This week I’m talking to Brandi Carlile, singer, songwriter, performer, producer, activist, and author of a new memoir, Broken Horses. We talk about everything from the politics of middle school lunch tables, to the pursuit of complicated faith, to the tyranny of fitted sheets. This is a conversation between two people, meeting for the first time, and yet, somehow, it feels like we’ve been friends forever.
Hanif Abdurraqib is a beautiful person and an incredible writer, poet, essayist, and cultural critic. His new book, A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance, took my breath away. Hanif’s ability to straddle the tension of grief and gratitude, beauty and horror, mourning and jubilation is where the miracle and the genius happen.
This week I’m talking to Dr. Angus Fletcher, professor and author of Wonderworks: The 25 Most Powerful Inventions in the History of Literature, about the science behind the great writings of authors across time–from Greek tragedies, to Maya Angelou, to Tina Fey. We look at how the technology of literature can nurture democracy, power personal growth, and improve our mental health and well-being. Weaving together library and laboratory research, we discuss how literature actually changes who we are, helps us understand who we are, and teaches us how to think.
In this episode, I talk to Dr. Yaba Blay about her new book, One Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race. It’s an honest and raw conversation about identity, grief, transformation, history, colorism, and taking responsibility for change. I continue to reflect on this quote from Dr. Blay: “Identity is nuanced. It’s complicated. I think it’s hard to define. Sometimes I think it’s dangerous to define, depending upon who’s doing the defining.”
This week, I’m talking to clinical psychologist and author Dr. Edith Eger about her books, The Choice and The Gift. Dr. Eger is a Holocaust survivor who has dedicated her career to helping us understand trauma, anger, resilience, and the power of choosing how we see ourselves and how we resist the labels that people put on us.
In this episode, I’m talking with Jennifer Rudolph Walsh and Ashley C. Ford about their work, their lives, and the new anthology Hungry Hearts, a collection of intimate stories and essays on courage, desire, and belonging. I just love talking to the storytellers and magic-makers!
A conversation with two unforgettable creators: Debbie Millman and Roxane Gay. Debbie is a designer, author, educator, and the host of the award-winning podcast Design Matters; and Roxane is a writer, editor, cultural critic, and co-host of the podcast Hear to Slay. Roxane and Debbie are newlyweds, and we talk about their love story, creativity, and the power of a dinner party. Their words and art have been very influential in my life – talking to them about the ins-and-outs of ordinary life is, in itself, extraordinary.
Drs. Julie and John Gottman have taken more than 40 years of breakthrough research and written or co-written more than 40 books on marital stability, divorce prediction, and how science can help people have successful, loving relationships. We talk about the toll the pandemic has taken on couples, their work in the context of current events, and practical shifts that can help us take care of each other.
In this episode, I talk with philanthropist and global advocate for women and girls, Melinda Gates. We talk about empathy, the power of story, and about her book, The Moment of Lift – a clear and powerful call to action for gender equity.