Items tagged with Authors

WestportREADS 2018: Author Andrew Carroll on "My Fellow Soldiers"

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Writer Andrew Carroll will discuss his most recent book, My Fellow Soldiers: General John Pershing and the Americans Who Helped Win the Great War. The book draws on a rich trove of both little-known and newly uncovered letters and diaries to create a vivid and moving account of the American experience in World War I, with General John Pershing featured prominently in the foreground.

Andrew is also the author of three New York Times bestsellers, including Letters of a NationWar Letters and Behind the Lines. He is featured in the critically acclaimed PBS film on World War I, called "The Great War.” He serves as the director of the Center for American War Letters.

Andrew has also been a contributing editor to numerous publications, including the New Yorker, TIME, AARP’s Bulletin and  magazine, and his op-eds and articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, American History magazine, USA Today, the Washington Post, Details, and National Geographic. He also authored the play, “If All the Sky Were Paper,” toured the United States in 2013 and was recently performed at the Kennedy Center. The play is based on Andrew’s worldwide search for the most extraordinary war letters ever written.

On Veterans Day 1998, Andrew Carroll founded a national initiative that honors veterans and active-duty troops by preserving their wartime correspondence. Over the past two decades, Americans have shared with Andrew an estimated 100,000 previously unpublished letters (and emails) from every war in U.S. history. The Legacy Project has been re-named “The Center for American War Letters,” and is now part of Chapman University. The Center’s mission is to continue collecting, preserving, cataloging, and digitizing, and promoting war-related correspondences. 

WestportREADS is funded by the estate of Jerry A. Tishman.

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Author Liza Mundy on "Code Girls"

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Award-winning journalist and NYT bestselling author Liza Mundy speaks about her new book Code Girls, The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II. In 1942, reeling from Japan’s devastating surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States military launched a secret program to recruit young, female college graduates to serve as code breakers in the newly ramped up war effort. Their triumphs against the Germans and Japanese helped secure an Allied victory. Hear their fascinating stories, collected through archival research and numerous interviews conducted with the surviving code girls (now in their nineties), that have gone without recognition for nearly 70 years.

Community partners: Westport Historical Society, Princeton Alumni Club and History Book Discussion Group

“Liza Mundy’s Code Girls reveals one of World War II’s last remaining secrets: the true tale of the young American women who helped shorten the war and saved thousands of lives by breaking the codes of the German and Japanese armed forces. But it’s also a superbly researched and stirringly written social history of a pivotal chapter in the struggle for women’s rights, told through the powerful and poignant stories of the individuals involved. In exploring the vast, obscure, and makeshift offices of wartime Washington where these women performed seemingly impossible deeds, Mundy has discovered a birthplace of modern America.”―Glenn Frankel, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of High Noon

 

"Mundy is a fine storyteller.... A sleek, compelling narrative.... The book is a winner. Her descriptions of codes and ciphers, how they worked and how they were broken, are remarkably clear and accessible. A well-researched, compellingly written, crucial addition to the literature of American involvement in World War II."—Kirkus (starred review)

"...prodigiously researched and engrossing new book..."
NYT Sunday Book Review, November 12

Liza Mundy is the New York Times bestselling author of The Richer Sex: How the New Majority of Female Breadwinners Is Transforming Sex, Love and Family and Michelle: A Biography. She was a long-time reporter at the Washington Post and has contributed to numerous publications including The Atlantic, TIME, The New Republic, Slate, Mother Jones and Politico. She is a frequent commentator on prominent national television shows, radio, and online news outlets. A senior fellow at New America, Mundy is one of the nation's foremost experts on women and work issues. 

Author photo credit Nina Subin

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Author Sam Graham-Felsen on His Debut Novel, Green

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Sam Graham-Felson talks about his debut novel, Green, which was inspired by some of his middle school experiences. The novel is a coming-of-age story about race, privilege and friendship in 1990’s Boston. More on the book...

Community Partner: TEAM Westport

“Green is a fierce and brilliant book, comic, poignant, perfectly observed, and blazing with all the urgent fears and longings of adolescence. It’s a glorious story about the subtle complexities of loyalty and friendship that courses with deeper themes of societal expectations, social injustice, and the nature of belonging. By the time I reached the closing chapter, I was so invested in the fate of its characters that I could hardly bear for it to end. It absolutely knocked me out.”—Helen Macdonald, author of H Is for Hawk

“[Green] poignantly captures the tumultuous feelings of adolescence against the historical backdrop of a racially segregated city and country.”—Library Journal (Editors’ Fall Pick)

Sam Graham-Felsen was born and raised in Boston. He has worked as chief blogger for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, a journalist for The Nation and a peanut vendor at Fenway Park. 

Author photo credit: (c) Tamar Steinberger

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Bestselling Author Simon Sebag Montefiore

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Red Sky at Noon is the new novel by Simon Sebag Montefiore, the New York Times bestselling author of The Romanovs and Jerusalem. This wartime thriller and adventure story is set on horseback in the grasslands of south Russia during WW2, Imprisoned in the Gulags for a crime he did not commit, Benya Golden joins a penal battalion made up of Cossacks and convicts to fight the Nazis and fight for his redemption. 

Community partners: Russian Conversation Group and the History Book Discussion Group

"The gripping final instalment of the Moscow Trilogy tells of a man wrongly imprisoned in the Gulags and his fight for redemption. Meticulously researched ... In this searing tale of love and war, most moving is the redemptive relationship between a soldier and a nurse that blooms amid the brutality. An homage to the author's favourite Russian writers and the Western masterpieces of Larry McMurtry, Cormac McCarthy and Elmore Leonard, such influences pervade this atmospheric tale told in the author's distinct own voice." - The Observer

 

 

Simon Sebag Montefiore’s prize-winning, bestselling novels are published in twenty-seven languages. Red Sky at Noon is the last of the acclaimed “Moscow Trilogy,” which includes Sashenka and One Night in Winter, which was long-listed for the Orwell Prize. Montefiore’s nonfiction books include Jerusalem: The Biography, a #1 Holiday Book Pick on the TODAY show, Young Stalin, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography, and most recently, The Romanovs, which was a New York Times bestseller. 

Author photo credit: Jeremy Young

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Professor and Musicologist Jack Sullivan on “New Orleans Remix”

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Since the 1990s, New Orleans has been experiencing its greatest musical renaissance since Louis Armstrong. Brass band, funk, hip hop, Mardi Gras Indian, zydeco, and other styles are rocking the city in new neighborhood bars far from the Bourbon Street tourist scene. In New Orleans Remix, Jack Sullivan shines the light on superb artists little known to the general public, and he introduces a surge of female, Asian and other previously marginalized groups that are making the vibe more inclusive than ever.

Dr. Sullivan's specialties include 18th- and 20th-century American literature, music and film. He has published six books and has written for Opera, The New York Times, Washington Post, Newsday and USA Today. He teaches a variety of subjects, including several in the American Studies Program, which he chairs. An advocate of an active Emersonian education, Dr. Sullivan frequently takes students to plays and other cultural events in New York City, where he lives with his wife and two children.
 

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Author Jill Johnson on Barclay Fryery and “Cancer Looks Good on You”

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Cancer Looks Good On You was Barclay Fryery’s final project, a collaboration with his friend and author Jill Johnson. The book—part memoir, part cancer survival guide—is a guide to facing the end with style.
Through readings from the book, video clips, and audio recordings from the over nine hours of interviews conducted for the book, Jill Johnson will discuss the creation of this unique memoir and legacy of its one-of-a-kind subject.

Barclay Fryery is a renowned interior designer, TV personality, writer and lifestyle coach. His work has been featured in Elle Decor and House Beautiful; on House Wars, the Style Network, and A&E; and his "Ask Barclay" column appeared in the Greenwich Post for 10 years. Over the last two years of his life, Barclay has blogged about his cancer journey on Facebook and spread his philosophy of facing illness with grace and style.

Jill Johnson is a freelance writer, founder of Modelingmentor.com/blog, and former editor-in-chief of Tear Sheet magazine, which she launched during her decade-long career as a fashion model. She has interviewed fashion icons (Lauren Hutton, Patrick Demarchelier, Heidi Klum, John Sahag, among many others), TV journalists (Lara Spencer, Scott Pelley) and Broadway's best. She has covered all things catwalk and heavier topics, including infertility, eating disorders, autism, and education reform. Jill lives in Connecticut with her husband and four children, in a messy house by the beach.
 

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Buzzfeed Global Copy Chief Emmy J. Favilla on “A World Without ‘Whom’”

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BuzzFeed global copy chief Emmy J. Favilla, the witty go-to style guru of webspeak, discusses her new book A World Without “Whom”: The Essential Guide to Language in the Buzzfeed Age.

With wry cleverness and an uncanny intuition for the possibilities of internet-age expression, Favilla makes a case for breaking the rules laid out by Strunk and White: A world without "whom," she argues, is a world with more room for writing that's clear, timely, pleasurable, and politically aware.

“[W]itty and informative ... This is the rare style manual that is as entertaining as it is instructive.”— Publishers Weekly

“A lighthearted take on communicating in the digital age.”— Kirkus Reviews

Emmy J. Favilla joined BuzzFeed in 2012 and is now global copy chief. She also created the BuzzFeed Style Guide, which garnered a great deal of media attention as the unofficial "style guide for the internet" when it went public in 2014. A New York University graduate, Favilla has worked as a copy editor at Seventeen, Teen Vogue and Natural Health. She lives in New York City with a cat, a dog, and two rabbits.
 

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The Community Table: Frank Sesno and the Power of Questions

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Questions help us break down barriers, discover secrets, solve puzzles, and imagine new ways of doing things. Emmy Award-winning journalist and media expert Frank Sesno kicks off our new community conversation series, “The Community Table,” with a talk about his new book Ask More: The Power of Questions to Open Doors, Uncover Solutions, and Spark Change. Register online.

“The Community Table,” our bi-monthly community conversation series, plants civil conversations in the public sphere around issues of culture, diversity and public policy. Each month, explore a broad range of topics with authors and experts. Then, we’ll break into small groups for facilitated conversations that take a deeper dive into those topics. The series aims to engage the community in meaningful conversations about the important cultural and political questions of the moment and to foster understanding and respect for and across our differences.

Frank Sesno is an Emmy Award-winning journalist with more than thirty years of experience reporting from around the world. Well known as anchor, White House Correspondent and talk show host on CNN, he is also a nationally renowned moderator who has engaged some of the world’s leading personalities and appears regularly on U.S. and international media. Frank has interviewed heads of state including five U.S. Presidents and many other influential figures such as Bill Gates, Benyamin Netanyahu, Condoleezza Rice, Anderson Cooper, Karl Rove, Hillary Clinton and Colin Powell. He has interviewed Nobel prize-winning scientists, renowned economists, Hollywood celebrities, CEOs, best-selling authors and leaders from a wide range of industries. Frank currently serves as Director of The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs, where he leads nearly two dozen world-class faculty and teaches classes on The Art of the Interview, journalism ethics, documentary and sustainability reporting.
 

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Author Mary-Lou Weisman on her New Memoir

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Join bestselling author and personal essayist Mary-Lou Weisman for the launch of her new memoir Playing House in Provence: How Two Americans Became a Little Bit French. Mary-Lou and Larry Weisman love to travel, but they don't like being tourists. They want to live the authentic local life, shop for food, make friends and be regulars at their small-town cafe. They want to become so French that even Americans won't like them.

As tourists-on-the-loose in a foreign town, they can't resist pausing in front of a realtor's office to view the listings, choosing the house they like best, calculating the price of a one-month rental in dollars, and indulging their fantasy. One day, while wandering through a lovely medieval town in Provence, they decide to transform their fantasy into reality. Follow them on their sometimes wonderful, sometimes humiliating, always hilarious pursuit, as they learn that feeling disoriented and stupid on a daily basis can be fun. So can looking up French words they need to ask for directions – où est la pharmacie?—only to realize that there's pas une chance that they will understand the answer.

Best known for her social satire, Mary-Lou Weisman has written many travel columns for The New York Times and was a contributing commentator for Public Interest Radio's "Savvy Traveler." She is the author of four books: Intensive Care: A Family Love Story, the bestselling My Middle-Aged Baby Book, Al Jaffee's Mad Life and Traveling While Married, to which this new book is a sequel.

Excerpt from her new book: If you've ever fallen in love with a place while on vacation and wondered what it would be like to live there for more than a usual vacation's worth of time, you're my reader. Step right into a vicarious travel experience as Larry Lawyer and I try to make ourselves at home in Provence. Stay with us — we've got a virtual guest room — as we spend a month in each of four consecutive years in the pretty, medieval town of L'Isle sur la Sorgue - pronounced 'Leel sur la Sorg' - in the heart of Provence." Don't worry if you can't speak or understand French. Hang out with us for a while and you'll speak it as badly as we do.
 

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Former NCIS Agent Mark Fallon on his Book, Unjustifiable Means

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Join Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Bill Dedman to welcome former NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) special agent and Homeland Security executive Mark Fallon discusses Unjustifiable Means: The Inside Story of How the CIA, Pentagon, and US Government Conspired to Torture. Hear about the decision to implement “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques,” and the backchannels and deception employed to legalize these methods and hide them from the public’s view.

"Mark Fallon is the Serpico in the war on terror, trying to win the war by doing it the right way. Unjustifiable Means provides an inside look at counterterrorism operations and the sacrifices that good people make to win that war. Fallon shows how torture has made us less safe and that it may make people talk, but it doesn't make them tell the truth." from Bill Dedman, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and Senior Writer, Newsday

An international security consultant, Mark Fallon spent more than 30 years as a special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), counterintelligence officer, counterterrorism operative, undercover agent, asset handler and law enforcement specialist. A senior ranking member of the Department of Homeland Security under the Bush administration, he has been involved in some of the most significant counterterrorism operations in US history. He has earned numerous honors and awards for his service.

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