestselling The Keep, and The Invisible Circus, which was adapted into a movie starring Cameron Diaz. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Harper's, and McSweeney's, among an array of other publications. Manhattan Beach is a historical novel about the transformative...

Duration: 01:11:43

Salman Rushdie | The Golden House with Claire Messud | The Burning Girl

''A master of perpetual storytelling'' (The New Yorker), Salman Rushdie is the author of a dozen novels, including Shame, The Satanic Verses, and Midnight's Children, winner of the Booker Prize in 1981 and the ''Booker of Bookers'' Prize in 1993. His other works include a short story collection, East, West, and four works of nonfiction, including the memoir Joseph Anton, which chronicles his time in hiding during the Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwa calling for his death. Rushdie's latest novel...

Duration: 01:03:59

William Taubman | Gorbachev with Yuri Slezkine | House of Government

William Taubman won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Khrushchev: The Man and His Era, a portrait of the Soviet leader ''unlikely to be surpassed any time soon in either richness or complexity'' (New York Times Book Review). The Bertrand Snell Professor of Political Science Emeritus at Amherst College, he is the author of several other works detailing 20th-century Russian politics. Drawing from international archival documents, interviews with foreign...

Duration: 01:16:00

Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook | Federal Donuts: The (Partially) True Spectacular Story

Lauded for bringing the Middle Eastern, North African, Mediterranean, and Eastern European influences from Solomonov's titular Philadelphia restaurant to readers' home kitchens, Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook's Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking won the 2016 James Beard Book of the Year and Best International Cookbook award. Solomonov won the 2011 James Beard Award for ''Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic,'' and his restaurants have been recognized by Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Travel + Leisure....

Duration: 01:03:09

Adam Gopnik | At the Strangers' Gate: Arrivals in New York

In conversation with Meg Wolitzer, bestselling author of The Interestings among many novels. A writer for The New Yorker for more than three decades, Adam Gopnik is the author of Paris to the Moon, Angels and Ages: A Short Book About Darwin, Lincoln, and Modern Life, and The Table Comes First, an ''unapologetically intelligent yet charmingly witty'' (The Atlantic) bite into the deeper truths of food culture. A three-time recipient of the National Magazine Award and a winner of the George...

Duration: 01:08:20

Tom Perrotta | Mrs. Fletcher

''A daring chronicler of our most profound anxieties and human desires'' (Washington Post), Tom Perrotta is the author of some of the most popular and critically acclaimed novels of our time, including Election, which was adapted into an Oscar-nominated film starring Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon; Little Children, which was adapted into a film for which he won an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay; and The Leftovers, named to several prominent best-of-the-year...

Duration: 00:46:07

Stephen Greenblatt | The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award for The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, Stephen Greenblatt is widely acclaimed as the father of New Historicism, which strives to understand works of literature within their historical and social contexts. His other books include the New York Times bestselling Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare, Hamlet in Purgatory, and Learning to Curse: Essays in Early Modern Culture. A two-time Guggenheim fellow and former...

Duration: 01:13:42

Nicole Krauss | Forest Dark with Nathan Englander | Dinner at the Center of the Earth

A ''fiction pioneer, toying with fresh ways of rendering experience and emotion'' (NPR), Nicole Krauss is the bestselling author of the acclaimed novels Man Walks into a Room, The History of Love, and Great House. Named one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists and The New Yorker's ''20 Under 40,'' she is the winner of the Saroyan Prize for International Literature and a finalist for the National Book Award, among many other honors. In Forest Dark, Krauss interweaves the disparate...

Duration: 01:13:05

Loudon Wainwright III | Liner Notes: On Parents & Children, Exes and Excess, Death & Decay, & a Few of My Other Favorite Things with Eileen Myles | Afterglow (a dog memoir)

With a career spanning four decades, 26 studio albums, and untold scores of concerts, Loudon Wainwright III is one of the world's most loved singer-songwriters. A prolific actor in a variety of television and film roles, he can also boast of being the father of Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright, and Lucy Wainwright Roche, three musical luminaries in their own right. In his new memoir, the folk patriarch and son of a celebrated Life magazine columnist reflects on the ups and downs of his...

Duration: 01:11:08

Edward Snowden in Conversation with Jeremy Scahill | The Surveillance State Then and Now

In 2013 NSA contractor Edward Snowden shook the pillars of the worldwide intelligence community when he revealed a trove of highly classified information that exposed astonishingly widespread mass U.S. surveillance overreach on a variety of international and domestic levels. Labeled a hero and whistleblower by some, he was formally charged with espionage and has been granted asylum in Russia, where he lives in an undisclosed location. In this one-of-a-kind interview, Snowden will discuss...

Duration: 01:20:45

Jo Nesbø | The Thirst: A Harry Hole Novel

Starring a hard-bitten and self-destructive maverick Oslo police detective, Jo Nesbø's ''maddeningly addictive'' (Vanity Fair) Harry Hole novels have sold more than 23 million copies and have been translated into more than 50 languages. A musician, songwriter, economist, and former professional soccer player, the Norwegian native is the recipient of the Glass Key Award for best Nordic crime novel. In The Thirst, Nesbø's 11th installment in the Harry Hole series, the titular protagonist...

Duration: 01:02:27

Bruce Cumings | The Korean War with Chang-rae Lee | The Surrendered

The year 2010 marked the sixtieth anniversary of the start of the Korean War. Called a "sobering corrective" by a reviewer for the New York Times, Bruce Cumings's book takes a fresh look at the often unjustly ignored conflict. Characterizing its beginning as a civil war in which America should not have intervened, Cumings exposes the atrocities committed by all sides during combat. He is chair of the history department at the University of Chicago, author of The Origins of the Korean War,...

Duration: 01:09:11

Lawrence Wright | The Terror Years: From al-Qaeda to the Islamic State

In conversation with Dick Polman, "Writer in Residence" at the University of Pennsylvania, and national political columnist at WHYY's A longtime staff writer for The New Yorker, Lawrence Wright won the Pulitzer Prize for The Looming Tower, a ''wrenchingly intimate and boldly sweeping'' (The New York Times) narrative that explains the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and the intelligence mistakes that led to the 9/11 attacks. His other nonfiction books include In the New World,...

Duration: 01:00:53

Kevin Hearne | Besieged with Chuck Wendig | Star Wars: The Aftermath Trilogy and Fran Wilde | Updraft

In conversation with Dena Heilik, Department Head of Philbrick Hall, the fiction department of the Central Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia. Kevin Hearne is the author of the New York Times bestselling Iron Druid Chronicles, the ancient-Celtic-meets-contemporary-mayhem action-adventure series featuring 2,000-year-old Atticus O'Sullivan. In his latest adventure, the immortal Irishman dodges traps in ancient Egypt and soul-stealing demons at a Kansas carnival. Chuck Wendig's many...

Duration: 00:51:41

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