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When Reality Meets Science Fiction

Bay Area Book Festival Podcast

Release Date: 12/04/2019

Splitting the World Open: An International Roundtable of Dangerous Women Writers show art Splitting the World Open: An International Roundtable of Dangerous Women Writers

Bay Area Book Festival Podcast

Spend an hour with three brilliant female authors, writing from and about multiple corners of the globe—India, the Middle East, North Africa, South America, the United States—with woman-focused stories. Meet Dubai-based Indian author Avni Doshi, Ethiopian-American novelist Maaza Mengiste and Chilean author Alia Trabucco Zerán. The event is co-presented by Words Without Borders and moderated by Karen Phillips, its executive director.

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What Happens When a Woman Tells Her Whole Truth w/Gina Frangello, Brooke Warner show art What Happens When a Woman Tells Her Whole Truth w/Gina Frangello, Brooke Warner

Bay Area Book Festival Podcast

Gina Frangello’s new memoir, Blow Your House Down, was met with wide acclaim, impassioned support, and also the judgments and criticisms that people love to lob at women who write about their authentic, messy lives. She writes about adultery, a longtime affair, and eventually breaking up her family, with repercussions to all concerned, including her children. At the center of this conversation, moderated by Brooke Warner, are questions about how women are encouraged to be silent, or get silenced.

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Book Launch Event: The Confession of Copeland Cane, with author Keenan Norris in conversation with Dr. Michael Datcher show art Book Launch Event: The Confession of Copeland Cane, with author Keenan Norris in conversation with Dr. Michael Datcher

Bay Area Book Festival Podcast

How to describe The Confession of Copeland Cane, the explosive new novel by Oakland-based author Keenan Norris? According to MacArthur Fellow Mike Davis, like “Thomas Pynchon, Nathaniel West and Ralph Ellison going into a bar where they decide to write a novel about the gentrification wars in the East Bay.” And yet Keenan Norris’s prose is all his own: dexterously lyrical, sharp, and skillful in reflecting our own moment. Keenan is in conversation with polymath Dr. Michael Datcher.

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Love, Loss, and Meaning in Life: World-Renowned Therapist Irvin Yalom & Joyce Carol Oates show art Love, Loss, and Meaning in Life: World-Renowned Therapist Irvin Yalom & Joyce Carol Oates

Bay Area Book Festival Podcast

A powerful conversation between renowned psychiatrist Irvin Yalom & one of the most honored authors in American letters, Joyce Carol Oates. This heartfelt talk explores universal questions of intimacy, love, and grief.

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How to Dream the World You Want: Nnedi Okorafor & Jeff VanderMeer with Isabel Yap show art How to Dream the World You Want: Nnedi Okorafor & Jeff VanderMeer with Isabel Yap

Bay Area Book Festival Podcast

Meet two literary pioneers we need now: Novelist and Marvel Comics scribe Nnedi Okorafor, whose groundbreaking Africanfuturism demands big-screen renderings (fittingly, two of her books are being adapted as series by HBO & Hulu). Nebula Award winner Jeff VanderMeer, author of the bestselling Southern Reach trilogy (adapted into the film Annihilation) also is no stranger to meeting (and anticipating) the moment: Esquire called him “the prophet of climate fiction.”

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Lager and Love Can’t Pay the Bills: 2020 Booker Prize Winner Douglas Stuart on his Masterpiece, Shuggie Bain show art Lager and Love Can’t Pay the Bills: 2020 Booker Prize Winner Douglas Stuart on his Masterpiece, Shuggie Bain

Bay Area Book Festival Podcast

Douglas Stuart enraptured readers worldwide in 2020 when his debut novel, Shuggie Bain, took the world’s top literary award, the Booker Prize. Shuggie Bain was a labor of love that drew from his own history of childhood poverty, hardship, and devotion to a mother whose addiction struggles were intensified by a broken system. Stuart is interviewed by Casey Gerald, who gained fame with a viral TED talk, “The Gospel of Doubt.” Like Stuart, Gerald grew up queer, shaped by poverty and parental addiction.

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Green Rabbits Glowing at the End of the World show art Green Rabbits Glowing at the End of the World

Bay Area Book Festival Podcast

Hear from two highly respected journalists who also happen to be speculative fiction writers. Annalee Newitz is an award-winning novelist (The Future of Another Timeline) and a science, technology and culture writer whose fascinating new book, Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age, explores the rise and fall of four urban-centered civilizations, from medieval Angkor in Cambodia to the indigenous metropolis Cahokia in present-day Missouri. Moderated by Bonnie Tsui, author of Why We Swim.

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When Everything Falls Apart, How Does the Heart Survive? Orville Schell and Yiyun Li on China, Tolstoy, and the Power of Art, with Adam Hochschild show art When Everything Falls Apart, How Does the Heart Survive? Orville Schell and Yiyun Li on China, Tolstoy, and the Power of Art, with Adam Hochschild

Bay Area Book Festival Podcast

A journalist and renowned expert on China, Schell has penned his first novel, drawing on his knowledge of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution and on his conviction that art and love can outlive brutality. Joining him is MacArthur “genius” and award-winning writer Yiyun Li, who came of age during the bloody Tiananmen Square crackdown, emigrated to the U.S. at 23 as a young scientist, and eventually took the literary world by storm with her fiction, memoir and essays. This talk is moderated by Adam Hochsc

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 There’s a Revolution Outside, My Love show art There’s a Revolution Outside, My Love

Bay Area Book Festival Podcast

The power of words to spark change and detonate oppression has never been more needed than it is today. Join U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith, award-winning poet Reginald Dwayne Betts, and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist Camille Dungy as they discuss their writings in response to our tumultuous time in history. Guiding the conversation is Ismail Muhummad, story editor for the New York Times Magazine and a member of the Festival’s program committee.

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Create, Connect, and Inspire: Julia Cameron on The Listening Path show art Create, Connect, and Inspire: Julia Cameron on The Listening Path

Bay Area Book Festival Podcast

Having enriched the creative journeys of millions with her Artist’s Way program and books, Julia Cameron will show us how to harness that spirit of renewal with her latest guide to attunement and fulfillment, The Listening Path. Joining Julia is Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Judy Collins, a national treasure whose artistry is timeless. You won’t want to miss these two legendary creatives in conversation, talking about all things art, life, inspiration, and how to truly listen.

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More Episodes

Large-scale, far-in-the-future stories tend to get most the glory in the sci-fi canon. But what happens when reality already feels like science fiction? Like George Orwell’s ‘1984,’ near-future narratives exploit current technology, politics, and fears to explore what life could be like in 10 years, one year, or even a hour. Our panelists consider how to predict the tantalizing possibility of what might be.