Aug. 13: Jesse Eisenberg, Wendell Pierce and Alicia Jo Rabins at Wordstock

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This week on State of Wonder, we take a break from our summer reading to look back at last year's Wordstock book festival. We'll hear from three authors with fascinating backstories lay out the singular works they delivered in 2015. This year's festival is set to begin on November 5. Jesse Eisenberg Made His Name Playing Neurotic Characters. Turns Out He Can Write Like Them Too. Jesse Eisenberg is best known for starring in movies such as “The Social Network,” "Batman V. Superman," and “Zombieland," but he’s quickly gaining attention for his writing as well, in the form of both plays and humor. In 2015 alone, Eisenberg starred in three films, spent two months acting in an off-Broadway play of his own writing, and released his first book, "Bream Gives Me Hiccups: and Other Stories." It takes its name from a series of restaurant reviews he penned for "The New Yorker" from the perspective of a privileged child, but it also includes such absurd gems as a marriage counselor heckling the Knicks and a post-gender normative man trying to pick a woman up at a bar. This summer, you can find Eisenber on the big screen right in “Now You See Me 2” and Woody Allen’s “Cafe Society.” Alicia Jo Rabins: Mystic Ideas and a Modern Sensibility - 19:15 Portland’s Alicia Jo Rabins is a renaissance woman — she writes mystical poetry, she’s a gifted storyteller, she composes and performs beautiful song cycles about Biblical women for her rock band project, called Girls in Trouble, and she’s a Jewish scholar. At Wordstock, Rabins read for us from her award-winning new book, “Divinity School,” and performed a song. Wendell Pierce Remembers Post-Katrina New Orleans - 31:13 Actor and activist Wendell Pierce put an indelible mark on the TV landscape with his role as William “Bunk” Moreland on the iconic television series, “The Wire.” He has produced and acted in movies, TV, and theater, and last year, he made his debut in the literary world with "The Wind in the Reeds." It’s a meditation on his return to his hometown of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, where he performed in a staging of the play “Waiting for Godot” in the Lower Ninth Ward.