Observe Women’s History Month With the Free Library Podcast

By Jason F. RSS Mon, March 13, 2023

March is Women's History Month and the Free Library Author Events podcast page and YouTube channel have scores of aptly themed book talks. To start you on your way, here are TEN favorites from just this last year. Everything from politics to poetry, history to cooking, memoirs to biographies, and much more. Once you've listened to these, try compiling your own lists!

You can certainly find many more on the Free Library Podcast page or our Author Events YouTube channel.



Kali Fajardo-Anstine | Woman of Light 

In conversation with Melinna Bobadilla

Recorded June 15, 2022

A story collection featuring Latinas of Indigenous heritage experiencing the challenges of friendship and family in the American West, Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s Sabrina & Corina won an American Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award, the PEN/Bingham Prize, and The Story Prize, among other honors. Fajardo-Anstine has contributed writing to an eclectic array of periodicals and journals, including The New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, O the Oprah Magazine, and Boston Review. The 2022/2023 endowed chair of Creative Writing at Texas State University, she has earned fellowships from MacDowell, Yaddo, and Tin House. Her debut novel Woman of Light is a Western saga that spans five generations of Chicana women.

Melinna Bobadilla is an actor and activist best known for roles like ‘Santos’ on Orange is The New Black and fierce immigration attorney ‘Melinna Barragan’ on the Peabody nominated series Gentefied, both on Netflix. Melinna is a multi-hyphenate culture maker and critic, as her work aside from acting includes being an educator, public speaker, VO artist, and host/co-producer with Futuro Media’s Latino Rebels Live. Melinna is an alumni of UC Berkeley & NYU and is a proud first gen daughter of parents born in Mexico. You can find her work on Netflix, Apple TV Plus (Little America), HBO Max (For Rosa), and coming up on Showtime and Amazon Freevee.

Enjoy this episode on the Free Library Podcast or the Author Events YouTube page



Mary Ann Sieghart | The Authority Gap: Why Women Are Still Taken Less Seriously Than Men, and What We Can Do About It 

In conversation with Tracey Matisak, award winning broadcaster and journalist

Recorded February 23, 2022

In her 20 years as a columnist and assistant editor at The Times of London, Mary Ann Sieghart won a popular following for her pieces on politics, feminism, economics, and parenthood. Also a frequent broadcaster, she has presented several programs on BBC Radio 4 and hosted Newshour on the BBC World Service. Sieghart is chair of the judges for the 2022 Women’s Prize for Fiction, recently served as a visiting professor at King’s College London, chaired the Social Market Foundation think tank, and sat on several corporate, arts, and public policy boards. The Authority Gap uses data, analysis, and interviews with important women leaders, thinkers, and artists to uncover and fight the unconscious biases that continue systemic sexism.

Enjoy this episode on the Free Library Podcast or the Author Events YouTube page



Kerri K. Greenidge | The Grimkes: The Legacy of Slavery in an American Family 

In conversation with Tamala Edwards, anchor, 6ABC Action News morning edition

Recorded November 16, 2022

Historian Kerri K. Greenidge is the author of Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter, a portrait of the post-Reconstruction civil rights activist. A New York Times Critics Top Books of 2019, it won the 2020 Mark Lynton History Prize. Greenidge is a professor at Tufts University, where she is co-director of the African American Trail Project and the interim director of the American Studies program. Formerly a teacher at Boston University and the University of Massachusetts, she has conducted historical research for PBS, the Wiley-Blackwell Anthology of African American Literature, and the Oxford African American Studies Center. In her latest book, she offers a revealing counternarrative to the story of the famed abolitionist Grimke sisters that accounts for their long-ignored Black relatives.

Enjoy this episode on the Free Library Podcast or the Author Events YouTube page



Ada Limón | The Hurting Kind 

Recorded October 17, 2022

The 24th United States Poet Laureate, Ada Limón is acclaimed for her explorations of the “frightening mysteries and hopeful uncertainties of the everyday” (The New York Times Book Review). Her many poetry collections include the National Book Critics Circle Award winner The Carrying; Bright Dead Things, a finalist for the National Book Award; and Big Fake World, winner of the Pearl Poetry Prize. The host of American Public Media’s podcast The Slowdown, Limón has contributed poems to The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, and the Harvard Review, among many other publications. The Hurting Kind is a collection of verse that ponders the filaments of joy, loss, and hope that connect us all.

Enjoy this episode on the Free Library Podcast or the Author Events YouTube page



Marie Yovanovitch | Lessons From the Edge: A Memoir 

In conversation with Mitchell Orenstein, Department Chair and Professor of Russian and East European Studies, University of Pennsylvania

Recorded April 28, 2022

In 2019, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was the focus of international interest when then-President Donald Trump and his allies targeted Yovanovitch amidst their efforts to pressure Ukrainian officials to investigate Joe Biden’s family. This scandal led to the first impeachment proceedings against Trump, a major aspect of which was Yovanovitch’s impassioned and steadfast congressional testimony. The child of parents who fled Nazi and Soviet atrocities, she has served in numerous senior State Department positions, including U.S. ambassador to Armenia, U.S. ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, under secretary of state for political affairs, and principal deputy assistant secretary for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. Yovanovitch retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in 2020 and is currently a diplomat in residence at Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. Lessons from the Edge uses experiences from her life and career to offer lessons about the ways in which corruption can endanger democracy.

Enjoy this episode on the Free Library Podcast or the Author Events YouTube page



Chloé Cooper Jones | Easy Beauty: A Memoir 

In conversation with Isaac Fitzgerald

Recorded May 12, 2022

Freelance journalist Chloé Cooper Jones was a 2020 Pulitzer Prize finalist in feature writing for “Fearing for His Life,” a profile of the man who filmed NYPD officers killing Eric Garner. Also a philosophy professor, she has published articles in a wide array of periodicals, including The Believer, GQ, Vice, and New York magazine. She is the recipient of the 2020 Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant and the 2021 Howard Foundation Grant from Brown University, and her work has been anthologized in The Best American Travel Writing and The Best American Sports Writing. A memoir about motherhood, disability, and underlying societal expectations, Easy Beauty follows Jones’s painful literal and figurative worldwide journeys to reclaim spaces she’d been denied.

Isaac Fitzgerald appears frequently on The Today Show and is the author of the bestselling children’s book How to Be a Pirate as well as the co-author of Pen & Ink: Tattoos and the Stories Behind Them and Knives & Ink: Chefs and the Stories Behind Their Tattoos (winner of an IACP Award). His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, The Boston Globe and numerous other publications. His debut memoir, Dirtbag, Massachusetts, is forthcoming in July, 2022. He lives in Brooklyn.

Enjoy this episode on the Free Library Podcast or the Author Events YouTube page



Stacy Schiff | The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams 

In conversation with award-winning journalist and broadcaster Tracey Matisak

Recorded October 26, 2022

Acclaimed for her “balanced, perceptive, thoroughly researched and exceptionally well written” (The New Yorker) nonfiction portraits of historical figures, Stacy Schiff won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for her biography Vera (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov), a narrative of the 52-year marriage of the legendary writer and his even more vivid wife. She is also the author of A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America; the Pulitzer Prize finalist Saint-Exupéry; Cleopatra: A Life; and The Witches: Salem, 1692. Her other honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Schiff’s latest book examines Samuel Adams’ transformation from the idle son of a wealthy U.S. colonial family to one of the Revolutionary War’s significant firebrands.

Enjoy this episode on the Free Library Podcast or the Author Events YouTube page



Deb Perelman | Smitten Kitchen Keepers: New Classics for Your Forever Files: A Cookbook 

In conversation with Dena Heilik, head of Philbrick Hall, the Fiction and Movie department at Parkway Central. She also cohosts a monthly library Cookbook Club that has been running continuously for six years.

Recorded December 6, 2022

Receiving praise from outlets like The New York Times and NPR, and counting Martha Stewart and Rachael Ray among her many fans, self-taught home chef Deb Perelman is the creator of smittenkitchen.com, a candid, can-do, go-to blog for those who want to make and eat good food without using complicated methods or expensive ingredients. Adapted from the website, her bestselling The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook won the IACP Julia Child Award and was a Cooking Light Top 100 Cookbook of the Last 25 Years recipient. Perelman followed up this success with Smitten Kitchen Every Day, a 100-recipe guide for delicious and easy-to-make food. In her long-awaited, follow-up cookbook to these two bestsellers, Perelman serves up recipes for cakes, quiches, pastas, and dozens of other dishes intended to become a part of the readers’ every day cooking.

Enjoy this episode on the Free Library Podcast or the Author Events YouTube page



Ilyon Woo | Master Slave Husband Wife: An Epic Journey from Slavery to Freedom 

In conversation with Imani Perry

Recorded January 19, 2023

Ilyon Woo is the author of The Great Divorce, the “lively, well-written, and engrossing tale” (The New York Times Book Review) of a young mother’s five-year fight against her husband, the Shakers religious sect, and the norms of 19th century United States for her and her children’s freedom. The recipient of a Whiting Creative Nonfiction Writing Grant and of fellowships from the American Antiquarian Society and the National Endowment for the Humanities, Woo has contributed writing to The Wall Street Journal and The Boston Globe. Her latest book recounts the remarkable true story of an enslaved husband and wife who posed as master and slave while trekking more than a 1,000 miles to freedom in mid-19th century United States.

Imani Perry won the 2022 National Book Award for nonfiction for South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation. Her other books include, Vexy Thing: On Gender and Liberation, Breathe: A Letter to My Sons, and Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry. Perry is the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies and faculty associate in the Program in Law and Public Affairs and Gender and Sexuality Studies at Princeton University.

Enjoy this episode on the Free Library Podcast or the Author Events YouTube page



Sadeqa Johnson | The House of Eve 

In conversation with Jennifer Weiner

Recorded February 9, 2023

Acclaimed for their explorations of marital fidelity, friendship, and the difficulties of connecting in modern life, Sadeqa Johnson’s novels include And Then There Was Me, Second House from the Corner, and Yellow Wife, the harrowing tale of an enslaved woman forced to barter love and freedom while living in one of the Antebellum South’s most infamous slave jails. A Kimbilio Fellow, former board member of the James River Writers, and a Tall Poppy Writer, she is the recipient of the National Book Club Award, the Phillis Wheatley Award, and the USA Best Book Award for best fiction, among other honors. In The House of Eve, Johnson follows two 1950s-era young Black women whose lives collide amidst taboo love affairs, ambition, and pregnancy.

“One of the biggest names in popular fiction” (USA Today), Jennifer Weiner is the beloved number-one New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including Good in Bed, All Fall Down, Mrs. Everything, and In Her Shoes. She is also the writer of two YA books about a diminutive Bigfoot and an essay collection titled Hungry Heart, an intimate and honest meditation on yearning, fulfillment, and her many identities.

Enjoy this episode on the Free Library Podcast or the Author Events YouTube page

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