Seriously Entertaining is back! The first of our two shows this fall, Inside the Lie, hits City Winery on Monday, September 29, with a mind-expanding line-up of literary talent. Don’t have your tickets yet? Check out our writers below in an audiovisual preview of some of the pleasures that await you.
Marcelo Gleiser is a theoretical physicist specializing in particle cosmology. He’s also one of the great elucidators. Gleiser’s work is remarkably accessible, cracking open the hardest nuts of quantum physics and cosmology for the general reader. Books include The Prophet and the Astronomer (W.W. Norton & Company, 2003), which investigates the ongoing search for meaning in the stars, and, most recently, The Island of Knowledge: The Limits of Science and the Search for Meaning (Basic Books, 2014). Read our review of The Island of Knowledge here, follow Marcelo on Twitter, and watch his Ted Talk on the origins of life here:
John Guare‘s fifty-year career on the American stage and screen has been marked by some stunning highs, including the Tony Award-winning success of The House of Blue Leaves, Louis Malle’s classic 1980 movie Atlantic City, starring Burt Lancaster and Susan Sarandon, and, more recently, A Free Man of Color (2010). Check out our survey of his career here. In this interview at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Guare muses on the theory he helped popularize in perhaps his best-known play, 1990’s Six Degrees of Separation. “What about all the people we can’t find? The people who, through race and poverty… vanish? That’s what the play is about.”
Stand-up comedian, popular classicist, essayist, columnist, and now novelist, Natalie Haynes brings all her talents to bear on her literary debut, the tragic thriller The Furies (St. Martin’s Press, 2014). Set in a children’s behavioral unit in Edinburgh, it’s a fast-moving psychological stunner shot through with black humour (check out our full review). Earlier this month, we chatted to Natalie about Sophocles, The Wire and Mickey Rourke, and what we should really be teaching our kids. Read the full interview here, and watch Natalie talking about her earlier book The Ancient Guide to Modern Life here:
Gail Sheehy‘s explosive journalistic career has seen her board the Kennedy ’68 campaign jet, travel to the heart of the sectarian violence in Northern Ireland, and investigate the Killing Fields of Cambodia. Along the way, she found time to get lost inside Grey Gardens, to follow Hillary Clinton into bathrooms, and, most recently, to dash off a quick memoir, Daring: My Passages (William Morrow, 2014). A veteran of the political profile and an intrepid reporter on the female experience, Sheehy’s is a fascinating journey. Read our review of Daring, follow Gail on Twitter, and check out the lady herself as she talks about her new book here:
When Adam Gopnik describes your memoir as “Portnoy meets Chekhov meets Shteyngart!” you’re probably onto a winner. Gary Shteyngart is the novelist behind The Russian Debutante’s Handbook (Riverhead, 2002), Absurdistan (Random House, 2006), and Super Sad True Love Story (Random House, 2010). His most recent book, Little Failure: A Memoir, published earlier this year by Random House, is a brilliant, milk-snortingly funny ride from 1970s Leningrad through 1980s Queens to 1990s Ohio. Follow Gary on Twitter, and watch the “book trailer” for Little Failure, featuring some surprise celebrity guests, here…
Andrew Solomon won the National Book Award in 2001 for his remarkable mental-health study The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression (Scribner). A decade later followed a book even more ambitious in scope and masterful in execution, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity (Scribner, 2012). In it, he meets hundreds of families learning to cope with children whose identities and abilities are in some ways challenging to them. Children with autism or severe disabilities, children born deaf or transgender, children who grow up to become criminals. It’s a powerful, moving, epic work. Follow Andrew on Twitter, read our review of Far From the Tree, and watch his illuminating Ted Talk on how our worst moments make us who we are:
What are you waiting for? Snap up your tickets now!