Big Magic

Magic Lessons Ep. 205: “Call Your Real Life By Its True Name” featuring Gary Shteyngart

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Guests: 
Gary Shteyngart

This week on Magic Lessons, Elizabeth Gilbert advises Colleen, an advertising executive in New York City, who dreams of being a storyteller but fears it's a frivolous pursuit. Colleen hopes to create a one-woman show, mining stories from her childhood growing up in an Irish Catholic family that ran and owned a bar. Liz calls up the writer Gary Shteyngart for additional expertise on the pain and relief that comes with telling family stories.

Special Guest: Gary Shteyngart is the award-winning author of the novels Super Sad True Love Story, Absurdistan, and The Russian Debutante’s Handbook. Born in Leningrad, his memoir, Little Failure is a candid and moving account of growing up as a Russian emigre in America. Find out more about him and his work at garyshteyngart.com.

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Use the promo code: Lessons

Magic Lessons Ep. 204: “Who Gets To Decide Whether You're A Legitimate Artist?" featuring Mark Nepo

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Guests: 
Mark Nepo

This week on Magic Lessons, Elizabeth Gilbert talks with Cecilia, a young poet in Florida. Cecilia fell in love with poetry in college and applied to a dozen MFA programs. She got rejected from every one. Devastated by the rejection she fell into great despair and wondered if she could still call herself a poet when the MFA programs deemed her talents insufficient. For extra guidance Liz brings in her friend, the poet and philosopher Mark Nepo, who has soulful advice for Cecilia. And later Cecilia shares what she’s been up to since her first magic lesson.  

Special Guest: Mark Nepo is a poet, teacher, storyteller and the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Book of Awakening. His most recent books include The One Life We’re Given: Finding the Wisdom that Waits in your Heart (Atria, July 2016), and Inside the Miracle: Enduring Suffering, Approaching Wholeness (Sounds True), selected by Spirituality & Health Magazine as one of the top ten best books of 2015. Find out more about him at MarkNepo.com

This week's sponsors: Casper, The Great Courses Plus, and Stamps.com
And use the promo code: Lessons

Magic Lessons Ep. 202: "Make the Brutal Into the Beautiful" Featuring Brandon Stanton

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Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert #BigMagic
Guests: 
Brandon Stanton

This week on Magic Lessons Elizabeth Gilbert advises Anne, a photographer in Pennsylvania. For the last few years Anne has been documenting her brother's life. He's a veteran with PTSD and a recovering drug addict. She imagines turning all this material into a photo-essay exhibit or book, but she's afraid to take the next steps to make it happen. To help guide Anne, Liz calls up her friend Brandon Stanton, the photographer and creator of the photo series "Humans of New York.” Several weeks later, Anne reveals what she's been up to since getting all this advice.

Special Guest: Brandon Stanton is the photographer and creator behind Humans of New York. He is also the author of two number 1 New York Times-bestselling books, Humans of New York and Humans of New York: Stories. Find out more about him at HumansofNewYork.com

Magic Lessons Ep. 201: "You Have a Screaming, Not a Calling." Featuring Sarah Jones

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Jo has spent years working on her phD on the Holocaust and fighting for feminist causes, but that work is not where her true passions lie. She wants to fulfill a childhood dream and write comedy and comic novels. Jo wonders: am I allowed to stop saving the world and make fun art? Elizabeth Gilbert offers Jo advice along with her friend, the performer and playwright Sarah Jones. And we check in with Jo several weeks later to hear how the advice landed and inspired change.

Special Guest: Sarah Jones is a playwright and performer, best known for her one-woman Broadway show Bridge and Tunnel which won a special Tony award. Her latest project called Sell/Buy/Date is about sex trafficking and exploitation. And she's about to launch her own podcast, Play Date with Sarah Jones, with Public Radio International. Find out more about her at sarahjonesonline.com.

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For more information about Elizabeth Gilbert, visit elizabethgilbert.com.

MAGIC LESSONS art courtesy of Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

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