Clark Strand

Waking Up To The Dark, Part 2 – Ep 56 with Clark Strand

Waking Up to the Dark is a book for those of us who awaken in the night and don’t know why we can’t get back to sleep, and a book for those of us who have grown uncomfortable in real darkness—which we so rarely experience these days, since our first impulse is always to turn on the light. Most of all, it is a book for those of us who wonder about our souls: When the lights are always on, when there is always noise around us, do our souls have the nourishment they need in which to grow?

Clark Strand is the author of WAKING UP TO THE DARK: Ancient Wisdom for a Sleepless Age and co-author, with his wife Perdita Finn, of THE WAY OF THE ROSE: The Radical Path of the Divine Feminine Hidden in the Rosary. Strand has written for Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Salon, and numerous other newspaper and online venues. He is the co-founder of Way of the Rose, an international eco-feminist rosary fellowship open to people of any spiritual background. He lives in the Catskill Mountains with his wife and family.

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Clark Strand

Waking Up To The Dark, Part 1 – Ep 55 with Clark Strand

Waking Up to the Dark is a book for those of us who awaken in the night and don’t know why we can’t get back to sleep, and a book for those of us who have grown uncomfortable in real darkness—which we so rarely experience these days, since our first impulse is always to turn on the light. Most of all, it is a book for those of us who wonder about our souls: When the lights are always on, when there is always noise around us, do our souls have the nourishment they need in which to grow?

Clark Strand is the author of WAKING UP TO THE DARK: Ancient Wisdom for a Sleepless Age and co-author, with his wife Perdita Finn, of THE WAY OF THE ROSE: The Radical Path of the Divine Feminine Hidden in the Rosary. Strand has written for Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Salon, and numerous other newspaper and online venues. He is the co-founder of Way of the Rose, an international eco-feminist rosary fellowship open to people of any spiritual background. He lives in the Catskill Mountains with his wife and family.

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James T. Robilotta

Leading Imperfectly – Ep 54 with James T. Robilotta

In today’s episode, Jon interviews author James T. Robilotta about his book Leading Imperfectly: The value of being authentic for leaders, professionals and human beings.

There is a problem in today’s developing leaders-they think they need to be someone they are not to get what they want. In short, none of us is perfect, and when we pretend to be, people quit listening to us. Instead, we need to focus on trying to connect with others. Leading Imperfectly is full of examples for how to make those connections. The book is divided into a series of short, often humorous, and always-insightful essays filled with real-life stories from James’ own life. The through line for the book is the significance of practicing authentic leadership. James’ humor provides comic relief in the middle of some of the more serious stories, but the humor always makes his examples hit home and keeps his stories memorable.

James Robilotta is an author, professional speaker, coach, and entrepreneur. A few years ago James had his first book published, Leading Imperfectly: The value of being authentic for leaders, professionals, and human beings. He speaks internationally to willing and unwilling attendees about authentic leadership, giving courageous feedback and promoting memorability. His clients include American Express, General Electric (GE), and many others. His talks are infused with self-awareness and comedy stemming from his background as an improv comedian. James is also a coach. He loves helping people get out of their own way to live the lives they want.

You can also find James at LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Amazon, and Facebook.

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Grace Talusan

The Body Papers (Part 2) – Ep 53 with Grace Talusan

Jon speaks with author Grace Talusan about her book The Body Papers.

Born in the Philippines, young Grace Talusan moves with her family to a New England suburb in the 1970s. At school, she confronts racism as one of the few kids with a brown face. At home, the confusion is worse: her grandfather’s nightly visits to her room leave her hurt and terrified, and she learns to build a protective wall of silence that maps onto the larger silence practiced by her Catholic Filipino family. Talusan learns as a teenager that her family’s legal status in the country has always hung by a thread—for a time, they were “illegal.” Family, she’s told, must be put first.

The abuse and trauma Talusan suffers as a child affects all her relationships, her mental health, and her relationship with her own body. Later, she learns that her family history is threaded with violence and abuse. And she discovers another devastating family thread: cancer. In her thirties, Talusan must decide whether to undergo preventive surgeries to remove her breasts and ovaries. Despite all this, she finds love, and success as a teacher. On a fellowship, Talusan and her husband return to the Philippines, where she revisits her family’s ancestral home and tries to reclaim a lost piece of herself.

Not every family legacy is destructive. From her parents, Talusan has learned to tell stories in order to continue. The generosity of spirit and literary acuity of this debut memoir are a testament to her determination and resilience. In excavating such abuse and trauma, and supplementing her story with government documents, medical records, and family photos, Talusan gives voice to unspeakable experience, and shines a light of hope into the darkness.

Grace Talusan was born in the Philippines and raised in New England. A graduate of Tufts University and the MFA Program in Writing at UC Irvine, she is the recipient of a U.S. Fulbright Fellowship to the Philippines and an Artist Fellowship Award from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Talusan teaches the Essay Incubator at GrubStreet and at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts. She is the Fannie Hurst Writer-in-Residence at Brandeis University for 2019–2021. The Body Papers, winner of the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, is her first book.

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Grace Talusan

The Body Papers (Part 1) – Ep 52 with Grace Talusan

Jon speaks with author Grace Talusan about her book The Body Papers.

Born in the Philippines, young Grace Talusan moves with her family to a New England suburb in the 1970s. At school, she confronts racism as one of the few kids with a brown face. At home, the confusion is worse: her grandfather’s nightly visits to her room leave her hurt and terrified, and she learns to build a protective wall of silence that maps onto the larger silence practiced by her Catholic Filipino family. Talusan learns as a teenager that her family’s legal status in the country has always hung by a thread—for a time, they were “illegal.” Family, she’s told, must be put first.

The abuse and trauma Talusan suffers as a child affects all her relationships, her mental health, and her relationship with her own body. Later, she learns that her family history is threaded with violence and abuse. And she discovers another devastating family thread: cancer. In her thirties, Talusan must decide whether to undergo preventive surgeries to remove her breasts and ovaries. Despite all this, she finds love, and success as a teacher. On a fellowship, Talusan and her husband return to the Philippines, where she revisits her family’s ancestral home and tries to reclaim a lost piece of herself.

Not every family legacy is destructive. From her parents, Talusan has learned to tell stories in order to continue. The generosity of spirit and literary acuity of this debut memoir are a testament to her determination and resilience. In excavating such abuse and trauma, and supplementing her story with government documents, medical records, and family photos, Talusan gives voice to unspeakable experience, and shines a light of hope into the darkness.

Grace Talusan was born in the Philippines and raised in New England. A graduate of Tufts University and the MFA Program in Writing at UC Irvine, she is the recipient of a U.S. Fulbright Fellowship to the Philippines and an Artist Fellowship Award from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Talusan teaches the Essay Incubator at GrubStreet and at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts. She is the Fannie Hurst Writer-in-Residence at Brandeis University for 2019–2021. The Body Papers, winner of the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, is her first book.

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Lisa Gornick

The Stories of Their Lives – Ep 51 with Lisa Gornick

Jon interviews author Lisa Gornick about her newest novel, The Peacock Feast. Spanning the twentieth century and three continents, The Peacock Feast ricochets from Manhattan to San Francisco, from the decadent mansions of the Tiffany family to the death row of a Texas prison, and from the London consultation room of Anna Freud to a Mendocino commune. With psychological acuity and aching eloquence, Lisa Gornick has written a sweeping family drama, an exploration of the meaning of art and the art of dying, and an illuminating portrait of how our decisions reverberate across time and space.

Lisa Gornick is the author of Louisa Meets Bear, Tinderbox, and A Private Sorcery. Her stories and essays have appeared widely, including in The New York Times, Prairie Schooner, Real Simple, Salon, Slate, and The Sun. She holds a BA from Princeton and a PhD in clinical psychology from Yale, and is on the faculty of the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. A long-time New Yorker, she lives in Manhattan with her family.

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Rob Dunn

Why Biodiversity is Good – Ep 50 with Rob Dunn

Even when the floors are sparkling clean and the house seems silent, our domestic domain is wild beyond imagination. In Never Home Alone, biologist Rob Dunn introduces us to the nearly 200,000 species living with us in our own homes, from the Egyptian meal moths in our cupboards and camel crickets in our basements to the lactobacillus lounging on our kitchen counters. You are not alone. Yet, as we obsess over sterilizing our homes and separating our spaces from nature, we are unwittingly cultivating an entirely new playground for evolution. These changes are reshaping the organisms that live with us–prompting some to become more dangerous, while undermining those species that benefit our bodies or help us keep more threatening organisms at bay. No one who reads this engrossing, revelatory book will look at their homes in the same way again.

Rob Dunn is a professor in the department of applied ecology at North Carolina State University and in the Natural History Museum of Denmark at the University of Copenhagen. He is also the author of five books. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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Jonathan Lippincott

Robert Murray Sculpture – Ep 49 with Jonathan Lippincott

Spanning six decades, Robert Murray: Sculpture includes photographs of nearly two hundred works, seen in galleries, museums, and private collections, at public outdoor exhibitions, in his studios, and in the workshops of his fabricators. Jonathan D. Lippincott’s introduction and interview with Murray cover the sculptor’s process of working with fabricators and foundries, issues of public art and the siting of sculpture, Murray’s early years, his close friendship with Barnett Newman and relationships with other artists, his lifelong interest in flying, and more, insightfully illuminating both the work and the life of his remarkable sculptor.

Jonathan D. Lippincott is the author of Large Scale: Fabricating Sculpture in the 1960s and 1970s. Design manager at Farrar, Straus and Giroux, he also works independently as art director and designer on illustrated books about architecture, landscape, and fine art. He has written about art for The Paris Review Daily, On-Verge, and Tether: A Journal of Art, Literature, and Culture, and curated shows including the eightieth-anniversary exhibition for American Abstract Artists. He lives in New York City.

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Randi Hutter Epstein

How Hormones Control Just About Everything – Ep 48 with Randi Hutter Epstein

A guided tour through the strange science of hormones and the age-old quest to control them. Metabolism, behavior, sleep, mood swings, the immune system, fighting, fleeing, puberty, and sex: these are just a few of the things our bodies control with hormones. Armed with a healthy dose of wit and curiosity, medical journalist Randi Hutter Epstein takes us on a journey through the unusual history of these potent chemicals from a basement filled with jarred nineteenth-century brains to a twenty-first-century hormone clinic in Los Angeles. Brimming with fascinating anecdotes, illuminating new medical research, and humorous details, Aroused introduces the leading scientists who made life-changing discoveries about the hormone imbalances that ail us, as well as the charlatans who used those discoveries to peddle false remedies. Epstein exposes the humanity at the heart of hormone science with her rich cast of characters, including a 1920s doctor promoting vasectomies as a way to boost libido, a female medical student who discovered a pregnancy hormone in the 1940s, and a mother who collected pituitaries, a brain gland, from cadavers as a source of growth hormone to treat her son. Along the way, Epstein explores the functions of hormones such as leptin, oxytocin, estrogen, and testosterone, demystifying the science of endocrinology. A fascinating look at the history and science of some of medicine’s most important discoveries, Aroused reveals the shocking history of hormones through the back rooms, basements, and labs where endocrinology began.

Randi Hutter Epstein, M.D., M.P.H., the author of Aroused and Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth from the garden of eden to the sperm bank, is an adjunct professor at Columbia University and a lecturer at Yale University. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times and the Psychology Today blog, among others. She lives in New York.

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Rowan Moore Gerety

Chasing Prosperity in Mozambique (Part 2) – Ep 47 with Rowan Moore Gerety

Go Tell the Crocodiles explores the efforts of ordinary people to provide for themselves where foreign aid, the formal economy, and the government have fallen short. I tell the story of contemporary Mozambique through the stories of people on the margins, from a street kid who flouts Mozambique’s child labor laws to make his living selling muffins, to a riverside community that has lost dozens of people to crocodile attacks. Amy Wilentz captured it well in a blurb saying Mozambique is “a country that has managed the troubling feat of failing its people while showing signs of stunning economic growth.”

Rowan Moore Gerety is a journalist in New York. His writing has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, the Atlantic, and Foreign Policy, and is a longtime contributor to NPR. The author of Go Tell the Crocodiles: Chasing Prosperity in Mozambique, he studied anthropology at Columbia University and was a Fulbright fellow in Mozambique.

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