- Quote: “If our Founding Fathers wanted us to care about the rest of the world, they wouldn't have declared their independence from it.”
- Answer: Actor, comedian, late-night host, and writer Stephen Colbert writes biting satire on American life. At the beginning of his career, Colbert wanted to be a serious actor; then he fell in love with the art of improvisation, changing his career path entirely. In 2007, his satirical take on the country, “I Am America (And So Can You!),” hit the top spot on the New York Times bestseller list.
- Quote: “There is nothing gutsier to me than a person announcing that their story is one that deserves to be told, especially if that person is a woman.”
- Answer: Lena Dunham is best known for her screenwriting and acting roles, but she’s written for various outlets and released her first book, “Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s Learned,” in 2012. Dunham has been named one of Time magazine’s most influential people. She’s earned two Golden Globes and several Emmy nominations for her HBO show “Girls.”
- Quote: “I just looked at the pattern of my life, decided I didn't like it, and changed.”
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- Answer: David Sedaris is a Grammy-nominated humorist, radio performer, and writer. His books include “Me Talk Pretty One Day,” and “When You’re Engulfed in Flames.” Sedaris writes about his life, his family, and the world with a cynic’s humor and the softness of someone who is uncomfortably settled into the mixed bag that is human existence. Brought up in Raleigh, North Carolina, Sedaris lives in Paris with his partner.
- Quote: “Do not wait for the healing to arrive. It will never come. The holes will never leave or be filled with anything at all. But holes are interesting things.”
- Answer: Augusten Burroughs has no formal education in writing, but he managed to work for years as an advertising copywriter and, one day, felt compelled to write a novel, which he sat down and finished in seven days. His popular memoir about growing up amid dysfunction, “Running With Scissors,” remained on the New York Times bestseller list for four years. Burroughs also wrote the memoir “Dry” about his time in advertising and how he got sober.
- Quote: “Prejudice, a dirty word, and faith, a clean one, have something in common: They both begin where reason ends.”
- Answer: Harper Lee grew up a tomboy in Alabama, went to a girl’s college, and worked as a clerk before deciding to dive fully into her writing. Lee found herself an agent after writing some long stories; from there, her friends gifted her a year’s worth of wages in order to allow her to do nothing but write. In that year Lee completed "To Kill a Mockingbird," one of the most famous works in American literary history.
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