Aisha Harris Book Launch for "Wannabe"

Local author and NPR personality AISHA HARRIS comes to Mrs. Dalloway's Bookstore on Wednesday, June 14th, 7pm to launch her new book Wannabe: Reckonings with the Pop Culture That Shapes Me. Aisha will read from and discuss her book and will sign copies after the presentation. In nine lively, incisive essays, the NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour co-host reflects on the cultural touchstones of her childhood and adolescence that have shaped her, setting them in context with current sensations transforming culture now. (Aisha's photo courtesy of Sheilby Macena)

This event is free, but you must register on Eventbrite or contact us a the store prior to the talk.

NPR listeners trust Aisha Harris for her engaging and incisive insights on popular culture and the music, television, movies, and more that are influencing our lives today. In this insightful collection, she uses her keen analytical skills to examine her own life and the culture that defined who she is and how she thinks. In essays that span the personal and political, the high-brow and low, she explores how elements of popular culture became the formative touchstones of her youth in the 1990s. Aisha probes the most personal aspects of her life, including her family, her adolescence, her relationships, and her work. In the opening essay, an interaction with Chance the Rapper prompts an investigation into the origin myth of her name that becomes an ode to Stevie Wonder, Roots, and her parents. In another, she takes us back to the days of the Spice Girls and being pressured by friends to dress up as Scary Spice even though she preferred Ginger—and how perfectly that feeling is captured in an episode of the award-winning series Pen15 streaming on Hulu. She traces the evolution of the “Black Friend” trope from its Twainian origins through Clueless and She’s All That to New Girl and the recent Sex and The City reboot. She also zooms way out into the overlap of taste and identity today, arguing for us to let go of the patriarchal ethos of selfhood that limits us to “you are what you like.”

Wannabe is a peak into Aisha’s brilliant mind and caring heart, an opportunity and a pleasure to sit back and jam with a smart, hilarious, pop-culture obsessed friend who opens new worlds with each entertaining and thought-provoking observation.

AISHA HARRIS is the co-host of the popular NPR podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour. From 2012 to 2018, she covered culture for Slate magazine as a staff writer, editor, and host of the film and television podcast, Represent. She joined the New York Times in 2018 as the assistant television editor on the Culture Desk and became culture editor for the Opinion Desk, where she wrote and edited a variety of pieces on the arts, society, and politics. Born and raised in Connecticut, she earned her bachelor's degree in theatre from Northwestern University and her master's degree in cinema studies from New York University. She lives in Oakland, California. Wannabe is her first book.

THIS EVENT is free but pre-registration is required. Registration ends at 4:30 pm on June 14th.

BECAUSE SEATING is limited, please register only if you plan to attend.

DUE TO SPACE limitations, we may not be able to accommodate every person at an event, so early registration is encouraged.

WALK-INS will be accommodated only if space allows.

WE ASK that attendees arrive between 6:45 and 7:00 PM for the event.

PLEASE leave your non-support companion animals at home.

OUR shared restrooms are not accessible after 6:30 PM, please plan accordingly.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Event address: 
Mrs. Dalloway's Bookstore
2904 College Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705
Pre-Order Now Badge
Wannabe: Reckonings with the Pop Culture That Shapes Me By Aisha Harris Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063249943
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: HarperOne - June 13th, 2023