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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 14, 2009 9:30am-10:00am EDT

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thinking about, you know, like, some dr. who in the early versions, and so he's just standing there, right? he's getting a latte, and this woman taps him on the shoulder, tap, tap, tap, you are such a great dad. [laughter] i mean, give me a break. what would i have to do to have a complete stranger say to me, oh, you're such a great mother. i mean, i don't even know. i would have to, like, do a tracheotomy on my cirksd save their life while knitting cable sweaters for an entire himalayan village. i think part of the problem, the reason women are so miserable, the reason why there's this low grade unhappiness is because men
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are not by and large with some great exceptions, men are not pulling their own weight. so, you know, and again i get all these e-mails because i wrote that essay, you know, about how i have such a great sex life with my husband, and all these men would e-mail me and say, tell me, what do i do? if you just buy this particular lotion, it will make everything great, but really what i say is you know what you should do? unload the dishwasher, you know? fold some laundry. i prompt you you will -- promise you, you will get lucky. [laughter] midol. i'm telling you, aren't these awesome prizes? and i had to, like, run up to a socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhood. an amish market which is exactly what you think it is if you mine
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hyperorganic. does anybody know if the amish are organically focused? puppy mills, exactly. amish market. give me a break. [laughter] anyway, i had to work really hard for these items, and i. have just a couple more, and they're too good to waste. two more questions. squeeze them out. oh, thank you. >> you probably won't like the question. i love, love, loved the nursery crime mysteries, and they are no more. >> this question is what happened to the mommy track mysteries. look, i'm taking a break and writing other things, so mystery audiences are incredibly loyal, wonderful people, so i feel like, you know, i may go back, but by the time i go back, julia apple balm may be the grand mommy track mysteries.
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but i have a really warm spot for those books because it was the first thing i wrote that wasn't fiction. yeah. here's your treat. cheetos. orange. okay, someone else? one more. such a good prize to come. one more. yes, good. good. ask it. >> i heard your last novel's being made into a movie -- >> funny you should ask. yes, indeed, my last novel is being made into a movie. it was shot all in this lovely city all over the place, it is starring, wait for it, drum roll, natalie portman. oh, my god, even more beautiful in real life than she is on movies, if you can believe it.
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now, every young man is now going to be my best friend because can you give me her cell phone number? no, i don't have it, i'm sorry. the movie was directed and written by don roos who did the opposite of sex and happy endings, right? he's just the best, i love him to death. and it's so funny, and it's so sad. they did a screening for me, and i was completely alone when i saw it in this room, and i was on this couch, and they had put every kind of junk food in front of me. i must have consumed 650 weight watchers points at that screening. at one point i was lying on the couch sobbing hysterically, and when it was over i went to the guy who was, like, screening it for me, and i said, so, am i the only person who cried? and he looks at me and says, everyone cries. i'm telling you, this movie kicks butt.
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you definitely want to see it. hub baa bubba, full of sugar. i'm going to hit my mom's friend judy. thanks, judy. okay. and there's one last opportunity -- yes, my dear. i knew you wanted to ask a question. >> i don't really have a question, i just want you to give props to jennifer lopez for making -- >> that is true. i have to make props for jennifer lopez for backing out of the movie, but she did bring it to a place where it could be made. >> she read your book and loved it. >> i don't think she read the book. she totally read the script. [laughter] i mean, you know, they're actresses, they're very, very busy. but this was my fantasy. it was going to be, like, the
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red carpet and you may or may not know this, but jennifer lopez and i share an attribute, and i thought she would, like, lend me a dress for the premiere, like a big booty dresdz. you get your freaking dresdz on, you know, i was totally going to borrow a freaking dress. i could basically fit natalie portman's dress over my thigh, so that ain't gonna happen, but don't i have a walk-on? i do. i do have a walk-on. i was so nervous, and i had my makeup done and my hair, i was in a state. and i'm so -- because i wanted to be an actress when i was a kid, and i'm so overemote anything this party scene. i'm just like -- [laughter] it's awful. and then so the dailies come, and there's a scene of these people standing. it's like a close head shot of
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these people's heads, and they're talking. and in the bottom you can see this red curl kind of bouncing around hysterically. and i'm like, my debut on screen! in the actual movie you can see me a little more, and it's such -- thank god it's only a moment because i look like such a freak. it turns out that even being an extra is harder than you thought. all right. and my last questioner gets a very fabulous prize. kraft macaroni and cheese. this ain't annie's. so come up and get it. all right. and i am going to sign books for anybody who wants to buy them. my mom is here so if you don't buy book, i kind of feel sorry for what's going to happen on the way out. it's a long escalator, people, you don't want to fall down it. [applause] >> ayelet waldman is a former
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public defender whose writings have appeared in "the new york times", elle, vogue, and she's the author of daughter's keeper and love and other impossible pursuits. visit ayelet >> this summer booktv is asking what are you reading? >> i'm carla cohen. i'm the co-owner of politics and prose bookstore in washington, d.c., and i got into the business because i love to read more than anything. you can see i don't do too much exercise. instead, i lie on a sofa and read instead. so i want to tell you about the books. i think this is just such an incredible year for reading and for books, and i'm happy to have the chance to talk about this on c-span because i think c-span
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doesn't bring enough fiction to you, and i think fiction can often be more true than books about policy or history. the -- my two themes this year are immigration and south asia. i'm not going to talk about three paperbacks that are so popular on their own they really don't need me to support them, but i'll tell you what they are. one is netherland which has received all kinds of awards by joseph o'neill who's part dutch and part irish, and he has -- it's a book that takes place in new york post-9/11. the second book is the guernsey literary, and i always have to stumble over the name, the gurns
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si literary and potato peel society which is a book about the guernsey during world war ii and is a really delightful book about some women who get together and try to think of ways of sab tablging the germans who are on the island, who occupy the island, and it's part of britain, and the germans actually the nazis occupy the island. and the third book which really doesn't need me to promote it is unaccustomed earth. and that segways into the -- in fact, it represents both genres that i want to introduce today. one is novels about immigration. it's a -- i find it a constantly
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reaffirming story about people coming to the united states to reinvent themselves. and the other is the great rise of the south asian writers and, of course, lahiri represents both of these trends. on immigration i guess i would like to start with woods burner because it takes place in the 1850s, and it's about a group of mostly new americans who were working out issues in the united states trying to settle into the new world, but it all takes place in a few hours in the area around walden pond where a very depressed henry thorough
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accidentally starts a forest fire, and everybody in the surrounding area is pulled in to try to prevent the fire from burning down the beautiful town of concord. and the hero of the day is a norwegian immigrant named osmond who's had a tragic, a tragic event happen to him on the ship over to the united states. and it was, it's a way in which he can refind and relocate himself in the united states by helping to subdue the fire. and there are other characters as well. there's czech immigrants, there's irish immigrants, and there are others who are becoming the composite that the united states will be.
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then another book that takes place a whole century later is brooklyn by colm toibin. and that is about an irish woman who comes to the united states, to brooklyn, obviously, and leaves her family. there's no work for her in brooklyn, and it's just a really lovely book about how elise is able to settle in, find friends, then she is called by her mother to come back to ireland, and she has to decide which side of the ocean she's going to live on. it's, you don't know until the very end what decision she's going to make, and it's got a little bit of mystery and a little bit of romance, and it's just a very lovely book. and we're out of it, so i can't
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even show you a cover. we sold so many copies this weekend. so let me see, another immigrant novel is luis alberto urrea's into the beautiful north. and this is the second of his books that i've read. the first was humming bird's daughter which took place in northern mexico. this actually takes place mostly in the united states because it's about a mexican woman who comes to the united states to find seven men to save her town in northern mexico from bandits. she's been, she's under the influence of yul brenner's the magnificent 7, and she and her gay friend travel around the united states trying to locate the seven men who will fight the ban bandits. so that's an adorable book. and then there's some british
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immigration books. two, i think many of you know that britain's changing since it entered the common market, it's become a certain for immigration from all over, from eastern europe as well as from south asia. and two books that represent those two different areas. one is rose tremendous main's the road home. rose is a british writer who really should be better known in the united states, and this takes place in london. a man who's from the former soviet union is trying to eke out a living having left at a very bleak time in eastern europe. and then the second book also takes place in a kitchen, and that's called in the kitchen by monica ali. so i think both -- this one, of
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course, is in paper. the road home, and the new monica ali is in hardback. which probably makes a difference to people. finally, monica ali segways into my other favorite genre which is south asian books. i have two here, one is abraham verghese, cutting for stone, which is about a physician who -- well, it's really hard to describe because it's a epic, very fat epic novel. we've gotten lots of people have been coming into the store to say how much they love this book. verghese is a physician in the united states who emigrated here
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actually from ethiopia where his family were protestant missionaries, and this -- a lot of cutting for stone takes place in ethiopia, and a lot takes place in a hospital in the united states, and it's lush, beautiful writing. it's about medicine and about immigration, and it's about ethiopia in bad times, and it's a wonderful book. and the other book that i -- south asian book takes place in calcutta, and it's called sacred games, and it's by vikram chan chandra, and it's in the tradition of life imitating art. what happened in mumbai last year was almost as though they were following a script from sacred games. and sacred games is dominated by
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two major characters, an underworld boss who has all kinds of ties to nationalist groups, and so although he's interested in money, he's also doing the will of some of the fundamentalist, hindu fundamentalist politicians. and then the good guy in the book is a police detective who is on the side of virtue and goodness and democracy. and they're pitted against each other in this huge novel which is a wonderful book to take away on a trip. so those are my recommendations. i could go on and on and on, by tried to narrow it down, and thank you for asking me. >> to see more summer reading lists and other program information, visit our web site at
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>> the publishing imprint twelve publishes 12 books a year. cary goldstein is publicity directer, what are some of the books you've got coming out in later 2009? >> well, this summer we're publishing henry waxman's the waxman report in july. it's a look back at some of the landmark legislation that the congressman's been involved with, tobacco, clean air, nutritional labels, and what he does is he explains to us how coalitions are built, how bills get moved from subcommittees to the committees, how you collect votes, and it's really a look at how the sausage is made. and, of course, the congressman's got a couple big bills this summer, so we expect a lot of attention from that. >> did you approach henry waxman, or did he approach you sh. >> our publisher approached the congressman and thought he would be the perfect person to explain, and i should add that josh green from atlanta monthly has written it with the congressman and done a fantastic
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job. >> another book by peter peterson. >> he's lived a fairly phenomenal life. he was born in 1926, raised by greek immigrants, was born into the depression era in nebraska, found himself the secretary of commerce for nixon. chairman, ceo of lehman brothers and later co-founded the blackstone group. here we are in the greatest recession since the great depression, and he's got sort of a bird's eye view of this that few people would have. >> who is po bronson and ashley merriman? >> po bronson is author of the number one best seller what should i do with my life, ashley merriman is a science journalist, and they've taken a look much as dubber in and leavitt did for the economy and friedman did for globalization, they're taking a cultural look at the way we raise children, and they've discovered there are certain key twists that science has overlooked.
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and recent research shows that conventional wisdom of raising our kids is all wrong, so they won a national magazine award for a piece they did on praise for new york magazine. turns out overpraising your children will, n., make your children less inclined to attempt to do things they don't think they're good at. there are also chapters on siblings, there are chapters on gifted programs, testing for private scools. turns out that the testing for gifts programs they do in kindergarten, and testing for elite private schools, they've retested a lot of these schools three, four years later, and they've found they've misplaced these kids 73 percent of the time. they've developed differently and at different rates, 73 percent of of these kids shouldt be in the programs they're in. >> is it risky to only publish 12 books a year?
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>> actually i think it makes a lot ofceps. we put all of our energy, marketing publicity, editorial on one book for a full month, we're not distracted by, you know, other campaigns, and we can be creative and not just publish a book one way, but publish one book several ways. robert feldman's the liar in your life. on the one hand, this is a book about deception. he's one of the world's leading authorities on deception. he's the chair of the behavioral sciences section at u-mass, and he's written this book about lying. when he was a young assistant professor, he went to the national archives because he thought he would listen to the nixon tapes, go to the greatest liar ever and what he discovered was remarkable, even he, an expert, couldn't tell when nixon was being truthful or not. so it's not about your sort of madoff or clinton-scale lies,
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it's about the lies we tell every day. nice to see you, you look good, i feel well. the more lies we're told, the level our own lies increase. clinically depressed people have more accurate views of thermses than powerful people who maintain a facade of strength in order to maintain their ambition, so it uncovers all these things. it's not just about small lies, but it's also about how to handle the lies. but we publish this, it's a psychology book, it's a book about business, it's a book about becoming a more honest person yours. >> how far in advance do you plan your 12 books a year? >> we've got books through next august -- >> august 2010. >> we're starting to think about the following fall.
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not all those manuscripts have been delivered yet, but we know exactly what's coming up. there's some great stuff coming up throughout this next year. >> as an acquiring editor and an editor, what do you do? >> well, most of my job, 90 percent of my job is spent promoting the books, but i also have the opportunity to edit about a book a year. edited one novel last summer, i'm working on a book right now, but as an acquiring editor, i look at the proposals that are coming in, i'll weigh in on proposals that our publisher is reading and let him know whether i think we can spend a full month promoting these books. i mean, that's one of the things we're thinking about. it's not just great writing fist and foremost, singular books which there aren't other books like out on the market, but also is this a subject we can focus on for a full month beyond
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review coverage? >> twelve is the web site. cary goldstein is directer of publicity. >> egyptian novelist nawal el saadawi, author of over 40 books and founder and president of the arab women's solidarity association delivers the freedom to write lecture. she talked about her life and work following the lecture. the event is a little over an hour. >> so i'm president of the pan-american center, and i'd like to welcome you. [applause] i'll take that to be applause for the pan-american center, and i'd like to welcome you to the freedom to write lecture. pan's project here and in the
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other centers around the world is to sustain and protect literary culture in each of our countries and regions, and this evening's lecture honors the name of a distinguished pan member who was also one of our most devoted supporters of free expression. what's more, we do so in the context of our pan world voices festival, thus uniting two of pan's guiding aims: to bring writers and writings across borders in ways that enrich all of human kind and to support free expression, freedom of expresentation around the planet. today's speaker has faced imprisonment and the threat of assassination for her outspoken defense of the human rights of people and especially women and especially in her native egypt and in the african and arab worlds in which egypt is embedded. she knows what it is to have your rights of free expression trampled upon. she's also one of the major
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women writers of our time whose many works have been translated into scores of languages from spanish to swedish, from turkish to thy, from italian to end news yan. she was born or not banks of the nile, was educated at carey university specialize anything psychiatry and rose to be directer of public health. but from the very beginning of her medical career and from before she was already a writer, and she told me to make it clear that that's what her primary identification is, as a writer. [laughter] writing fiction and, in fact, her first short stories were published in 1957 as i learned and were followed swiftly a year later by a novel, memoirs of a woman doctor. in an essay on writing and
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freedom of hers published in 1993, she wrote in a translation , from the moment the world of writing opened itself before me, i started to follow a route that was drastically different from the one preordained for me before birth. since these books she has written more than a dozen novels, scores of short stories, three plays at least and memoirs and autobiographical works recounting her experience as a political prisoner in 1991. it is an extraordinary addition to the memoir. a decade later she was effectively exiled from egypt for a few years when he was life was threat -- threatened. among her best-known works is
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the 1979 novel woman at point zero which is based on a prison encounter with a prostitute awaiting her death sentence for murdering a pimp. throughout her life and her work, el saadawi has championed the rights of women, and she's one of the leading opponents of the practice of female circumcision, there are many debates about what we should call it. her feminism has expressed itself not only in her writing, but as an activist. she's the founder and president of the arab women's solidarity organization which was banned for the first time in 1991, and she's co-founder of the arab association for human rights. she has received honorary degrees on three continents and many literary prizes. in 2005 she won the international prize in belgium. i could continue with a


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