Ariel Levy

“It has been made overwhelmingly clear to me now that anything you think is yours by right can vanish, and what you can do about that is nothing at all.” So writes New Yorker staff writer Ariel Levy, who built her own successful, but unconventional life, which eventually came crashing down with an affair, a miscarriage during a Mongolian reporting trip and the breakup of her marriage. Levy shares these stories — and some less painful ones about writing for The New Yorker — and ponders her future in her new memoir, “The Rules Do Not Apply.” Ariel Levy joins us in-studio to discuss her life and work.

Related Links:

Thanksgiving in Mongolia (The New Yorker)

Guests:
Ariel Levy, staff writer, The New Yorker

  • Noelle

    Yes, during the Great Recession I saw many people lose their jobs through no fault of their own. This really has made us question the meritocracy ideology that dominates our culture.

    • William – SF

      Makes me question the incredibly self-destructive greed of Wall Street and how government is the only force capable of protecting us. And Trump and Republicans are already removing what limited consumer protections exist – Dodd Frank, CFPB.

      • Another Mike

        Bill Clinton helped gut banking regulations put in place as corrective action after the Great Depression. Moreover, he signed a bill to prevent the regulation of such financial derivatives as credit default swaps. If you’re looking for greed and government’s failure to protect, after Phil Gramm, the biggest villain is Bill Clinton.

        • William – SF

          An arguable point. But indeed a preponderance of Wall Street types in an administration surely leads to lacks financial regulations and inevitable ruin. Given Trump’s cabinet picks from Wall Street and Big Oil and Big Corporations, and a Republican dominated Congress, the ruin is in the making.

    • Ford

      Mass importation of cheap labor hasn’t already made you question it?

      • Noelle

        high tech automation & robotics being pushed by our corporate overlords doesn’t help either. Our society is not addressing the inevitablility of the jobless future quickly enough.

        • Ford

          That’s because the 1% is busy buying up every resource they can, knowing that when the next catastrophe happens e.g. the oil runs out or a war happens, we’ll be going back to feudalism.

      • Christian

        ‘Mass importation of cheap labor’ is the true definition of “United States of America”! Sadly, Trump-pets seem to suffer from amnesia and don’t consider their own ancestors ‘mass importation of cheap labor’!

        • Ford

          False equivalency alert! US workers exist today for the job openings. In the 1800’s there weren’t enough workers.

          • Christian

            I am amazed of your ability to troll so frequently, while engaging in back breaking job of picking lettuce and strawberries.

        • Another Mike

          My great-grandfather and his two brothers were shipped by rail from Ellis Island to Pittsburgh, at the turn of the last century, where they were given the choice of working in a steel mill or a coal mine. Both my wife’s grandfathers died from black lung disease. So yeah, they were the mass importation of cheap and expendable labor.

  • Fay Nissenbaum

    “addicts are enslaved to their addiction” glosses over alot of bee-ess that people addicted to drugs do to their loved ones. Drug abusers or if you will “victims of addiction” tend to write off their backstabbing treachery and abuse of their loved ones as actions of the drug, not the person. I am so over the excuse-making — as though drugs give license to be rotten S.O.B.s! The rest of us mere mortals have to account for our actions as willful – regardless of mood or personal struggles we face.

  • Die.Leit

    this is not newsworthy

    • Noelle

      some of us need a break from the news.

      • Kevin Skipper

        Seems to me that so.much of this trauma is precipitated by the news itself. Good to hear a smart strong person tell of their successful perseverance.

    • marte48

      speak for yourself. Forum has never been 100% news.

      • Curious

        Always 100% propaganda.

  • Life is not as simple as many would like, More often than not life is a complex bag of intersections and desires deep in the human psyche. As such I don’t believe in easy answers or complicated answers for that matter but I do believe that each of us must embrace ourselves with a deep love.

  • William – SF

    When a shudder goes through ones life, as it did with yours, there are those friends, and perhaps family, that disappear, and some that stand by your side regardless of the circumstances. Can you talk about that?

  • marte48

    This is why we need the arts – to deal with the pain of life.

    • Ford

      The arts have become recklessly politicized, and are shrill and painful to rational people.

  • Kevin Skipper

    Two things. First, thanks to your guest for sharing a nuanced and sensitive account of the role that loss and trauma play in identity and vice versa.
    Secondly, the Caster Semenya story, through it is framed in the supposition of questions of the athlete’s gender, is an obvious example of the IOC’s and the casual ‘scientific’ community’s legacy of insidious racism. Despite any genital anomalies, she has been confirmed a woman.

    Funny, the bathroom issue and Jennergate seem to be limited to certain communities and social labels.

    Is hermaohodite really a thing anymore?

  • Kahlil Sullivan

    What are your thoughts about alienation of parents through the court system? Can one grieve the same way for a living child? And how do you heal the resentment caused by that alienation to create a non-existent bond with that child after years of absence?

  • Ford

    Abundant life and avoidance of devastating loss becomes more likely with socialized health care.

    Problem solved:
    https://static1.squarespace.com/static/52cdc300e4b012a81d31c03d/t/58c5b765d2b8573ccaf6e6b2/1489352562487/?format=1500w

    • Noelle

      I wish politicians were rational & would push for socialized health care.

    • Christian

      When logic fails Trump-pets!

      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-39325206

      • Ford

        I wonder if Norwegian and Swedish victims of Muslim rapists are happy?

        • Christian

          Alternative facts, Trump-pet?

          • Another Mike

            My wife and I were in the air to France when the Oklahoma City bombings took place. A couple of days later, we were sitting at a group table at a restaurant near the Louvre. EVERY body who sat down with us sympathized about the problem of Muslim terrorists.

            I tried to explain that few Muslims would have found their way to OKC (this was in 1995), and that the perpetrators were far more likely to be home-grown, but they could not be persuaded: terrorism equalled Muslims in their minds.

          • Ford

            Regarding OKC, eyewitnesses described 200-pound unexploded bòmbs in that building that the scrawny patsy could never’ve put there in 1000 years. In fact a truck was moved into place to remove one of them.

          • Fielding Mellish

            Eyewitnesses described seeing Bigfoot also.

  • Kevin Skipper

    Another perhaps more pertinent question for Ms Levy. Have your experiences influenced any change in the means by which you shape or realize your identity? Despite “spiritual envy” perhaps you are awakening to a universal need for spiritual realization as opposed to material or social manifestations. The pursuits of a spiritual journey speak across generational and identity lines.

    Thanks again for sharing.

  • Kevin Skipper

    Yes, “Candide”=Voltaire

  • Kevin Skipper

    Oh!!! And she still married a doctor! Cell phone circuits are jammed. I know ten thousand momma’s are calling their daughters and screaming!

    Lol. More power to ya’ Ariel! 😉

  • Christian

    Thank you for this program. As a middle aged gay man, I know what it is like to live with loss and despair. I have survived death of two partners, due to terminal illness, learned to grieve and mourn, and love again. What makes going on difficult, after loss of loved ones, is unsolicited advice one gets from acquaintances, friends, family and strangers, who have never been in my shoes. It varies from, confusing mourning with depression, using “closure” as a cure-all answer, and worst of all, “He is in a better place!”

    • Another Mike

      People feel like they can not let the occasion go unmarked, which leads them to say things that are not exactly apropos. But most every adult has lost a loved one — even if not as close as yours — so everyone has some experience of grief.

      • Christian

        You’re correct. However, the first time I lost my long term partner to cancer, I was in my thirties. While the advice I received were heartfelt, often it came from people with no such experience. Further, while I am familiar with loss of a loved one in general, It doesn’t mean I know what it is like to lose a child.

        • Another Mike

          Yes. And I offer sympathy but never advice — advice is far too presumptuous.

  • Another Mike

    The woman who lost a child 20 years ago could well still be fertile. My grandmother, born a century ago, gave birth at 20, 33, and 44. Early pregnancy and childbirth appears to prime the pump.

  • Fay Nissenbaum

    Voltaire: “Life is bristling with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to cultivate one’s garden.”
    Michael said voltaire wrote ” everything will be OK in the end, if it’s not ok, it’s not the end”. Yet I can find no reference other than John Lennon. Can anyone help here?

    • Another Mike

      In French, “we must cultivate our garden” appears as the last line of Voltaire’s Candide, right after Candide’s preceptor explains how everything that had happened to Candide was connected, in this best of all possible worlds. I can find no reference to life or thorns.

      Immediately preceding this last chapter, one Martin advises us to work without thinking — it is the only thing that makes life bearable.

  • Marcia

    Thanks so much to Forum and Ariel – her words were exactly what I needed to hear to understand lack of children in my own life.

  • Tryant Five
  • SBOBET GROUP

    hank you for this project. Have the power and encouragement in the fight.

    https://sbobetgroup.com/sbobet-mobile/

  • คำเหลา เมาดิบ

    Great!
    maxbet

Host

Michael Krasny

Michael Krasny, PhD, has been in broadcast journalism since 1983. He was with ABC in both radio and television and migrated to public broadcasting in 1993. He has been Professor of English at San Francisco State University and also taught at Stanford, the University of San Francisco and the University of California, as well as in the Fulbright International Institutes. A veteran interviewer for the nationally broadcast City Arts and Lectures, he is the author of a number of books, including “Off Mike: A Memoir of Talk Radio and Literary Life” (Stanford University Press) “Spiritual Envy” (New World); “Sound Ideas” (with M.E. Sokolik/ McGraw-Hill); “Let There Be Laughter” (Harper-Collins) as well as the twenty-four lecture series in DVD, audio and book, “Short Story Masterpieces” (The Teaching Company). He has interviewed many of the world’s leading political, cultural, literary, science and technology figures, as well as major figures from the world of entertainment. He is the recipient of many awards and honors including the S.Y. Agnon Medal for Intellectual Achievement; The Eugene Block Award for Human Rights Journalism; the James Madison Freedom of Information Award; the Excellence in Journalism Award from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association; Career Achievement Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and an award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association. He holds a B.A. (cum laude) and M.A. from Ohio University and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin.

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