tv Tara Westover Educated CSPAN March 31, 2020 9:22am-10:08am EDT
east. first, michael ruben and talking about instability in the middle east and u.s. actions against iran may need. kim ghattas talks about the decades long rivalry between iran and saudi arabia. and a retired career foreign service officer who served in the middle east for 25 years talks about u.s. policy in the region and the recent confrontation between the u.s. and iran. watch book tv this week and every weekend on c-span2. >> please with em-- welcome tarra westever in conversation. [applaus [applause] >> hello there, guess who i
am? [laughter] >> this >> tara westover and if i have to give you an introduction about tara westover you need to get out of the hole that you've been living in for a while. because her book has just celebrated i think the 100th week, consecutive week on the new york times best seller list. i think number one. [applause] >> thank you. >> ahead of michelle malcolm or down there. >> thanks. >> but that's very cool. and i'm assuming that a lot of people are familiar with the narrative that-- and that's why you're so interested and you're still here on the last lecture on the second day, but i thought we would still go through some of her story because it's so gripping. it starts in idaho and actually, to me it's like such a beautiful setting.
there must be a lot of beautiful memories that you have with that. >> yeah, i mean, it was a really beautiful mountain that i grew up on and i still have really fond memories of being on that mountain and playing on that mountain. i think it's an incredible-- it's, you know, the kids get to play on the playground and we had the entire farm and a huge space and wonderful things on the mountain like that. i guess you could say we were the original free range kids, kind of hard core. so a lot of wonderful things about it and then, of course, there were some difficult things, too, but the setting, the scenery, the living in that place. >> nature walks and you were like-- i've seen you gathering these-- >> not even nature walks, you're there all the time. you don't walk to it, it's just there constantly. one of the things when i would come back from college and driving to town with my sister or something, i would be r
rapturous about it and she was used to it. >> and it's a field. >> take a picture of it. >> a lot of times outdoors, your mom was an herbalist? >> my mom was an herbalist and midwife and we grew a lot of food we ate and we had animals we raised and with the land. >> a lot of different animals. >> mostly normal ones, we had goats, picture. >> this is rancho mirage, so we have poodles and-- >>. [laughter] >> we never had a poodle, no. [laughter] >> that never happened. you know, normal farm animals, horses, cows, pigs, chickens. >> we had a lot of goats, we were goat people.
a lot of animals. >> you're the youngest of seven so there are a lot of people around. >> yeah, but i mean, we didn't go to school so my parents were-- they had a different philosophy of a lot of things so they were opposed to a lot of the things most people take for granted. doctors and hospitals, they would not have liked you. >> now, the first three went to school though. >> yeah, so my dad got a little more radical as he got older so my first three siblings went to school. >> born in hospitals. >> they were born in hospitals. >> birth certificate. >> as my dad got older, he got a little more radical so he pulled the kids out of school, my older brothers and after that, starting with my third brother i think it started, everyone was born at home and my fourth brother after that, no birth certificates or anything like that. >> so no medical records, birth, nothing. >> no, i got my birth certificate when i was nine. >> you're lucky you didn't look like me. >> probably would have been harder. >> no documentation, that's the
problem. [laughter] >> well, lucky for many reasons that you don't look like me. we'll just-- leave that one for now. so, then here-- but you're still reading, i think there's one reference to going to the carnegie library? >> yeah, there was a library in town, it was the carnegie library and we would go occasionally. and reading was important by my parents, and i was taught to read by one of my brothers, and apparently there was a bet, one of my brothers thought i was dumb and couldn't learn how to read. >> this is at the age four. >> you could call read, it was important to my parents that you could read so you could read the bible, book of mormon and the rest of the education
was piecemeal, more haphazard and some years my brother -- my mother would say, we're going 0 get serious about schooling, and then give way to the herbal business and farm and my parents were to food supply and they needed 10th year's food supply to get ready for whatever disaster is coming to the end of the time. >> not only that you have to protect the food. >> protect the food from people who don't have food so it gets to be kind of involved, that kind of planning, yeah. >> now you-- >> and ten years of food is a lot of food. it's not like a little bit of food. >> yeah, for nine people. and now you mentioned that your father kind of evolved in his way of thinking or that he kind of went more towards the frin fringe.
was there an event that changed the way he viewed the world or just a progression? >> you know, it's hard to say, there were definitely events at that seemed to play into it and intensify it. i write about the effect of ruby ridge, which is what i remember and that hit my family in a pretty specific way. i think for my dad for many years before that was already pretty frightened of the federal government, was already developing pretty radical ideas around government and school and doctors and things like that. i think that ruby ridge for him really solidified that because you know, that's a story of the federal government surrounding the family and essentially laying siege to the family and killing some of those. >> and that's not far from you? >> no, they were in idaho and home schooled family. >> the weavers. >> and for my dad that solidified the fears and things he was worried about. so, yeah, i think that that had a pretty intense effect.
i don't think anybody ever went to school after the ruby ridge incident whereas a lot of my siblings did go to a couple of years here and there, but after that nobody went to any school. >> somehow tyler, i guess he's the third oldest in the family. >> yeah. >> he felt the need to break free of that environment? >> yeah, he was just sort of unusual. he was allowed to-- he went to one year of had the and then ruby ridge happened and he didn't go back. and he was just kind of a freak, you know? in a good way. but he went to a year of high school, he liked it. he liked math. he taught himself trigonometry and then he taught himself algebra and decided he would teach himself calculus, he didn't have books so he went to the high school and said will you give me a calculus book and the calculus teacher just laughed and said, you can't teach yourself calculus. and he said give me a book, i
really think i can. and she gave him a book and he taught himself calculus and then, one day just took the act. i think he got almost a perfect score and then just announced he was going to college. i didn't know what that was. i think i was probably eight and as far as i knew college was an evil terrible thing, so that's what my dad said and he just kind of left and-- >> and the book is actually dedicated to tyler, is that right? >> yeah. >> and you credit him with also introducing you to music, which you, i think, have said was one of the main sources of inspiration for you to leave home and see something greater outside of your world? >> yeah, well, i mean, i was pretty happy with the mountain. growing up on the mountain is kind of a wonderful thing and i don't think-- i very much subscribed to my father's world view, that made sense when you're a kid. you get told things and they make sense to you. so i-- i'm sorry, something's clicking back here.
so i very much subscribed to my dad's way of looking at the world and had no intention of ever leaving the mountain. that really worked fine for me and then tyler played for me some opera and some of the mormon tabernacle choir and i was just really arrested by it and thought, oh, i don't know what that is, but one thing that's clear to me is that no one is born knowing how to sing like this. you have to go somewhere and they have to teach you how to do this so i said to tyler, you know, where you go to learn this? he says you go to college. and i sort of said, fine, i'll do that and so i ended up, how do i get to college and tyler says you teach yourself math. it's not that hard, don't worry. [laughter]. and so i tried it, he was acting as if it was a normal thing to do and i did not teach myself calculus, barely managed to teach myself algebra to scrape through that exam, but i
did, i started waking up early and trying to learn algebra and it's a strange thing to try to explain to people, it's true, i more or less taught myself algebra because i liked to sing and that's the motivation. i'm not sure what lesson there is in that except i think maybe we should be a little thoughtful before my crush any passion that a child has because you just don't really know where that will take them. it was because i like to sing that i got to college. and when i went to college, byu, i discovered philosophy and history and those wonderful things and then i loved that and went to cambridge. came bridge, i discovered writing and books and i wrote a book and came to this place here. and so, you don't necessarily know where these things are going to take you. you don't know where our passion is going to take you, but having the passion will probably take you nowhere. >> you have that chapter called apache women.
>> apache women. i haven't read it in a while. >> okay. well, it's really good. i'd recommend it. i hear the audio is good, too. >> i haven't listened to. i heard it's good. i mean the audio i heard she was good. >> you've made this decision, you're 15 or 16 and i think you, you know, being modest, but you taught yourself and you got the score on the act eventually that got you into byu and you're pretty set and there's one episode in here that i read that you haven't read recently, but where your father comes into your room at night and says tara i've prayed to the lord about your decision and he's called me to testify, and he is displeased that you are casting away his blessings to whore off after man's
knowledge and the wrath will come to you. >> and you're thinking about this and your father comes to you and the next day you've decided not to go to college. >> yeah, i mean, i very much subscribed to my dad's worldview. i mean, mostly i subscribed to it and then i did end up going to college for all kinds of reasons, but even once i did go, i think i still half believed that i shouldn't go or there was something wicked about the fact. my dad had a doctrine we were taught we were a peculiar family and my family, took that, and doctors and public school was a part of that. and so for me to go to college was a huge breach of that and i was of two minds for a really long time. it felt like a failing, a personal failing that i didn't have enough faith or conviction
to just stick out with this life that i'd been told was the right life, but the thing is, i didn't-- it didn't feel like the right life for me and i think when you're a kid, that i mean, kid, i guess i was 17, but i didn't know how to reconcile those two things. i owed something to my parents, a loyalty to their way of life and beliefs and i felt like i owed them that and i felt like i also owed something to myself and i should explore that, i love to sing, i want to see what i'm able to do and i really want to do this. and i could not reconcile those two, those two obligations. this wasn't really a way to do it. >> your mother's role in all of this is so interesting. at times she encourages you, tara you're the one i thought would get out of here. so you need to go and not stay at times and then other times it seems like she's pulling back on that. >> my mother's really
complicated. whenever i think about my mom i always think about this kind of two versions of her, so there's my mother, who i think of as my mother and then my father's wife. and they're just the same person and my mother is a really different person when my dad is either there or she's kind of acting on his behalf. she's just a very different person. when i was younger, i feel like there was more of her as my mother and then as i got older, i felt like that person was less and less present. >> so it was a little unpredictable which mother you would-- . unpredictable. >> nature of mothers, nothing definite can be said. >> the quote, but i i can see what you're reaching for. [laughter] >> so, you go to college and you know, you're finding out that all of these things, that your font of knowledge is different from your classmates, that's one obstacle and then the social obstacle, even in
retrospect, well, i'm at byu, a transition, it's not like going to berkeley right? >> it seems to me shockingly a party school, but i recognize now that that says a lot more about me than it does about byu. because it's more or less a mormon convent. [laughter]. more or less, like men and women live in different buildings and there's a curfew that's 12:00 at night and if you visit a guy's apartment you can only be in the living room, you can't go-- >> that's not-- ments you can't even go to the bathroom. >> that's not what it felt like at 17. >> you had to go to the bathroom across the street in a bedroom that women owned. and i thought it was lascivious, and people were wearing tank tops and drinking mountain dew. i couldn't deal with it and i thought i was surrounded by
gentiles, and that's the word i used. >> and with the academic obje obstacles, you had to learn that things were not the way you had been talk and social. there's also financial obstacles, sounds like you were broke your first year? >> luckily byu was not expensive and the church subsidized a lot. could you scrape it, and tuition when i went was $1600 unbelievable for the education that it is, and my rent i'll never forget was $110 a month and so, you know, you could do that. you could work a couple of jobs and work in the summer and you could do that. the problem that way, you would be constantly and endlessly preoccupied with money. you could have woken me aup the 3:00 in the morning and shook me ewake, how much money is in your bank account?
>> i knew at any hour of the day, who i owed what, when rent was due, i knew all of it and that takes a tremendous amount of bandwidth for lack of a better term, like everything i was thinking about and focusing on every day was money. >> yeah. >> and then the best thing happened to me that probably could happen to me, i needed a root canal, it's not obvious why that's such a good thing, but it was a good thing for my case beau i couldn't afford the root canal, i didn't have the money, $1400, i didn't have it so i ended up going in and talk to the bishop, the mormon equivalent of a pastor. >> and he tried to give me money from the church which i wouldn't take, and then from his own bank account. >> i wouldn't take and after weeks and weeks and weeks, convinced me for the pell grant. which is a whole different -- and i thought the illuminata.
>> all you needed was $1400. >> i actually called the number and said i don't need all of this, can you take some of it back? and she -- she thought that i'd lost -- she thought i was crank calling her and she's so used to people not getting enough money and saying, oh, i was supposed to get more. i was saying i'm supposed to get less. i don't have the time for whatever this is. and so she just said, cash it or don't, but it's your problem. so i cashed it and i paid for the tooth to get fixed and i bought my books and i paid my rent for the semester and i had a $1,000 left over and it was first time i'd had anything like that and he think it's-- you know, i think it's, i guess the first time that i experienced what i now think of to be the most powerful thing about money, the most powerful advantage with money, you can
think about things that aren't money and if you have a lot of money and you're thinking about money all the time you're probably doing it wrong. but-- >> so that you decide is like freeing you to finally be a student, to learn? >> yeah, i could actually take classes that-- i could focus on things besides exactly how much money i have or how many hours i could work or sell plasma to make my rent payment. i could stop thinking about all of that stuff so i could actually take classes that i didn't need to take and one of the classes i took was psych 101. i didn't need, i had met the requirements, it will be interesting i'll take psychology class and i enrolled in literally psych 101 which i think is actually every parent's nightmare their kid will take psych 101 and come home and psycho analyze them, which is exactly what happened. but to me, that class was incredibly important. i mean, it was just--
i had no concept of mental illness until i took that class. >> you felt there were things you recognized? >> yeah, the professor started lecturing us on schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and cycle of grandeur and paranoia and dilutions of grandeur and explaining it and power points and i wrote in my notes, this is my dad, he's describing dad and when they started talking about ruby ridge and the version of the story slightly different than the one i'd grown up with, just a little bit. and you know, it just-- i don't know if my dad's bipolar we'll never know, ironically one of the symptoms if he has it is the paranoia he'll never see a doctor for it, but it was just a whole new lens through which i could look at my childhood and understand what had happened. other explanations for why we
weren't allowed to go to school or why we had so many injuries was never something that it was clear to me and why when we were injured we didn't go to the doctor. just a lot of questions that i had, that i just didn't have an answer to or answers that i had were kind of tough. and then that, that explanation was really helpful for me. >> see, you're in the state of mind now, you have the money and the freedom to learn more and you've been awoken to the fact that a lot of things that you were taught weren't true. in some ways, is that almost an advantage that you assume that you know nothing in a way that, you know, cause a lot of high school students come in, they still believe in things they were taught and hard to know what to let go of, but you describe just kind of letting go of everything and assuming that everything is-- was different, it's like a clean slate. does that kind of create a hunger, a thirst for more knowledge and trying to calibrate it and-- >> probably. maybe there's a slight hunger
that came out of it or maybe you could describe-- hunger is a flattering way to describe it. sometimes when i tell people i have a ph.d., but i don't have a high school diploma, that's a little overcompensating maybe, took it a little far, but you could call it hunger, that sounds nicer. yeah, i don't really know. >> an insatiable hunger. >> there are a lot of things i didn't know, but i had ideas about things just a lot of them were wrong and i thought i knew things, i wasn't aware of my own ignorance until i think i guess i became aware of my own ignorance when i learned about civil rights movement and that was the first time that i thought, oh, crap, i don't know anything. >> the specific things-- >> the stuff i know is wrong. >> you hadn't heard about. >> i had grown up hearing about slavery, but a weird version of that, but really not good.
and i'd grown up with with it, it was not good and i'd attended the class and then did the section on slavery and i'd seen images from the time, you know, some of the famous photos na you see from that time, read accounts or we had seen a sketch of a slave auction and just, it was clear to me from that, i saw this isn't really-- when dad told us about this, this is not what i imagined, but it still fit broadly within the story that he told so that was okay, but then a few weeks by and talking about something else and talking about the civil rights movement and i didn't know what that was. and a picture of a woman saying she got arrested for taking a seat on the bus. and i thought he meant she had been arrested for stealing the bus seats. which is kind of an unfortunate misunderstanding to take a seat versus to take that seat.
and so like, i was still trying to figure out like, how did she get it loose. [laughter] >> you know, like i grew up in a junkyard, i took apart-- i knew what would be involved getting a bus seat out of a bus because we'd done it before, but that's not really a casual tuesday afternoon activity. >> clearly. you've gotten enough of the other questions right because you ended up graduating as a top student in history in your, i think, in your group. is that not true? >> a top student. they voted me on something, i don't think i had the top gpa. >> i thought you were like the top history student or something like that. >> i think i was something, i can't remember what i was. i didn't flunk out. >> you go to cambridge on a gates scholarship equivalent to like rhodes scholarship, and instead rhodes scholars go to
oxford and gates, your parents are proud of this and looks like the home schooling paid off? >> yeah. [laughter] >> he did. he likes that way of telling it. yeah. >> and you go to cambridge and you're exposed to more ideas and you write about isaiah berlin and i don't think we need to go into all of that with our time. and i think it sounds like at cambridge you realize that you have a narrative that is interesting to other people, is that when you kind of start talking about your childhood? >> no, i guess a little bit toward the end. i was still pretty secretive about whole thing. when the book came out and i had good friends call me and say, wait, what? because i never talked to them about any of it. they kind of knew that i was home schooled, but i had a very clean safe version of that that i told and i think part of it
was just byu, the few times i had told somebody, you don't like being the outsider in that way and you don't like being the one person that is-- yeah, doesn't know anything or doesn't know what's going on. doesn't know what an exam is, doesn't know what the holocaust is, doesn't understand why rosa parks is stealing bus seats. it's just not always pleasant. so something i kind of kept to myself. i had a few professors who said maybe you should write about this and i thought, why? what's the point of it? i didn't really have a good sense of what the point of it was. and then i think i went through this tremendously difficult process in my family i became estranged from a few members of my family they were continuing to be more radical and i was becoming more mainstream and after i went through that process that's when i started thinking maybe i-- maybe there's a reason to write it to do it. i don't know for sure if there is, but i'll experiment. >> the main reason you want to
write is put the story out in case other people are in similar situations? >> i think that that was. i mean, there's the reason that you're writing, a reason you tell yourself you're writing, not always the same. i think i had thought that there might be a reason to write. i thought i was going to write about education. i'll wrote about my education, it was strange. i'll write about these important things i learned about and the process of learning and it will be useful thing to write about my education and i thought somehow i could write an entire book about my education and not mention my family. i don't know how that would go, but i convinced myself that was possible. >> there is so much about your story and people are fascinated about your journey, there's not enough-- so i've read this book when it first came out. and i read it again when our men's book club chose it a year ago and read it with the residents of my--
>> more than i have. >> after reading the first time, you flip the pages and find out what's going on and the next time i read it, i was really, really moved by the language and i wondered if you could just read two paragraphs, i'd like to give the audience just a sample of your voice, of your writing voice and there are two here that i have marked. >> oh, yeah, he picked landscapes passages for you, which is everyone's favorite. okay. this is about idaho. >> the hill is paved with wild weeds, it's the conifers and page brush are soloists, and the follow the rest in bursts of movement. a million ballerinas bending one after the other as great
gales bend their golden heads and the close anyone gets to see the shape of wind. there's a sense of sovereignty that comes from life on a mountain. a perception of privacy and isolation, even if dominion. in that vast space you can sail unaccompanied for hours afloat on pine, brush and rock. it's a tranquillity born of sheer immensity, it calms with its magnitude which bears the human of no consequence. >> thank you. [applause] >> you know, i'm-- so, okay, so clearly you're writing this as a first language, but what i mean by that, so, you know, it's hard to imagine writing so beautifully, but not coming to really books until you're in college. >> i grew up with the bible and the bible has, you know, linguistically and poetically
and every other way, narratively, not every single world is gold, but there's some incredibly beautiful writing, i think, in the bible. so i'd grown up with that and i'd grown up with ambiguity in story telling and that kind of biblical language. >> it's a different writing than academic writing you were doing for cambridge. >> i would say they're almost diametrically opposed to one another. i think that what it takes to write a good academic article, you want to say the thing in the most direct way possible and totally plain and i think that's kind of the kiss of death in story telling, actually. if you see-- you actually want to build in a little bit more complexity. you want to let people see the scene and come to their own conclusions, that's kind of the great risk, i think, of story
telling especially by your own life. if you write a book about your life, but is experienceal, if this had happened to them in a way and then they might come to a different conclusion than you did about your life and that's a strange kind of gamble to take, but i think better than an essay that says, well, here, i'm going to tell, but this person and here is what her dilemma is and here is what it all means, people might process that, but i don't think that they're going to think through it and more importantly, kind of feel through it and come to a conclusion that is really, really going to move them or stay with them. they have to kind of experience, experience it, so, i did decide to write the book. it's not an essay, it's not an argument. it's just a story and everybody can go through that story and come up with a whole lot of different-- i get all kinds of people come up to me at my book events and
have all kinds of different take aways from the story and some say i'm so glad, i just know that reconciliation with you and your parents is just right around the corner and some people come and say, i'm so glad you're never going to see those people again. one right after the other and in both cases, you know, i just kind of smile and say thank you, it has nothing to do with me. it's got everything to do with them and what they need to hear and think about and what are the puzzles they're wrestling with in their own lives. that's the point of stories, exactly what it should be. >> but you did write it for yourself in some sense, too, no? >> i think i was trying to make sense of it. i think i was trying to figure out fundamentally, i think i was trying to figure out if i was a good person, but i wasn't sure i was. i mean, i'd done something in my own mind was unthinkable, which is i had written to my parents and i'd said i love
you, but i need it to be the case that we don't talk or see each other very much because i just need a break and there's a word for that, it's called estrangement, i couldn't have called it that at the time. i just need space and i felt terrible for doing that. i felt it was the ultimate inexcusable thing. i thought you're just not allowed to do that. if you do that it's because you're a terrible person i really, really believed it. yet, i didn't have any other choice. i had been trying to have a peaceful relationship with my family as long as i could remember and it just wasn't happening for me so i think a lot of the reason i wrote the book was just to answer that question. >> did they answer? >> is it okay that i did this? >> did you get some resolution with that? >> i think it helped, it helped me, it helps me see the truth of it is. i think sometimes the choices that we make that we punish ourselves the most for or the
choices where we didn't have any choice at all and that's, i think, writing it out and it's kind of i realized, there really wasn't another path here. this was the path. there was just one bath and it helped me make peace where it ended up realizing that's not where i would have chosen to end up. i would have never wanted that ending, but it was probably the best ending and it was an ending i could live with. i could still love my parents, it's not that i stopped loving them. it's the case that this was the form that that love had to take more a while. >> and when you'd write or anything things out and it's nice you kind of have a narrative that really is helpful and you kind of put it down and move on with things. but we're not letting you move on. we're kind of like dragging you out and make you talk about this over and over for a hundred weeks, is that-- >> that's true, yeah, thanks.
[laughter] >> no, a good friend of mine-- >> it was his idea. >> a good friend of mine wrote a beautiful book about her family and i asked her before my book came out, was writing your book, was it really therapeutic, are you so glad you did it? >> she said writing a book a terribly therapeutic and public is thissing-- publishing a book is not. >> you know, in your family of nine, you and your parents, you have different names and you contact everybody and said it's okay, i'm coming out with this book and use your name or maybe they don't want to use their name. was there a consideration, it's easy to figure out who your parents are and did you ever consider publishing under someone else's name? under a pseudonym. >> i did, but my understanding
with a memoir, it's tricky. you could publish it as a novel. i did think about, saying oh, it's a novel. there's two problems with a calling it a novel, no one would have believed it. too weird. no, actually it's funny, i told one of my brothers when i called one of my brothers up, i'm going to write about our family as a memoir and a really long pause on the other line, well, you won't have to make anything up. [laughter] >> and so really, i genuinely write it as a novel nobody would believe it, too weird. the second is more serious, when i went through that difficult process with my family, it seemed like a lot of other people who are struggling with estrangement or difficult families, what you really feel is just kind of isolated from people and it feels like you're the only person that's ever had this problem and i remember thinking to myself, like how could anybody think that i'm a good person if they know that
my mother doesn't think i'm a good person. because my parents at that time were saying i was possessed, i'd left their faith and they thought the reason was i was possessed. ... it you were fictionalizing it instead of behind the fiction. i boldly decided to do what he could to protect privacy and give people as much space as a
good but i thought i had to write it under my own name. >> with fiction characters often get two-dimensional. here you labor so hard and are so successful showing -- the most couple get a relationship is your brother sean. you show so many things he does with you that are so loving and you talk about him breaking horses for you, saving her life, a runaway horse at great risk to himself. your father tries to get you to work with this thing you called this year which is this -- >> sounds fun. >> bullshit would be all over this. chanson is going to make us do it i will do it -- osha would be all over this. he loves you and puts himself in harm's way for you but also is the source of a lot of your pain. >> something i wanted to try to describe for both people of
experience that people who haven't i think sometimes we talk about dysfunctional or abusive relationships i think we're so focused on the negative. what we're describing may or may not be recognizable to the people who are experiencing those relationships. when i was 16 i was at my grandmother's house and watched some hallmark may be accountable what it was but i remember it had a really dysfunctional relationship, about the relationship into. i was driving home and i was really young but i was driving home and there was a moment i had this thought, i would if relationship with sean is like this. no, because that guy in the movie was always wearing the wife beater shirt. he was, every scene he was and he was a caricature of a monster. i thought that's what they look like. that's not what sean is like. except for tiny percentage of the time. then he is like that. i think in my mind i thought it so it is not like that all the
time then it's fine. i think it was something i wanted to capture for people is part of what makes us relationships so compelling and what makes it so hard to leave is that the love is real, that often genuinely loving compelling people who need help or whatever. but at some point you have to ask the hard question of can help this person? if the edges know, how do i take care of myself in that situation. i felt like i had to write about the relationship the way i experienced it which was not completely white or black twitches what made it alternately very difficult to walk away from. >> one of the few times where you talk with your father being consistently proud of you is when you start singing in public and he's -- there's one line i think it's so ironic you explain
things he's doing and you said he wanted my voice to be heard, and so obviously your voice is heard now. >> hey may not have had that in mind. >> i wonder if you would let us hear the voice that your father had in mind and sing something for us? >> yeah, i can do that. i always sing a hymn. so i hope you like yams. -- hymns. i haven't sung in a in a long . i've got it. ♪ oh, lord, my god, when i in awesome wonder ♪ ♪ come sit along the world thy hands have made ♪ ♪ i see the stars.
♪ [applause] thank you very much a. >> thank you. that was wonderful. >> that was really fun. i don't know if we have time to spare. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> television has changed since c-span began 41 years ago but our mission continues to provide an unfiltered view of government. already this year we brought your primary election coverage, the presidential impeachment process, and now the federal response to the coronavirus. you can watch all of c-span's public affairs programming on television, online or listen on a free radio app and the part of the national conversation through c-span's daily "washington journal" program, or
through our social media feed. c-span, created by private industry, america's cable-television company, as a public service, brought to you today by your television provider. >> a chilly smile. >> he shivered and wanted to john. >> i don has to love you no matter what. >> ozzy moment to consider the audacity of that maneuver. >> in the beginning stories were told. >> there's something elemental about speaking the story that puts it to a different test. >> the works of shakespeare, toni morrison, jason reynolds and michelle obama are a far richer experience heard rather than silently read. >> because the intimate experience, you