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First up, on Monday, March 9, we’re hosting an event with illustrator, writer, artist, and designer Maira Kalman. You might know her best as the designer of several New Yorker covers, but she’s also displayed her works in dozens of galleries and has created fabric and accessories for the likes of Isaac Mizrahi and Kate Spade. She visits Philly with her new book, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas Illustrated. Contrary to its title, it was actually written in the voice of the Parisian avant-garde figure by her partner, Gertrude Stein. Needless to say, it’s a bit cheeky.
And check out this excerpt from Toklas’ cookbook—once you’ve heard her read a recipe, you really won’t want to hear anyone but her read recipes again!
Next up, on Thursday, March 12, we’re hosting activist, critic, historian, and author Rebecca Solnit and her new book Recollections of My Nonexistence, a memoir of her life as a young artist set against the backdrop of San Francisco’s 1980s punk rock scene. She has earned a Guggenheim fellowship, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and various other honors for her books, which include Men Explain Things to Me, A Field Guide to Getting Lost, and River of Shadows, a look at pioneering photographer Eadweard Muybridge. Right now we’re even more intrigued by her atlases. A reinvention of the conventional city map, these atlases chart the contradictive, layered, sometimes-hidden aspects of New Orleans, San Francisco, and New York. You can read more about these artistic atlases via National Geographic and see some examples below.
And third, on Thursday, March 19, we’re hosting Katie Roiphe who will discuss her new book The Power Notebooks. A renowned feminist author and journalist, she is perhaps best known for In Praise of Messy Lives, an essay collection that explores a wide swath of Western culture. In her latest work, Roiphe interweaves her own personal history with that of female writers such as Sylvia Plath and Simone de Beauvoir in order to examine the nature of control and female subjugation. In a recent New York Times review, Jennifer Szalai offers a thoughtful, challenging, and sometimes critical review. No doubt, this should be an interesting discussion on our stage. This event is free and open to the public.
And apropos of nothing, except that it serves as an interesting time capsule, addressing our current discussion about feminism and the #Metoo movement (there’s an incredible irony that Charlie Rose is the moderator here), and also features Christopher Hitchens—here’s a panel discussion Roiphe participated in back in 1994.