Curtain Call: This Is Not A Man

Written by Charles Arrowsmith

Posted on February 21, 2014

Filed Under: Blog


We’re just days away from our February show, “This Is Not a Man”. Speechless with excitement, it seems only right that we hand over to our six guests to introduce themselves. So without further ado…

Tom Reiss won both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography for his latest book, The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo. “It’s a great, forgotten, unknown, erased African-American success story,” he says, “and a story of a moment in time that really should realign our understanding of the history of race and race relations in the west.”

Here he is talking about the origins of the book, which PEN judges called “a miracle of research”.

Steve Coogan could be the worthy winner of an Academy Award next Sunday. He and Jeff Pope are nominated in the Best Adapted Screenplay category for Philomena. Looking ahead, Coogan’s film Alan Partridge, released last year in the UK as Alpha Papa, is available on demand and via iTunes next Thursday (February 27) and you can catch it in US cinemas from April 4. In a short trip to the UK last year, I actively didn’t see friends so that I could make time to see this. You won’t be disappointed.

Dana Vachon‘s first novel, Mergers & Acquisitions, became inadvertently topical when the world economy went into a spiral in 2008. Here he is reading from the book and taking audience questions at the Authors@Google series in 2008.

Susan Minot has written five novels, two screenplays, and collections of short stories and poems. Her first novel, Monkeys (1986), won a prestigious French literary prize, the Prix Femina Étranger. Here, she reads from her new book, Thirty Girls, at the Center for Fiction:

Our musical guest this month is Brooklyn-based songwriter Anton Sword. You can listen to Anton’s “darkly pretty dance music” on his website or SoundCloud page and purchase his music through Bandcamp. Here’s the atmospheric video for “Maybe It’s Begun”, from his album A Sentimental Education:

And finally… Uma Thurman was sensational as the host of our literary quiz, The Tip of My Tongue, last month, and we’re delighted that she’s joining us again this month. Last weekend she presented Chiwetel Ejiofor with the Best Actor BAFTA for his role in 12 Years A Slave. A couple of days previously, she took tips from chat-show host Jonathan Ross on the etiquette to follow when meeting the Queen:

Didn’t get a ticket for this month’s show? Have no fear. Next month’s “Are You For Sale?” at City Winery, featuring Stephen Fry, Jay McInerney, Michael Friedman, Susan Cheever and Jeff Kinney, is on sale now here!

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