S4 E36: Ocean Vuong, Jamil Zaki, Winona Guo & Priya Vulchi

In this episode meet Ocean Vuong, author of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous; Jamil Zaki, author of The War for Kindness; and Winona Guo & Priya Vulchi, authors of Tell Me Who You Are. By sharing their stories, these authors are breaking down barriers from language to race in order to help people find commonalities and connection. Discover which author would have a famed Dead Poets Society actor narrate their audiobook.

Learn more about their audiobooks:

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous
Author: Ocean Vuong
Read By: Ocean Vuong

Poet Ocean Vuong’s debut novel is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family’s history that began before he was born — a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam — and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation.

“A lyrical work of self-discovery that’s shockingly intimate and insistently universal…Not so much briefly gorgeous as permanently stunning.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post

The War for Kindness
Author: Jamil Zaki
Read By: Jamil Zaki

Empathy is in short supply. Isolation and tribalism are rampant. We struggle to understand people who aren’t like us, but find it easy to hate them. It doesn’t have to be this way. Jamil Zaki shares cutting-edge research, including experiments from his own lab, showing that empathy is not a fixed trait but rather a skill that can be strengthened through effort. He also tells the stories of people who embody this new perspective, fighting for kindness in the most difficult of circumstances.

“In this masterpiece, Jamil Zaki weaves together the very latest science with stories that will stay in your heart forever.”—Angela Duckworth, author of Grit

Tell Me Who You Are

Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi recount their experiences talking to people from all walks of life about race and identity on a cross-country tour of America. Featuring interviews with over 150 Americans, this intimate toolkit also offers a deep examination of the seeds of racism and strategies for effecting change.

“This book is at once hopeful, raw, and brimming with curiosity, engagement and youthful energy…If you want to have richer, more fruitful discussions about race, gender, all the things that comprise our identities, this book will give you a necessary vocabulary.”—Roxane Gay, New York Times bestselling author of Bad Feminist and Difficult Women

To listen to more episodes of This Is the Author, click here.