Episode 31 – Rebecca Mead in Conversation with Hanna Rosin & Margaret Talbot

Rebecca Mead (upper right), Hanna Rosin (lower left), and Margaret Talbot (lower right)

Episode 31 of the podcast brings you a reading by New Yorker Staff Writer and author Rebecca Mead discussing her book My Life in Middlemarch and engaging in a conversation about the book with the Atlantic’s Hanna Rosin and the New Yorker’s Margaret Talbot.

Rebecca Mead was a young woman in an English coastal town when she first read George Eliot’s Middlemarch, regarded by many as the greatest English novel. After gaining admission to Oxford, and moving to the United States to become a journalist, through several love affairs, then marriage and family, Mead read and reread Middlemarch. The novel, which Virginia Woolf famously described as “one of the few English novels written for grown-up people,” offered Mead something that modern life and literature did not.

In this wise and revealing work of biography, reporting, and memoir, Rebecca Mead leads us into the life that the book made for her, as well as the many lives the novel has led since it was written. Employing a structure that deftly mirrors that of the novel, My Life in Middlemarch takes the themes of Eliot’s masterpiece–the complexity of love, the meaning of marriage, the foundations of morality, and the drama of aspiration and failure–and brings them into our world. Offering both a fascinating reading of Eliot’s biography and an exploration of the way aspects of Mead’s life uncannily echo that of Eliot herself, My Life in Middlemarch is for every ardent lover of literature who cares about why we read books, and how they read us.

Hanna Rosin is the author of the recent book The End of Men. A senior editor at The Atlantic, she has written for The New YorkerThe New York TimesGQThe New Republic, and The Washington Post, among other publications.

Margaret Talbot has been a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine, where she covers culture and politics, since 2003. Her first book, The Entertainer: Movies, Magic, and my Father’s Twentieth Century, recounts the story of her father’s (stage and screen actor Lyle Talbot) exceptionally long and varied career from 1931-1960.

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Episode 26: Blake Bailey, Ruth Franklin, and D.T. Max in conversation with Margaret Talbot

Blake Bailey, Ruth Franklin, D.T. Max, and Margaret Talbot

Episode 26 features our Feb. 4th, 2014 reading: “Whose Life Is It, Anyway? The Literary Biographer’s Craft,” featuring readings by Blake Bailey, Ruth Franklin, and D.T. Max, who were led in conversation by author and New Yorker Staff Writer Margaret Talbot. The event took place at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC.

Blake Bailey is author of A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates, Cheever: A Life, and, most recently, Farther & Wilder: The Lost Weekends and Literary Dreams of Charles Jackson. Bailey’s articles and reviews have appeared in Vanity Fair, Slate, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. He lives in Virginia with his wife and daughter.

Ruth Franklin is a book critic and a contributing editor at The New Republic. Her first book, A Thousand Darknesses: Lies and Truth in Holocaust Fiction, was published by Oxford University Press last year. She is currently working on a biography of the American writer Shirley Jackson, to be published by Norton in 2016.

D.T. Max is a graduate of Harvard University and a staff writer at the New Yorker. He is the author of, Every Love Story Is A Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace and The Family That Couldn’t Sleep: A Medical Mystery. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, their two young children, and a rescued beagle who came to them named Max.

Margaret Talbot (moderator) has been a staff writer at the New Yorker magazine since 2003 and was formerly a Contributing Writer for the New York Times magazine. She has also written for the New Republic, the Atlantic, and other publications, and has been a regular on the Slate Double X and New Yorker podcasts. Her first book, The Entertainer: Movies, Magic, and my Father’s Twentieth Century, recounts the story of her father’s (stage and screen actor Lyle Talbot) exceptionally long and varied career from 1931-1960.

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April 25, 2014: Rebecca Mead in Conversation with Hanna Rosin & Margaret Talbot at Hill Center

Rebecca Mead (upper right), Hanna Rosin (lower left), and Margaret Talbot (lower right)

Hill Center & PEN/Faulkner Present:
A Reading and Conversation with Rebecca Mead
Author of My Life in Middlemarch
In Conversation with Hanna Rosin & Margaret Talbot
Friday, Apr. 25 at 7 p.m.
Free | Register Here

Rebecca Mead is a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of My Life in Middlemarch and One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding.  She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Mead was a young woman in an English coastal town when she first read George Eliot’s Middlemarch, regarded by many as the greatest English novel. After gaining admission to Oxford, and moving to the United States to become a journalist, through several love affairs, then marriage and family, Mead read and reread Middlemarch. The novel, which Virginia Woolf famously described as “one of the few English novels written for grown-up people,” offered Mead something that modern life and literature did not.

In this wise and revealing work of biography, reporting, and memoir, Rebecca Mead leads us into the life that the book made for her, as well as the many lives the novel has led since it was written. Employing a structure that deftly mirrors that of the novel, My Life in Middlemarch takes the themes of Eliot’s masterpiece–the complexity of love, the meaning of marriage, the foundations of morality, and the drama of aspiration and failure–and brings them into our world. Offering both a fascinating reading of Eliot’s biography and an exploration of the way aspects of Mead’s life uncannily echo that of Eliot herself, My Life in Middlemarch is for every ardent lover of literature who cares about why we read books, and how they read us.

Hanna Rosin is the author of the recent book The End of Men. A senior editor at The Atlantic, she has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, GQ, The New Republic, and The Washington Post, among other publications.

Margaret Talbot has been a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine, where she covers culture and politics, since 2003. Her first book, The Entertainer: Movies, Magic, and my Father’s Twentieth Century, recounts the story of her father’s (stage and screen actor Lyle Talbot) exceptionally long and varied career from 1931-1960.

Seating is on a first come, first served basis. Those who have registered for the event must be in their seats 15 minutes prior to the start time to guarantee their spot. At that time, remaining seats will be released to those who are on the wait list. Once the guests on the wait list have been seated, any walk-ins will be shown their seats.

Tickets are free and can be reserved here.

 

June 7th at Hill Center: Join us for a film screening & conversation with Margaret Talbot & Nell Minow

 Margaret Talbot (left), "3 on a Match" movie poster (center), and Nell Minow (right).

On June 7th at 7 p.m. at Hill Center, join New Yorker staff writer Margaret Talbot and movie critic Nell Minow for a screening of Three on a Match (1932), a quintessentially racy, hard-boiled movie from pre-Code Hollywood, the era when movie censorship was not yet in full force. Three on a Match follows three New York gal pals (Joan Blondell, Bette Davis and Ann Dvorak) from the Jazz Age to the Depression, as they find jobs, boyfriends, and for one of them, drugs and debauchery. Co-sponsored by PEN/Faulkner Foundation. This event is free and open to the public, and tickets are available by registering here

Margaret Talbot has been a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine, where she covers culture and politics, since 2003 and was formerly a Contributing Writer for The New York Times magazine. She has also written for The New Republic, The Atlantic, and other publications, and been a regular on the Slate Double X and New Yorker podcasts. Her first book, The Entertainer: Movies, Magic, and my Father’s Twentieth Century, recounts the story of her father’s (stage and screen actor Lyle Talbot) exceptionally long and incredibly varied career from 1931-1960. Lyle Talbot is featured in Three on a Match.

Nell Minow has been reviewing movies as The Movie Mom since 1995. She writes about movies, television, the Internet, and parenting and reviews movies each week for Beliefnet and reviews current releases and DVDs for 20 radio stations across the US and Canada. Her articles about movies and popular culture have appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, USA Today, Family Fun, Daughters, Parents, and the Chicago Tribune, and she was Yahoo’s movie critic for six years. The second edition of her book, The Movie Mom’s Guide to Family Movies, was published in 2004 and her most recent book is 2013’s 101 Must-See Movie Moments. She has been profiled in the New York Times, Economist, Forbes, Chicago Tribune, Working Woman, CFO Magazine, Ladies Home Journal, Washingtonian Magazine, and Chicago Sun Times, and has appeared as The Movie Mom on CBS This Morning, Fox Morning News, NPR, CNN, and dozens of radio stations and received Roger Ebert’s “Thumbs Up” award for her criticism.

Photo Credits (from left): Margaret Talbot (Photo by Nina Subin, courtesy of Riverhead Books) Nell Minow (Courtesy of The Corporate Library)