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LIVE from the NYPL: The Moth with Andy Borowitz UP, DOWN, IN, OUT: Stories About Class in America


June 15, 2005

In a classless society how do we define the all-pervasive pecking order Is it zip codes, pocketbooks, pedigrees, Ph.D.s, BMWs or BMIs that distinguish top from bottom and in from out Is class in America a question of where we were born, or what we give birth to? A function of how much we earn...or how hard we yearn? Come hear stories of haves and have-nots, the in-crowd and the out-castes. Join us as we welcome The Moth, the urban storytelling organization, which has been called "New York's hottest and hippest literary ticket" by The Wall Street Journal.



Drinks @ 6:30 PM
7:30 Showtime

Stories told by:
Victoria Adisa
Jamie Johnson
Lewis H. Lapham
Jeff MacGregor
Jeannette Walls

Hosted by:
Andy Borowitz

Katy Cox

Curated by:
Rick Marin and Paul Holdengräber.

About the Storytellers:
Victoria Adisa was born in Lagos and is originally from the Toruba tribe of Southern Nigeria. She studied at the Ogun State School of Nursing and worked as a nurse for six years before marrying a man from the Hausa tribe in the Northern part of Nigeria and starting a family. After she and her family endured years of severe political and religious persecution, Victoria fled Nigeria in the fall of 2001 and sought asylum in the United States.

Andy Borowitz (host) is a comedian, actor and writer whose work appears regularly in The New Yorker,The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and at He is the first winner of the National Press Club's humor award and has won five Dot-Comedy Awards for his website, He appears on National Public Radio?s Weekend Edition Sunday, CNN's American Morning, VH1?s Best Week Ever and has acted in the films: Marie and Bruce starring Julianne Moore and Matthew Broderick and Melinda and Melinda starring Will Ferrell and directed by Woody Allen. He is the author of four humor books, including Who Moved My Soap: The CEO?s Guide to Surviving in Prison, and The Borowitz Report: The Big Book of Shockers. He was a 2001 Finalist for the Thurber prize for American Humor for this book The Trillionaire Next Door.

Jamie Johnson is the director of Born Rich, a film that explores the subject of money as seen through his experiences as the heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune and those of his peers. The highly acclaimed documentary was chosen as an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival, broadcast on HBO and received two Emmy nominations. He is currently working on a follow up documentary to Born Rich.

Paul Holdengraber (co-presenter) is the new Director of Public Programs--newly minted and now known as "LIVE from the NYPL"--for the New York Public Library. His goal is to make the lions roar. This is the second event LIVE co-presents together with the MOTH. The MOTH is contributing to the roar.

Lewis H. Lapham is the editor of Harper's Magazine where he writes "Notebook," a monthly essay for which he won a 1995 National Magazine Award. His books of essays (Fortune's Child, Money and Class in America, Imperial Masquerade, Hotel America, The Wish for Kings, and Waiting for the Barbarians) have prompted The New York Times to liken him to H. L. Mencken. He is also the author of The Agony of Mammon, Lapham's Rules of Influence and Theater of War , and he has written for many esteemed print publications. He has lectured at many of the nation's leading universities, and he wrote and performed in The American Ruling Class, a documentary premiered at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival.

Jeff MacGregor is the author of Sunday Money: A Hot Lap Around America with Nascar. He is a special contributor to Sports Illustrated magazine and a six-time National Magazine Award nominee. He writes frequently for the New York Times, and his fiction has appeared in Story and Esquire.

Rick Marin (curator) is a pop-culture critic and a senior writer at Newsweek. Formerly a reporter for the New York Times Sunday Styles, he is the author of Cad: Confessions of a Toxic Bachelor.

Jeanette Walls is the author of The New York Times best selling memoir, The Glass Castle. She is a regular contributor to MSNBC and has worked at several publications including Esquire, USA Today and New York Magazine.

Katy Cox (violinist) is accomplished in classical, pop and bluegrass styles, and has performed in venues all over the US, from CBGB?s to Carnegie Hall. She is presently the fiddler for three bands: the traditional bluegrass bands BrooklynBrowngrass and the Nieces and Nephews, and the hardcore bluegrass punk band Uncle F****er. She is also a documentary filmmaker and is currently directing The Making of the Museum of Sex in New York City.