Mikel Jollett

in conversation with Tom Barbash

Recorded Wednesday, October 28th, 2020

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Mikel Jollett in conversation with Tom Barbash

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Mikel Jollett’s remarkable new memoir of a tumultuous life, Hollywood Park, is both the story of a man born into one of the country’s most infamous cults and subjected to a childhood filled with poverty, addiction, and emotional abuse; and the story of fierce love and family loyalty told in a raw, poetic voice that signals the emergence of a uniquely gifted writer.

Mikel is the frontman of the indie band The Airborne Toxic Event. Prior to forming the band, he graduated with honors from Stanford University. Mikel was an on-air columnist for NPR’s All Things Considered, an editor-at-large for Men’s Health and an editor at Filter magazine. His fiction has been published in McSweeney’s.

Tom Barbash is the author of the novels The Dakota Winters and  The Last Good Chance and the non-fiction books On Top of the World: Cantor Fitzgerald, Howard Lutnick, and 9/11; A Story of Loss and Renewal, which was a New York Times bestseller. His stories and articles have been published in Tin House, McSweeney’s, Virginia Quarterly Review, and other publications, and have been performed on National Public Radio’s Selected Shorts series. He currently teaches in the MFA program at California College of the Arts. He grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and now lives in Marin County, California.

No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.”

Mikel Jollett, Hollywood Park.

Get ready to join Mikel in conversation, Wednesday, October 28th.

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  • 3

    votes

    What is next for you? What are you working on?

  • 3

    votes

    At what moment did you realize you wanted to document your story in a memoir?

  • 3

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    What led you to name your memoir “Hollywood Park”?

  • 3

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    When did you realize you were musically inclined? Did the cult foster your musical interest at all? How has your musical career been influenced by your childhood?

  • 3

    votes

    What is the last thing that you saw or read that moved you?

  • 2

    votes

    What was the mechanics like in writing your memoir? Had you written a lot before? How did you decide to structure the narrative and why?

  • 1

    votes

    Have you been following the NXIVM case, in which Keith Raniere was convicted yesterday? Why do think organizations like Synanon and NXIVM continue to draw followers, and do you think members of the public are generally more or less inclined to be susceptible to these groups than they were in the 1970s?

  • 1

    votes

    Who are some of your favorite authors, whether fiction or non-fiction, and have they influenced your writing?

  • 0

    votes

    Did you ever find out for certain what happened to Paul?

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