Ayad Akhtar, Dave Eggers, & Imani Perry will be in conversation with Adrienne LaFrance to discuss the dangers of book banning & limits on freedom of expression.
Throughout Banned Books Week & all year round, we celebrate the freedom to read & write. Yet intellectual freedoms & the right to free expression are under threat. Book bans are on the rise. Libraries are being targeted. History has shown that censorship is a symptom of failing health in democratic societies. Limits on our freedom of expression go hand in hand with intolerance & the rise of authoritarianism.
As we mark Banned Books Week, join The New York Public Library & The Atlantic for a discussion with authors Ayad Akhtar, Dave Eggers, & Imani Perry, moderated by Atlantic executive editor Adrienne LaFrance, about the danger of book banning & limits on freedom of expression, how attempts to silence artists threaten democracy, & what we can do to fight back.
Presented in partnership with The Atlantic.
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To join the event in-person | Please register for an In-Person Ticket. Doors will open 45 minutes before the program begins. For free events, we generally overbook to ensure a full house. Priority will be given to those who have registered in advance, but registration does not guarantee admission. All registered seats are released shortly before start time, & seats may become available at that time. A standby line will form 45 minutes before the program.
To join the livestream | A livestream of this event will be available on this NYPL event page. To receive an email reminder shortly in advance of the event, please be sure to register! If you encounter any issues, please join us on NYPL's YouTube channel.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Ayad Akhtar is a novelist & playwright. His work has been published & performed in over two dozen languages. He is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Edith Wharton Citation of Merit for Fiction, & an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. Akhtar is the author of Homeland Elegies & American Dervish. As a playwright, he has written Junk, Disgraced, The Who & The What, & The Invisible Hand. Among other honors, Akhtar is the recipient of the Steinberg Playwrighting Award, the Nestroy Award, the Erwin Piscator Award, as well as fellowships from the American Academy in Rome, MacDowell, the Sundance Institute, & Yaddo, where he serves as a Board Director. Additionally, Ayad is a Board Trustee at New York Theatre Workshop, & PEN America, where he serves as President. In 2021, Akhtar was named the New York State Author by the New York State Writers Institute.
Dave Eggers is the author of many books, among them The Eyes & the Impossible, The Circle, The Monk of Mokha, Heroes of the Frontier, A Hologram for the King, & What Is the What. He is the founder of McSweeney's, an independent publishing company, & co-founder of 826 Valencia, a youth writing center that has inspired over 70 similar organizations worldwide. Eggers is winner of the American Book Award, the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Education, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the TED Prize, & has been a finalist for the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, & the National Book Critics Circle Award. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Letters.
Adrienne LaFrance is the executive editor of The Atlantic. She was previously a senior editor & staff writer at The Atlantic, & the editor of TheAtlantic.com. Before joining The Atlantic in 2014, LaFrance was an investigative reporter for several local & national news organizations, covering politics, technology, & media. She is a former reporter at Digital First Media, Nieman Journalism Lab, WBUR, Hawaii Public Radio, Honolulu Weekly, & Honolulu Civil Beat. Her writing has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, & several other newspapers & magazines.
Imani Perry is a Professor in Studies of Women, Gender, & Sexuality, & in African & African American Studies at Harvard University. Her writing & scholarship primarily focus on the history of Black thought, art, & imagination crafted in response to, & resistance against, the social, political & legal realities of domination in the West. She seeks to understand the processes of retrenchment after moments of social progress, & how freedom dreams are nevertheless sustained. She is the author of eight books, including Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant & Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry, which received the Pen Bograd-Weld Award for Biography, The Phi Beta Kappa Christian Gauss Award, the Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Nonfiction & the Shilts-Grahn Award for nonfiction. Looking for Lorraine was also named a 2018 notable book by The New York Times, & an honor book by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.