John Oakes: The Fast

Fri. Apr 12, 2024 2:00pm - 3:00pm EDT
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Event Description

Oakes examines the complex science behind fasting and the value of consuming less in order to know more.

Book cover of The FastWhether for philosophical, political, or health reasons, fasting has become increasingly popular, from health advocates who see it as a detox method, to the faithful who fast in prayer, to activists using hunger strikes as an effective means of peaceful protest. With fasting at an all-time high in popularity, John Oakes explores the surprising history and science behind the practice.

Oakes speaks with journalist Anne Nelson about the virtues of holding back, of not consuming all that we can, and reconsidering your place in the world.

To join | Please register for an In-Person Ticket. Doors will open around 1:30 PM. For free events, we generally overbook to ensure a full house. Priority will be given to those who have registered in advance, but registration does not guarantee admission. All registered seats are released shortly before start time, and seats may become available at that time. A standby line will form 30 minutes before the program.


John Oakes headshotJohn Oakes is publisher of The Evergreen Review. He is editor-at-large for OR Books, which he cofounded in 2009. Oakes has written for a variety of publications, among them The Oxford Handbook of Publishing, Publishers Weekly, the Review of Contemporary Fiction, the Associated Press, and The Journal of Electronic Publishing. He is a cum laude graduate of Princeton University, where he earned the English Department undergraduate thesis prize for an essay on Samuel Beckett, and has been recently awarded residencies at Yaddo and Jentel. He was born and raised in New York City, where he lives, and is the father of three adult children. The Fast is his first book.

Anne Nelson headshotAnne Nelson is an award-winning author and journalist. Her books include Red Orchestra: The Berlin Underground and the Circle of Friends Who Resisted Hitler (New York Editors Choice); Suzanne's Children: A Daring Rescue In Nazi Paris (finalist, National Jewish Book Award); and Shadow Network: Media, Money, and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right, the basis for Bad Faith, a new documentary streaming next month on Amazon Prime. Nelson received the Livingston Award for journalism and a Guggenheim Fellowship for historical research. She’s a research scholar at Columbia and a member of the New York Council on the Humanities.


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John Oakes © Miriam Berkley
Anne Nelson © Lillie Paquette

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Venue Details
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Lenox and Astor Room, Room 216 The New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 42nd Street & 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10018
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