The Thread's 2016 season of author interviews has been announced: Four writers will bring discussions of science, faith and family to the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, beginning in February.
Tickets are now available for the individual events, detailed below. MPR News host Kerri Miller will host each discussion.
Feb. 24: Eula Biss and Michael Osterholm on vaccines, immunity and public health
Eula Biss' "On Immunity" sparked conversations across the country when it hit shelves. It was named a best book of the year by The New York Times, Publisher's Weekly, NPR's Science Friday and more.
From the publisher:
In this bold, fascinating book, Biss investigates the metaphors and myths surrounding our conception of immunity and its implications for the individual and the social body.
As she hears more and more fears about vaccines, Biss researches what they mean for her own child, her immediate community, America, and the world, both historically and in the present moment.
Eula Biss is the author of "Notes from No Man's Land," winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism, and "The Balloonists." Her essays have appeared in the Believer and Harper's. She teaches at Northwestern University and lives in Chicago.
Michael Osterholm is the former Minnesota state epidemiologist and current Regents Professor, McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair in Public Health, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, a professor in the Technological Leadership Institute, College of Science and Engineering, and an adjunct professor in the Medical School, all at the University of Minnesota.
This event is presented in partnership with Graywolf Press and the College of St. Benedict.
April 5: On Being's Krista Tippett on "Becoming Wise"
What has Krista Tippett learned from 13 years of interviewing scientists, theologians, poets, activists and more? She shares her experiences in her new book, "Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living."
From the publisher:
In "Becoming Wise," Tippett distills the insights she has gleaned from this luminous conversation in its many dimensions into a coherent narrative journey, over time and from mind to mind, into what it means to be human.
The book is a master class in living, individually and collectively, curated by Tippett and accompanied by a delightfully ecumenical dream team of a teaching faculty. Wisdom emerges through the raw materials of the everyday.
Krista Tippett is a journalist and former diplomat. She has created, hosted and produced the popular public radio program Speaking of Faith, now On Being, since it began as an occasional feature in 2000, before taking on its current form as a national weekly program in 2003.
She came up with the idea for Speaking of Faith while consulting for the internationally renowned Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research at Saint John's Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minn.
May 9: National Book Award winner Louise Erdrich on "LaRose"
Louise Erdrich, who won the 2012 National Book Award for Fiction for "The Round House," returns with a new novel, "LaRose," this spring.
From the publisher:
North Dakota, late summer, 1999.
Landreaux Iron stalks a deer along the edge of the property bordering his own. He shoots with easy confidence — but when the buck springs away, Landreaux realizes he's hit something else, a blur he saw as he squeezed the trigger. When he staggers closer, he realizes he has killed his neighbor's five-year-old son, Dusty Ravich.
The youngest child of his friend and neighbor, Peter Ravich, Dusty was best friends with Landreaux's five-year-old son, LaRose.
The two families have always been close, sharing food, clothing, and rides into town; their children played together despite going to different schools; and Landreaux's wife, Emmaline, is half sister to Dusty's mother, Nola.
Horrified at what he's done, the recovered alcoholic turns to tradition — the sweat lodge — for guidance, and finds a way forward.
Following an ancient means of retribution, he and Emmaline will give LaRose to the grieving Peter and Nola. "Our son will be your son now," they tell them.
Louise Erdrich is the author of 14 novels, a volume of short stories, several books of poetry and a series of children's books. She lives in Minnesota and is the owner of Birchbark Books, a small independent bookstore.
June 10: Mary Roach on the curious science of war
Best-selling author Mary Roach explores the science of keeping human beings intact, awake, sane, uninfected and uninfested in the bizarre and extreme circumstances of war in her latest book, "Grunt."
From the publisher:
"Grunt" tackles the science behind some of a soldier's most challenging adversaries — panic, exhaustion, heat, noise — and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them.
Mary Roach dodges hostile fire with the U.S. Marine Corps Paintball Team as part of a study on hearing loss and survivability in combat. She visits the fashion design studio of U.S. Army Natick Labs and learns why a zipper is a problem for a sniper. She visits a repurposed movie studio where amputee actors help prepare Marine Corps medics for the shock and gore of combat wounds.
Mary Roach is the author of "Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War", "Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void," "Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex," "Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife" and "Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers."
Her writing has appeared in Outside, Wired, National Geographic, and the New York Times Magazine, among others. She lives in Oakland, Calif.