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Frank Bruni

March 31st, 2014

Frank Bruni, an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times since 2011, joined the newspaper in 1995. During his years at The Times, he has worn a wide variety of hats, including chief restaurant critic (2004–2009) and Rome bureau chief (2002–2004).

He has also written two New York Times best sellers: a memoir, Born Round, and Ambling into History, a chronicle of George W. Bush’s campaign for the presidency. That same year, Harper Perennial reissued, in paperback, A Gospel of Shame: Children, Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church, of which he was a co-author.

Bruni’s restaurant-related articles for The New York Times and elsewhere have appeared in five consecutive editions of Best Food Writing in America. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing for his work at the Detroit Free Press.  

Bruni will speak about current issues making the headlines.

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Mona Simpson

March 31st, 2014

Mona Simpson: Casebook

Mona Simpson will talk about her new novel Casebook to be released in April 2014 (Knopf).
 
Publishers’ Weekly says, "this is a story about a son’s love for his mother, and Simpson’s portrayal of utter loyalty is infectious." From the acclaimed and award-winning author: a beguiling new novel about an eavesdropping boy working to discover the obscure mysteries of his unraveling family. He uncovers instead what he least wants to know: the workings of his parents' private lives. And even then he can't stop snooping. 
 
Mona Simpson's novels include My Hollywood, A Regular Guy, Off Keck Road, The Lost Father and Anywhere But Here.  Her books have won the Chicago Tribune's Heartland Prize, the Whiting Writer's Award and placed as finalist for the PEN/FAULKNER award. She has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University and a Lila Wallace Prize. Most recently, she was the recipient of a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and letters. Her short fiction has been published in Granta, Harpers, The Atlantic, McSweeney's and The Paris Review. Born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, she lives in Santa Monica, California. Her new novel, Casebook, is on sale from Knopf in April.

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Peggy Hesketh

November 14th, 2013

Peggy Hesketh in conversation with Gordon McAlpine

Peggy Hesketh: Telling the Bees

Peggy Hesketh's short story "A Madness of Two" was selected by Elizabeth George for inclusion in her anthology Two of the Deadliest. A long-time journalist, Peggy teaches writing and rhetoric at the University of California, Irvine. Telling the Bees is her first novel. Spanning the arc of the twentieth century, set in the transforming landscape of Southern California, Telling the Bees is a beautifully imagined novel about the far-reaching consequences of words left unspoken, the persistence of regret, and the power of truth both to wound and to heal.

Ms. Hesketh will be interviewed by author Gordon McAlpine, whose most recent novel Hammett Unwritten is receiving high marks here and abroad.


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Jonathan Kirsch

September 21st, 2013

Jonathan Kirsch: The Short, Strange Life of Herschel Grynszpan

Jonathan Kirsch will speak about his latest book, The Short, Strange Life of Herschel Grynszpan.

The New Yorker (Aug 5, 2013 issue) noted Kirsch’s new biography about Grynszpan, a 17 year old Jewish refugee in Paris who shot and killed a German diplomat in 1938. Goebbels cited the shooting as a justification for Kristallnacht (a series of coordinated attacks on Jews in Nazi Germany known as the Night of Broken Glass).

Jonathan Kirsch is the author of thirteen books, including eight books of history and biography, and two novels – all spending time on the bestseller lists. He has contributed book reviews to the Los Angeles Times for more than 40 years and is a guest commentator on NPR affiliates KCRW and KPCC.


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Lauren Weisberger

June 30th, 2013

Lauren Weisberger is the New York Times bestselling author of The Devil Wears Prada, which was published in forty languages and made into a major motion picture starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway. Weisberger’s three other novels, Everyone Worth Knowing, Last Night at Chateau Marmont, and Chasing Harry Winston were all New York Times bestsellers. A graduate of Cornell University, she lives in New York City with her husband and two children. www.LaurenWeisberger.com

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett is host of Writers on Writing on KUCI-FM and author of Pen on Fire.  She hosts the Pen on Fire Speaker Series in Corona del Mar. www.penonfire.com

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Barry Ritholtz

May 14th, 2013

Barry Ritholtz is an American author, newspaper columnist, blogger, equities analyst, CEO of Fusion IQ and guest commentator on Bloomberg Television. He is also a former contributor to CNBC and TheStreet.com. He is one of the few strategists who saw the housing implosion and derivatives disaster far in advance. Ritholtz is the author of Bailout Nation.

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Adam Gopnik

March 11th, 2013

Adam Gopnik might be the ultimate New Yorker. He has been writing for The New Yorker since 1986 and became its art critic in 1987. During his tenure at the magazine, he has written fiction and humor pieces, book reviews, profiles, reporting pieces, and more than a hundred stories for “The Talk of the Town” and “Comment.” His new book, The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food is a beguiling tour of the morals and manners of our present food mania, in search of eating’s deeper truths.

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Dr. Hans Keirstead

March 2nd, 2013

An internationally known stem cell expert, Hans Keirstead has pioneered a number of efforts in the field. He led his team of researchers to successfully develop a stem cell-based treatment for paralyzed rats. This treatment marked the first such stem cell-based clinical trial ever approved by a regulatory body, worldwide. Dr. Keirstead also helped develop a therapy for the treatment of ulcerative collitis and rheumatoid arthritis, that has successfully met primary endpoints in Phase II clinical trials. He developed a stem cell-based therapy for the motor neuron diseases ALS and spinal muscular atrophy that will soon enter clinical testing, and made headlines for creating a 3D retina derived from stem cells for the treatment of retinal diseases. More recently, he has taken on a stem cell-based project for late stage cancers, a technology that has met primary endpoints in Phase II clinical trials.

The Canadian-born neuroscientist received his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. His Ph.D. thesis formed the basis of several worldwide patents, the formation of a company, and constituted the first demonstration of functional regeneration of the injured adult spinal cord. For his achievements he received the Cameron Award for the best Ph.D. thesis in Canada.

Dr. Keirstead then moved to Cambridge England, where he conducted 4 years of Post-Doctoral studies at the University of Cambridge, with both Canadian and British Fellowships. He received the distinct honor of election to two senior academic posts, Fellow of the Governing Body of Downing College, and Senate Member of the University of Cambridge, and was the youngest member to have been elected to those positions.

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Tatjana Soli

November 9th, 2012

From Tatjana Soli, The New York Times bestselling author of The Lotus Eaters, comes a breathtaking novel of a California ranching family, its complicated matriarch, and the enigmatic caretaker who may destroy them

When Claire Nagy marries Forster Baumsarg, the only son of prominent California citrus ranchers, she knows she’s consenting to a life of hard work, long days, and worry-fraught nights. But her love for Forster is so strong, she turns away from her literary education and embraces the life of the ranch, succumbing to its intoxicating rhythms and bounty until her love of the land becomes a part of her. Not even the tragic, senseless death of her son Joshua at kidnappers’ hands, her alienation from her two daughters, or the dissolution of her once-devoted marriage can pull her from the ranch she’s devoted her life to preserving.
But despite having survived the most terrible of tragedies, Claire is about to face her greatest struggle: an illness that threatens not only to rip her from her land but take her very life. And she's chosen a caregiver, the inscrutable, Caribbean-born Minna, who may just be the darkest force of all.
Haunting, tough, triumphant, and profound, The Forgetting Tree explores the intimate ties we have to one another, the deepest fears we keep to ourselves, and the calling of the land that ties every one of us together.
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Peter Bohlin

October 25th, 2012

Meet the architect behind the new Civic Center design. Learn about his vision for this multifaceted facility, the inspiration behind his contemporary design, and the distinctive features that will serve the community for years to come.

Peter Bohlin is a founding principal of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson which opened in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in 1965.  From a single office, the firm has grown to five offices: Wilkes-Barre, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Seattle and San Francisco.  Their work is known for an extraordinary aesthetic, its responsiveness to particularity of place and user, and a quiet rigor that is both intellectual and intuitive. The 175-person architectural practice is the recipient of more than 500 regional, national and international design awards for projects ranging from private houses to urban libraries, commercial buildings, and civic centers.