The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau

A speakers bureau that represents the best original thinkers,
writers, and doers for speaking engagements.

Acclaimed Author James Ellroy Returns With Tiltiltating Tabloid Thriller

James Ellroy is the author behind L.A. Confidential, The Black Dahlia, and some of the most epic crime novels of our time. In Widespread Panic, his latest novel, he weaves a dark story of 1950’s Hollywood, punctuated by secrets, blackmail, extortion, and prowlers—making it what NPR calls “the most Ellroy novel he’s ever written.” 

In Widespread Panic, James Ellroy follows the fictional escapades of LA’s real-life man-about-town Freddy Otash. An infamous police officer and private investigator, Otash became known as a “Hollywood fixer” — working closely with Confidential, the premier gossip rag of its time, to report on the scandals of celebrities and politicians. (He was reportedly the inspiration for Jake Gittes, the detective played by Jack Nicholson in the film Chinatown). NPR writes, “Otash was running the show, and Widespread Panic chronicles his rise and eventual fall as he becomes an informant while following a series of plots that include finding Rock Hudson a fake wife to hide his homosexuality and covering Kennedy’s misdeeds to protect his political career.”


Anyone who’s ever been intrigued by Ellroy’s distinctive brand of noir fiction will delight in this titillating new adventure, which echoes his most iconic work while continuing to stay fresh.

Book speaker James Ellroy for your next event by contacting The Lavin Agency today, his exclusive speakers bureau.

Margaret Atwood Announces Release of Dearly, Her First Poetry Collection in Over a Decade

Margaret Atwood’s already incredible career was absolutely on fire ilast year, with The Testaments—the hotly anticipated sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale— breaking sales records and taking home the Booker Prize. And her 2020 shows no signs of slowing down, with today’s announcement of her upcoming poetry collection, Dearly.

Her first collection of poems since 2007’s The Door, Dearly will distill many of her most famous themes, like perfect, precise descriptions of the natural world—and it’s damaged state—and exploring pressing political issues. And of course, the supernatural and subconscious will make appearances. Werewolves, aliens, mythology, and dreams provide different ways for Atwood to explore not only contemplative themes like ageing, reflection, and endings; but also, how our present-day bodies, minds, and world are in unprecedented transition. In her classic fashion, Atwood deftly moves between playful and wise, while intricately intertwining moving retrospection.


Set to be published by McClelland & Stewart November 10th, 2020, Dearly is sure to delight new and loyal Atwood readers alike. With her unique insights, uncommon empathy, and unexpected humor, Dearly’s poems aren’t so much a departure from her most recent, award-winning novels like The Testaments, and the Oryx and Crake trilogy, as a return to her roots as a poet.


To book speaker Margaret Atwood, contact her exclusive speakers bureau, The Lavin Agency.

Margaret Atwood, Lori Gottlieb, and Angie Thomas Named to Variety’s Best Books of 2019

The most recent novels from bestselling authors Margaret Atwood (The Testaments), Lori Gottlieb (Maybe You Should Talk to Someone) and Angie Thomas (On the Come Up) all were named to Variety’s list of the Best Books of 2019.

Margaret Atwood’s hotly anticipated sequel to 1985’s The Handmaid’s Tale, was able to intertwine her original story with elements of the Emmy Award-winning Hulu adaptation, leading both Handmaid’s and The Testaments to “all feel of one larger world” (Variety). Having already won this year’s Booker Prize, Atwood’s work had an incredible year with accolades from all over the globe—even breaking the record for best first-day sales of any Penguin Random House title in 2019. 


“This book is inception, therapy style,” Variety aptly states of Lori Gottlieb’s Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. Gottlieb started her career as a film and TV executive, then became a nationally recognized journalist—and today, she’s a psychotherapist and bestselling author. Her fascinating life and personal crisis weaves in and out of a much broader conversation on mental health and fulfilment—resulting in, as Variety puts it, “a kaleidoscope of stories about the human condition, love, loss, and how we can all learn from each other.”


Heartfelt, heartbreaking and full of hard truths, Angie Thomas’ debut novel, The Hate U Give made waves immediately—and her second novel, On the Come Up has proved to be just as much of a success. It follows the story of Bri, a talented young rapper fighting for her dreams—and her identity—against the odds. Already set to be adapted into a major motion picture, On the Come Up offers Thomas’ signature blend of authenticity, insight, and hope in especially turbulent times. “Thomas always paints a deeply emotional and intricate picture of race and class in her work,” Variety says, “But she also proves she deeply understands the issues young people face when it comes to social media and cultural pressures.”


You can read all of Variety’s Top Books of 2019 picks here.


To book speakers Margaret Atwood, Lori Gottlieb, and Angie Thomas, contact their exclusive speakers bureau, The Lavin Agency.


Authors Shoshana Zuboff and David Wallace-Wells Top The New Yorker’s Favorite Books of 2019

The hotly anticipated annual list of The New Yorker’s dropped, and Lavin speakers Shoshana Zuboff and David Wallace-Wells are top of the list.

Featured first on The New Yorker’s list, Jia Tolentino writes, “Shoshana Zuboff’s disturbing, galvanizing The Age of Surveillance Capitalism deserves every comparison that it’s received to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring—another masterwork that laid out, with unforgettable clarity, the degradation of ordinary life held captive to profit-seeking interests.” In Zuboff’s landmark book—named one of TIME’s 100 Must-Read Books of 2019, one of Bloomberg’s Best Books of 2019, and one of the New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2019—Zuboff explores the human cost of putting a price on private data through the lens of her concept of “surveillance capitalism”. While it’s true that we’re past the point of escaping the Internet—it’s become essential to society—Zuboff shares the enlightening idea that we don’t have to tolerate the way it’s come to dictate our lives. As Tolentino notes, “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism reminds us that the Internet’s central profit model isn’t inevitable, any more than it was inevitable that we allowed our country to be permanently blanketed by pesticides. Surveillance capitalism can be curbed through sustained outrage and regulation, and it’ll have to be, or else.”


David Wallace-Wells’ book, The Uninhabitable Earth, is an in-depth follow-up to his viral, vital article in New York magazine of the same name—which was the most read article in the history of the magazine. And as Carrie Battan writes, the book is “just as potent, if infinitely more depressing…At its best, it’s perhaps the richest inventory of climate-change research yet published.” In spite of his intense research and vibrant depictions of a worst-case scenario world that could be, Wallace-Wells isn’t all doom and gloom. “There may not be a silver bullet for climate change, but, as Wallace-Wells argues, there’s still far too much potential for change for hope to be lost,” explains Battan. Also named to the New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2019, GQ's Best Books of 2019, and among TIME's 100 Must-Read Books of 2019, it’s clear that The Uninhabitable Earth has had a massive impact on readers and critics worldwide.


You can check out the full list, of nine titles, here.


To book speakers Shoshana Zuboff and David Wallace-Wells, contact their exclusive speakers bureau, The Lavin Agency.

Three Lavin Speakers Make Variety’s Best Books of 2019 List

Lavin’s speakers have dominated the “end-of-year” and “best-of-decade” lists circulating the Internet lately. Most recently, Variety’s Best Books of 2019 list featured works by three Lavin Speakers: YA novelist Angie Thomas, Atlantic columnist and therapist Lori Gottlieb, and literary legend Margaret Atwood.  

Lori Gottlieb—Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
Therapist Lori Gottlieb chronicles not only the sessions she has with her clients—but also the sessions she has with her own therapist in this refreshingly honest and heart-wrenchingly funny memoir. Variety calls it “a kaleidoscope of stories about the human condition, love, loss, and how we can all learn from each other.”


Margaret Atwood—The Testaments
After the explosive popularity of The Handmaid’s Tale TV adaptation, Canadian icon Margaret Atwood wrote a follow-up novel that weaves in key elements from the Hulu series so that “it can all feel of one larger world.” Considering Atwood’s once-cautionary tale has become scarily similar to reality, The Testaments infuses some much-needed elements of hope.


Angie Thomas—On The Come Up
An expertly rendered portrait of both class and race issues, On The Come Up also considers misogyny,  censorship, and cultural pressures as it navigates the underground hip-hop scene from the perspective of a teenage MC gone viral. Thomas’ latest YA novel—which follows her smash hit The Hate U Give— weaves in powerful life lessons, “but they are always organic to her protagonist’s situation and relatable to many generations.”


Read the full list here.


To book a Literature Speaker for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency and speak with a talented member on our sales team.

New Margaret Atwood Documentary an Intimate Portrait of the Legendary Author

With winning 2019’s Booker Prize for The Testaments, a successful television series, and a world even more enraptured by her already popular prose, it’s natural to want to know what goes on in the mind and life of one of the most beloved authors, Margaret Atwood. The new documentary, Margaret Atwood: A Word after a Word after a Word is Power does just that.

Having already been a household name for decades around the world, Atwood is truly a prolific literary figure—yet few know the private life of the author. Who is the person behind the impactful imagery and oddly prescient stories? Now, thanks a film crew with over a year of exclusive access to Atwood and her late partner Graeme Gibson, we can all share a glimpse of the woman behind the words.


Filmed as she was traveling the world for speaking engagements, and completing the final chapters of The Testaments, the documentary shows a never-before-seen side of the literary legend. We see her visiting the set of A Handmaid’s Tale, her writing process, and are privy to many personal stories shared by family, friends and Atwood herself. Her upbringing in the Canadian wilderness, and early days as a poet, are also explored with a thoughtful, intimate approach.


Throughout the film, her major works are brought into further clarity, as the personal circumstances that influenced her writing are revealed.  Her poetry and prose are read by Emmy-award winning Canadian actress, Tatiana Maslany.


You can watch the trailer for Margaret Atwood: A Word after a Word after a Word is Power, here. A shorter version of the documentary will be available on CBC GEM on Thursday, November 18th. It is screening in full in Toronto at the Ted Rogers Hot Docs Cinema, until November 17th.



To book speaker Margaret Atwood, contact her exclusive speakers bureau, The Lavin Agency.

Three Lavin Speakers Make Amazon’s List of the Best Biographies and Memoirs of 2019

Authors Jayson Greene, Lori Gottlieb, and Megan Phelps-Roper are among Amazon’s annual list of the best memoirs and biographies of 2019. They each share incredibly personal, and profound, stories. 

Megan Phelps-Roper’s memoir, Unfollow, explores her life as a member of the notoriously hateful Westboro Baptist Church—and how she came to the decision to leave her entire family behind. As the granddaughter of the founder, she was immersed in the Westboro since day one, and eventually became their social media manager. It ended up being this connection to the outside world, where strangers interacted with her on a human level, that she came to see just how wrong her family was. Unfollow follows her journey from lifelong indoctrination in bigotry, to a life dedicated to spreading empathy, understanding, and hope. Her powerful memoir has been called a “must-read” by Publisher’s Weekly, and was praised by Sarah Silverman as being “wildly brave and incredibly thoughtful”.


In Lori Gottlieb’s New York Times bestseller, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, she explores what happens when a therapist—someone trained to manage human behavior—experiences her own personal crisis? Her personal narrative is at once intimate and universal; offering a rare glimpse into what exactly it means to be human, through her journey as both a clinician and patient. Mental health, wellness, vulnerability, and relationships are all explored in an ““irresistibly candid and addicting” (The New York Times Book Review) way. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone was named Best Nonfiction Book of the year by O, The Oprah Magazine and is currently being adapted as a television series with actress and director Eva Longoria.


In Once More We Saw Stars, writer Jayson Greene shares the incredibly powerful and profound journey through grief and trauma after the accidental death of his young daughter, Greta. It offers a testament of his family’s unwavering strength in the face of tremendous loss. How he tells his “intensely moving, life-affirming story” (Rolling Stone), garnered universal praise, and Greene shares his grief and resilience in an affecting way. The New York Times writes that Greene “has created a narrative of grief and acceptance that is compulsively readable and never self-indulgent,” and Cheryl Strayed described the memoir as “a gripping and beautiful book about the power of love in the face of unimaginable loss.” Once More We Saw Stars is not just a story about loss; but about love, and above all, hope.


To book speakers Megan Phelps-Roper, Jayson Greene, and Lori Gottlieb, contact their exclusive speakers bureau, The Lavin Agency.

The Novels That Shaped Our World: The BBC Names Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie in Literary List

The BBC has assembled a panel of British writers, curators, and critics to put forth a list of the books that have shaped their world. Part of the network’s year-long celebration of literature, the 100-strong list features work by contemporary icons Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie.  

“We asked our prestigious panel to create a list of world-changing novels that would provoke, spark debate, and inspire curiosity. It took months of enthusiastic debate and they have not disappointed. There are neglected masterpieces, irresistible romps, as well as much-loved classics,” said the Director of BBC Arts, Jonty Claypole. “It is a more diverse list than any I have seen before, recognising the extent to which the English language novel is an art form embraced way beyond British shores.” 


Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie’s canonical work is included among the literary classics, children’s books, and graphic novels included in the list, which will form the basis of a digital reading resource on the BBC Arts website. Atwood’s coming-of-age work Oryx and Crake was selected, while Rushie’s genre-busting The Moor’s Last Sigh made the cut. Both authors also made international headlines earlier this year with the release of their latest works, The Testaments and Quichotte, respectively.


To book a Literature Speaker for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency and speak with a skilled representative.

Margaret Atwood Receives Order of the Companions of Honor from Queen Elizabeth

Fresh off her Booker Prize win, prolific Canadian author Margaret Atwood received another honor recently—and an incredible career first: it was presented to her by none other than Queen Elizabeth.

As of late October 2019, Atwood is now one of the select few people granted the Companion of Honor award—given for achievements in the arts, literature, science and politics—and only the third Canadian, as it is typically given to British citizens. The royal investiture service occurred at Windsor Castle, where literary royal Atwood met literal Royal, Queen Elizabeth.


“I got a bit emotional,” Atwood said of the encounter. “You’re really looking at a lot of history and I’m old enough to remember a lot of that history. Short form, she was brilliant in the war.”


Atwood has written more than 40 books of fiction, essays and poetry. She rocketed to international attention with 1985’s The Handmaid’s Tale—now a widely popular Hulu series—and since then, has consistently met with accolades and adoration for her oft prophetic prose and sharp eye for exposing some of the darker truths about human nature.


Perhaps it’s her odd prescience, in addition to her incredible stories, that has kept her in the spotlight all these years. After the Companion of Honor ceremony, the 79-year-old remarked, “At my age, it’s not the usual thing. Usually at my age you sort of fade away, and that doesn’t seem to be happening yet.”


And with her most recent novel, The Testaments (sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale) breaking sales records right out of the gate and garnering Atwood her second Booker Prize, her indominable presence on the literary scene won’t be fading away anytime soon.


To book speaker Margaret Atwood, contact The Lavin Agency, her exclusive speakers bureau, today.

Margaret Atwood Wins the Prestigious Booker Prize for the Second Time

With her newest release, The Testaments, breaking sales records around the globe—and at a record speed—literary legend Margaret Atwood is also taking home the Booker Prize for the sequel to 1985’s The Handmaid’s Tale, today.

Nineteen years ago, Atwood accepted the same award for her book The Blind Assassin; and today’s win makes her only the fourth author to have won the prize twice. With the current cultural impact and prescience of the Hulu series ased on her iconic novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, combined with its portentous sequel, The Testaments, it’s not a shock that her landmark new offering overwhelmingly captivated the minds of the jury.


This year, the jury made an unconventional choice: jointly awarding the prize between two people; both Atwood, and the British author Bernardine Evaristo, for her vibrant and vital work Girl, Woman, Other. Together they mark significant moments for the prize—Atwood, 79, is the oldest-ever Booker winner, and Evaristo is the first black woman in its fifty-year history to take home the trophy. Founded in 1969, the U.K. prize is open to English-language authors from all over the globe. Only twice before has it been split between two winners.


The Testaments is set fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid's Tale, and explores the accounts of three women: a young woman living inside Gilead, a high school student in Canada who wants Gilead fall, and Handmaid’s Aunt Lydia, a powerful woman who understands the workings of Gilead far too well. 


To book speaker Margaret Atwood, contact her exclusive speakers bureau, The Lavin Agency.

Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments is the #1 Hardcover Fiction Book on the New York Times Bestseller List

Margaret Atwood’s latest book, The Testaments, breaks new ground yet again—this week it’s the #1 hardcover fiction book. According to the New York Times list, The Testaments—in its’ second week since publication—beat out Stephen King’s latest in its’ debut week.

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize and praised by the likes of NPR, New York Times, BBC, LA Times, and more, The Testaments is her highly anticipated sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale. It picks up 15 years in the future from where the first book left off, and explores new stories in the dystopia of Gilead—some of which may not seem to far from reality today.


Called “powerful, revealing, and engaging” by the Boston Globe, and hailed as “a fast, immersive narrative that’s as propulsive as it is melodramatic,” by the New York Times, The Testaments is well on its way to becoming just as much of a literary classic as its beloved forebear.


To book speaker Margaret Atwood, contact The Lavin Agency, her exclusive speakers bureau.

“Dreamy Recollection of a Terrible Year”: Vox Reviews Patti Smith’s Year of the Monkey

The legendary musician’s third memoir walks readers through the tumultuous year of 2016, in which the nation’s collective despair collided with her own personal grief.

In the opening of Year of the Monkey, Patti Smith says goodbye to her longtime friend and music producer, Sandy Pearlman. This is the first, but not the last, of the difficult moments that Smith goes through. We follow her through a year of ups and downs, from hitchhiking through the desert, meeting an oddball cast of strange and wonderful people, to heading to Kentucky and helping her former lover and cherished friend Sam Shephard finish his final work (he passed away shortly after of Lou Gehrig’s disease).


In their review of the book Vox notes that it’s the first time Smith has opened up about her relationship with Shephard in such a personal and frank way, unwilling or unable to hide her devastation at his deteriorating condition: “This is Smith’s modus operandi. She unfurls a long dreamscape of a scene: the blue light of a country house at night, the horses, the rocking chairs. Then she punches you in the gut with the emotional point—even the people you can’t live without are, in fact, people you might outlive—and pulls you into another dream.”


Read the full review here.


To book speaker Patti Smith for your next speaking event, contact The Lavin Agency today, her exclusive speakers bureau.

The Most Anticipated Book of the Season—Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments—Hits Record Sales

The iconic author’s latest release has only been on shelves for one short week, but already it’s established itself as another bona fide hit. 

According to Penguin Random House, The Testaments has sold more than 125,000 copies since its release on Tuesday. Margaret Atwoods sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale has performed so well, it has officially broken the record for best first-day sales of any Penguin Random House title this year. Having initially gone to press on the novel for an announced 500,000 copies, the publisher has gone back twice already on The Testaments.


Currently, the book is #1  on Apple Book charts and #2 on the Barnes and Nobles bestseller list, but it has also been doing exceptionally well for independent bookshops. Chicago bookstore owner Sarah Hollenbeck tells The Guardian, “It has a notable cross-generational appeal. I am seeing older customers buy it who adored The Handmaid’s Tale when it was first released and much younger customers pick it up who may have only discovered it only after the Hulu series was released. It also is extraordinarily and terrifyingly timely.”


To book speaker Margaret Atwood for your next speaking event, contact The Lavin Agency today, her exclusive speakers bureau.


Margaret Atwood’s Hotly Anticipated Handmaid’s Sequel is Out Tomorrow

Atwood fans, rejoice! The TestamentsMargaret Atwood’s hyped-up sequel to The Handmaid's Tale—hits shelves tomorrow. 

It’s been nearly 35 years since Margaret Atwood wrote The Handmaid’s Tale, and three years since the book was adapted into an Emmy award-winning series. Fans, old and new, are now intimately acquainted with the cruel, fictional world of Gilead. In The Testaments, Atwood once againt visits Gilead, but this time readers should expect a slightly more optimistic rendering of the totalitarian state. In their “first look” review of the novel, The Guardian writes,“For The Testaments take us to a subtly altered Gilead and, in many ways, a more hopeful one. Its structures are weakening; the myths it has told its citizens are beginning to lose their hold. The Eye under which its women must conduct their constricted, stolen lives is beginning to flicker.”


You can read their full review here.


To book speaker Margaret Atwood for your next speaking engagement, contact The Lavin Agency today.


“The Godfather of Crime Fiction” James Ellroy Named GQ’s Writer of the Year

James Ellroy, the prolific author known for the blockbuster novels L.A. Confidential and The Black Dahlia, released his fourteenth book this year. This Storm tells the story of war fever and racial hatred brewing in 1940’s America. 

“There are crime writers and then there is James Ellroy,” writes the GQ profile on the revered author, who released This Storm (the anticipated sequel to Perfidia) to wide acclaim and bestseller status earlier this year. The magazine has dubbed Ellroy the “Writer of the Year,” an honor that the literary icon—now in his fourth decade of writing—firmly deserves.


Read a preview of his GQ profile, which will be released in the October issue of the magazine, here.


To book speaker James Ellroy for your next speaking engagement, contact The Lavin Agency today.

The Reluctant Prophet: Margaret Atwood Featured in TIME, Long-Listed for the Giller Prize

Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s sequel The Testaments is almost here. The prolific author opens up about the decision to revisit the fictional world of Gilead, her knack for capturing the dark side of history, and her status as a national treasure in TIME magazine.  

“Only dead people are allowed to have statues, but I have been given one while still alive. Already I am petrified.”


These are the opening words from The Testaments, the much-hyped sequel to Margaret Atwood’s classic dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale. Up until now, the book has been tightly embargoed—a fact that didn’t stop it from being short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, and long-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize (an award she won previously for Alias Grace). Now, for the first time, fans can get a glimpse of the novel ahead of its release, in an excerpt published in The Guardian.


Atwood, to her credit, is a humble recipient of all this attention. In her TIME cover story, the author reminds us that “It’s just a book,” even if it feels like a momentous occasion. Since The Handmaid’s Tale has been adapted for television, Atwood’s celebrity has steadily risen, breaking new, international depths. It’s “exhausting,” she says, in true Atwood fashion. Lucy Feldman, author of the TIME profile, writes, “[Atwood] sees her role as the person who drops a flare on the highway—she wrote the new book in part because she worries the world is trending more toward Gilead than away from it.”


Read the full story here.


To book speaker Margaret Atwood for your next speaking event, contact The Lavin Agency today, her exclusive speakers bureau.


Surviving the Internet: Chuck Klosterman Speaks to GQ about Life in the Digital Age

When Chuck Klosterman first emerged into public consciousness, he was a cultural critic hailed for his funny, idiosyncratic, and prescient voice. But as social media has become more ubiquitous, it seems everyone on the Internet is now a “cultural critic” of sorts. In his GQ interview, Klosterman speaks openly about the realities of a digital world.  

Chuck Klosterman’s 11th book Raised in Captivity is a collection of stories marketed as “fictional nonfiction.” In their review of the book, TIME magazine wrote that the vignettes—each a “scrollable” length—feel like “a replication of the fractured way we are forced, in the age of technology, to mediate reality and attempt to understand the world around us.”


Klosterman echoes that sentiment in his recent interview with GQ: “If you drop a person into the desert, there is a hard reality. And we sort of live now in a mediated reality,” he told the magazine, noting that the advent of the Internet now means most of our reality is constructed.


The Internet today almost feels like an echo chamber; a cacophony of voices and opinions. “So often now, particularly with controversial stories, we act as though the controversial story is getting all the attention, but actually it's the reaction to it that's getting far more attraction,” he explains. “Somebody will say something in an interview, and thousands and thousands and thousands of people will react to it and make a new story.”


You can read Klosterman’s full interview here.


To book Chuck Klosterman for your next speaking event, contact a sales agent at The Lavin Agency.

Hulu Series Based on Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale Will Return for Season Four

After an incredible response to its’ first three seasons, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale is returning to television for a highly anticipated fourth run.

Following the story of Offred and her fellow “handmaids” in a dystopian near-future, Margaret Atwood’s 1985 classic still strikes a chord today. The book-turned-series is Hulu’s most-watched show, not just in terms of original programming, but out of all the platform’s offerings.


And with Atwood’s official sequel, The Testaments—a Booker prize finalist set to be released this fall—it would seem the story is perhaps timelier than ever. But fans need not worry about the new release containing spoilers for The Handmaid’s fourth season: The Testaments will be narrated by three female characters, and will not be connected to the show’s storyline.


To book Margaret Atwood, or another Literature Speaker, contact a sales agent at The Lavin Agency today.

From NPR to Fast Company, Lavin Speakers Dominate the Summer Must-Reads Lists

A good book can be the perfect companion for balmy summer days. This year, Lavin speakers dominated the summer 2019 must-read lists, featuring in round-ups from INC, Financial Times, and the New York Post. From Safi Bahcall to Chuck Klosterman, check out these recommended reads from some of the literary world’s best and brightest.


Loonshots, Safi BacallFeatured in the Financial Times
Physicist and entrepreneur Safi Bahcall draws on the science of “phase transitions” to reveal surprising insights about human behaviors and how we arrive at radical break-thoughs. With entertaining historical anecdotes and sharp analysis, Bahcall makes a compelling case for nurturing crazy ideas (“loonshots”) and changing the world. Loonshots is featured in the Business section of Summer books of 2019 in the Financial Times.

Grit, Angela DuckworthFeatured in INC
Why do some people succeed while others fail? Prominent psychologist and science author Angela Duckworth identifies grit as one of the most crucial components of success, even more important than talent. In her bestselling book of the same name, Duckworth couples her landmark research with anecdotal evidence from the field, as well as her own personal story
charting her journey from struggling scientist’s daughter to teacher, business consultant, and eventually psychologist.  Grit is included in INC’s round-up of “Business Books You Should Actually Read This Summer.”


Rebel Talent, Francesca GinoFeatured in Harvard Business School’sWorking Knowledge
Breaking the rules doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. In Rebel Talent, behavioral scientist and Harvard Business School professor Francesca Gino explains why a little bit of rebellion can enhance joy and meaning in our lives – including at work. She has spent more than a decade studying the leaders in organizations around the world, and what makes them succeed. A love letter to the “troublemakers, outcasts, and contrarians,” Rebel Talent argues that the future belongs to the rebel
and that there’s one in each of us.


The Uninhabitable Earth, David Wallace-WellsFeatured in The Times (UK)
Reporter David Wallace-Wells’ first book will “hit you like a comet” with the horrors that await us if climate change is not addressed. In his lyrical prose
backed by fastidious researchWallace-Wells paints a bleak picture of the future to rouse his readers into action. The continuation of our species, contends Wallace-Wells, now rests on the shoulders of a single generation.


The Lies That Bind, Kwame Anthony AppiahFeatured in NPR Code Switch Book Club
Gender. Religion. Race. Nationality. Class. Culture. All of our affiliations work together to create a sense of self. But what if the terms we use to define ourselves are actually based on myths? Kwame Anthony Appiah’s The Lies That Bind is an ambitious, philosophical exploration of identity
one that will transform the way you think about who and what we are.


Raised in Captivity, Chuck KlostermanFeatured in Fast Company & WIRED
Chuck Klosterman reveals piercing truths about our current cultural moment in this absurdly fun collection of stories. Raised in Captivity is witty, weird, astoundingly perceptive
everything we’ve come to expect from the Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs authorand more. “Ceaselessly inventive, hostile to corniness in all its forms, and mean only to the things that really deserve it,” Klosterman’s latest has attracted the attention of Fast Company and WIRED.


On The Come Up, Angie ThomasFeatured in NPR Code Switch Book Club
On The Come Up is the follow-up novel to Angie Thomas’ critically acclaimed The Hate U Give. This time around, Thomas writes about sixteen-year-old Bri: the daughter of an underground rap legend who died too young, and an aspiring hip-hop artist herself. When Bri’s mother loses her job unexpectedly, Bri’s dream becomes a means of survival. On The Come Up is a passionate tale of going after your dreams, even when the odds are stacked against you.


The Storm, James EllroyFeatured in the New York Post
From the masterful author of The Black Dahlia and L.A. Confidential comes The Storm, James Ellroy’s latest historical crime novel. Set in the underbelly of Los Angeles and Mexico during World War II, The Storm offers a probing look at greed and corruption throughout America’s troubling history. The Storm is featured in a Thriller Round-Up
20 summer books to send chills down your spinefor the New York Post.


Interested in booking a speaker for your next event? Check out our dedicated Literature Speakers page, or contact The Lavin Agency for more information.

The Washington Post Round-Up of Best Books for Every Age Features Four Lavin Speakers

The time in your life that you read a book will alter the impact it will have on you. The Washington Post has rounded up the best book for every age, a list of recommendations chosen based on the “age-appropriate wisdom they impart.” Included in the round-up are Lavin speakers Angie Thomas, Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie and Ashton Applewhite.  

The Hate You Give, Angie ThomasAge 15


This breakout YA novel tells the story of  Starr Carter, a black high school student who straddles the opposing worlds of the poor residential neighborhood she grew up in, and the mostly white, elite prep school she attends. The tenuous balance is destroyed when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend by a white police officer. Angie Thomas tells a riveting and tragic story of a young girl’s turn toward activism, offering a searing commentary on police brutality, racial inequality, and gun violence in the process.


The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret AtwoodAge 19


Given the current state of U.S. politics, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale feels especially prescient. Like George Orwell before her, Atwood didn’t intend to predict the future, only warn against its many dystopian possibilities. She tells the story of Offred, a woman living in the new Republic of Gilead, where women can no longer have jobs, earn money, or even read. As global birth rates decline, Offred’s only purpose is to breed, her only value lying in her continued ability to get pregnant. The Handmaid’s Tale is a brilliant, haunting, perceptive tale of a woman’s desire to survive and rebel against the state-sanctioned horror and devastation around her.


Midnight’s Children, Salman RushdieAge 71


Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children is a magical story set during India’s transition from British Colonialism to Independence. The protagonist, Saleem Sinai, is born at the stroke of midnight on August 15th, 1947 (India’s Independence Day) and considered a symbol of good fortune and health of the nation. Sinai’s life is inextricable from his country, and perhaps even more strangely, he possesses a telepathic connection with the 1,000 other “midnight children,” all born during the same hour and all blessed with magical gifts. Midnight’s Children is a shining masterpiece of India and its people, told by one of literature’s most singular voices.

This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism, Ashton ApplewhiteAge 94


Activist Ashton Applewhite has made it her mission to rebuke the many myths our society peddles us about growing older. In This Chair Rocks, Applewhte takes a radical stance against youth-obsessed culture and the many damaging prejudices borne out of it. With wit and candor, Applewhite chronicles her own personal journey from apprehensive boomer to pro-aging advocate, and  explains how ageism is deeply entrenched in our institutions, our beliefs, and our history. This Chair Rocks inspires readers to usher in a new era of age pride and create a world of equality.


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Margaret Atwood’s Acclaimed Debut Novel—The Edible Woman—Is Being Adapted for Television

Hot on the heels of Emmy award-winning series The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood’s first published novel The Edible Woman is being optioned for the small screen. Published on the cusp of the feminist movement, the 1969 novel explores the maddeningly restrictive nature of society’s perscribed gender roles.

The Edible Woman centers around Marian McAlpin, an ordinary woman who leads an ordinary life. When her boyfriend Peter proposes, however, Marian’s well-structured existence slowly begins to collapse starting with her appetite. Marian’s internal battle with the idea of marriageand the loss of independance that goes with itmanifests as a gradual inability to eat. First steak, then eggs, and lastly, and most infuriatingly, vegetables. With humor, irony, and incredible foresight, Margaret Atwood’s dazzling first novel confronts the absurdities of navigating a changing world through the lens of consumption.  

Enertainment One (eOne), has acquired the worldwide rights to the series, and will also be producing it. Francine Zuckerman and Karen Shaw have joined the project as executive producers, though no writer or cast has been announced at this time.


To book Margaret Atwood for your next speaking event, contact The Lavin Agency, her exclusive speakers bureau.

With Debut Novel The Hate U Give Still a #1 Bestseller, Speaker Angie Thomas Introduces Her Next Dynamic and Timely Book

With The Hate U Give enjoying its 52nd week at the top of The New York Times bestseller list, the follow-up novel by speaker Angie Thomas could not be more eagerly anticipated. Entertainment Weekly released a sneak peek of the forthcoming title’s cover and plotline—about aspiring rapper Bri, as she tries to stave off poverty with every move in her playbook.  

Angie Thomas’ embrace of cultural and political issues inform her gripping, hopeful talks, as well has her novels. Following up on The Hate U Give – an instant bestseller, National Book Award nominee, and soon-to-be-feature film starring The Hunger Game’s Amandla Stenberg and Insecure’s Issa Rae – Thomas’ next book On the Come Up continues to explore both the political and personal lives of young women. The Hate U Give told the story of Starr, a teen who sees her best friend killed by police. Praised as the first Black Lives Matter-inspired YA novel, Thomas’ keynotes lift off from the same place as her fiction, using art and storyteling to explore racial injustice and social change. One the Come Up is about Bri, a 16-year-old hip hop aficionado, who Entertainment Weekly describes as “the daughter of an underground rap legend who died right before he hit it big.” But like The Hate U Give, On the Come Up places its young heroine in a difficult, real world setting when her single mother loses her job unexpectedly. “With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it — she has to make it.”


In her keynotes, Thomas discusses how rappers have long given voice to America’s most marginalized communities. For Thomas, (herself a former MC) hip hop explains what it means to be young and black in this country today. Additionally, she explains why young black people need to see themselves in fiction, especially as they are forced to see themselves, traumatically and routinely, as the victims of discrimination, poverty, and police brutality. On stage, she demonstrates why we need more compelling depictions of black girls in art, often lost in discussions of black youth in general. She argues for writing that can turn the merely political into the deeply personal: a way to inspire action and speaking truth to power. 


To find out more about booking speaker Angie Thomas, or any of our other literary speakers, for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency today.  href=”http:>