Festival of Books 2012

Mystery and Magic in Mind and Matter: About the Panelists

KC ColeK.C. Cole is the author of most recently of Something Incredibly Wonderful Happens: Frank Oppenheimer and the World He Made Up—a memoir/biography of her late mentor, the “uncle” of the atomic bomb and founder of San Francisco’s world-renowned “museum of awareness,” the Exploratorium. Her other books include The Hole in the Universe, The Universe and the Teacup, and Mind Over Matter, a collection of her Los Angeles Times columns. Cole’s writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Smithsonian, The Columbia Journalism Review, Newsweek, Esquire, Ms., The Washington Post and many other publications. Currently a professor at USC’s Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism, Cole likes to play with the natural connections between science, art, politics, whatnot, and hosts an irregular series of events exploring these intersections at Santa Monica Art Studios known as “Categorically Not!”

Deborah HarknessDeborah Harkness is a professor at history at the University of Southern California.  She has received Fulbright, Guggenheim, and National Humanities Center fellowships, and her most recent scholarly work is The Jewel House:  Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution.


Tim PageTim Page is a professor at both the Thornton School of Music and the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. Page won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1997 for his writings about music in The Washington Post, where he has held the position of chief classical music critic since 1995. Prior to coming to the Post, he served as the chief music critic for Newsday and as a music and cultural writer for The New York Times. During his years in New York, he was the host of an afternoon program on WNYC-FM that broadcast interviews with hundreds of composers and musicians, including Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson, Dizzy Gillespie, Philip Glass, Meredith Monk and Steve Reich. An interview with Glenn Gould, comparing the pianist’s two versions of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, was released as part of a three-CD set entitled A State of Wonder in 2002 that became a surprise best-seller. His books include The Glenn Gould Reader (Alfred A. Knopf, 1984), Selected Letters of Virgil Thomson (Summit, 1988), William Kapell: A Documentary Life History of the American Pianist (IPAM, 1992), Music From The Road: Views and Reviews 1978 – 1992, an anthology of previously published work (Oxford University Press, 1992), The Unknown Sigrid Undset (Steerforth, 2001), and Tim Page on Music (Amadeus Press, 2002). In 2009, he published “Parallel Play,” a memoir of his childhood and his struggles with Asperger Syndrome. In 2011, he published “Carnegie Hall Treasures.”