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Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso
58 minutes | 10 hours ago
Mother’s Day with Writer Jhumpa Lahiri
Pulitzer-prize winning novelist Jhumpa Lahiri (“Interpreter of Maladies”, “The Namesake”) joins us this week for a special episode. In vivid, writerly detail Lahiri describes being raised in a family “spread out in various places” (5:49), her late mother’s recurring presence in her writing (15:07), the comfort (and pain) of being an observer (19:02), and the vibrancy she found in Rome (33:32), which inspired her new novel (written in Italian, translated in English) “Whereabouts” (14:37). On the back-half of our talk, Jhumpa reflects on the metamorphosis that occurred in her mother’s final days (40:02), how her familial ties (from Calcutta to Rhode Island) informed her early stories (44:38), and, finally, an exhortation on why she writes (48:10). See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
50 minutes | 7 days ago
The Freedom Riders Turn 60 (with Dr. Bernard Lafayette)
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Riders, we sit with Civil Rights activist Dr. Bernard Lafayette. In May of 1961, black and white students made history, riding interstate buses into the segregated American south. Lafayette, then age 20, was one of those riders. At 80, he shares his early memories of protest with roommate John Lewis (3:20), the non-violent strategies used to disarm the white mobs of the South (10:50), and traveling from Montgomery, Alabama to Jackson, Mississippi (17:13), only to get arrested several times (21:02).Then, Bernard shares what the Freedom Riders can teach us about organizing in 2021 (25:39) and how he grappled with the deaths of John Lewis and C.T. Vivian (32:09). Plus– a special guest joins us as we close (37:00). See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
98 minutes | 14 days ago
Joel Meyerowitz: A Life in Photos
Legendary photographer Joel Meyerowitz has been capturing life itself since 1962. Whether on the streets of New York City, the sand dunes of Cape Cod, or in transit across Europe, Meyerowitz has documented what he calls “visions in passing.” Today, he joins us for a special, virtual retrospective, spanning nearly six decades of his life in photographs. To follow along, please visit: https://talkeasypod.com/artist/joel-meyerowitz/ See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
46 minutes | 18 days ago
Kevin Abstract: New Light, New Machine
Musician Kevin Abstract (founding member of BROCKHAMPTON) joins us today! With the release of “Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine,” we unpack how Kevin and the group arrived at this new record. Under the comfort of his sunglasses, Kevin talks about falling back in love with music during the pandemic (5:25), despite struggling with success (8:50) and self-acceptance (12:13). He also discusses the radical act of speaking his truth on Papercut (14:15), the power of representation (17:56), and the music video that jump-started BROCKHAMPTON’s ascendency (21:30). Then, before we go, Kevin speaks openly about the mounting pressures to perform (25:48), the joys of collaborating with Dominic Fike on Peach (29:54), the healing nature of “Roadrunner” (36:07), and where he hopes the group goes from here (40:34). See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
50 minutes | 21 days ago
Songs For You
A mixtape for you and yours. These are the songs getting us through this painful, unending week. May they do the same for you. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
50 minutes | 24 days ago
Kathrine Switzer: Marathon Woman
Kathrine Switzer made history in 1967 when she became the first woman to register and run in the Boston Marathon. She was 20 years old. Today, at age 74, she shares the story behind the story: the months leading up to her historic run as a student at Syracuse University (2:12), the coach that believed in her (4:34), and the night she decided to enter the race (6:00). We also walk through the madness of April 19th, 1967 (13:44), her efforts to ensure women’s marathons be included in the Olympics (24:13), the prejudice that remains against female athletes (28:22), and how she grapples with difficulty as a self-proclaimed optimist (36:42). Then, before we go, Kathrine shares the happiest day of her life with us (40:00).To support our work, become a subscriber at patreon.com/talkeasy See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
58 minutes | a month ago
The Ts Madison Experience
Entertainer, activist, and author Ts Madison joins us this week! A trailblazer in the LGBTQ+ community, Ts shares the stories that made her Ts: flipping through a Playgirl magazine at age three (6:30), exploring her nascent sexuality under a Christian roof (16:28) and the consequences of her curiosity (20:02). She also talks turning pain into comedy (30:36), her time as a sex worker (32:01), and the “duty” of “keeping the door open” to encourage representation for the Trans community (45:44). Then, before we go, she looks back on the night she first felt seen and the liberation that followed (48:40). You can support our work at patreon.com/talkeasy See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
63 minutes | a month ago
We Turn Five
This Sunday Talk Easy turns five years old! To mark the anniversary, we’re revisiting some of our favorite passages from the past 220 episodes: Errol Morris on creativity and curiosity (3:05), a short story from Elizabeth Gilbert (17:17), Colman Domingo’s family affair (22:25), Hasan Minhaj (32:02) and Lena Waithe (35:53) on making work that honors where they come from, a history lesson from Dolores Huerta (38:40), a mantra from Alan Alda (44:15), and the words that started this show, by the late Roger Ebert (57:53). Here’s to five more years. To support our work, become a subscriber at patreon.com/talkeasy See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
49 minutes | a month ago
Nathaniel Rich: Stories from a World Remade
Journalist Nathaniel Rich (writer-at-large, New York Times Magazine) believes we can do “great good” with nature. But how? In his brilliantly reported new book, “Second Nature”, he explores the potential of environmental innovations (7:52), the weight of living in an era of “terrible responsibility” (11:00), what a methane leak in Aliso Canyon can teach us about us (14:03), and how he found hope in a Japanese doctor studying immortal jellyfish (22:38). We also discuss the spiritual change needed to address our climate crisis (35:41), and why (better) storytelling may be the most effective way out of this mess (42:51). See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
50 minutes | a month ago
Sunday School with Author Anne Lamott
Best-selling author Anne Lamott joins us this week! With the release of her new book Dusk, Night, Dawn, we discuss how to move forward from the pain of the pandemic (5:53), a life-changing night in a Miami hotel (7:39), and what her sobriety can teach us about healing (12:22). Wise as her writing suggests, Lamott champions “the ordinary life” (17:27) and the power of forgiveness (22:00). At age 66, she shares her love of service (31:40), her impulse to write it all down (38:47), and the grace of getting older (40:36). See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
48 minutes | 2 months ago
Black Futures with Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham
Following the recent release of their anthology, Black Futures, curator Kimberly Drew and journalist Jenna Wortham join us this week. We discuss their hopes for 2021 (7:33), interrogating institutions like the HFPA (11:20), their career paths (18:10) and expanding accessibility within their respective industries (8:56). Jenna and Kimberly also reflect on how they’ve grown since creating Black Futures (25:38), navigating the pandemic (28:14), and the refuge they've found in the Marvel universe (32:27). Finally, they envision their future selves (39:47) and what a “black future” can look like (43:02). See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
50 minutes | 2 months ago
The Golden Age of Amanda Seyfried
From Mean Girls to Mamma Mia! to First Reformed, actor Amanda Seyfried has repeatedly displayed her versatility as a performer. She does so again in David Fincher’s Mank, playing 1920s and '30s screen star Marion Davies. In celebration of her excellent performance, we sit with Seyfried to discuss the interiors of Davies (6:53), her early years working in the industry (13:13), the joy of making Mean Girls (15:26), and why she moved to Los Angeles at 18 (21:17). Then, with Mank, she reflects on the parallels between 1930s Hollywood and 2021 Hollywood (36:08), how she found her footing, (41:51) and where she'd like to go in the years ahead (45:32). See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
65 minutes | 2 months ago
Winnie Byanyima's Lifelong Fight for Equality
Winnie Byanyima has devoted her life to public service, fighting for gender equality and racial justice. She joins us this week to discuss growing up in Uganda under a brutal dictatorship (2:30), eventually fleeing to gain an education in England (8:36), finding joy in student organizing (16:47) and connecting with young, like-minded activists (25:37). She also shares her experiences spearheading women leadership within the Parliament of Uganda (30:30), challenging income and healthcare inequalities (38:56), and the importance of collective action (47:32). Finally, she reflects on her childhood peers (56:14), on being a survivor (59:12), and her optimism about the future (1:02:45). See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
40 minutes | 2 months ago
At 74, Actor Glynn Turman Keeps On
At age 74, Emmy award-winning actor Glynn Turman “keeps on keepin’ on.” This week on the show, he tells us how. We discuss his first role in Broadway’s original production of A Raisin in the Sun (5:03), his unwavering commitment to acting, even as he struggled to find work (11:28), an opening night that took a dark turn (14:44), his breakout role in Cooley High (20:21), going to a human place as an actor (25:36), and what it means to live with loss (27:13). Then, finally, a story about his late ex-wife, the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin (31:30). See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
57 minutes | 3 months ago
Rest and Rebuild with Brittany Packnett Cunningham
As we find our footing in 2021, activist and educator Brittany Packnett Cunningham is focused on the work ahead. She joins us this week to unpack the aftermath of the Capitol riots (4:11), her entry point into activism (8:39), unlearning perfectionism (14:30), grappling with imperfect allies (24:04), the consequences of using your voice (27:39), the enduring legacy of Toni Morrison (40:39), taking action under a Biden-Harris administration (45:56), rejecting objectification online (52:32), and, finally, how she keeps going (55:50). See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
37 minutes | 3 months ago
Alone but Never Lonely: Johnny Mathis at 85
For 65 years, Johnny Mathis has been hailed as the voice of romance. In the most unusual of Valentine’s Days, we call up the legendary singer to look back on his early days in San Francisco (8:13), performing on the Ed Sullivan Show (12:03), the close bond he shared with his parents (19:10), the influence of singers like Mabel Mercer (24:18), how he remains joyous at 85 (27:53), and, finally, the nature of loving and letting go (32:07). See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
63 minutes | 3 months ago
Short Stories with George Saunders
George Saunders (“Tenth of December”, “Lincoln in the Bardo”) is one of the finest American writers working today. With the release of his new book, “A Swim in a Pond in the Rain“, we talk about combating cynicism (5:00), the power of Chekhov and Tobias Wolff (8:52), regarding literature as a fondness for life (12:30), a summer of Steinbeck (15:00), deconstructing the (male) mythology of Hemingway (26:45), and how starting a young family changed his life (35:00). On the back-half, we talk craft and process (39:00), his conversations with the late David Foster Wallace (42:15), and his aim to entertain any kind of reader (44:39). To close: he shares an excerpt from his short story, “Love Letter” (49:02), and the need to live urgently (53:43). See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
37 minutes | 3 months ago
Dr. Ashish Jha Sees the COVID Finish Line
As we approach a year in the pandemic, Dr. Ashish Jha offers some hope. He returns to the show this week to discuss the potential of new variants (2:48), the residual effects of Trump's isolationist policies (5:16) the myth of herd-immunity (9:21), what the coming months can look like (14:03), best mask practices (16:32), achieving equity through improved vaccine distribution (22:10), and the science-focused approach of the Biden/Harris administration (25:15). Then, before we go, Dr. Jha speaks of all that we've lost, and all that we stand to gain on the other side of this pandemic (32:31). See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
40 minutes | 3 months ago
Julián Castro: In 2021, How Do We Prosper?
We're back! To help unpack this political moment, we sit with former Mayor of San Antonio and 2020 Presidential candidate, Julián Castro. We discuss Trump’s impeachment (4:30), the filibuster as an obstacle to action (14:10), the fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans (17:57), what it means to do the right thing in politics (20:35), the complexity of Latinx identity (23:02), connecting to Latino voters (26:10), and the how we keep the American Dream alive (31:52). Finally, Julián closes our conversation with an excerpt from the poem “I Am Joaquin” (34:31) and shares his hopes for how we can prosper (36:40). See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
93 minutes | 4 months ago
A Talk Easy Holiday Special: Goodbye 2020
As we say goodbye to 2020, we turn to our guests from this historic year. After some year-end reflections from Sam, we hear from performer Alison Pill (4:35), comedian Hasan Minhaj (9:15), activist Dolores Huerta (29:00), broadcaster Brooke Gladstone (33:28), filmmaker Terence Nance (59:00), documentarians Bill & Turner Ross (1:00:00), and the legendary Holland Taylor (1:02:04). See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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