Jane Smiley is the author of numerous novels, including “A Thousand Acres,” which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, as well as four works of nonfiction. In 2001 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She received the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature in 2006.

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Samuelsson, the youngest chef ever to receive two three-star ratings from The New York Times — is owner of Red Rooster restaurant in Harlem and former Executive Chef and co-owner of New York’s Restaurant Aquavit, AQ Cafe at Scandinavia House, and Riingo. He starred on Discovery Home Channel’s “Inner Chef,” is winner of “Top Chef Masters” and is a five-time James Beard Award recipient.

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Yotam Ottolenghi owns an eponymous group of four restaurants, plus the high-end restaurant, Nopi, in London. His previous cookbooks—Plenty, Jerusalem, and Ottolenghi—have all been on the New York Times bestseller list. He writes for The Guardian, and appears on BBC.

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George Clinton revolutionized R&B during the ’70s, twisting soul music into funk by adding influences from several late-’60s acid heroes: Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, and Sly Stone. The Parliament/Funkadelic machine captured more than forty R&B hit singles (including three at #1) and recording three platinum albums.

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A beloved star of stage, television, and film, Alan Cumming is a successful artist whose diversity and fearlessness is unparalleled. He currently stars as the Master of Ceremonies opposite Michelle Williams in Cabaret on Broadway, wrapped season 5 of the CBS hit drama The Good Wife. In his memoir, Not My Father’s Son, he shares the emotional story of his complicated relationship with his father and the deeply buried family secrets that shaped his life and career.

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Kristof, a columnist for The New York Times, is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner whose columns appear twice a week. Equal in urgency and compassion to “Half the Sky,” the new book from Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn is even more ambitious in scale: a deep examination of people who are making the world a better place, and the myriad ways we can support them.

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