NB Library Hosts Season 24 of The Witte Lectures

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Nothing can stop the Newport Beach Public Library’s noted Witte Lecture Series, not even the pandemic.

This year, the Witte Lecture Series goes virtual via Zoom while continuing to provide timely, relevant, and vibrant contemporary speakers. Be inspired by the artistry of cooking, political developments of historic magnitude, the societal price of addiction, and the power of art which can cross cultural divides.

The Library offers a seat at its virtual round table in the comfort of your own home as the Witte Lecture Series present engaging and tasty topics during serious times.

Friday, January 15 at 6:19 p.m.: Samin Nosrat and “Salt Heat Fat Acid: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking”

Award-winning chef, author and one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2019, Samin Nosrat shares her passion for good food and words with equal vigor. Nosrat’s bestselling book Salt Heat Fat Acid is also a Netflix hit series. Like the TV show, her vibrant personality will jump through the screen to us at home. Food is culture, as they say. We are hungry for comfort food and she delivers big time. Nosrat’s inspiring work fosters community and raises social and environmental awareness. We will also hear about her new book What to Cook Next published by Ten Speed Press. www.ciaosamin.com.

Nosrat will be in conversation with Gillian Ferguson producer of Good Food on KCRW where she hosts “The Market Report.”

Friday, February 19 at 6:19 p.m.: PJ O’Rourke and “Time to Laugh! A Cry from the Far Middle: Dispatches from a Divided Land”

Leading political satirist, best-selling author, and op-ed contributor to The Washington Post, P.J. O’Rourke, covers current events, combining the skill of an investigative reporter with a comedian’s sense of the absurd. Known as a hard-bitten, cigar-smoking conservative, he unabashedly bashes all political persuasions. Whether dealing with the inner workings of Washington or shifting political and economic sands of the new world disorder, O’Rourke proves to be a savvy guide to national and global affairs. His razor-sharp insights never fail to inform and entertain. With more than 1 million words of trenchant journalism under his byline and more citations in The Penguin Dictionary of Humorous Quotations than any living writer, O’Rourke has established himself as America’s premier political satirist. He has authored 20 books, including his latest, “A Cry from the Far Middle: Dispatches from a Divided Land” (2020).

Friday, March 12 at 6:19 p.m.: Sam Quinones and “Dreamland – Opioids in America: Past, Present, and Future”

Sam Quinones’ book “Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic” (2015) won a National Book Critics Circle Award and was on a dozen Best Book of the Year lists. Why? The book struck a common chord. Quinones is a masterful storyteller and sought-after speaker who shares how the silent tragedy has impacted communities and families coast to coast. And what a tale. Dreamland is riveting. Quinones recounts how a pharmaceutical corporation promoted its legal opiate prescription painkiller as non-addictive and the rise of international drug trafficking. The collision of these two forces has led America into the deadliest drug scourge in modern times. Dreamland has also been adapted for a young adult audience, grades 8-12. www.samquinones.com.

Friday, April 16 at 6:19 p.m.: Shahzia Sikander and “Beauty, Power, and Extraordinary Realities”

Pioneering Pakistani American artist Shahzia Sikander is one of the most influential artists working today. She is celebrated for her figurative painting, sculptures and installations inspired by traditional Persian miniatures. Sikander will discuss her latest artwork, exhibitions, and forthcoming book “Shahzia Sikander: Extraordinary Realities” (2021, Hirmer Publishers). We will learn how she expands and subverts traditional themes to explore cultural identity, gender, and other under-represented narratives. Sikander received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2006 and was awarded the State Department Medal of Arts in 2012. Her work has been exhibited around the world including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, Sydney; Irish Modern Museum of Art, Dublin; and the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao. www.shahziasikander.com.

Sikander will be in conversation with Meg Linton, Chief Executive Officer, Newport Beach Public Library Foundation.

Witte Lecture Series Details

Virtual doors open at 6:19 p.m. with a virtual presentation followed by Q&A on Zoom.

Tickets are on sale now. General $35 per household/NBPLF Members receive 25 percent discount. Opportunity to buy a signed copy of the presenters’ publications is made possible by Laguna Beach Books

Visit https://nbplf.foundation/programs/witte-lectures/ to purchase tickets and for more information.

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