Teju Cole is a true polymath. His novel, 'Open City,' won the PEN/Hemingway award. And he writes about photography in a column for The New York Times Magazine, which makes sense since he also exhibits his own photography around the world. His new book, 'Blind Spot,' combines all these pursuits into one publication. talks with Brendan about what he learned about himself in the process.
ESPN recently launched a sports podcast called "30 for 30," based on their celebrated documentary series of the same name. Each episode is dedicated to a different sports story. Brendan sat down with editor Jody Avirgan and producer Rose Eveleth to talk about an upcoming episode featuring an unassuming woman who took sweet revenge on casinos by utilizing the decorative patterns on the back of cards to her advantage.
The Hague's Gemeentemuseum has the world's largest collection of paintings by modernist master Piet Mondrian — and this month, for the first time ever, they put them all on display. Listen as Rico visits the museum and gets schooled on the life and work of the surprisingly hard-partying artist.
Archaeologist and diplomat T. E. Lawrence's involvement in the Middle East during World War I was legendary, but another person of equal influence has kind of been forgotten in the history books (and on-screen). Her name was Gertrude Bell, and the directors behind a new documentary called "Letters From Baghdad" explain why she is the most important explorer you've never heard of.
Anne Lamott's spunky, soul-bearing non-fiction has made her a best-selling author many times over. Her books sometimes investigate spiritual themes and sometimes they're about very human triumphs and tribulations, like overcoming alcoholism or raising a son as a single mother. In her new book, she celebrates a virtue that seems to be in short supply these days: mercy.
Our topic for Chattering Class this week: Psychology's infamous Rorschach test. And our teacher is author Damion Searls. His new book, "The Inkblots," is all about Hermann Rorschach, an artistically-inclined Swiss psychiatrist who in the 1910s learned he could diagnose patients just by asking them to describe what they saw in abstract blots on paper. He talks with Rico about Hermann's history and what made the Rorschach's blots so effective and unique.
Viet Thanh Nguyen's first novel "The Sympathizer" won a raft of awards -- including the Pulitzer Prize. He's just published his second book to great acclaim. It's a collection of short stories called, "The Refugees." He tells us the true story that inspired his new collection and shares a few thoughts on why refugees can make Americans uncomfortable.
In his latest documentary, the filmmaker examines the prose of the late, great author James Baldwin and uses Baldwin's unfinished manuscript as a springboard to start a discussion about the racial divide in America.
NFL star Steve Gleason was a safety for the New Orleans Saints. But not long after retiring from the NFL, he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. He began recording video diaries for his son, which has been assembled into a documentary by director Clay Tweel. Clay shares candid moments from making the doc and explains the decision behind its honest portrayal of life with the disease.
This week's party-worthy topic: New Orleans cartoonist George Herriman. Find out how his early 20th century cartoon influenced some of the greatest comic strips of all time and learn about Herriman's complicated racial identity, which he kept secret all his life.