Synopses & Reviews
Anna Deveare Smith's award-winning one-woman shows were borne of her uniquely brilliant ability to listen. In Talk to Me
she applies her rare talent to the language of political power in America.
Believing that character and language are inextricably bound, Smith sets out to discern the essence of America by listening to its people and trying to capture its politics. To that end she travels to some of America's most conspicuous places, like the presidential conventions of 1996, and some of its darkest corners, like a women's prison in Maryland. And along the way she interviews everyone from janitors to murderers to Bill Clinton himself. Memoir, social commentary, meditation on language, this book is as vastly ambitious as it is compellingly unique.
"[A] book as fascinating for its content as it is beautiful for its poetic form." Denver Rocky Mountain News
"[A] fascinating, hall-of-mirrors meditation." San Francisco Chronicle
"Succeeds in teaching one crucial lesson: those who truly listen, truly hear."
The New York Times Book Review
"What Smith does with these interviews shows a kind of brilliance that goes straight to the heart." Los Angeles Times
In a revelatory look at power, the presidency, and truth, award-winning actor and playwright Anna Deavere Smith goes to Washington and beyond to decipher what the leaders of our country are really saying.
About the Author
Anna Deavere Smith is an actor, a teacher, a playwright, and the creator of an acclaimed series of one-woman plays based on her interviews with diverse voices from communities in crisis. She is the founder and director of The Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue at Harvard University, and is the Ann O'Day Maples Professor of the Arts at Stanford University. Her works include Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992; Fires in the Mirror; and House Arrest, and she has written for Newsweek and The New Yorker, among other publications. She lives in San Francisco.