Featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Sympathizer” Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-nominated author of “The Moor’s Account” Laila Lalami and Pulitzer Prize-nominated author of “There There” Tommy Orange, in conversation with Aspen Institute Citizenship and American Identity Program Executive Director and Citizen University Founder Eric Liu. In 1987, E.D. Hirsch sparked a national debate with his book “Cultural Literacy,” claiming that there is a foundation of common knowledge every American should know — and codifying it in a list of 5,000 facts and cultural references. Hirsch’s list was attacked, celebrated, and much discussed. Today, amidst giant demographic and technological shifts, we need such common knowledge more than ever, and it needs to be radically more diverse and inclusive. What should today’s Americans know to be civically and culturally literate?
NBF Presents: Borders of Belonging
To question the “other” in American identity, join National Book Award–honored authors Laila Lalami (The Other Americans, 2019 Fiction Finalist), Nafissa Thompson-Spires (Heads of the Colored People, 2018 Fiction Longlist), and Karla Cornejo Villavicencio (The Undocumented Americans, 2020 Nonfiction Finalist) for a conversation on borders, immigration, and outsiders, and what it means to write one’s self into existence. Moderated by Concepción de León, a New York Times reporter.