includes prize winners and professors
Novelists, reviewers, editors, screenwriters, and even a Harvard professor will take the stage at the City Opera House at the National Writers Series this year.
The series kicks off Feb. 4 with Hollywood veteran Vince Gilligan. He will appear onstage with NWS founder Doug Stanton to discuss his writing for AMC’s hit series “Breaking Bad.” Entertainment Weekly, NPR, Hollywood Reporter and Paste magazine all named the show #1 on their lists of 2011 Best TV Shows, with Stephen King naming the program #1 on his list of 2011 Pop Culture Favorites, hailing it as “an American classic.”
Gilligan will also discuss his diverse career in Hollywood, including a longrunning stint as writer and executive producer of “The X-Files,” co-creator of “The Lone Gunmen,” and screenwriter of such popular films as “Hancock” and “Home Fries.”
The season continues March 12 with best-selling novelist Jodi Picoult. Picoult is the author of 18 novels, the last five of which all debuted at number one on the New York Times Best Sellers List.
She will be joined on stage by Paula McLain, a previous NWS guest and New York Times best-selling author of the critically acclaimed “The Paris Wife.” The two writers will discuss their individual lives and works, the world of writing and the stories behind Jodi’s popular novels National Public Radio’s Alan Cheuse and Australian journalist and author Geraldine Brooks will take the stage April 5. Cheuse appears regularly on “All Things Considered” has published four novels, three collections of short fiction and the memoir “Fall Out of Heaven.”
Brooks won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for “March,” a riveting parallel novel to Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” told from the point of view of the March family’s absent father. She has written several international best-sellers.
Harvard professor Michael Sandel will appear May 2. His “Justice” class is one of the highest attended in Harvard history. The professor is also the star of his own PBS series, “Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?” He has contributed to The New York Times and The Atlantic Monthly, and appeared on The
Colbert Report, PBS, BBC and NPR. His latest book, “What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets,” asks one of the most pressing ethical questions of our time: Is there something wrong with a society in which everything is for sale?
The season continues May 14 with awardwinning columnist and best-selling author Anna Quindlen. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1992 for her column “Private and Public” as New York Times’ Op- Ed columnist. She has penned such popular books as “Object Lessons,” “Rise and Shine,” “Blessings” and “One True Thing,” which was adapted into an Oscar-nominated film starring Meryl Streep and Renée Zellweger.
Quindlen will appear on stage for a discussion about her life and work with Susan Casey, O Magazine’s editor-in-chief. Casey is the New York Times best-selling author of the critically acclaimed books “The Devil’s Teeth” and “The Wave.” She has been a featured guest on programs including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Charlie Rose and Conan.
The season will conclude June 21 with Natalie Bakopoulos and Elizabeth Kostova. Bakopoulos’s debut novel, “The Green Shore,” is a family drama set during the 1960s Greek military dictatorship. An early draft of the work won the Avery and Julie Hopwood Award and the Platsis Prize for Work on the Greek Legacy. Bakopoulos is a professor at her alma mater, the University of Michigan, and a contributing editor to the prestigious Fiction Writers Review. She won the 2010 PEN/O. Henry Prize, and her work has appeared in Tin House, Ninth Letter and Granta Online.
Bakopoulos will appear on stage with her friend Kostova for a discussion of their lives and works. Kostova’s worldwide blockbuster, “The Historian,” tells the tale of three generations of historians on the track of the original Dracula. After a bidding war for the publishing rights, Kostova accepted a $2 million contract, and the book went on to become the fastestselling hardcover debut novel in American publishing history and the first debut novel to ever premiere at number one on the New York Times Best Seller List. “The Historian” sold over three million copies worldwide in 40 languages. SONY/Columbia Pictures is currently producing a film adaptation. Kostova’s second novel, “The Swan Thieves,” was another international bestseller.
All NWS events this season will feature live musical performances before the author appearances, during which time attendees can enjoy complimentary desserts and a cash bar, as well as purchase books and NWS merchandise. The evenings will also include an audience Q&A and a post-event book signing and reception with the authors.
Tickets for all NWS events go on sale Jan.
23 at the City Opera House box office, by phone at 231-941-8082 and online at www. cityoperahouse.org. Tickets for all events except An Evening with Jodi Picoult and An Evening with Anna Quindlen are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Tickets to An Evening with Jodi Picoult and An Evening with Anna Quindlen are $20 in advance or $25 at the door.
Student tickets to all events are just $5, while educator tickets are $10. Net proceeds from NWS events support the National Writers Series and its scholarship fund, which benefits college-bound writing and arts students attending Grand Traverse regional high schools.
For more information on the Traverse City National Writers Series, visit nationalwritersseries.org.