Author, essayist, and radio commentator Sarah Vowell, is loved for her unique perspective on American history and for her distinctive voice as a contributing editor on Public Radio International’s This American Life. She is the New York Times’ bestselling author of five nonfiction books on American history and culture.
Her books, which include Take the Cannoli, The Partly Cloudy Patriot, The Wordy Shipmates, and Assassination Vacation, examine the connections between America’s past and present, and offer Vowell’s personal, always surprising and humorous accounts of everything from presidents and their assassins to colonial religious fanatics, utopian dreamers, pop music and the odd cranky cartographer.
Vowell was a contributing editor for This American Life from 1996-2008, where she produced numerous commentaries and documentaries. She was also one of the original contributors to McSweeney’s and has been a columnist for Salon.com, Time, San Francisco Weekly, and continues to write occasional essays for the opinion page of The New York Times.
She is the president of the board of 826NYC. Her forthcoming book, Unfamiliar Fishes, recounts the brief, remarkable history of a unified and independent Hawaii.
Douglas McGray is a contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and the public radio program This American Life. He is the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Pop-Up Magazine, a staged live show at Davies Symphony Hall featuring films, radio, photography and print journalism, and a fellow at the New America Foundation.