• written-arts-2

Literature 

Lavin’s literary speakers—legends and next-wave authors alike—can conjure entire worlds with just language and imagination. But for all their skill on the page, each, importantly, is also an enlivening public speaker.

 
13
Literature
Speakers
Sort By:
James Ellroy

Acclaimed Author of The Black Dahlia, L.A. Confidential, American Tabloid, Perfidia, and This Storm

Self-described as the “Demon Dog” of American literature, James Ellroy is best known as the mind behind such legendary books as L.A. Confidential, The Black Dahlia, American Tabloid, and Perfidia. An unmatched raconteur, Ellroy’s talks explore his vision of California noir—in presentations that are bold, reflective, and hilarious. 
 
Margaret Atwood

Booker Prize-Winning Author of over 50 Books, Including The Handmaid's Tale, and its Recordbreaking Sequel, The Testaments

Margaret Atwood has long been a literary titan, but “current events have polished the oracular sheen of her reputation,” says The New Yorker. With her 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale adapted into an eleven-time Emmy Award-winning television series, plus The Testaments, its much-anticipated sequel set for a fall release, Atwood’s sharp eye is more necessary—and prescient—than ever. 
 
Isabel Allende

Author of The House of the Spirits and In the Midst of Winter

A literary legend, a social activist, and a feminist icon, Isabel Allende has sold over 70 million books in over 40 languages. The massive audiences who laugh, and occasionally cry, at her public talks are a testament to her boldly imaginative works, which have brought together generations of readers.
 
Teju Cole

Professor of Creative Writing at Harvard | Author of Blind Spot | Former Photography Critic for NYT Magazine

A prodigious novelist, critic, and photographer, Teju Cole was born in the US and raised in Nigeria—a biographical fact that informs much of his work. His first novel, Open City, won the PEN/Hemingway Award. His second, Every Day Is for the Thief, was named a Book of the Year by The New York Times.
 
Angie Thomas

#1 New York Times Bestselling Author of On the Come Up and The Hate U Give

Angie Thomas’ debut novel, The Hate U Give, has spent more than two years on The New York Times bestseller list, and her sophomore novel, On the Come Up is keeping it good company. Thomas’ keynotes resonate with the same authenticity, insight, and hope that make her writing so powerful, and give context and background to the culture, politics, and movement that inspired it. 
 
Gabby Rivera

Author of Juliet Takes a Breath and the Marvel Comic Series America

Gabby Rivera is an outgoing, outspoken creator invested in fostering better dialogue, inspiring radical creativity, and improving our most vulnerable communities. The author of Juliet Takes a Breath, she’s also the writer of the Marvel series America—featuring the first queer, Latinx teen-girl superhero, ever—that’s catching headlines from The New York Times, CNN, Vogue, and beyond.
 
Alan Lightman

Theoretical Physicist and Novelist

Both a theoretical physicist and a novelist, Alan Lightman bridges the gap between the worlds of art, the humanities, and science, and is an internationally recognized thinker on the meaning of science for understanding ourselves. 
 
Patti Smith

Punk Rock Legend and Author of Just Kids, winner of The National Book Award | Author of Year of the Monkey (Sept. 2019)

Named one of the most influential people in the world in Time Magazine’s Time 100, Patti Smith is a poet, singer, songwriter, photographer, and fine artist. A seminal American artist, Smith has produced a body of work whose influence branches out through generations, across disciplines, and around the world. 
 
James Patterson

One of the Best-selling Authors in the World Today

In January, 2010, The New York Times Magazine featured James Patterson on its cover and hailed him as having “transformed book publishing.” Time Magazine named him “The Man Who Can’t Miss,” and he is a two-time Children’s Choice Book Award “Author of the Year” nominee—a designation decided on by more than 15,000 children and teen readers.
 
Chuck Klosterman

Renowned Cultural Critic | Author of Ten Books, Including Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs

Pop culture, in all its distracting glitz, isn’t just entertainment. It is culture—American culture. And our most insightful guide is Chuck Klosterman. In his bestselling, culture-defining books, he’s pinned down modern America like no one else.
 
Suki Kim

New York Times bestselling author of Without You, There Is No Us, Expert on North Korea

Suki Kim is one of the only writers to ever go undercover in North Korea. Her six months in Pyongyang living and working as a teacher to the sons of North Korea’s elite gave her unprecedented insights into the country’s current state. Her work sheds new light on a place that has been, for the past 70 years, completely shrouded from the eyes of the world.  
Sir Salman Rushdie

One of the Most Celebrated Writers of Our Time

Sir Salman Rushdie is one of the most celebrated authors of our time—of any time. A brilliant provocateur, he’s penned a handful of classic novels, influenced a generation of writers, and received a Queen’s Knighthood for his “services to literature.”
 
Kwame Anthony Appiah

One of America's Leading Public Intellectuals

When it comes to the most pressing social issues of the day, The Lies That Bind author Kwame Anthony Appiah is a touchstone of reason and inclusivity; asking—and answering—probing questions of morality, ethnicity, and religion.