20 Highbrow 92Y Talks to Enjoy in Air Conditioning This Weekend


It’s hot pretty much everywhere in the US this week. Super-hot. Hot beyond the imaginings of Cthulhu. And because there’s not much on television or the radio on the weekend, you’ll have to resort to online entertainment, we know. Well, luckily, 92Y in New York has a web channel where it has uploaded many of the talks it hosts by highbrow famous people. Here are the ones we’re recommending. Their entire, fabulous archive is here.

Sapphire and Sherman Alexie, talking about banned books and the elasticity of English.

Oliver Sacks reads for you at an Auden tribute.

James Earl Jones reading Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself. (Click on the image to listen.)

Chinua Achebe, who died earlier this year, talking with K. Anthony Appiah about Nigerian politics.

Joan Baez, singing and speaking of 1960s singer friends.

Tim Gunn being his adorable self.

Truman Capote reading from Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Nora Ephron, talking about the state of women writers in 1972 with several other critics. (Click on the image to listen.)

Junot Diaz and Jamaica Kincaid, reading.

Chip Kidd, Dave Eggers, and others discuss book covers.

Susan Sontag chatting with the New York Review of Books editor Elizabeth Hardwick. (Click on the image to listen.)

David Simon and Richard Price talking about The Wire.

Stephen Breyer, Supreme Court Justice, talking about what that‘s like.

Betsey Johnson talking about her early career.

Gore Vidal, doing his irascible old man thing.

Calvin Trillin, talking about his wife, Alice, with Frank McCourt. (Click on the image to listen.)

Zadie Smith chatting with the Nigerian author Uzodinma Iweala.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson, riffing on the planets.

Ani DiFranco, reading and talking about women and music

And Michael Sandel, talking about friends.