Three Approaches to Writing Biography | Los Angeles Public Library
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Three Approaches to Writing Biography

Thursday, March 25, 2010
Episode Summary
Three new biographies-on Frank Oppenheimer, Frank Gehry, and Joseph Papp-offer completely different strategies for revealing complex and accomplished lives.

Participant(s) Bio
K.C. Cole is currently on the faculty at the USC Annenberg School of Journalism. Previously, she was science correspondent for the Los Angeles Times and has written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, and many other publications. Cole is also the author of seven nonfiction books, including Mind Over Matter: Conversations with the Cosmos; The Hole in the Universe: How Scientists Peered Over the Edge of Emptiness and Found Everything; and The Universe and the Teacup, the Mathematics of Truth and Beauty. She has been honored with numerous prizes, including the American Institute of Physics Science Writing prize and the Los Angeles Times award for best explanatory journalism.

Barbara Isenberg is a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times and Time magazine and has written for such publications as Esquire, Talk and London's Sunday Times. She received a Distinguished Artist Award from the Los Angeles Music Center, has been a Visiting Scholar at the Getty Research Institute and is associate director of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities at USC. Her books include Making It Big: The Diary of a Broadway Musical and State of the Arts: California Artists Talk About Their Work, and Conversations with Frank Gehry.

Kenneth Turan is film critic for the Los Angeles Times and NPR's Morning Edition as well as the director of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. He has been a staff writer for the Washington Post and TV Guide and the Times' book review editor. A graduate of Swarthmore College and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, he is the coauthor of Call Me Anna: The Autobiography of Patty Duke. He teaches film reviewing and non-fiction writing at USC and is on the board of directors of the National Yiddish Book Center. His books include Sundance to Sarajevo: Film Festivals and the World They Made as well as Never Coming to a Theater Near You and Now In Theaters Everywhere. His latest book is Free For All: Joe Papp, the Public and the Greatest Theater Story Ever Told, co-written with Joseph Papp.

Kit Rachlis was born in Paris and raised in New York City. He earned a B.A. in American studies from Yale in 1975. He has served as music editor and arts editor of the Boston Phoenix (1977-1984), executive editor of New York's Village Voice (1984 -1988), editor-in-chief of the LA Weekly (1988-1993), and senior editor at The Los Angeles Times Magazine and the paper's senior projects editor (1994-2000). In 2000, he became editor-in-chief of Los Angeles. During his tenure, the magazine was nominated for a National Magazine Award five times and received more city and regional magazine awards than any other magazine. Rachlis's writing has appeared in The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll and Stranded: Rock and Roll for a Desert Island.