Minnesota Public Radio and the Star Tribune are bringing back Talking Volumes in 2023 for its 24th season, hosted by award-winning journalist and MPR News host Kerri Miller.
Come join us at the Fitzgerald Theater in downtown St. Paul this fall for conversations with four new blockbuster authors.
Abraham Verghese, ‘The Covenant of Water’
Thursday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. Find tickets here.
Abraham Verghese, author of “Cutting for Stone,” will discuss his new book “The Covenant of Water.” Spanning the years 1900 to 1977, “The Covenant of Water” is set in Kerala, on South India’s Malabar Coast, and follows three generations of a family that suffers a peculiar affliction: in every generation, at least one person dies by drowning — and in Kerala, water is everywhere.
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A shimmering evocation of a bygone India and of the passage of time itself, “The Covenant of Water” is a hymn to progress in medicine and to human understanding, and a humbling testament to the difficulties undergone by past generations for the sake of those alive today.
Ann Patchett, ‘Tom Lake’
Thursday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m. Find tickets here.
Ann Patchett will talk about Patchett’s eagerly-awaited new novel “Tom Lake.” As three sisters, sheltering on the family cherry farm during the pandemic, urge their mother to share details of an early romance with a now-famous actor, the at-once hopeful and elegiac narrative unspools in many directions, weaving a tapestry of past and present.
With Chekhovian wisdom and her customary genius for enveloping storytelling, Patchett follows up her bestselling “The Dutch House” with a different take on family, love and growing up. It proves a resonant story that sheds light not only on their mother’s life and choices, but on broader family dynamics as well.
Viet Thanh Nguyen, ‘A Man of Two Faces’
Tuesday, Oct. 24, 7 p.m. Find tickets here.
Viet Thanh Nguyen will delve into the story behind his highly original, blistering, and unconventional memoir, “A Man of Two Faces.”
In the book, Nguyen rewinds the film of his own life with insight, humor, formal invention, and lyricism. He expands the genre of personal memoir by acknowledging larger stories of refugeehood, colonization, and ideas about Vietnam and America, writing with his trademark sardonic wit and incisive analysis, as well as a deep emotional openness about his life as a father and a son.
Profound in its emotions and brilliant in its thinking about cultural power, “A Man of Two Faces” explores the necessity of both forgetting and of memory, the promises America so readily makes and breaks, and the exceptional life story of one of the most original and important writers working today.
Margaret Renkl, ‘The Comfort of Crows’
Wednesday, Nov. 1, 7 p.m. Find tickets here.
Margaret Renkl brings “The Comfort of Crows” to St. Paul. In “The Comfort of Crows,” Margaret Renkl presents a devotional of sorts: fifty-two essays that follow the creatures and plants in her backyard over the course of a year.
Along the way, we also glimpse the changing rhythms of a human life. With fifty-two gorgeous four-color artworks by the author’s brother, “The Comfort of Crows” is a lovely and deeply moving book from a beloved writer.
All tickets are $30 for the general public and $28 for MPR members and Star Tribune subscribers. Season ticket packages are available at $22.50 per ticket.