LIVE from NYPL: Past Programs

Welcome to the LIVE from NYPL archive. We encourage you to explore our vast library of past programs dating back to 2005.

Visit the LIVE from NYPL homepage to check out upcoming events and connect with us.

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Sarah Vowell

Wednesday, March 30, 2005, 6 PM

Author, social observer, and contributor to NPR's ?This American Life,? Sarah Vowell talks to the NYPL audience. Described as a Madonna of Americana by the LA Times, Vowell is a brilliant critic and storyteller. She also voiced the character of Violet Parr for the recent smash hit film The Incredibles.

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Bernard-Henri Lévy & David Brooks: A Conversation "A Frenchman in America: In the Footsteps of Alexis de Tocqueville"

Wednesday, April 6, 2005, 7 PM

How in the world does America look to foreign eyes? Over the past year, preeminent French philosopher and writer Bernard-Henri Lévy has been travelling through America, visiting its prisons and mega-churches, its high-rises and military facilities, its brothels and malls. Starting in May, 2005, and for much of this year, The Atlantic Monthly will record his myriad observations, establishing a cultural map of America at the dawn of the twenty-first century. In early 2006, Random House will publish the entire series as a book featuring previously unpublished chapters.

On April 

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WHO OWNS CULTURE? LIVE from the NYPL and Wired magazine present: Jeff Tweedy + Lawrence Lessig in conversation with Steven Johnson

Thursday, April 7, 2005, 7 PM

Wilco guitarist and frontman Jeff Tweedy and Stanford Law School professor Lawrence Lessig explore the artistic, commercial and legal issues that surround the Internet-enabled freeing of culture. Lessig is the author of Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity. Steven Johnson, Wired contributing editor and author of the forthcoming Everything Bad Is Good For You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter, will moderate the discussion.

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Come to Crumbland R. Crumb & Robert Hughes: A Conversation

Thursday, April 14, 2005, 7 PM

Robert Crumb's longstanding and eye-catching career in the graphic arts is celebrated as the bad boy cartoonist makes his only scheduled U.S. appearance at The New York Public Library. The creator of Fritz the Cat, Zap Comix, and Mr. Natural discusses how he went from underground, X-rated artist to cultural icon. Robert Hughes, famous both as an art critic for Time magazine and as author of The Shock of the New and The Epic History of Art in America, will probe the famous, and very private, artist. This event will launch his new book from MQ Publications, The R. Crumb Handbook.

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Paul Auster and Chico Buarque PEN World Voices: The New York Festival of International Literature

Saturday, April 16, 2005, 2 PM

World renowned singer and composer, CHICO BUARQUE, who defined much of Brazilian culture for the past four decades, comes to the New York Public Library to be interviewed by the American writer PAUL AUSTER. This event is the kick-off for the PEN World Voices: The New York Festival of International Literature. This event is co-sponsored by LIVE from the NYPL.

About Paul Auster:

Paul Auster is the author of novels, screenplays, essays, and books of poetry. His most recent novel is Oracle Night. His books The Book of Illusions and Timbuktu were national best-sellers, as was I 

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Confronting the Worst: Writing and Catastrophe PEN World Voices: The New York Festival of International Literature

Saturday, April 16, 2005, 4 PM

Svetlana Alexievich, François Bizot, Carolin Emcke, Philip Gourevitch, Ryszard Kapuscinski, Elena Poniatowska; moderated by Susie Linfield

Some of the great writers of the late twentieth century (and the early twenty-first) have documented extremities of human suffering, including war, torture, genocide, and famine. What is the writer's role as documentarian, scourge to conscience and action, and moral witness? How has that role been affected by changing technologies, particularly photo- and video-journalism and the Internet? A diverse group of writers who have made 

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Rushdie, Auster, Atwood, Magris and Muñoz Molina Don Quixote at 400: A Tribute PEN World Voices: The New York Festival of International Literature

Saturday, April 16, 2005, 7:30 PM

Margaret Atwood, Paul Auster, Assia Djebar, Claudio Magris, Norman Manea, Antonio Muñoz Molina, Laura Restrepo and introduced by Salman Rushdie.

An international and illustrious group of today's literary giants celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Cervantes masterpiece Don Quixote.

First published in 1605, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra's novel about a man under the spell of fiction has been casting its own spell on readers everywhere for four centuries. The story of Don Quixote has become a kind of natural resource, not only for writers but also for filmmakers, 

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Derek Walcott and Glyn Maxwell Poetry and Power

Tuesday, April 26, 2005, 7 PM

Dramatist and poet Derek Walcott, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992, discusses translation and the postcolonial mind with one of Walcott's former students, Glyn Maxwell, a writer and the poetry editor of The New Republic.

Derek Walcott was born in 1930 in the town of Castries in Saint Lucia, one of the Windward Islands in the Lesser Antilles. The experience of growing up on the isolated volcanic island, an ex-British colony, has had a strong influence on Walcott's life and work. After studying at St. Mary's College in his native island and at the University of the 

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The Moth with Jonathan Ames Between the Covers

Wednesday, April 27, 2005, 6:30 PM

In the beginning, there was the Word... For all those who worship at the altar of language; for those whose daily divinities are measured in chapters, not chants; we invite you to the High Holy Temple of Text, The New York Public Library, to celebrate the nourishment of the written word. 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. Five Moth storytellers will explore whether it is we who shape the words, or the words that mystically shape 

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Eric Bogosian

Wednesday, May 4, 2005, 9 PM

Come to our first Late Night at the NYPL: A Conversation with Eric Bogosian & Co.

"A New Literacy"

Has literature become an old-fashioned (and worn-out) medium? Should writers still be considered "authors?" Or are they simply worker bees participating in a much larger context? Is everything written simply as a pretext for the future screenplay? Is there such a thing as point of view and can it still be transmitted to an audience via prose and dramatic writing? Where does the enthusiasm for the written word lie today? Comic books? Hip-hop lyrics? In 

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Miss Manners (Judith Martin) & Bob Morris Let's Put Manners on You

Tuesday, May 10, 2005, 7 PM

Judith Martin (a.k.a. Miss Manners) discusses modern etiquette?her "freshly updated" Miss Manner's Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior has just been re-issued by Norton?with Bob Morris, the edgy, hardboiled writer and novelist regularly published in The New York Times Style pages. Expect Martin and Morris to debate about the refined, the uncouth and more.

About Judith Martin:

Widely admired and slightly feared "Miss Manners" is America's leading etiquette expert, reaches 35.8 million readers with "Miss Manners" columns syndicated in 

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A Conversation About The Art Of Conversation

Wednesday, May 11, 2005, 7 PM

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, between the reign of Louis XIII and the Revolution, the French nobility of the "ancien regime" developed an art of sociability in which new forms of conversation were central. Four centuries separate us from this period. Conversation isn't what is used to be and yet, writes Benedetta Craveri, "What could be more necessary in democratic societies than conversation consisting of an exchange in which participants are considered equal, where the pursuit of truth is combined with respect for others' opinions, and whose ultimate goal is 

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In the Shadow of Liberty: Emma Lazarus Revisited

Tuesday, May 17, 2005, 7 PM

A conversation with John Hollander and Esther Schor The 2005 Joy Ungerleider Lecture

Emma Lazarus, poet, radical ideologue of Jewish national destiny, and fifth-generation New Yorker, was the first American-Jewish writer to win international fame. Trumpeted during her life by Emerson, Turgenev, and Browning, with her death in 1887, at age 38, everything else she ever did was eclipsed by just a few words very prominently displayed-engraved on the base of the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor. As she became world-famous for her "huddled masses," the rest of her work 

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Isabel Allende & Elissa Schappell Unmask ZORRO!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005, 7 PM

"Who was Zorro, the masked avenger? Why is he beloved by everybody?especially young women?and why is he still relevant today? Please join Zorro, Elissa Schappell and me for an evening of literature, swashbuckling and fun!" --Isabel Allende

About Isabel Allende:

In Zorro, Isabel Allende offers a fresh, wholly original take on the legendary masked hero of the Spanish New World examining the duality of a man who inhabits two worlds. She has also completed her trilogy for younger readers begun in City of the Beasts, and followed by last year's Kingdom of the Golden 

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Art as Unauthorized Autobiography A Conversation with Richard Dreyfuss & Frederic Morton moderated by David Margolick

Thursday, May 26, 2005, 7 PM

Richard Dreyfuss won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in "The Goodbye Girl" at age 29 and later was nominated for his role in "Mr. Holland's Opus." Much of his life has been spent as a political and social activist. He was recently appointed to the Council on Foreign Relations.

Frederic Morton is a two-time National Book Award finalist for The Rothschilds and A Nervous Splendor. Now, in his first book in over fifteen years, Morton writes about his own departure from Vienna and his subsequent life in America with Runaway Waltz: A Memoir from 

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The Question Of Torture

Wednesday, June 1, 2005, 7 PM
There has been much discussion about the treatment of prisoners and the use of torture since the revelation of prisoner abuse in Iraq, Guantanamo Bay, and Afghanistan. Panelists will address issues such as what is torture and are any measures to coerce information from a reluctant captive ever appropriate? What "laws" should govern the treatment of captives? To what extent is torture, especially during war, inevitable? And if it is inevitable, how can a nation control it? A discussion moderated by Aryeh Neier, president of the Open Society Institute and founder of Human Rights Watch with: Read More ›

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

Wednesday, June 15, 2005, 6:30 PM

THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT. 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 

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Harold Bloom & Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass

Monday, September 12, 2005, 7 PM

OPENING NIGHT: Literary critic extraordinaire Harold Bloom at 75 and Leaves of Grass at 150. A double birthday celebration with Bloom paying tribute to the poet Walt Whitman for "the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America has yet contributed" (in the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson). Joining him are actors Michael Stuhlbarg (Tony nomination for Pillowman) and Michael Rogers who will read selected stanzas from Song of Myself. Karin Coonrod will direct the event.

About Harold Bloom:

Harold Bloom is Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University, 

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WOMEN OF MYSTERY: Nancy Drew Revisited. A Conversation with Melanie Rehak and Laura Lippman with moderator David Ferriero

Wednesday, September 14, 2005, 7 PM

A look at Nancy Drew and the whole idea of female investigators with Cullman Center Fellow Melanie Rehak, author of Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her, and Laura Lippman, prize-winning author of the Tess Monaghan mystery series and To The Power of Three. David Ferriero, the Andrew W. Mellon Director and Chief Executive of the Research Libraries, NYPL, will moderate. Co-presented with The Dorothy & Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars & Writers.

About Melanie Rehak: Melanie Rehak was a 2003-2004 Mel and Lois Tukman Fellow at the New York Public Library's 

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A Celebration of The Paris Review : Salman Rushdie, Philip Gourevitch and Miranda July with The Hungry March Band

Saturday, September 17, 2005, 7 PM

Come celebrate the roll-out of the first issue! It's taller, it's trimmer, its shoulders are broader-- The Paris Review , long the heavyweight champion of literary magazines, has been redesigned and revitalized for the new century under the editorship of Philip Gourevitch. Gourevitch will join LIVE from the NYPL for an evening of conversation with, and reading by, Salman Rushdie, subject of the Art of Fiction interview in the current issue of The Paris Review, and Miranda July, contributor to The Paris Review Book of People with Problems published by Picador.

And in keeping with 

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THE PATRIOT ACT: Richard Posner and Geoffrey Stone

Tuesday, September 20, 2005, 7 PM

Richard Posner, Judge at the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and Geoffrey Stone, Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School and expert on constitutional law, debate the renewal of the Patriot Act. Posner and Stone will discuss the Patriot Act, the Bush administration's surveillance of library records and its investigation of political and religious organizations, and the question whether a democracy must tolerate speech that glorifies and purports to justify terrorism.

About Richard Posner:

Richard Posner is a graduate of Harvard Law School and lectures 

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Voices of A People's History of the United States: Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove

Wednesday, September 21, 2005, 7 PM

An evening of dramatic readings from Voices of a People's History of the United States, edited by Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove. Voices is the long-awaited primary-source companion volume to Zinn's best-selling A People's History of the United States. It features the words of rebels, dissenters, and visionaries from our past -- and present. Featuring Howard Zinn (narrator) and Anthony Arnove (narrator), with actors Wally Shawn, Kerry Washington, Brian Jones and Christina Kirk and others to be announced!

About Howard Zinn:

Howard Zinn is a historian, playwright, and social 

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ON VULGARITY: Adam Gopnik and Pascal Bruckner

Thursday, September 22, 2005, 7 PM

In the indictment brought against modernity, "the French philosopher and novelist Pascal Bruckner writes," the presence of vulgarity has cropped up time and again, having spread together with social mobility and the ideas of egalitarianism -- a sign of the times when hierarchies are supposedly abolished and everyone is given equal opportunities, including culturally."

Bruckner will talk about vulgarity as a strategy of social advancement, and, paradoxically, as a potential strategy of aesthetic achievement, emphasizing the power of the repressed and the previously 

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JOE LOUIS vs MAX SCHMELING: How A Two-Minute Boxing Event Altered History A Conversation with David Margolick and Jeremy Schaap

Monday, September 26, 2005, 7 PM

Perhaps no moment in the history of sports was followed so intensely, and by so many people in so many places, as the two minutes and four seconds Joe Louis-Max Schmeling fight on June 22, 1938. The largest radio audience ever gathered, and gasped, as heavyweight champion Louis avenged his loss to the German Schmeling two years earlier, for far more than sports was at stake; it was black versus white, American versus German and, to millions of people on the eve of World War II and the Holocaust, freedom versus fascism. To the Nazis, Schmeling embodied a resurgent Germany, along with Aryan 

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