Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Cunningham and the internationally best-selling essayist, critic, and translator Daniel Mendelsohn discussed how writers turn consciously to literature itself as a way of broadening their own horizons on Sunday, May 27, 2018 in Provincetown’s Hawthorne Barn as part of Twenty Summers' annual month-long arts festival. In the select topic videos below, the two writers each talk about writing Michael’s novel The Hours and Daniel’s memoir An Odyssey, along with a discussion on translation and what it’s like writing books about books.
Authors Junot Díaz and Jacqueline Woodson join us for a conversation in the Barn that delves into the divisive politics of our age and what it means to be an American fiction writer of color today. Junot Díaz, whose work has been honored with a Pulitzer and a MacArthur, joins Jacqueline Woodson, whose books for readers of all ages have won prizes including a National Book Award and a Coretta Scott King Award. From his Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao to her Brown Girl Dreaming, from his activist work in the Dominican-American community to her stories for teenage readers about what it means to grow up black and gay, Diaz and Woodson are writers who know how to raise their voices when it counts.
WCAI was a media sponsor for this event.
Production Credits: Filming by Stone Dow and Lise King, Sean Gannett Productions Audio by Chris Blood Edited by Filipp Kotsishevskiy
Writer, illustrator, and photographer Garance Doré visited the barn on June 11, 2016, to discuss the current state of fashion, style, and her career with Twenty Summers co-founder Ricky Opaterny. Doré's eponymous blog reaches millions of readers, and the New York Times Magazine has called her the "guardian of all style." She has won the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Eugenia Sheppard Media Award and is the author of the 2015 bestseller Love Style Life.
On May 28, 2016, Twenty Summers hosted a theatrical reading of 100 YEARS, a new book of sage literary quotations on every age from birth to one hundred. Compiled by Twenty Summers cofounder Joshua Prager and visualized by Milton Glaser, the legendary graphic designer who created the I ♥ NY logo, the book moves year by year through the words of our most beloved authors. A Century Onstage is performed by the actor Jim True-Frost, best known for his work on the HBO series “The Wire.”
Edith Windsor is one of the two plaintiffs whose joint victory before the Supreme Court led to last year’s landmark decision in favor of marriage equality. In 2009, after the death of her spouse and longtime partner, Thea Speyer, Windsor learned that because her marriage was not recognized by the federal government, she was required to pay more than $300,000 in estate taxes. Windsor fought back, in United States v. Windsor, all the way to the Supreme Court, striking down the Defense of Marriage Act and winning a national following as a beloved and charismatic leader for human rights. Together with Speyer, Windsor is the focus of the documentary film Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement. Her many honors and awards include the Women’s Rights Award from the American Federation of Teachers and the Lifetime Achievement Award from Out magazine.
Onstage with Windsor, we welcome back actor, writer, and activist James Lecesne, whose hit Off Broadway one-man show The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey we are proud to have premiered in the Barn during Twenty Summers’ inaugural season. Lecesne is a cofounder of the Trevor Project, which was inspired by the Oscar-winning film for which he wrote the screenplay. He has appeared on Broadway, published YA novels, and is a frequent speaker at events focused on issues facing LGBT youth.