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In this new kind of interview show, Randy Cohen talks to guests about a person, a place, and a thing they feel strongly about. The result: some great talkers tell stories they never have before. Visit

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Dec 31, 2022

Like Conrad, Nabokov, and Beckett, this novelist—In the Distance, Trust— writes in a language other than the one he spoke as a child, and it helps him see the world afresh: “If you move out of one language and into another, it is like moving out of one country and into another.” A conversation at Rizzoli...

Dec 10, 2022

When he was in college, he met Duke Ellington. “I was a freshman with a huge afro, an Angela Davis afro, and he pointed at me across the room and said, ‘You must be a musician.’” Thus anointed, he went on to compose operas including X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X and the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Central...

Dec 3, 2022

This terrific bass-baritone likes white orchids in his dressing room. They’re beautiful and ephemeral, like—oh, I don’t know—music? Now everything seems like a metaphor. “Everything is a metaphor,” he says. The joys and jolts of a person of color in the world of classical music.

Nov 27, 2022

This singer-songwriter and this composer met at artist Mark Kostabi’s house. “He’s attracted to lots of different kinds of people,” she says. “He brings them together, feeds them, gives them wine, and tells us to perform.“ Isn’t that pretty much the Island of Dr. Moreau? Music: Suzanne Vega, Bill Anderson,...

Nov 19, 2022

This graphic designer is admired for his decades as an art director at the New York Times, for his teaching, and for his books, including his most recent, Growing Up Underground,a memoir of his youth in the East Village of the sixties: ”It was disgusting, but in a good way.” Produced with the Type Directors Club,...