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Powell's Books Presents Adrienne Raphel in Conversation With Bianca Bosker
Almost as soon as it appeared, the crossword puzzle had already become indispensable to our lives. Invented practically by accident in 1913, when a newspaper editor was casting around for something to fill empty column space, it became a roaring commercial success practically overnight. Ever since then, the humble puzzle has been an essential ingredient of any newspaper worth its salt. Blending first-person reporting from the world of crosswords with a delightful telling of its rich literary history, Adrienne Raphel dives into the secrets of this classic pastime. At the annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, she rubs shoulders with elite solvers of the world; aboard a crossword-themed cruise, she picks the brains of the enthusiasts whose idea of a good time is a week on the high seas with nothing but crosswords to do; and, visiting the home and office of Will Shortz, New York Times crossword editor and NPR’s official “Puzzlemaster,” she goes behind the scenes to see for herself how America’s gold standard of puzzles is made. As ingenious as it is fun, THINKING INSIDE THE BOX (Penguin Press) is a love letter not just to the abiding power of the crossword, but to the infinite joys and playful possibilities of language itself. Raphel will be joined in conversation by Bianca Bosker, author of Cork Dork.

Aug 21, 2020 05:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Adrienne Raphel
Adrienne Raphel has written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Slate, and Poetry, among other publications. Her debut poetry collection, What Was It For, won the Rescue Press Black Box Poetry Prize. Born in southern New Jersey and raised in northern Vermont, she holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a PhD from Harvard.
Bianca Bosker
Bianca Bosker is an award-winning journalist and the author of the New York Times bestseller Cork Dork, which was a New York Times Critics' Pick. Bosker is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and has written for publications including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The New Republic. Her work has been anthologized in the Best American Travel Writing and recognized with awards from the International Association of Culinary Professionals, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, the Association of Food Journalists, and the MFK Fisher Awards. She lives in New York City.