Welcome to the
Thank you to all those who joined us!
The 2020 Fall Virtual Series registration is open here.
Past Virtual Events
Thursday, June 11 • 7 pm EST
with guest host Susan Odgers, columnist and professor at Northwestern Michigan College
Elaine Weiss has worked as a Washington D.C. correspondent, congressional aide and speechwriter, magazine editor and university journalism instructor. Her new book, The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote, is soon to be a major TV event. Weiss describes the dramatic battle to ratify the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote 100 years ago. The key players converge in Tennessee “in a boiling hot summer for a vicious face-off replete with dirty tricks, betrayals and bribes, bigotry, Jack Daniel’s, and the Bible. “
“The book grippingly recounts the twists and reversals that took place in the weeks leading up to the suffrage victory, but it is even more thrilling in its presentation of ideas — both those of the suffragists and those of the people who opposed them.”
~The New Yorker
Thursday, June 25 • 7 pm EST
William Kent Krueger
with guest host to be announced
William Kent Krueger is best known for his series of novels with Sheriff Cork O’Connor, who is part Irish and part Ojibwe. He is also author of three stand-alone novels, including Ordinary Grace, awarded the Edgar award and This Tender Land, which is winning critical acclaim. The novel begins at the Lincoln School, described as “a pitiless place where hundreds of Native American children, forcibly separated from their parents, are sent to be educated.” Four of the orphans escape and begin a journey down the Mississippi River in search of a real home.
Krueger grew up in Oregon, briefly attended Stanford University before he was kicked out for radical activities. After trying out different jobs—logging, constructoin and freelance writing—he became a researcher of child development at the University of Minnesota. He is now a full-time author with 18 Cork O’Connor mysteries and three standalone books, including the Edgar-winning Ordinary Grace and his latest, This Tender Land.
“A book you won’t own. It will own you. Long, sprawling, and utterly captivating, readers will eat up every delicious word of it.”
~ New York Journal of Books
Sunday, July 5 • 7:00 pm EST
with Guest Host Rochelle Riley, executive director of Arts, Culture and Entertainment for the City of Detroit
Frederick Douglass, an escaped slave, went on to become an outspoken and widely respected orator, writer and supporter of not just the abolition of slavery, but equal rights for all people.
Never has a biography been more relevant. In this upcoming conversation, biographer David Blight will talk about the need to harness the nation’s tremendous moral outrage over racial injustice into votes and political action.
He recently wrote in The Atlantic that the 1850s provide poignant lessons.
“That decade was the only time in our history when the nation dissolved, militarized, and ultimately went to war over competing visions of the future. It offers a stark warning about what can happen when political and legal institutions lose their hold on public trust and collapse.”
Blight is the Sterling Professor of American History at Yale University and director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Aboltion at Yale.
Tuesday, July 14 • 7:00 pm EST
with guest host Jeremy Chamberlain, Professor of Literature and Writing at the University of Michigan, Author and Publisher of the Fiction Writers Review
Miles Harvey’s The King of Confidence is the riveting story of James Strang, the self-proclaimed divine king of earth, heaven — and Beaver Island. At one point, Strang controlled a quarter of the state of Michigan. He was assassinated in 1856 to almost no one’s dismay. Harvey is the author of the national and international bestseller The Island of Lost Maps and the recipient of a Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellowship at the University of Michigan. He teaches creative writing at DePaul University.
Miles Harvey is the author of the national and international bestseller The Island of Lost Maps and the recipient of a Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellowship at the University of Michigan. His book Painter in a Savage Land was named a Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year and a Booklist Editors’ Choice. He teaches creative writing at DePaul University in Chicago, where he is a founding editor of Big Shoulders Books.
Thursday, July 23 • 7:00 pm EST
with guest host Doug Stanton, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Horse Soldiers
Brad Thor is the No. 1 New York Times-bestselling author of 20 thrillers, including Backlash and Spymaster. He has served as a member of the Department of Homeland Security’s Analytic Red Cell Unit and, in 2008, he shadowed a Black Ops team in Afghanistan to research his thriller, The Apostle. In his new book, Near Dark, coming July 21, the world’s largest bounty has just been placed upon America’s top spy.
“An exquisitely tailored and brilliantly realized action tale … as close to perfect as a thriller can be.”
~ Providence Journal on Backlash
Sunday, August 9 • 7:00 pm EST
with guest host Cynthia Canty, former host of Stateside Michigan, public radio’s source of Michigan news.
Michigan writer Karen Dionne is the USA Today and international bestselling author of The Marsh King’s Daughter. Her new book, The Wicked Sister, is another psychological thriller set in the Upper Peninsula with a psychopathic youngster and her sister at its center.
Dionne has been a longtime member of the writing community, has organized writers conferences and is on the board of directors of the International Thriller Writers.
“Massively thrilling and utterly unputdownable. Dionne is proving to be one of the finest suspense writers working today.”
Sunday, August 16 • 7 pm EST
with guest host Elon Cameron, co-founder of UpNorth Pride, scholar of Chinese medicine, acupuncturist and writer
Molly Wizenberg has written the best-selling memoir, The Fixed Stars, an electrifying memoir exploring questions about desire, identity, and the limits and possibilities of family.
Her two previous bestselling memoirs include A Homemade Life and Delancey. She was also, for 15 years, the voice behind the James Beard Award-winning blog Orangette. With author Matthew Amster-Burton, she co-hosts the hit food-and-comedy podcast Spilled Milk—now celebrating ten years of bad jokes. And, once upon a time, she co-founded two restaurants in Seattle, where she now lives.
A Special Fundraiser for the National Writers Series
Celebrating 10 Years of Great Conversations
Sunday, August 23 • 7 pm EST
with guesthost Doug Stanton
Join us for our virtual 10th Anniversary Celebration with Susan Goldberg.
As editor-in-chief of National Geographic Magazine, Susan Goldberg shares the world’s most compelling stories with millions of readers from across the globe. We are looking forward to hearing her take on the pandemic and the next crisis the world will surely face—climate change.
Goldberg is the first woman to edit the magazine since it began publishing in 1888. Before joining National Geographic, Goldberg worked at Bloomberg and USA Today. She also worked for the Detroit Free Press and played a key role in the coverage of the Loma Priet earthquake by the San Jose Mercury News, which went on to win a Pulitzer. She grew up in Ann Arbor.
Under Goldberg’s leadership, National Geographic won a National Magazine Award for best website and the George Polk Award for reporting. Goldberg received the 2015 Exceptional Woman in Publishing Award. In 2017 the Washingtonian Magazine selected Goldberg as one of Washington’s most powerful women. She is a board member of The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.
Born in Ann Arbor, she is a proud Spartan and now lives in Washington D.C., where she serves on the board of the National Museum for Women in the Arts.