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Monday, February 24, 2020

2/25/20 - Janeane will speak with Dani Shapiro, best-selling memoirist, novelist and host of the hit podcast Family Secrets shares her story about the staggering family secret uncovered by a genealogy test: an exploration of the urgent ethical questions surrounding fertility treatments and DNA testing, and a profound inquiry of paternity, identity, and love

DANI SHAPIROBestselling memoirist, novelist and host of the hit podcast Family Secrets shares her story about the staggering family secret uncovered by a genealogy test: an exploration of the urgent ethical questions surrounding fertility treatments and DNA testing, and a profound inquiry of paternity, identity, and love – now in paperback

In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had whimsically submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. She woke up one morning and her entire history—the life she had lived—crumbled beneath her.

This shocking revelation propelled Dani into a journalistic and personal quest that resulted in her latest memoir, INHERITANCE — the book she was literally born to write. Chronicling Dani’s journey to unlock the hidden story of her own identity, INHERITANCE, which became an instant New York Times bestseller in hardcover, is a gripping exploration of the secrets we keep from one another—out of shame, for self-protection, or in the name of love—and how to answer the fundamental question: What makes us who we are?

Dani Shapiro discusses:
· Her writing process for INHERITANCE and why she was driven to start writing in real time as the story was unfolding.

· How her own sense of identity -- a central theme of INHERITANCE – has changed over the course of her DNA discovery to now, as well as how it has affected so many readers on their own journeys of secrets and identity.

· Her advice to the millions of people who will take personal DNA tests (as many as 50 million are estimated to have received personal DNA test kits such as 23&Me and Ancestry for holiday gifts this past season alone). She shares her thoughts on how these tests have affected our society in both good and worrisome ways.

· Her hit podcast, Family Secrets, now in its third season, with over 7 million downloads.

INHERITANCE is a book about secrets—secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love. It is the story of a woman’s urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story that has been scrupulously hidden from her for more than fifty years, years she had spent writing brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history. It is a book about the extraordinary moment we live in—a moment in which science and technology have outpaced not only medical ethics but also the capacities of the human heart to contend with the consequences of what we discover.

About the Author

DANI SHAPIRO is the author of the memoirs Hourglass, Still Writing, Devotion, and Slow Motion and five novels including Black & White and Family History. Also an essayist and a journalist, Shapiro's short fiction, essays, and journalistic pieces have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, One Story, Elle, Vogue, O, The Oprah Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, the op-ed pages of the New York Times, and many other publications. She has taught in the writing programs at Columbia, NYU, the New School, and Wesleyan University; she is cofounder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy. Shapiro is the host of the hit podcast, Family Secrets. She lives with her family in Litchfield County, Connecticut.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

2/27/20 @9:30am pst - Joey Travolta spoke with host Janeane Bernstein about his film Carol of the Bells

LISTEN to today's show featuring Joey Travolta

Carol of the Bells (2019) 1h 40min | Drama | 19 October 2019 (USA) A young man with a troubled past seeks out his biological mother. His world is turned upside down upon discovering that she is developmentally disabled.

A crew of 70% individuals with developmental disabilities recently produced Inclusion Films’ first feature length film, Carol of the Bells, directed by Joey Travolta. Fresh from earning the Audience Favorite Feature award at the San Diego International Film Festival in October - Carol of the Bells will release in multiple cities in December. Travolta teaches filmmaking to individuals with developmental disabilities at 6 partner studios across California via Inclusion Films. Carol of the Bells was produced in association with Futures Explored, Inc. and Options for All. 

“Carol of the Bells” was the world's first feature film production, where up to 70% of the crew had a developmental disability. Under the network and resources of Inclusion Films, this film was made within two weeks in Bakersfield, California.

Synopsis: A young father battles his past to find peace with his wife and son. Scott Johnson has always struggled with his secret adoption, and his life-changing moment as a child at Christmas time. Now, Scott has the answer to his greatest fear. Can he take the final step to bridge the truth about his first family and heal his wounds?

Director/Producer Joey Travolta shared “Carol of the Bells is a beautiful story by itself, but the way it was made is even more beautiful. Working with a crew where 70% are developmentally different offers insight into just how much they bring to the table when offered the opportunity. Having the opportunity is the key. Inclusion Films has a mission of inclusion - to train people with different abilities in the art of filmmaking. The soft skills learned in the training program can then be applied to other jobs and all aspects of their life.” 

When asked what drives his passion for inclusion, Travolta shared “My father raised us in an environment of inclusivity. Family was important, kindness was important, everyone was equal and everyone was welcome. That’s what first led me to being a special education educator. Partnering that passion for equality with filmmaking has become my life’s work. I want everyone to have that sense of belonging when they are trained by us, come to our camps or work with us on a film. That sense of belonging brought out the best in everyone - and allowed for an environment for this talented diverse team to create an award winning feature film. No small feat. I’m looking forward to sharing their work on Carol of the Bells and helping to create a shift in employment opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities.”

Director: Joey Travolta

Writer: JC Peterson

Producer: Dale J Oprandy

Editor: Chris Duguay

Cinematographer: Andy Ryan

Production Designer: Jo O'Meara

Cast: RJ Mitte (Breaking Bad), Yuly Mireles, Lee Purcell (Television and movies), Andrea F. Friedman, Elijah Maximus and Donna Pescow (Saturday Night Fever), Donna Mills (Television and movies)

2/27/20 - 9:15am pst - Angelou Exeilo spoke with host Janeane Bernstein about her book, Engage, Protect, Connect: Empowering Diverse Youth as Environmental Leaders

Engage, Connect, Protect
Empowering Diverse Youth as Environmental Leaders

by Angelou Ezeilo with Nick Chiles

LISTEN to today's show!

Angelou Exeilo on Engage, Protect, Connect: Empowering Diverse Youth as Environmental Leaders. This is an important contribution to the ongoing conversation about our environment, and an inclusive one as well. For everyone looking to really make an impact, be of service, connect and bridge the cultural and generational divide, this is it! 

"Ezeilo's book is powerful, personal and practical. Speaking truth to power, she engages our hearts while challenging our comfort zones as it relates to race and the environment.— Carolyn Finney, Ph.D. author, Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors

While concern about the state of our land, air, and water continues to grow, there is widespread belief that environmental issues are primarily of interest to wealthy white communities. Engage, Connect, Protect explodes this myth, revealing the deep and abiding interest that African American, Latino, and Native American communities – many of whom live in degraded and polluted parts of the country – have in our collective environment.

Part eye-opening critique of the cultural divide in environmentalism, part biography of a leading social entrepreneur, and part practical toolkit for engaging diverse youth, Engage, Connect, Protect covers:

>Why communities of color are largely unrecognized in the environmental movement

>Bridging the cultural divide and activate a new generation of environmental stewards

>A curriculum for engaging diverse youth and young adults through culturally appropriate methods and activities

A resource guide for connecting mainstream America to organizations working with diverse youth within environmental projects, training, and employment.

Engage, Connect, Protect is a wake-up call for businesses, activists, educators, and policymakers to recognize the work of grassroots activists in diverse communities and create opportunities for engaging with diverse youth as the next generation of environmental stewards.

Angelou Ezeilo is founder and CEO of the Greening Youth Foundation. A 2016 Ashoka Fellow. she is a member of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights' Women in Solidarity Society. She lives in Atlanta, GA and Victoria Island, Nigeria.

2/24/20 @9:00am pst - successful comic artist and visual designer, Sam Sawyer, joined Janeane live on KUCI 88.9fm

LISTEN to today's conversation with Sam Sawyer!

As a teenager in suburban Phoenix, aspiring artist Sam Sawyer couldn’t stop thinking about a story about a monster searching for an identity – an animated series that would feature a non-binary character as a hero.

Fast-forward a few years: now a successful comic artist and visual designer, Sam has launched a Kickstarter campaign for the animated series “SALEM: The Secret Archive of Legends, Entertainments, and Monsters,” featuring the vocal talent of Rob Paulsen (“Animaniacs”), Laura Bailey (“Critical Role” and “Dragon Ball Z”) and Adam McArthur (“Star vs. the Forces of Evil”). It’s the story of a “cryptid” (creature) named Salem, raised by the Boogeyman, who learns that they are adopted. Without a gender and without a core identity, Salem embarks on a journey of discovery among the world of faeries, goblins, and other cryptids.

Rob Paulsen said of Sam “She did what all the folks at Comic Con love about this whole experience. It’s not about anything but utter joy in expressing yourself, being creative and being accepted for who you are. I’m really proud of her.”

But Sawyer isn’t only determined to bring back the edgy animation of her youth; she’s also a veteran comic book artist, a published author, and designer of three Tarot decks. She appears at over 20 Comic Con events per year and was an artistic collaborator on the new Lindsey Stirling music video, “The Upside.”

With her pink and purple “hombre” style haircut and bright personality, the queer-identified Sawyer knew she was an artist from a young age. Despite leaving home early, and even being homeless for a time, her determination and talent allowed her to find a space for her unique artistic vision and gave her the confidence to keep conquering new frontiers.


Kickstarter campaign: www.thesalemseries.com


Tuesday, February 18, 2020

2/18/20 - Janice Kaplan explores the powerful forces that have rigged the system—and celebrates the women geniuses past and present who have triumphed anyway—in her fascinating and timely new book, THE GENIUS OF WOMEN: From Overlooked to Changing the World

LISTEN to today's conversation with journalist and
New York Times bestselling author 
Janice Kaplan.

We tell girls that they can be anything, so why do 90 percent of Americans believe that geniuses are almost always men? When asked to name a genius, people mention Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, and Steve Jobs. As for great women? In one survey, the only female genius anyone listed was Marie Curie. Journalist and New York Times bestselling author of The Gratitude Diaries, Janice Kaplan explores the powerful forces that have rigged the system—and celebrates the women geniuses past and present who have triumphed anyway—in her fascinating and timely new book, THE GENIUS OF WOMEN: From Overlooked to Changing the World.

We define genius almost exclusively through male achievement. Janice Kaplan set out to determine why the extraordinary work of so many women has been brushed aside. She realizes early on that genius is not just about possessing spectacular talent—it is about having that talent recognized. Blending memoir with one-on-one interviews with neuroscientists, psychologists, and dozens of women geniuses at work in the world today, she highlights how women are fighting to have their genius recognized, nurtured, and celebrated—and how society needs to shift to make that possible.

Kaplan reveals unexpected, paradigm shifting findings in THE GENIUS OF WOMEN, including:

· A new perspective on power: Defining genius as a combination of extraordinary talent and celebrity, Kaplan shows how women have often had only one half of the equation, and she explains the unconscious biases that keep their talents from being recognized.

· The traits that women geniuses share: Kaplan explores the qualities that allow some women to overcome obstacles and thrive no matter how challenging the circumstance. She shows how resisting stereotypes and labels, and facing the world in a positive way, can help all of us reach our potential.

· How we can help girls find their own genius: The messages girls receive from popular culture often contradict the Girl Power t-shirts they wear. Kaplan explores research showing how girls as young as six think that only boys can be geniuses—and she looks at the struggles women at all ages have over beauty and genius.

· Why women geniuses aren’t what you expect: Many of the women Kaplan interviewed were married with young children, and she shows how having a multi-faceted life contributes to genius, rather than detracting from it.

Some of the amazing women she talks to who are changing the world right now:

· Anne Wojcicki, CEO of 23andMe

· Jo Dunkley, astrophysicist at Princeton

· Tina Landau, Broadway director

· Shirley Tilghman, molecular biologist and former President of Princeton

· Frances Arnold, chemical engineer and Nobel Laureate

· Lise Eliot, neuroscientist who studies female and male brains

· Fei-Fei Li, global expert on AI and professor at Stanford

· Meg Urry, NASA scientist and physicist at Yale University

· Cynthia Breazeal, roboticist at MIT Media Lab

Some of the geniuses from history:

· Maria Anna Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s sister. She was also brilliant musician, but her talent was never nurtured because it considered improper for a woman to perform in public. Instead, she was sent off to get married.

· Lise Meitner, physicist who discovered nuclear fission in the 1930s. The Nobel Prize went to her male lab partner since nobody believed that a woman would be capable of making such a huge discovery.

· Émilie du Châtelet, mathematician and philosopher who was one of the most respected thinkers of the 16th century. Anyone studying science at the time learned it from her books, but now she is remembered mostly in relation to a man—since she was Voltaire’s lover.

Across the generations, even when they face less-than-perfect circumstances, women geniuses have created brilliant and original work. Kaplan’s rousing examination of female genius will provoke, delight, anger, and inspire in equal measure, leaving readers hungry for change and ready to fight for it.

About the Author

Janice Kaplan has enjoyed wide success as a magazine editor, television producer, writer, and journalist. The former editor in chief of Parade magazine, she is the author or coauthor of fourteen books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Gratitude Diaries and I'll See You Again. She lives in New York City and Kent, Connecticut.

JaniceKaplan.com | Twitter: @JaniceKaplan2 | Instagram: janice.kaplan

Sunday, February 16, 2020

2/17/20 @9:30am pst - Megan Angelo joins host Janeane to talk about Followers - A Novel

An electrifying story of two ambitious friends, the dark choices they make and the stunning moment that changes the world as we know it forever


“Megan Angelo’s “Followers,” with its terrific writing about terrifying ideas, is destined to be such a talker that you must read it immediately or risk being out of the loop when your friends start saying things like “She’s such a Marlow!” or “What Would Floss Do?”” —Washington Post
“This dark, pitch-perfect novel about our dependence on technology for validation and human connection is as addictive as social media itself.” —People

“Followers is an engaging confection wrapped around a thoughtful critique of how we live our lives online, and how we value others based on their curated personas.” —USA Today

“Meet, an all-too-real nightmare wrapped in an influencer bow...one you won’t be able to look away from.” —TheSkimm

“If anyone is going to explore a future version of our high-tech, internet-obsessed culture, please let it be Megan Angelo. Followers is pure gold.” —Abbi Jacobson, bestselling author and co-creator of Broad City

Orla Cadden is a budding novelist stuck in a dead-end job, writing clickbait about movie-star hookups and influencer yoga moves. Then Orla meets Floss—a striving, wannabe A-lister—who comes up with a plan for launching them both into the high-profile lives they dream about. So what if Orla and Floss’s methods are a little shady—and sometimes people get hurt? Their legions of followers can’t be wrong.

Thirty-five years later, in a closed California village where government-appointed celebrities live every moment of the day on camera, a woman named Marlow discovers a shattering secret about her past. Despite her massive popularity—twelve million loyal followers—Marlow dreams of fleeing the corporate sponsors who would do anything to keep her on-screen. When she learns that her whole family history is based on a lie, Marlow finally summons the courage to run in search of the truth, no matter the risks.

Followers traces the paths of Orla, Floss and Marlow as they wind through time toward each other, and toward a cataclysmic event that sends America into lasting upheaval. At turns wry and tender, bleak and hopeful, this darkly funny story reminds us that even if we obsess over famous people we’ll never meet, what we really crave is genuine human connection.

2/17/20 @9:45am pst - Ariana Neumann, author of the new memoir, WHEN TIME STOPPED A Memoir of My Father’s War and What Remains joins Janeane on KUCI 88.9fm from London

“Profound, gripping, and gut-wrenching…This heartbreaking and unforgettable memoir belongs in every library for the important history Neumann unearths.”

—Booklist, STARRED review

LISTEN to today's conversation with Ariana Neumann.

Ariana Neumann grew up as the beloved only child in a wealthy Venezuelan household, doted on by her glamorous mother and her father, Hans, a successful industrialist involved in arts, media and education. Hans was meticulous, the type who saved everything, with decades of correspondence filed carefully in his study. But when Ariana went to his home after his death, she found everything cleared away but the contents of one drawer. It contained two things: a file with letters from her and her mother and a grey cardboard box. The box held clues to Hans’s mysterious past – a past he never discussed with her while living. This box seemed to Ariana to be an invitation – or even an exhortation – to investigate what happened to Hans during his years in Europe, before he moved to South America. WHEN TIME STOPPED (Scribner, February 4, 2020) is the incredible and heartbreaking story of what Ariana discovered.

Hans (Handa to his family) was the youngest son of Otto and Ella. He was dreamy, a prankster and a poet. And he was nothing like his serious older brother, Lotar. The family split their time between an apartment in Prague and a beautiful home in the idyllic Bohemian countryside. Otto owned and ran a paint factory in Prague. Ella called her boys her “golden ones.” But clouds were gathering on the horizon. Otto, Ella, Lotar and Hans were Jewish. WHEN TIME STOPPED is the story of how a tragically few, very lucky members of the family survived. And Hans’s story is jaw-dropping. When Hans was about to be deported to a concentration camp, which he knew was a likely death sentence, this dreamy poet instead eluded the authorities and, with fake papers and a borrowed passport, traveled to Berlin, got a job, and once there, showing even more remarkable courage, gathered information for the Allies. Lotar stayed in Prague, and he and his parents, who were sent to camps, were helped by Lotar’s indomitable wife, Zdenka. Zdenka snuck in to Theresienstadt not once but twice, to make sure Otto and Ella had the food and supplies they needed to survive. She kept Lotar safe, too, and helped forge the papers Hans needed to get to Berlin. She is the undeniable heroine of this story, and her bravery and radiance shine through. Otto, never much of an artist, made a copper ring for Zdenka in the camp, as a token if his love for her and the only way he could thank her for all she did for the family. Today, Ariana Neumann wears that ring, made by the grandfather she never knew, on a chain around her neck.

Readers will come to know the remarkable and singular Neumanns in these pages: those who survived and those who did not. WHEN TIME STOPPED is a story of what remains after the horror of war recedes. What remains, says Ariana, is love. Love for the family that she has finally come to understand and for the family she will never know, but that she has rediscovered and brought beautifully to life in these pages.

More praise for WHEN TIME STOPPED:

“This book is utterly riveting: Ms. Neumann’s memoir reads like a detective novel, as she unravels her late father’s complex, agonizing yet inspiring trajectory. Conjuring the lives of her relatives murdered in the Holocaust, she brings their lost world to vivid life.”

—Claire Messud, New York Times bestselling author of The Emperor’s Children and The Woman Upstairs

“Ariana Neumann's beautiful, meticulously researched memoir is an extraordinarily moving story of a family’s lost history, a father’s well-kept secret, and a daughter who pieces it all together with courage, tenacity, and most of all, love.”

—Dani Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of Inheritance, Devotion, and Still Writing

“This is a work of resistance against oblivion, a reminder against forgetting, an investigation driven by true love.”

—Stephen D. Smith, PhD, Executive Director of the USC Shoah Foundation

“When Time Stopped is beautiful, deeply moving, and extraordinary in its reach and its depth. I felt such kinship with the way in which Ariana Neumann moved through the world in her journey. It is absolutely remarkable.”

—Edmund de Waal, author of The Hare with Amber Eyes

About the author:Ariana Neumann was born and grew up in Venezuela. She previously worked as a foreign correspondent for Venezuela’s The Daily Journal and her writing has also appeared in The European. She currently lives in London with her family. When Time Stopped is her first book.