300 episodes

The Free Library Podcast is an easy way to participate in the author events and lectures that take place at the Parkway Central Library. Visit Author Events to find upcoming events.

Free Library Podcast Free Library of Philadelphia

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.3 • 93 Ratings

The Free Library Podcast is an easy way to participate in the author events and lectures that take place at the Parkway Central Library. Visit Author Events to find upcoming events.

    Carol Anderson | The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America

    Carol Anderson | The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America

    In conversation with Tracey Matisak, award-winning journalist and broadcaster

    In appreciation of the George S. Pepper Society

    Carol Anderson is the author of the National Book Critics Circle Award winner White Rage, ''a riveting and disturbing history'' (The Nation) of white people and how they worked against Black advancement since Reconstruction. Her other books include Bourgeois Radicals; Eyes off the Prize; and One Person, No Vote, which was longlisted for the National Book Award and was a finalist for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award. The Charles Howard Candler Professor and Chair of African American Studies at Emory University and a member of the Advisory Board of the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative, Anderson has earned fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the National Humanities Center, among many others. Her latest book offers a sobering look at the ways in which all levels of the government, white people, and U.S. courts have consistently weaponized the Second Amendment since its creation to deny African Americans their rights and citizenship.

    Signed books will be mailed after the event.
    Please allow three weeks for delivery.
    U.S. orders only. All others will be refunded.
    (recorded 6/10/2021)

    • 56 min
    Kiese Laymon | Long Division 

    Kiese Laymon | Long Division 

    In conversation with Imani Perry

    Kiese Laymon's Heavy, a coming-of-age memoir that begins in Jackson, Mississippi, was named a Best Book of 2018 by the New York Times, NPR, and the Washington Post, among other media outlets. The Hubert McAlexander Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Mississippi and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and Oxford American, Laymon is also the author of the essay collection How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America. His latest work is a revised edition of his 2013 debut novel, Long Division. "A little fantasy, a little mystery, and a lot hilarious'' (Atlanta Journal-Constitution), it follows Citoyen ''City'' Coldson, a time-hopping teen seeking answers in the disappearance of a local girl in his grandmother's Gulf Coast community.

    Imani Perry is the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies and faculty associate in the Program in Law and Public Affairs and Gender and Sexuality Studies at Princeton. She is the author of six books, most recently the award-winning titles, Breathe: A Letter to My Sons and Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry.

    Books with signed book plates are available through the Joseph Fox Bookshop
    (recorded 6/8/2021)

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Sebastian Junger | Freedom

    Sebastian Junger | Freedom

    In conversation with Joe Klein, Time political columnist and bestselling author of six books including Primary Colors and most recently Politics Lost

    Employing ''his narrative gifts and vivid prose'' (The Washington Post) to chronicle some of the world's most extreme environments, Sebastian Junger is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Perfect Storm, War, Fire, Tribe, and A Death in Belmont. A contributing editor to Vanity Fair and a special correspondent at ABC News, he has earned a Peabody Award and the National Magazine Award. His debut documentary film, Restrepo, which was co-directed with the late Tim Hetherington, won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and was nominated for an Oscar. In his new book, Junger ruminates on the tenets and contradictions of freedom by way of a year spent with three friends traveling along the East Coast's railroad lines.

    Signed books will be mailed after the event. Please allow three weeks for delivery.
    U.S. orders only. All others will be refunded.
    (recorded 6/1/2021)

    • 58 min
    Michael Punke | Ridgeline

    Michael Punke | Ridgeline

    In conversation with Christina Baker Kline, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Orphan Train, A Piece of the World, and The Exiles

    Michael Punke is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Revenant, ''a superb revenge story'' (The Washington Post Book World) set in the 19th century U.S. frontier that was the basis for the Academy Award–winning film of the same name. His other writing includes nonfiction books about the efforts to save the buffalo and an infamous 1917 Montana mining disaster. Currently the Vice President for Global Public Policy for Amazon Web Services, Punke formerly served as the U.S. Ambassador to the World Trade Organization in Geneva, an adjunct professor, and a history correspondent for the Montana Quarterly. In his new novel, Punke investigates an important but little-known 1866 conflict between the U.S. Army and the Lakota tribes of present-day Wyoming.

    Books with signed book plates available from the Joseph Fox Bookshop
    (recorded 6/7/2021)

    • 58 min
    Maggie O'Farrell  | Hamnet: A Novel of the Plague

    Maggie O'Farrell  | Hamnet: A Novel of the Plague

    In conversation with Nicole Galland, historical novelist and author of Master of the Revels and creator of Shakespeare for the Masses

    With a ''gift for combining intricate, engrossing plots with full-bodied characterizations'' (Washington Post), Irish–British novelist Maggie O'Farrell is the author of After You'd Gone, The Distance Between Us, The Hand That First Held Mine, and Instructions for a Heatwave, among several others. A former journalist in Hong Kong, deputy literary editor of the Independent on Sunday, and creative writing teacher, she is also a bestselling author. O'Farrell's work has won the Somerset Maugham Award, the Betty Trask Award, the Costa Award, and has been translated into more than 30 languages. Hamnet, winner of the 2020 Women's Prize for Fiction, tells the Elizabethan-era tale of William Shakespeare's family including his force–of–nature wife, Shakespeare's journey as a rising star, and the shared grief over the loss of their son Hamnet whose name Shakespeare would later use in his play Hamlet.

    Books available through the Joseph Fox Bookshop
    (recorded 6/3/2021)

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Kevin Kwan | Sex and Vanity

    Kevin Kwan | Sex and Vanity

    In conversation with Nydia Han, Consumer Investigative Reporter and co-anchor of 6ABC Action News Sunday mornings

    Kevin Kwan is the author of Crazy Rich Asians, "a lively, generous story of shallow extravagance and human devotion'' (The Boston Globe) involving Rachel Chu, a young Chinese-American woman, and her trip to meet her boyfriend's extremely wealthy family living in Singapore. An international bestseller that was translated into 30 languages and the opening volume of the trilogy of books including China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems, Crazy Rich Asians was adapted into a mega-successful major motion picture. In Sex and Vanity, a Good Morning America Book Club selection, Kwan spins the tale of an engaged woman who finds herself falling for a frustrating but irresistible Asian American man, despite the objections of her family.

    Books with signed book plates will be mailed after the event. Please allow three weeks for delivery.
    U.S. orders only. All others will be refunded.
    (recorded 6/2/2021)

    • 1 hr 9 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
93 Ratings

93 Ratings

MMorris_inPhilly ,

So grateful for this amazing resource

Thank you Free Library of Philadelphia for hosting so many amazing authors and for sharing the events on this podcast for those of us who can't be there in person. This is a wonderful series. The authors you feature are diverse as are their writings - politics, biography, novels, poetry... It's a great way to discover new authors and a wonderful way to hear again from those who are more well known.

Ginagina Smith ,

Dan Pfeiffer

Great segment: Dan & Alyssa are a great team. I look forward to reading his book.

Many years a supporter ,

Great talks both current and past

Free Library of Philadelphia author events began in the early 1990s. A few years ago, the older talks were added to the list of podcasts. All the talks are listed under the author/speaker in the library’s online catalog. These include talks by Susan Sontag, Chinua Achebe and Tony Morrison to name a few. This library is a major educational and cultural resource. Materials and on-line content are available free to anyone living, working or attending school in Pennsylvania and, for a small fee, people living outside the state as well.

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