House of SpeakEasy Blog

Writers and Storytelling: Marisa Acocella

Marisa Acocella is the New York Times best-selling author of the graphic novels The Big She-Bang (which you can buy in our Bookshop storefront) and Ann Tenna, the graphic memoir Cancer Vixen, and Just Who the Hell is She, Anyway? She is also a cartoonist for The New Yorker and her work has appeared in The New York TimesGlamour, and O, The Oprah Magazine. A breast cancer survivor, she is the founder of the Marisa Acocella Foundation, which, through a grant from Bloomingdale’s, funds the free Marisa Acocella Empowerment Program that includes holistic therapies and journaling classes and more for women with breast cancer and breast cancer survivors at the Mount Sinai Best Israel Comprehensive Cancer Center. 

On February 23rd, Marisa will join Matthew Gavin Frank, Walter Mosley, and Renee Watson in our next edition of “Seriously Entertaining” where they will each muse on the theme “I Have Dreamed.” Register here for the show!

What are you reading right now for solace or escape or entertainment?
The Gospels of Mary, Editor Marvin Meyer

If you could live inside a fictional world, which one would you choose?
The Pleroma, Heaven in the Nag Hammadi codices. I would love to witness the creation of the Universe.

Are there any quotes you use to inspire you?
If you have knowledge but lack love, then you lack knowledge altogether.–Mary Magdalene

What writer would you like to share with the world and why?
Florence Scovell Shinn. Through her, I found that life is how you perceive it. Her advice is priceless. Her optimism transcends time.

 

Writers and Storytelling: Jeff VanderMeer

Jeff VanderMeer’s New York Times-bestselling Southern Reach trilogy has been translated into over 35 languages. The first novel, Annihilation, won the Nebula Award and Shirley Jackson Award, and was made into a movie by Paramount. Other work includes Dead Astronauts, Borne (a finalist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award), The Strange Bird. These novels, set in the Borne universe, are being developed for TV by AMC and continue to explore themes related to the environment, animals, and our future....

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Writers and Storytelling: Charles Yu

Charles Yu is the author of three books, including the novel How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe (a New York Times Notable Book and a Time magazine best book of the year), and, most recently, Interior Chinatown. He received the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 Award and was nominated for two Writers Guild of America Awards for his work on the HBO series, Westworld. He has also written for shows on FX, AMC, and HBO. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The New...

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Writers and Storytelling: Kevin Mattson

Kevin Mattson grew up in the suburban sprawl known as the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area. It was here that he first experienced the “punk rock world” that fueled his formative years. He played in bands, wrote for zines, and became politically active, helping to cofound the organization Positive Force. He now teaches American history at Ohio University and is the author of numerous books that explore the intersection between culture and politics, including Upton Sinclair and the Other...

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Writers and Storytelling: Sameer Pandya

Sameer Pandya is the author of the story collection The Blind Writer, which was longlisted for the PEN/Open Book Award. He is also the recipient of the PEN/Civitella Fellowship. His fiction, commentary, and cultural criticism has appeared in a range of publications, including the Atlantic, Salon, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and Narrative Magazine. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Members Only is his first...

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Writers and Storytelling: Marina Budhos

Marina Budhos is an author of award-winning fiction and nonfiction. Marina is the author of the young adult novels Tell Us We’re Home, which was a 2017 Essex County YA Pick, and Ask Me No Questions, recipient of the first James Cook Teen Book Award, an ALA Best Book and Chicago Library’s Best of the Best, among other awards. Her most recent novel is Watched, a follow-up to Ask Me No Questions, which takes on surveillance in a post 9/11 era. Watched received an Asian/Pacific American Award for...

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Writers and Storytelling: Gabrielle Calvocoressi

Gabrielle Calvocoressi is the author of The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart, Apocalyptic Swing (a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize), and Rocket Fantastic, winner of the Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry. Calvocoressi is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including a Stegner Fellowship and Jones Lectureship from Stanford University; a Rona Jaffe Woman Writer’s Award; a Lannan Foundation residency in Marfa, TX; the Bernard F. Conners Prize from The Paris Review; and a...

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WRITERS AND STORYTELLING: Torrey Maldonado

New York City's current and former Chancellors have praised Torrey Maldonado as a top teacher and author. He has taught for over twenty years in his Brooklyn childhood hometown. His middle-grade titles include Tight, which won a Christopher Award and was named a Washington Post and NPR best book of the year, Secret Saturdays, and, most recently, What Lane?. Growing up, Torrey hated books because “they were boring or seemed to hate or dismiss people where I’m from.” Culturally responsive books...

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Writers and Storytelling: Adam Begley

Adam Begley is the author of Houdini: The Elusive American (2020); The Great Nadar, The Man Behind the Camera (2017); and Updike (2014). For many years the books editor of The New York Observer, he has been a Guggenheim fellow and a fellow at the Leon Levy Center for Biography. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, London Review of Books, TLS, and Spectator. He lives with his wife in Cambridgeshire, England. How has the current state of things...

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WRITERS AND STORYTELLING: DAVID KILCULLEN

Dr. David Kilcullen is the author of five prize-winning books on terrorism, insurgency, urbanization and future warfare, including The Dragons and the Snakes: How the Rest Learned to Fight the West, as well as numerous scholarly papers on urbanization, conflict and the evolution of warfare. He won the Walkley Award (Australia's equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize) for long-form journalism in 2015, for his reporting on the rise of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. He is contributing editor for...

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