Discussions with the New York Institute for the Humanities' distinguished scholars and writers about their work.
info_outline Ben Taylor 05/19/2020
Ben Taylor Novelist and Institute Fellow Ben Taylor talks about Here We Are, a memoir of his friendship with Phiip Roth. Taylor is the author of two previous memoirs--Naples Declared: A Walk Around the Bay, and The Hue and Cry in Our House, which received the 2018 Los Angeles Times/Christopher Isherwood Prize.
info_outline Honor Moore 05/12/2020
Honor Moore In addition to three collections of poetry, NYIH fellow Honor Moore is the author of The White Blackbird: A Life of the Painter Margaret Singer by Her Granddaughter and The Bishop's Daughter, a memoir of her father. Her newest book is Our Revolution: A Mother and Daughter Mid-Century. Here, she talks about the book, women's lives and second-wave feminism, writing a hybrid of biography memoir, and the experience of publishing a book in the middle of a pandemic.
info_outline Ben Moser on Susan Sontag 05/05/2020
Ben Moser on Susan Sontag Biographer Benjamin Moser talks with Robert Boynton about the making of his 2019 biography of Susan Sontag, which was awarded to Pulitizer Prize. Moser’s previous book, a biography of the Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
info_outline Deirdre Bair 04/20/2020
Deirdre Bair This episode pays tribute to longtime fellow Deirdre Bair, who passed away on April 18, 2020. The author of six biographies and two memoirs, Bair received the National Book Award for her 1978 biography of Samuel Beckett. At a January 2020 NYIH luncheon, she discussed her final book, Parisian Lives: Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvoir, and Me, a Memoir, and looked back at her celebrated career.
info_outline Peter Filkins 04/01/2020
Peter Filkins Poet and NYIH Fellow Peter Filkins talks with Eric Banks about his exceptional involvement with the work of H.G. Adler, the Holocaust survivor who authored definitive fictional and ethnographic portraits of life in the camps. In 2019 Filkins published his biography of this extraordinary figure, a book that was preceded by his translation of the novelistic trilogy.
info_outline Joshua Jelly-Schapiro: New Orleans 02/24/2020
Joshua Jelly-Schapiro: New Orleans NYIH Fellow Josh-Jelly-Schapiro is a geographer and writer whose last book, Island People, explored the Caribbean in all its complexities. On the occasion of Mardi Gras, he sat down with us to talk about New Orleans’s deep Caribbean roots.
info_outline Vivian Gornick 02/11/2020
Vivian Gornick Celebrated memoirist and critic (and NYIH fellow) Vivian Gornick discusses her newest book, Unfinished Business: Notes of a Chronic Re-reader, and tells us what she learned when she revisited the works that nourished her at different points in her life.
info_outline André Aciman 02/03/2020
André Aciman André Aciman's 2007 novel Call Me By Your Name was the rare work of literary fiction that managed to develop an especially enthusiastic following, particularly in the wake of the recent film adaptation. With his recent novel Find Me, Aciman revisited the protagonists of his earlier work. A longtime fellow of the Institute, Aciman spoke to us about literary followups, music and literature, and the books that make readers weep.
info_outline Patrick Radden Keefe 11/27/2019
Patrick Radden Keefe New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe is the author of Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland, a New York Times Bestseller, winner of the 2019 Orwell Prize for Political Writing, and one of the 10 Best Books of 2019” according to both The New York Times and The Washington Post. In this episode, he talks with Melanie Rehak about Belfast of the past, the present, and the mind.
info_outline Lawrence Weschler 11/12/2019
Lawrence Weschler Lawrence "Ren" Weschler is the former director of the New York Institute for the Humanities and a two-time winner of the George Polk Award and won the 2007 National Book Critics Circle award for criticism. In this episode, Weschler describes the extraordinary and taxing story behind the writing of his most recent book, a biographical memoir of his late friend Oliver Sacks--a story that took almost three decades before culminating in the now published And How Are You, Dr. Sacks?
info_outline Jad Abumrad 01/29/2019
Jad Abumrad Jad Abumrad is the co-host and creator of Radiolab. He studied creative writing and music composition at Oberlin and, in 2011, was awarded a MacArthur Grant. In 2016 he launched More Perfect, a show about the US Supreme Court. In the fall of 2018, Abumrad produced The Most Perfect Album, a musical reimagining of the Constitution's 27 Amendments.
info_outline Damion Searls: Translating Uwe Johnson's Anniversaries 01/10/2019
Damion Searls: Translating Uwe Johnson's Anniversaries Institute fellow Damion Searls discusses his new translation of German writer Uwe Johnson's 1700-page novel of New York, Jahrestage--published by New York Review Classics under the title Anniversaries.
info_outline Ben Ratliff: What Is Virtuosity? 11/19/2018
Ben Ratliff: What Is Virtuosity? What is virtuosity—and what does a music critic make of it? Worship it? Reject it? Ben Ratliff joins us to talk about the good and bad of virtuoso performance and how it has helped him think about the role of the critic in the age of Spotify.
info_outline Philip Dray: The Fair Chase 10/22/2018
Philip Dray: The Fair Chase From Daniel Boone to "DIY" hipster hunting, The Fair Chase shows that hunting in America is a story as vast as the country itself, touching on everything from conservation to the history of guns to the emergence of modern sports. NYIH Fellow and Pulitzer Prize finalist Philip Dray spoke to us about his new book, which chronicles the surprising and sometimes fraught ways that hunting has touched so many aspects of the American experience.
info_outline Ian Buruma: A Tokyo Romance 10/09/2018
Ian Buruma: A Tokyo Romance In the nineteen-seventies, New York Review of Books editor Ian Buruma lived in Japan, where he explored its film, literature, and theater. In this interview with Robert Boynton, Ian discusses his memoir, A Tokyo Romance, in which he reflects on these formative years.
info_outline Rhonda Garelick: Trump's Women 10/02/2018
Rhonda Garelick: Trump's Women The Trump White House is a place where powder-keg masculinity is on dangerous display, ready to explode at any moment. Rhonda Garelick’s cultural criticism has brilliantly argued that to understand the man and his administration, you have to pay attention to the women. Garelick, a professor at the University of Nebraska and an institute fellow, combines her celebrated scholarly work on the history of design, fashion, literature, and performance with an eye for power, gender, and high-stakes theatricality.
info_outline Kwame Anthony Appiah on The Lies That Bind 09/21/2018
Kwame Anthony Appiah on The Lies That Bind NYU philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah talks with Robert Boynton about his book The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity. In it, Appiah explores how racial essentialism and our inadequate understanding of history distorts our conception of culture and identity.