Rhoda Makoff received her PhD in Biochemistry in 1961 when she was 23 years old. Our conversation explores how Rhoda developed an interest in science and how she built a successful career in academic research, teaching, and business despite the continual roadblocks that she encountered as a woman who envisioned a major career. Rhoda reflects on the principles that have guided her resilience and persistence in achieving her goals, including the importance of keeping your eyes on the prize and developing an egoless style of leadership.
Roger Freeman and Alexandra Decas are members of The Dinner Party, a national community of mostly 20- and 30-somethings who’ve each experienced significant loss. Our conversation explores how connecting intimately with strangers who have similarly experienced loss has allowed each of them to address their feelings of isolation and learn how to live with and speak about their profound loss. They also talk about the role of humor at Dinner Party tables, how they each seek joy in their lives, and the confounding issue of helping men—who have been trained to hide any weakness—to show up and feel safe.
Syrie James is the author of nine critically acclaimed novels, as well as a screenwriter. Our conversation explores Syrie’s creative process, which involves a deep immersion in the lives of the real women writers who are the heroines of some of her most successful novels. Steeped in research about the lives and times of her characters as well as an abiding belief in the power of romantic relationships, Syrie’s novels explore the inner lives of the women at their center. Her novels about the writers Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte explore what inspired these mother’s of the novel to write. In our conversation I attempt to turn this question on my guest to explore the story behind the story in her work.