exclusives | June 30, 2016

Lavin Weekly #44: Crabapple, Bolick, & Packer

1. Molly Crabapple Warns Against a Narrowing of the Minds 


Writing for The Guardian, speaker Molly Crabapple cautions against the growing intolerance and “exclusionary tribalism” exemplified by Trump supporters, pro-Brexit xenophobes, and (at its extreme) terrorist groups like ISIS. “What can guide us through this cesspit? Cosmopolitanism. Art. Solidarity. Universal ethics. These might seem like fragile concepts, but they are ones that people have died for,” she says, making note of two recent examples: British MP Jo Cox and Pakistani musician Amjad Sabri, both killed for defending their beliefs. Crabapple is a firm believer in the power of art to speak to larger issues, and to contribute meaningfully to wider political discourse—a principle that shines through in her art, writing, and keynotes. 


2. Put a Ring on It? The Believer Profiles Spinster Author Kate Bolick 

Author Kate Bolick has been interviewed at length in literary magazine The Believer. Bolick shot into prominence with her widely read Atlantic piece “All the Single Ladies,” which put modern notions of marriage and romance under the microscope, and furthered the debate with her book Spinster. “With Spinster,” she says, “I wanted to show the long arc of my own thinking about the topic, the lurching forward and stumbling backward, the doubt and unsureness, along with the glimmers of revelation and so forth, as it felt a more accurate representation of who I am. I wanted to lend my own, non-polemical voice to the chorus and hopefully reach those who, like me, want to think and talk about these ideas, but in a more personal, reflective way.” The interview spans Bolick’s original article, her book, and her newest project, an annual literary interview series hosted at Edith Wharton’s country house in Lenox, MA. To hear Bolick’s keynote based around Spinster, or her new talk on marketing to the single crowd, contact us today. 


3. “Ghani is Afghanistan’s Jimmy Carter”: George Packer in The New Yorker 


Afghan president Ashraf Ghani is a curious figure: an anthropologist by trade, an expert on failed states, a cancer survivor, and “a visionary technocrat who thinks twenty years ahead.” In a recent New Yorker piece, politics speaker George Packer profiles the intriguing Ghani, whose term began two years ago and ends in 2019, though many expect him to bow out before then. Despite Ghani’s ambitious vision to save a nation that has been embroiled in war since 1979, Kabul elites call him “an arrogant micromanager and say that he has no close friends, no feel for politics—that he is the leader of a country that exists only in his own mind. Ghani is Afghanistan’s Jimmy Carter.” Packer’s profile is extensive and fascinating, the product of a veteran writer with an unrivaled grasp of global political affairs. For The New Yorker, Packer has covered the Iraq War, civil unrest in Ivory Coast, atrocities in Sierra Leone, and Nigeria’s growing megacity, Lagos. His most recent book, The Unwinding (a New York Times bestseller and winner of the National Book Award), explores the collapse of the American Dream. 


To hire Molly Crabapple, Kate Bolick, or George Packer as the speaker for your next event or conference, contact The Lavin Agency speakers bureau.

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