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Great Podversations

Great Podversations features nationally-recognized writers in conversation. These candid discussions invite the listener to learn about literature, politics, history, economics, science, and culture through the voices of compelling authors and experts. NPR’s Robert Siegel introduces each pair of fascinating guests. Great Podversations is produced by the University of Louisville Kentucky Author Forum, and distributed by Louisville Public Media. For more information, please visit kentuckyauthorforum.com

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  • Geraldine Brooks and Jacki Lyden
    This conversation features best-selling author Geraldine Brooks and former NPR journalist Jacki Lyden discussing Brooks’ book, “Horse: A Novel” before a live audience at the Kentucky Author Forum. This conversation was recorded on March 27th, 2023 at the Kentucky Center in Louisville. Geraldine Brooks grew up in Australia and became a journalist with The Sydney Morning Herald, and later with The Wall Street Journal. Brooks was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction in 2006 for her novel “March”. Many of her novels and nonfiction books have been New York Times bestsellers. Her first novel, “Year of Wonders”, is an international bestseller. It has been translated into more than 25 languages. In 2016, Brooks was named an Officer in the Order of Australia. Jacki Lyden is an award-winning former NPR host and foreign correspondent of over three decades. She is the author of the bestselling memoir “Daughter of the Queen of Sheba”, which was published in twelve countries. A frequent speaker on the topic of mental health, the American Psychiatric Association named her “Patient Advocate of the Year” in 2021. Lyden is a proud board member of the Alan Cheuse International Writers Center and Writers for Democratic Action, both groups promoting democracy through literature.
  • Maggie Haberman and Laura Coates
    This conversation features author Maggie Haberman and CNN host Laura Coates discussing Haberman’s book, “Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America” before a live audience at the Kentucky Author Forum. This conversation was recorded on January 9th, 2023 at the Kentucky Center in Louisville. New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman, wrote “Confidence Man” in 2022. Ms. Haberman joined The New York Times in 2015 and was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for reporting on the investigations into Donald Trump’s advisers and their connections to Russia. She has twice been a member of a team that was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize, in 2021 for reporting on the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus, and in 2022 for coverage related to the January 6th riot at the Capitol. Laura Coates is a CNN Host and Senior Legal Analyst who specializes in the intersection of civil rights and criminal prosecution. A former federal prosecutor, she served as Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, as well as a Trial Attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice during the Bush and Obama administrations. She is the bestselling author of “Just Pursuit: A Black Prosecutor’s Fight for Fairness.”
  • Josh Chin and Evan Osnos
    This conversation features author Josh Chin and New Yorker journalist Evan Osnos discussing both of their books before a live audience at the Kentucky Author Forum on September 29th, 2022 at the Kentucky Center in Louisville. Josh Chin wrote “Surveillance State: Inside China’s Quest to Launch a New Era of Social Control” with fellow Wall Street Journal writer, Liza Lin. He tells the gripping story of how China’s Communist Party is building a new kind of political control: shaping the will of the people through the sophisticated—and often brutal—harnessing of data. For more than a decade, Chin has covered politics and tech in China for The Wall Street Journal. He led an investigative team that won The Gerald Loeb Award for international reporting in 2018 for a series exposing the Chinese government’s pioneering embrace of digital surveillance. He was named a National Fellow at New America in 2020, and is a recipient of the Don Bolles Medal, awarded to investigative journalists who have exhibited courage in standing up against intimidation. Evan Osnos joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 2008 and covers politics and foreign affairs. His book “Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China'', is based on eight years of living in Beijing. “Age of Ambition'' won the 2014 National Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Previously, Osnos worked as Beijing Bureau Chief for the Chicago Tribune, where he was part of a team that won a 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting. He is a CNN contributor and a frequent guest on The Daily Show, Fresh Air, and other programs.
  • Maggie Nelson and Eula Biss
    Author Maggie Nelson discusses her book, On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint, with writer Eula Biss. Maggie Nelson is a writer working in autobiography, art criticism, theory, feminism, history, aesthetic theory, philosophy, scholarship, and poetry. Nelson received a 2016 MacArthur Fellowship, a 2012 Creative Capital Literature Fellowship, a 2011 NEA Fellowship in Poetry, and a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship in Nonfiction. Other honors include a 2007 Andy Warhol Foundation/Creative Capital Arts Writers Grant. Nelson has written several acclaimed books of poetry and prose, including the National Book Critics Circle Award winner The Argonauts. She currently teaches at the University of Southern California. Eula Biss is the author of four books and has been recognized with a National Book Critics Circle Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a 21st Century Award from the Chicago Public Library. Biss’ books have been translated into a dozen languages. As a 2023 National Fellow at New America, she is at work on a collection of essays about how private property has shaped our world. She currently teaches nonfiction for the Bennington Writing Seminars.
  • Charles Booker and Eddie Glaude Jr.
    Politician and author Charles Booker discusses his book, “From the Hood to the Holler: A Story of Separate Worlds, Shared Dreams, and the Fight for America’s Future,” with writer and Professor Eddie Glaude. Charles Booker represented the 43rd District in the Kentucky House of Representatives, where he served on the economic development and workforce, judiciary, and natural resources and energy committees. A graduate of the University of Louisville and its Brandeis School of Law, Booker is a Bingham Fellow and a Bloomberg Innovation Delivery Team fellow. He is the founder of the advocacy group Hood to the Holler, which continues the work of his campaign, building bridges between previously siloed communities. Eddie S. Glaude Jr. is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor and Chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University. He is a former president of the American Academy of Religion. Glaude is the author of several important books including “Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul.” Glaude is a columnist for Time magazine and an MSNBC contributor on programs like Morning Joe, and Deadline Whitehouse. He also regularly appears on Meet the Press.
  • James Bridle and Claire Evans
    Artist and author James Bridle discusses their book, Ways of Being: Animals, Plants, Machines: The Search for a Planetary Intelligence with writer and musician Claire Evans. James Bridle is an artist, technologist and philosopher whose artworks have been commissioned by galleries and institutions and exhibited worldwide, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Oslo Architecture Triennale, the Istanbul Design Biennial, and the Design Museum, London. Bridle’s writing has appeared in magazines and newspapers including Wired, The Atlantic, The New Statesman, The Guardian, and the Financial Times. They lecture regularly on radio, at conferences, universities, and events, including South by Southwest, the Global Art Forum, and TED. Claire Evans is a writer and musician exploring ecology, technology, and culture. She is the singer of the Grammy-nominated pop group YACHT, and co-founder of VICE’s imprint for speculative fiction, Terraform. Evans’ 2018 book, Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet, has been translated into five languages. Her writing has appeared in VICE, The Guardian, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Eye on Design, among others.
  • Geraldine Brooks and Gal Beckerman
    Author Geraldine Brooks discusses her book “Horse: A Novel” with journalist Gal Beckerman. Geraldine Brooks grew up in Australia and became a journalist with The Sydney Morning Herald, and later with The Wall Street Journal. Brooks was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction in 2006 for her novel “March.” Many of her novels and nonfiction books have been New York Times bestsellers. Her first novel, “Year of Wonders,” is an international bestseller, translated into more than 25 languages. In 2016, Brooks was named an Officer in the Order of Australia. Gal Beckerman is an author and the senior editor for books at The Atlantic. Before joining The Atlantic, Beckerman was an editor at The New York Times Book Review for six years. He also served as the opinion editor at the Forward newspaper and a staff editor and writer at the Columbia Journalism Review. Beckerman’s writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The New Republic, and Bookforum. His first book, “When They Come for Us We’ll Be Gone,” was chosen as a book of the year by The New Yorker and The Washington Post.
  • Keri Blakinger and Piper Kerman
    Author Keri Blakinger discusses her book, “Corrections in Ink: A Memoir” with writer Piper Kerman. Keri Blakinger is an investigative reporter based in Texas, covering criminal justice and injustice for The Marshall Project. She previously worked for the Houston Chronicle and her writing has appeared in the New York Daily News, the BBC, VICE, and The New York Times. Blakinger was a member of the Houston Chronicle's Pulitzer-finalist team in 2018, and her 2019 coverage of women's jails for The Washington Post Magazine helped earn a National Magazine Award. Piper Kerman is the author of the memoir “Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison.” The book has been adapted by Jenji Kohan into an Emmy Award-winning original series for Netflix, which ran for seven seasons. Kerman collaborates with nonprofits, and philanthropies, and serves on the board of directors of the Women’s Prison Association. She is also on the advisory boards of the PEN America Writing for Justice Fellowship, InsideOUT Writers, Healing Broken Circles, and JustLeadershipUSA.
  • Anna Quindlen and Amy Bloom
    Author Anna Quindlen and writer Amy Bloom discuss Quindlen’s book “Write for Your Life.” Anna Quindlen is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, novelist, and opinion columnist. She is the best-selling author of nine novels, including “Every Last One,” and “Still Life with Bread Crumbs.” Her memoir “Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake”, published in 2012, was a #1 New York Times bestseller. Quindlen’s book “A Short Guide to a Happy Life” has sold more than a million copies. While a columnist at The New York Times, Quindlen won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary. Amy Bloom is the author of four novels and three collections of short stories. Her first book of nonfiction, “Normal: Transsexual CEOs, Crossdressing Cops and Hermaphrodites with Attitudes,” is a staple of university sociology and biology courses. Her most recent book is the widely acclaimed New York Times best-selling memoir, “In Love”. Bloom has written for magazines such as The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Vogue, Elle, The Atlantic Monthly, Slate, and Salon, and her work has been translated into fifteen languages. She is the Shapiro-Silverberg Professor of Creative Writing at Wesleyan University.
  • Moisés Naím and Ari Shapiro
    Journalist and author Moisés Naím discusses his book, “The Revenge of Power: How Autocrats Are Reinventing Politics for the 21st Century” with radio host Ari Shapiro. Moisés Naím is an internationally-syndicated columnist and best-selling author. He is the chief international columnist for El País and La Repubblica, the largest daily newspapers in Spain and Italy. His columns have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg Businessweek, Newsweek, Time, Le Monde, El Estadão, and Berliner Zeitung. Dr. Naím is a Distinguished Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC. He is the founder and Chairman of the Board of the Group of Fifty (G50), which brings together top-flight progressive Latin American business leaders, and is a member of the board of directors of several global companies. Ari Shapiro has been one of the hosts of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon newsmagazine, since 2015. Shapiro has reported from above the Arctic Circle and aboard Air Force One. He has covered wars in Iraq, Ukraine, and Israel, and he has filed stories from dozens of countries and most of the 50 states. Shapiro's reporting has been consistently recognized by his peers. He has won two national Edward R. Murrow awards, and additional awards from the Columbia Journalism Review, The American Bar Association, and the American Judges Association.