2023 Literary Hosts

Literary Hosts are an exceptional group of leading writers who are guests of PEN America at our annual Literary Gala. 

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in Enugu, Nigeria in 1977. She grew up on the campus of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where her father was a professor and her mother was the first female Registrar. She studied medicine for a year at Nsukka and then left for the US at the age of 19 to continue her education on a different path. She graduated summa cum laude from Eastern Connecticut State University with a degree in Communication and Political Science.

She has a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Arts degree in African History from Yale University. She was awarded a Hodder fellowship at Princeton University for the 2005-2006 academic year, and a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute of Harvard University for the 2011-2012 academic year. In 2008, she received a MacArthur Fellowship.

She has received honorary doctorate degrees from Eastern Connecticut State University, Johns Hopkins University, Haverford College, Williams College, the University of Edinburgh, Duke University, Amherst College, Bowdoin College, SOAS University of London, American University, Georgetown University, Yale University, Rhode Island School of Design, Northwestern University, University of Pennsylvania, Skidmore College and University of Johannesburg.

Books: Notes on Grief; Americanah

Ayad Akhtar headshot

Ayad Akhtar

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Ayad Akhtar is a novelist and playwright. His work has been published and performed in over two dozen languages. He is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Edith Wharton Citation of Merit for Fiction, and an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Akhtar is the author of Homeland Elegies, which The Washington Post called “a tour de force” and The New York Times called “a beautiful novel…that had echoes of The Great Gatsby and that circles, with pointed intellect, the possibilities and limitations of American life.” His first novel, American Dervish, was published in over 20 languages. 

As a playwright, he has written Junk (Lincoln Center, Broadway; Kennedy Prize for American Drama, Tony nomination); Disgraced (Lincoln Center, Broadway; Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Tony nomination); The Who & The What (Lincoln Center); and The Invisible Hand (NYTW; Obie Award, Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award, Olivier, and Evening Standard nominations). 

Among other honors, Akhtar is the recipient of the Steinberg Playwrighting Award, the Nestroy Award, the Erwin Piscator Award, as well as fellowships from the American Academy in Rome, MacDowell, the Sundance Institute, and Yaddo, where he serves as a Board Director. Additionally, Ayad is a Board Trustee at New York Theatre Workshop, and PEN America, where he serves as President. In 2021, Akhtar was named the New York State Author, succeeding Colson Whitehead, by the New York State Writers Institute.

Books: Homeland Elegies; JUNK

Rumaan Alam

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Rumaan Alam is author of three novels: Rich and Pretty, That Kind of Mother, and Leave the World Behind. Other writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, Bookforum, The New York Times, New York Magazine, and the New Republic. He studied writing at Oberlin College and now lives in New York with his family.

Books: Leave the World Behind; Rich and Pretty

Marie Arana

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Marie Arana is an author, critic, and the inaugural Literary Director of the Library of Congress. Born in Lima, Peru of a Peruvian father and an American mother, she has lived in the United States since the age of 9. She began her career in book publishing, eventually becoming Vice President and Senior Editor at Harcourt Brace as well as Simon & Schuster. In 1993, she joined The Washington Post’s “Book World” and became its Editor in Chief a few years later. She led the Post’s literary coverage from 1996-2009, began the Washington Post Book Club among many other literary activities in the capital, and established the Washington Post’s charter sponsorship of the National Book Festival with Librarian of Congress James H. Billington and First Lady Laura Bush. From 2010 to 2018, she was Writer at Large for The Washington Post and Senior Advisor to the U.S. Librarian of Congress. From 2009 to 2019, she was a member of the Library of Congress Kluge Center’s Scholars Council and the Library’s Distinguished Chair of the Cultures of the Countries of the South. She has been literary director of the National Book Festival since 2012. In 2019, she became the first Literary Director of the Library of Congress. In 2020 she was awarded a prize for lifetime achievement in literature by the American Academy of Arts & Letters. Arana is the author of six books, among them her memoir American Chica, which was a finalist for the 2001 National Book Award and winner of Books for a Better Life; The Writing Life, a collection of essays about the writing craft; and two highly acclaimed novels Cellophane and Lima Nights. Her biography of Simón Bolívar was awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for nonfiction in 2014. Its Spanish translation was named one of the top ten books published in Latin America in 2019 by the leading literary critic of El Tiempo. Her most recent book, Silver, Sword, and Stone: Three Crucibles in the Latin American Story was chosen as the best nonfiction book of the year by the American Library Association. She has also co-authored many books on the culture and history of Latin America. Arana has chaired juries for the Pulitzer Prize as well as the National Book Award. Apart from her commentary for the Washington Post, her work has been published in The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, Smithsonian, National Geographic, Virginia Quarterly, El País, El Comercio, El Tiempo, and many other publications throughout the Americas and Europe. Arana is on the board of trustees of PEN America and sits on the board of directors of the Authors Guild Foundation, the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, the American Writers Museum, and the Leon Levy Biography Center at CUNY. She is on the advisory council of SOUTHCOM, the United States Southern Command, which serves Central and Latin America. She is also Vice President of the 148-year-old Literary Society of Washington.

Books: Silver, Sword, and Stone: Three Crucibles in the Latin American Story; American Chica

Brit Bennett

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Born and raised in Southern California, Brit Bennett earned her MFA in fiction at the University of Michigan. Her debut novel The Mothers was a New York Times bestseller, and her second novel The Vanishing Half was an instant #1 New York Times bestseller. Her essays have been featured in The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, and Jezebel.

Book: The Vanishing Half

Jennifer Finney Boylan

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Professor Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of eighteen books, is the inaugural Anna Quindlen Writer in Residence at Barnard College of Columbia University.

She serves on the Board of Trustees of PEN America, the nonprofit advocating for authors, readers, and freedom of expression. From 2011 to 2018 she served on the Board of Directors of GLAAD; she was co-chair of GLAAD’s board of directors from 2013-17. She also is a member of the faculty of the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference of Middlebury College, and the Sirenland Writers’ Conference in Positano, Italy.

For many years she was a Contributing Opinion Writer for the opinion page of the New York Times; she has also been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Kinsey Institute for Research on Sex, Gender, and Reproduction.

She has recently published the memoir Good Boy: My Life in 7 Dogs and the novel Mad Honey, co-authored with Jodi Picoult.

Her 2003 memoir, She’s Not There: a Life in Two Genders (Broadway/Doubleday/Random House) was the first bestselling work by a transgender American. A novelist, memoirist, and short story writer, she is also a nationally known advocate for human rights. Jenny has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show on four occasions; Live with Larry King twice; the Today Show, the Barbara Walters Special, NPR’s Marketplace and Talk of the Nation; she has also been the subject of documentaries on CBS News’ 48 Hours and The History Channel. She served as an advisor to the television series Transparent.

She lives in New York City, and in Belgrade Lakes, Maine, with her wife, Deedie. They have a son, Sean and a daughter, Zai.

Books: Good Boy; She’s Not There, Mad Honey

Candace Bushnell

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From Sex and the City through ten successive novels, Candace Bushnell has revealed a gift for tapping into the zeitgeist of any New York minute. With each book, she has deepened her range, but with a light touch that makes her complex literary accomplishments look easy. The Guardian sums up Bushnell’s work this way: “She caustically addresses the conditions of materialism, cramped urban life, and metropolitan speed, where fame and wealth are all around, but never in one’s grasp . . . . Bushnell is courageous in bringing this to the fore, and she is blessed with an Austen-like mastery in doing so. She cuts through the lies that women tell themselves about the surface equality of Western society. As such, she has much more in common with Edith Wharton, Dorothy Parker and early Bret Easton Ellis.”

Bushnell grew up in Glastonbury, Ct, and moved to New York City at age 19. She attended Rice University and New York University, and began her professional career at 19 when she wrote a children’s book for Simon & Schuster. Throughout her twenties, Bushnell developed her trademark style as a freelancer, writing darkly humorous pieces about women, relationships and dating for Mademoiselle, Self Magazine, and Esquire.

In 1990, she wrote a column that would become a precursor for Sex and the City, called The Human Cartoon, a fictional serial published in Hamptons Magazine.

She began writing for the New York Observer in 1993; in November of 1994, she created the column Sex and the City, which ran in the New York Observer for two years. The column was bought as a book in 1995, and sold to HBO as a series in 1996. Bushnell hosted a radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio, called Sex, Success, and Sensibility, which aired from October 2006 to October 2008. She wrote and created a web series, The Broadroom, starring Jennie Garth, which launched in September 2009.

Through her books and television series, Bushnell’s work has influenced and defined two generations of women. She is the winner of the 2006 Matrix Award for books (other winners include Joan Didion and Amy Tan), and a recipient of the Albert Einstein Spirit of Achievement Award. She currently divides her time between New York City and Sag Harbor, New York.

Books: Sex and The City; Rules for Being a Girl

Robert A. Caro

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For his biographies of Robert Moses and Lyndon Johnson, Robert A. Caro has twice won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography, has three times won the National Book Critics Circle Award, and has also won virtually every other major literary honor, including the National Book Award, the Gold Medal in Biography from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Francis Parkman Prize, awarded by the Society of American Historians to the book that best “exemplifies the union of the historian and the artist.” In 2010, President Barack Obama awarded Caro the National Humanities Medal, stating at the time: “I think about Robert Caro and reading The Power Broker back when I was twenty-two years old and just being mesmerized, and I’m sure it helped to shape how I think about politics.” In 2016 he received the National Book Award for Lifetime Achievement. The London Sunday Times has said that Caro is “the greatest political biographer of our times.”

Books: The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York

Susan Choi

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Susan Choi’s first novel, The Foreign Student, won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction. Her second novel, American Woman, was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize. Her third novel, A Person of Interest, was a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award. In 2010 she was named the inaugural recipient of the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award. Her fourth novel, My Education, received a 2014 Lammy Award. Her fifth novel, Trust Exercise, won the 2019 National Book Award for Fiction. Her first book for children, Camp Tiger, was also published in 2019. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, she teaches fiction writing at Yale and lives in Brooklyn.

Books: Trust Exercise; A Person of Interest; My Education

Harlan Coben

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Harlan Coben is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and one of the world’s leading storytellers. His suspense novels are published in forty-six languages and have been number one bestsellers in more than a dozen countries, with eighty million books in print worldwide. His Myron Bolitar series has earned the Edgar, Shamus, and Anthony Awards, and several of his books have been developed into Netflix original series, including The Stranger, The Innocent, Gone for Good, The Woods, Stay Close, and Hold Tight, as well as the upcoming Amazon Prime series adaptation of Shelter. He lives in New Jersey.

Books: The Stranger, I Will Find You

Chloé Cooper Jones

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Chloé Cooper Jones is a philosophy professor, journalist, and the author of the memoir Easy Beauty, which was named a best book of 2022 by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, TIME Magazine, and others. She is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, a Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant recipient and, in 2020, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Book: Easy Beauty

Robert Costa

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Robert Costa is Chief Election & Campaign Correspondent for CBS News, where he covers politics and American democracy. He is also the co-author with Bob Woodward of the #1 bestselling book Peril. He previously served as a national political reporter at The Washington Post, as moderator and managing editor of Washington Week on PBS, and as a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree from the University of Cambridge. He is from Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Books: Peril

Andrew Durbin

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Andrew Durbin is the author of the novels MacArthur Park (2017) and Skyland (2020). His biography of the artists Peter Hujar and Paul Thek is forthcoming from FSG in 2025. He lives in London and is the editor-in-chief of frieze magazine.

Books: MacArthur Park; Skyland

Jennifer Egan

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Jennifer Egan was born in Chicago and raised in San Francisco. She is the author of The Invisible Circus, a novel which became a feature film starring Cameron Diaz in 2001, Look at Me, a finalist for the National Book Award in fiction in 2001, Emerald City and Other Stories, The Keep, and A Visit From the Goon Squad, which won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, and the LA Times Book Prize. Her 2017 novel, Manhattan Beach, a New York Times bestseller, was awarded the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and was chosen as New York City’s One Book One New York read. Her new novel, The Candy House, a companion to A Visit From the Goon Squad, was named one of the New York Times’s 10 Best Books of 2022 and one of President Obama’s favorite reads of the year. Her short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Granta, McSweeney’s and other magazines. She is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, and a Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Fellowship at the New York Public Library. Also a journalist, she has written frequently in the New York Times Magazine. Her 2002 cover story on homeless children received the Carroll Kowal Journalism Award, and “The Bipolar Kid” received a 2009 NAMI Outstanding Media Award for Science and Health Reporting from the National Alliance on Mental Illness. She recently completed a term as President of PEN America.

Books: A Visit from the Goon Squad; The Candy House

Annette Gordon-Reed

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Annette Gordon-Reed is the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard. Gordon-Reed won sixteen book prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize in History in 2009 and the National Book Award in 2008, for The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (W.W. Norton, 2008). In addition to articles and reviews, her other works include Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy (UVA Press, 1997), Vernon Can Read! A Memoir, a collaboration with Vernon Jordan (PublicAffairs, 2001), Race on Trial: Law and Justice in American History (Oxford University Press, 2002), a volume of essays that she edited, Andrew Johnson (Times Books/Henry Holt, 2010) and, with Peter S. Onuf, “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination (Liveright Publishing, 2016). Her most recent book is On Juneteenth (Liveright Publishing, 2021). Gordon-Reed was the Vyvyan Harmsworth Visiting Professor of American History at the University of Oxford (Queens College) 2014-2015. Between 2010 and 2015, she was the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. She was the 2018-2019 President of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. She is the current President of the Ames Foundation. A selected list of her honors includes a fellowship from the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, a Guggenheim Fellowship in the humanities, a MacArthur Fellowship, the National Humanities Medal, the National Book Award, the Frederick Douglass Book Prize, the George Washington Book Prize, and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. Gordon-Reed served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College from 2010 to 2018. She was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011 and was a member of the Academy’s Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences. In 2019, she was elected as a member of the American Philosophical Society.

Books: On Juneteenth, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family

James Hannaham

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James Hannaham is a writer, a visual artist, or both. His novel Delicious Foods won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and was a New York Times Notable Book. He has shown work at Open Source Gallery, The Center for Emerging Visual Artists, and won Best in Show at Main Street Arts’ 2020 exhibit Biblio Spectaculum. In 2021, he released Pilot Impostor, a multi-genre book inspired by a Fernando Pessoa anthology, to considerable acclaim. Hannaham is a professor in the writing program at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. His most recent published work is the 2022 novel Didn’t Nobody Give a Shit What Happened to Carlotta.

Books: Didn’t Nobody Give a Shit What Happened to Carlotta; Pilot Impostor

Robie H. Harris

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“I will continue to speak out on the freedom to read and write for kids of all ages, no matter what the perils have been for the creators of children’s books and the perils that are continuing to occur at an even faster pace than in the past few years. Even though my own safety and so many others’ safety has been threatened over the years and pages of my books and others’ books have been ripped up and thrown in the trash and/or burned in bonfires with adults and children watching those pages being “disappeared,” I will not be silenced. Many of you have taken the same stance. We need even more of you to join us. And what about our nation’s children? Most children of all ages know about the tragic deaths of their peers, or family members, or friends they have known and those they have not known, but know that they have died. And yet, our kids and teens are our hope for the future of our democracy because so many of them have not been silent and are continuing to speak out and protest and petition for the principles of the First Amendment. Even with threat of being jailed for writing the books I write and for speaking out in defense of free expression I still will not be silenced. A giant and heartfelt thanks to all those who also will not be silenced and continue to defend free expression and the principles of our nation’s the First Amendment.”

Robie H. Harris has written award-winning and internationally acclaimed children’s books and writes about serious issues with honesty, understanding, and humor. Her works include the board books, Who? A Celebration of Babies and Look! Babies Head to Toe, picture books including Crash Boom! A Math Tale, winner of the prestigious Mathical Book Prize Award awarded by Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI), the National Council of Teachers of English, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the Children’s Book Council. Her picture books include Somewhere; Maybe a Bear Ate It, When Lions Roar, Goodbye Mousie; and Who’s In My Family? Her nonfiction books include the fully updated It’s Perfectly Normal, Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, Gender and Sexual Health, plus other books in the Family Library Series. To see more of her books: www.robieharris.com

Harris has been awarded the Bank Street College Distinguished Alumni Award; the Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Nonfiction Award plus other renowned awards. She has spoken across the U.S. and U.K, including at The U.S. Library of Congress’ Center for the Book, National Coalition Against Censorship’s Gala and has given grand rounds at The Yale Study Center and the NYU Child Study Center and received ALA’s Freedom to Read Foundation’s 2021 Role of Honor Award. Harris has been featured in the New York Times, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, Philadelphia Inquirer, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, parenting magazines/newspapers, plus major national and local TV shows, including NBC’s Today Show, CNN’s morning show, public radio interviews, the national NPR, WBUR/Boston, Minnesota Public Radio and others and also on network affiliates and commercial and cable stations around the country and in the UK. Harris has written about her work for several blogs and her work has been praised by several “mommy” blogs, infant/toddler blogs and parenting blogs. Harris is a member of PEN America, PEN’s Children’s and Young Adult Committee, a board member of The National Coalition Against Censorship and a member of Reach Out and Read’s national board. She continues to speak out on the freedom to read and write for kids of all ages and for adults to have in our democracy.

Books: It’s Perfectly Normal; Somewhere; It’s So Amazing; It’s Not the Stork

Tom Healy

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Tom Healy is a poet, educator and activist. He is the author of three books of poetry, Velvet, Animal Spirits and What the Right Hand Knows, which was a finalist for the 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Lambda Literary Award. He has written extensively about visual art and has taught on the faculties of NYU, The Pratt Institute, and The New School.

Tom is the chair of the Miami Poetry Festival, a juror for the Gotham Book Prize and a trustee of PEN America. Under President Barack Obama, he served as chairman of the international Fulbright Scholars program, traveling to more than 40 countries to promote peace through the international exchange of artists, scientists, and scholars. In 2005, he received the New York City Mayor’s Award for Arts and Culture for his work to rebuild New York’s downtown arts community after 9/11.

Books: Velvet; Animal Spirits; What the Right Hand Knows

Clover Hope

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Clover Hope is a Brooklyn-based writer and creative producer across print, digital, and television. She’s written for a range of publications, from Elle to Esquire, Vogue, GQ, The New York Times, and many more. Her 2021 book, The Motherlode: 100+ Women Who Made Hip-Hop, is a rich, comprehensive history of women rappers. She’s also an adjunct professor at her alma mater, New York University.

Books: The Motherlode: 100+ Women Who Made Hip-Hop

Marlon James

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Marlon James was born in Jamaica in 1970. He is the author of the New York Times-bestseller Black Leopard, Red Wolf, which was a finalist for the National Book Award for fiction in 2019. His novel A Brief History of Seven Killings won the 2015 Man Booker Prize. It was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature for fiction, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for fiction, and the Minnesota Book Award. It was also a New York Times Notable Book. James is also the author of The Book of Night Women, which won the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Minnesota Book Award, and was a finalist for the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction and an NAACP Image Award. His first novel, John Crow’s Devil, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for first fiction and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and was a New York Times Editors’ Choice. James divides his time between Minnesota and New York. His latest novel is Moon Witch, Spider King.

Books: Black Leopard, Red Wolf; Moon Witch, Spider King; A Brief History of Seven Killings

Zachary Karabell

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Zachary Karabell is the founder of the Progress Network at New America, president of River Twice Capital, an investor in Shakespeare & Co. bookstores and other small businesses, host of the podcast “What Could Go Right?” and an author and columnist. Previously, he was Head of Global Strategies at Envestnet, a publicly traded financial services firm. Prior to that, he was President of Fred Alger & Company. Educated at Columbia, Oxford and Harvard, where he received his Ph.D., Karabell has written widely on history, economics and international relations. His most recent book, Inside Money: Brown Brothers Harriman and the American Way of Power, was published by Penguin Press in May of 2021, and his last book was The Leading Indicators: A Short History of the Numbers That Rule Our World. He is the author of eleven previous books, and he sits on the board of New America, Heyday Books and PEN America. Once upon a time, in 2003, the World Economic Forum designated him a “Global Leader for Tomorrow.”

As a commentator, Karabell is a regular columnist for TIME and Contributing Editor for Politico. Previously he wrote “The Edgy Optimist” column for Slate, Reuters, and The Atlantic. He is a LinkedIn influencer, and has been a commentator on CNBC, Fox Business and MSNBC. He also contributes to such publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wired, The Guardian, The Daily Beast, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Foreign Policy and Foreign Affairs.

Books: Inside Money: Brown Brothers Harriman and the American Way of Power; The Leading Indicators: A Short History of the Numbers That Rule Our World

Catherine Grace Katz

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Catherine Grace Katz is a writer and historian from Chicago. She graduated from Harvard in 2013 with a BA in History and received her MPhil in Modern European History from Christ’s College, University of Cambridge in 2014, where she wrote her dissertation on the origins of modern counterintelligence practices. After graduating, Catherine worked in finance in New York City before a very fortuitous visit to the bookstore in the lobby of her office in Manhattan led her to return to history and writing. She is currently pursuing her JD at Harvard Law School. The Daughters of Yalta is her first book.

Book: The Daughters of Yalta

Matthew Klam

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Matthew Klam is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Robert Bingham/PEN Award, a Whiting Writer’s Award, and a National Endowment of the Arts. His first book, Sam The Cat and Other Stories, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book of the Year in the category of first fiction, was selected as a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times, Esquire, The Los Angeles Times, The Kansas City Star, and by the Borders for their New Voices series. His second book, Who Is Rich?, was selected as Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times and The Washington Post, and was nominated for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. His work has been featured in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, Esquire, GQ, and The New York Times Magazine. He is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire and Hollins College, and has taught creative writing in many places including Johns Hopkins University, St. Albans School, American University, and Stockholm University in Sweden.

Books: Sam the Cat and Other Stories; Who Is Rich?

Jean Hanff Korelitz

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Jean Hanff Korelitz is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels The Latecomer, The Plot, You Should Have Known (which aired on HBO in October 2020 as The Undoing, starring Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, and Donald Sutherland), Admission (adapted as a film in 2013 starring Tina Fey), The Devil and Webster, The White Rose, The Sabbathday River and A Jury of Her Peers, as well as Interference Powder, a novel for children. Her company BOOKTHEWRITER hosts Pop-Up Book Groups in which small groups of readers discuss new books with their authors. She lives in New York City with her husband, Irish poet Paul Muldoon.

Books: The Plot; The Latecomer

Deborah Landau

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Deborah Landau is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Skeletons (’23). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and The Best American Poetry. Her honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship and The Believer Book Award. She is a professor at New York University, where she directs the creative writing program.

Books: Skeletons; Soft Targets

Min Jin Lee

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Min Jin Lee is a recipient of fiction fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study at Harvard, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She is the author of novels, Free Food for Millionaires and Pachinko, a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction and one of New York Times’ 10 Best Books. An international bestseller, Pachinko has been translated into over 30 languages. Her writings have appeared in The New Yorker, NPR’s Selected Shorts, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Times Literary Supplement, The Guardian, Times of London, Food & Wine, Vogue and The Wall Street Journal. Lee was named as an Adweek Creative 100 for being one of the “10 Writers and Editors Who are Changing the National Conversation” and a Frederick Douglass 200. She is a Writer-in-Residence at Amherst College and serves as a trustee of PEN America and a director of the Authors Guild. She is currently at work on Name Recognition: A Memoir of Visibility and Voice and is researching and writing her third novel, American Hagwon, which will complete “The Koreans” trilogy.

Books: Pachinko; Free Food for Millionaires

Raven Leilani

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Raven Leilani’s work has been published in Granta, The Yale Review, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Conjunctions, The Cut, and New England Review, among other publications. Leilani received her MFA from NYU and was an Axinn Foundation Writer-in-Residence. Luster is her first novel.

Book: Luster

Kate Manning

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Kate Manning is the author of the novels Gilded Mountain, My Notorious Life and Whitegirl. A former documentary television producer and winner of two Emmy Awards, she has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, the L.A. Times Book Review, TIME, and The Guardian. My Notorious Life is loosely based on the true story of a 19th century Manhattan midwife and abortionist. Gilded Mountain is drawn from stories of Colorado labor history in the early 1900s. It’s a New York Times Editors’ Choice, an Indie Next Pick, and one of Amazon’s Best Books of 2022. NPR calls Gilded Mountain “a wild adventure.” Kate has taught creative writing at Bard High School Early College in Manhattan and lives with her family in New York City.

Books: Gilded Mountain, My Notorious Life, Whitegirl

Kati Marton

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Kati Marton is the New York Times bestselling author of nine books, including The Chancellor: The Remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel, True Believer: Stalin’s Last American Spy and Enemies of the People: My Family’s Journey to America, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. An award-winning former NPR correspondent and ABC News bureau chief in Germany, she was born in Hungary and lives in New York City.

Books: The Chancellor: The Remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel; My Family’s Journey to America

Jay McInerney

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Jay McInerney is the author of eight novels, two collections of short stories, and three collections of essays on wine. His latest book, Bright, Precious Days, was published in 2016. He lives in New York City and Bridgehampton, New York.

Books: How It Ended; Bright, Precious Days; Bright Lights, Big City

Dinaw Mengestu

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Dinaw Mengestu was born in Ethiopia and raised in Illinois. He is the author of three novels: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears (2008) How to Read the Air (2010), and All Our Names, all of which were New York Times Notable Books. His fiction and journalism have been published in The New Yorker, Granta, Harper’s, Rolling Stone, and the New York Times. He is the recipient of a Lannan Fiction Fellowship, The Guardian First Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a 2012 MacArthur fellowship among numerous other awards. His work has been translated into more than fifteen languages. He is a trustee at PEN America, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor in the Humanities at Bard College.

Books: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears; How to Read the Air and All Our Names

Robert Pearl

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Dr. Robert Pearl is the former CEO of The Permanente Medical Group. Named one of Modern Healthcare‘s 50 most influential physician leaders, Pearl is a clinical professor of plastic surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine and is on the faculty of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he teaches courses on strategy and leadership, and lectures on information technology and health care policy. He is the author of the Washington Post bestseller Mistreated, hosts the popular podcast Fixing Healthcare, publishes a newsletter with over 10,000 subscribers, and is a regular contributor to Forbes. He has been featured on CBS This Morning, CNBC, NPR, and in TIME, USA Today and Bloomberg News, and is a frequent keynote speaker at healthcare and medical technology conferences. He is the author of Mistreated: Why We think We’re Getting Good Healthcare—And Why We’re Usually Wrong, a Washington Post bestseller that offers a roadmap for transforming American healthcare and Uncaring: How the Culture of Medicine Kills Doctors & Patients.

Books: Why We think We’re Getting Good Healthcare—And Why We’re Usually Wrong; Uncaring: How the Culture of Medicine Kills Doctors & Patient

Theresa Rebeck

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Theresa Rebeck is a prolific and widely produced playwright, whose work has been staged across the globe. Her work on Broadway includes Bernhardt/Hamlet, Dead Accounts, Seminar and Mauritius. Other notable New York and regional plays include Seared (MCC), Downstairs (Primary Stages), The Scene, The Water’s Edge, Loose Knit, The Family of Mann and Spike Heels (Second Stage), Bad Dates, The Butterfly Collection and Our House (Playwrights Horizons), The Understudy (Roundabout), View of the Dome (NYTW), What We’re Up Against (Women’s Project), Omnium Gatherum (Pulitzer Prize finalist). Her latest play, Mad House, played a critically acclaimed world premiere on London’s West End starring David Harbour and Bill Pullman. As a director, her work has been seen at The Alley Theatre (Houston), the REP Company (Delaware), Dorset Theatre Festival, the Orchard Project and the Folger Theatre. Major film and television projects include Trouble, with Anjelica Huston, Bill Pullman and David Morse (writer and director), NYPD Blue, the NBC series Smash (creator), the female spy thriller 355 (for Jessica Chastain’s production company), and her most recent film Glimpse, available for streaming now. As a novelist, Rebeck’s books include Three Girls and Their Brother and I’m Glad About You. Rebeck is the recipient of the William Inge New Voices Playwriting Award, the PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Award, and a Lilly Award.

Plays and books: Bernhardt/Hamlet; Omnium Gatherum; Three Girls and Their Brother; I’m Glad About You

Victoria Redel

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Victoria Redel is a first-generation American author of four books of poetry and five books of fiction, most recently the poetry collection, Paradise (2022) and the novel Before Everything. Victoria’s work has been widely anthologized, awarded, and translated. Her debut novel, Loverboy (2001) was adapted for feature film directed by Kevin Bacon. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts and the Fine Arts Work Center. Victoria has taught at Columbia University, The New School, Vermont College of Fine Arts and was the McGee Distinguished Professor at Davidson College. She currently is on the graduate and undergraduate Creative Writing faculty at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in New York City.

Books: Paradise; Before Everything, Loverboy

Jennifer Senior

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Jennifer Senior is a staff writer at The Atlantic and winner of the 2022 Pulitzer for Feature Writing. Prior to joining The Atlantic, she spent five years at The New York Times—first as one of its three daily book critics, then as a columnist for the Opinion page. Before that, she spent eighteen years as a staff writer for New York Magazine, writing profiles and cover stories about politics, social science, and mental health. Her first book, All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood, spent eight weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list and was named one of Slate’s Top 10 Books of 2014. In addition to the Pulitzer, Senior has won a variety of journalism prizes, including a National Magazine Award, a GLAAD award, two Front Page Awards from the Newswomen’s Club of New York, and the Erikson Prize in Mental Health Media. Her work has been anthologized four times in THE BEST AMERICAN POLITICAL WRITING, and her profile of the psychologist Philip Brickman was selected for THE BEST AMERICAN SCIENCE WRITING OF 2021. All Joy and No Fun has been translated into twelve languages. Her Pulitzer-Prize winning feature, “What Bobby McIlvaine Left Behind,” was just published as a stand-alone book this April, under the title On Grief: Love, Loss, Memory.

Books: All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood; On Grief: Love, Loss, Memory

Fatima Shaik

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Fatima Shaik is the author of seven books, most recently the award-winning Economy Hall: The Hidden History of a Free Black Brotherhood, the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities 2022 Book of the Year. Economy Hall was named among Kirkus Review’s “Best of 2021—Nonfiction.” The State Library Center for the Book named Shaik its Louisiana Writer Award Recipient in 2021 for “outstanding contributions to Louisiana’s literary and intellectual life exemplified by a contemporary writer’s body of work.” Shaik’s young adult novel Melitte, written in the voice of an enslaved 18th century child, was an American Booksellers Association Pick of the Lists and American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults nominee. Shaik has written for The Southern Review, Callaloo, Tribes, The Root, In These Times, and The New York Times. Her work is included several anthologies including Streetlights: Illuminating Tales of the Urban Black Experience and Breaking Ice: An Anthology of Contemporary African American Fiction. She is the recipient of grants from the NEH, LEH and the Kittredge Fund and is the subject of a documentary, The Bengali, by director Kavery Kaul. Shaik retired in 2020 as assistant professor from Saint Peter’s University where she founded its Communication program, now the Communication and Media Culture Department awarding B.A. and M.A. degrees. A former board member of The Writers Room, Shaik is an ex-officio trustee of PEN America as co-chair of the Children’s and Young Adult Books committee.

Books: Economy Hall: The Hidden History of a Free Black Brotherhood; Melitte

Bartlett Sher

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Bartlett Sher is the Resident Director at Lincoln Center Theater, where he won a Tony Award for his production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific (which he also directed in London and Australia); and was nominated for Tony Awards for his LCT productions of My Fair Lady, Oslo (2017 Tony Award for Best Play, Obie Award, also National Theatre, London), Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I (also London), Golden Boy, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Awake and Sing!, and The Light in the Piazza. His other LCT productions include Blood and Gifts and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (also London). Broadway: Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird (Tony nominated), Fiddler on the Roof (Drama Desk Award), The Bridges of Madison County. Off-Broadway: Waste (Best Play Obie Award), Cymbeline (Callaway Award, also Royal Shakespeare Company), Don Juan, Pericles (TFANA, BAM). He was the Artistic Director of Seattle’s Intiman Theatre (2000–2009) and was previously Company Director for the Guthrie Theater and Associate Artistic Director at Hartford Stage. Opera: Rigoletto (Staatsoper); Roméo et Juliette (Metropolitan Opera, Salzburg, Milan, Chicago); Faust (Baden Baden); Two Boys (ENO, Metropolitan Opera); Barbiere di Siviglia (Baden Baden, Metropolitan Opera); Otello, Il Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Le Comte Ory, L’Elisir d’Amore (Metropolitan Opera); Mourning Becomes Electra (Seattle Opera, New York City Opera). He serves on the board of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. Bart is currently directing Camelot at Lincoln Center.

Director: Camelot, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific; Intimate Apparel; Otello, Il Les Contes d’Hoffmann

Gary Shteyngart

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Gary Shteyngart is the New York Times bestselling author of the memoir Little Failure (a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist) and the novels Super Sad True Love Story (winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize), Lake Success, Absurdistan, and The Russian Debutante’s Handbook (winner of the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction and the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction). His books regularly appear on best-of lists around the world and have been published in thirty countries. His latest novel, Our Country Friends, was an instant New York Times bestseller and was named one of the best books of the year by the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, TIME magazine, Kirkus Reviews, and others. New York Times critic Molly Young called it “the perfect novel for these times and all times, the single textual artifact from the pandemic era I would place in a time capsule as a representation of all that is good and true and beautiful about literature. I hope the extraterrestrials who exhume it will agree.”

Books: Our Country Friends; Lake Success, Absurdistan

Andrew Solomon

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Andrew Solomon’s book, the best-selling Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity (Scribner, 2012), tells the stories of families raising exceptional children who not only learn to deal with their challenges, but also find profound meaning in doing so. Far from the Tree has received the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction; the J. Anthony Lukas Award; the Anisfield-Wolf Award; the Wellcome Book Prize; the Books for a Better Life Award of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society; the Green Carnation Prize; the National Council on Crime and Delinquency’s Distinguished Achievement Award in Nonfiction; and the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (NAIBA) Book of the Year Award for Nonfiction. Far from the Tree was chosen as one of the New York Times Ten Best Books of 2012, and a best book of 2012 by Publishers Weekly, the Boston Globe, the San Francisco Chronicle, Salon.com, Kirkus Reviews, TIME, and Amazon.com. Solomon’s memoir, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression (Scribner, 2001), won the 2001 National Book Award for Nonfiction, was a finalist for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize, and is included in the London Times One Hundred Best Books of the Decade. In April 2016, Scribner published Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change (later reissued as Far and Away: How Travel Can Change the World), a collection of Solomon’s international reporting since 1991. The New York Times included Far and Away in its list of 100 Notable Books of 2016.

Books: Far from the Tree; Far and Away

Gay Talese

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Gay Talese was born in Ocean City, New Jersey, on February 7th, 1932, to Italian immigrant parents. He attended the University of Alabama, and after graduation was hired as a copyboy at the New York Times. After a brief stint in the Army, Talese returned to the New York Times in 1956 and worked there as a reporter until 1965. Since then he has written for numerous publications, including Esquire, The New Yorker, Newsweek, and Harper’s Magazine.

Gay Talese has written fourteen books. His earlier bestsellers deal with the history and influence of the New York Times (The Kingdom and the Power, recently reissued in trade paperback by Random House); the inside story of a Mafia family (Honor Thy Father); the changing moral values of America between World War II and the era before AIDS (Thy Neighbor’s Wife); a historical memoir about his family’s immigration to America from Italy in the years preceding World War II (Unto the Sons, also recently reissued by Random House); and other such books as The Bridge, about the construction of the Verrazano-Narrows span between Brooklyn and Staten Island; New York: A Serendipiter’s Journey, a series of vignettes and essays on New York; and Fame and Obscurity, a collection of his articles principally from the pages of Esquire magazine, where he was credited by Tom Wolfe with the creation of an inventive form of nonfiction writing called “The New Journalism.”

In 2006, he published with Knopf, A Writer’s Life, a memoir about the inner workings of exploratory journalism and the interplay between a writer and his subjects. A collection of Talese’s sports writing (A Silent Season of a Hero) was published by Walker & Co. in September, 2010.

Gay Talese lives with his wife, Nan, in New York City. He is working on a book about marriage for Knopf.

Book: High Notes; A Silent Season of a Hero; The Kingdom and the Power

Luis Alberto Urrea

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Luis Alberto Urrea, a Guggenheim Fellow and Pulitzer Prize finalist, is the author of 18 books, winning numerous awards for his poetry, fiction and essays. Born in Tijuana to a Mexican father and American mother, Urrea is most recognized as a border writer, though he says, “I am more interested in bridges, not borders.”

The Devil’s Highway, Urrea’s 2004 non-fiction account of a group of Mexican immigrants lost in the Arizona desert, won the Lannan Literary Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Pacific Rim Kiriyama Prize. His latest novel, The House of Broken Angels, was a 2018 finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. He won an American Academy of Arts and Letters Fiction award for his collection of short stories, The Water Museum, which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Urrea’s novel Into the Beautiful North is a Big Read selection of the National Endowment of the Arts. A novel, Goodnight, Irene is forthcoming from Little Brown in 2023. He is a distinguished professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Books: The House of Broken Angels; Goodnight, Irene

Martin Wolf

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Martin Wolf is associate editor and chief economics commentator at the Financial Times, London. He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in 2000 for services to financial journalism. Wolf won the Overseas Press Club of America’s prize for Best Commentary in 2013 and the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Gerald Loeb Awards. He was a member of the UK’s Independent Commission on Banking in 2010–11. Wolf is the author of The Crisis of Democratic Capitalist.

Book: The Crisis of Democratic Capitalist