QUIET: Susan Cain, Live at Politics & Prose - (My Unedited Q&A w/Angie Kim)


CAIN1 130206 425 upright QUIET: Susan Cain, Live at Politics & Prose   (My Unedited Q&A w/Angie Kim)

As you may know, I’m out on The QUIET Book Tour right now.

So far I’ve been in NYC, Chicago, Boston, Denver, Kansas City, Portland, and one other stop that — for purely personal reasons — stands as my favorite appearance of all:

My Politics & Prose Bookstore sponsored Q&A at the gorgeous 6th and I Historic Synagogue in Washington D.C.

It was there that I shared the stage with my old law school friend, Angie Kim, whom I hadn’t seen since we graduated 20 years ago!

We picked up right where we left off, with the cheerfully extroverted Angie sharing her surprise, when she read QUIET, to learn how scared I’d been about public speaking during our law school days.

Our entire conversation, mostly consisting of topics I haven’t addressed at other stops on my tour, was broadcast on Slate Radio’s new podcast, “Live at Politics and Prose“, and can be listened to below. I hope you enjoy it!


Questions? Comments?

Enter them into SoundCloud’s commenting feature. I might use your thoughts in a future article.


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Want to see the UK version of QUIET’s cover art? CLICK HERE. It’s beautiful! (Link will open in new window.)

 Penguin Books UK and Waterstones are doing an incredible job of promoting the book. I can’t thank them enough!

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  1. Jo Bowman on 20.02.2013 at 09:46 (Reply)

    My daughter, a law school graduate, in fact the student speaker for her graduating class at George Mason Law, first shared your blog with me. I had considered and explained myself as painfully shy. I have appreciated learning through you the distinction between shy and introvert. In my job as a trainer for a State agency in Kansas, I approached every training with great trepidation and wanting to just fade away into oblivion. Thank you for helping me understand that introversion is a personality trait of at least a third of the population. Samantha shared your blog with me because she shares this trait with me.

  2. Elizabeth on 20.02.2013 at 13:07 (Reply)

    Do you plan a stop in San Francisco on your book tour? Weather here is lovely, as are the readers. We’ve got great coffee shops too :)

  3. Miss Jan on 20.02.2013 at 14:45 (Reply)

    Ms. Cain, having very recently read - some parts twice! - your book and, coincidentally, as you are on tour, I wonder if you would consider contacting David Miller, moderator of Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Think Out Loud hour-long radio program featuring cultural and societal issues. I’m suggesting this because quite frankly I was completely horrified at the information contained in Tuesday, February 19, broadcast (podcast is available, synopsis with guest identifier, and comments available online at http://www.opb.org/thinkoutloud/shows/using-universal-screening-and-assessment-schools/). It appears that Oregon public schools may be adopting even more widely a universal screening program (a few already instituted the program). Basically, late in the broadcast the guest in response to the moderator’s very pointed question actually admitted that the studious child would be caught up in the widely-cast net of this apparently poorly crafted “universal screen” and categorized as disruptive. In Oregon, further, the Governor has directed the Legislature (currently in session) to create a computerized system which has ALL of a child’s information from pre-K all the way through college (even post-grad work)available for sharing with heaven knows how many people and institutions.

    Once again, the quiet, studious child, the child who prefers the introspective life, risks being miscategorized as even something as serious as potential homegrown-t***ist material (guest admitted to “false positives” which would “need to be discussed with parents” and possibly the authorities and “interventions” taken with such quiet students). Worse, such profiling under the Oregon Governor’s mandate would follow the introverted child all the way through to adulthood.

    I hope, Ms. Cain, that if you choose to approach OPB’s “Think Out Loud” program that you will be able to bring some of your wonderful information to the forefront of the debate. The program, for many - as noted by the wide array of callers-in and caliber of guest speakers - is “must-hear” radio with a huge audience.

    1. Susan Cain on 20.02.2013 at 21:47 (Reply)

      Dear Miss Jan, Thank you for this information! I am going to talk to my publicist about it.

    2. red dog on 20.02.2013 at 22:08 (Reply)

      “Once again, the quiet, studious child, the child who prefers the introspective life, risks being miscategorized as even something as serious as potential homegrown-t***ist material (guest admitted to “false positives” which would “need to be discussed with parents” and possibly the authorities and “interventions” taken with such quiet students).”

      I found your deletion of letters in “t***ist” puzzling. Nowadays we have the “F” word and the “N” word, as well as other recently supposedly forbidden words. Where does this repressive mentality of not being able to say any word come from? Where will it end? Who created these newly spawned speech police? Why should anyone fear them? Or do they only exist in your mind?

      Did you mean to say “terrorist”? If so, you have the wrong number of corresponding stars for deleted letters.

      I’m not afraid to say “terrorist”. We live in a world where swaggering politicians can say vulgarities of their choosing: “This is a big, fucking deal!” (VP Joe Biden(D), as quoted) And “I’m a fucking steamroller!” (Elliot Spitzer(D), the disgraced former Governor of NY, as quoted. He thought he was that which he called himself until he lost his steam, because he was too preoccupied with f-ing…)

      Apparently you live in Oregon. The proposition you cite is that of your elected officials, and no one can restrain or repudiate them but the voters who live in your state. If you feel your current Governor (also a Democrat) is a threat to your freedom, it is time to vote him out of office.

      I’m also not afraid to say that the authoritarian Left is an even bigger threat to free speech than the authoritarian Right ever was. There is nothing more insidious than political mind control, no matter what party is doing it. Throw the bums out. But only the voters who live there have the power to do that - if and when they muster the will and the gumption to do so.

  4. Della on 20.02.2013 at 21:22 (Reply)

    I second Elizabeth’s vote for a stop in San Francisco! I just downloaded the podcast and will (I predict) thoroughly enjoy this evening.

    1. Susan Cain on 20.02.2013 at 21:47 (Reply)

      Thank you Delia and Elizabeth, I do hope to make it to San Fran soon enough!

  5. Jon on 21.02.2013 at 02:51 (Reply)

    Thanks for the TED talk. Data is extaordinarily helpful-particularly the correlation/causation [sic] between best talkers and best ideas. We’ve all known it, we’ve all felt it. Until I heard it aloud from you, I never fought it. Been standing a bit taller every day since. No words for that.

  6. Friday Pix: Recommended Reading For The Weekend | RealDelia on 22.02.2013 at 15:30

    [...] with Susan Cain’s best-selling Quiet: The Power of Introverts. Here’s a recent interview Susan did about the book in the famous Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington, [...]

  7. james jay on 24.02.2013 at 11:57 (Reply)

    Listening to the ‘podcast’ here in England and smiled out loud when you described the switch from law and within 24 hours signed up for creative non-fiction course. You had years as a golden buddha when young, life piled on layer after layer of ‘stuff’, some good, some not so, perhaps being someone you weren’t, you gained layers of stuff going into law, had an epiphany by taking a year of absence, and signed up for creative non-fiction course (you had not thought it, but I would suggest your sub-conscious spoke up and you heard it, that inner voice needed to be heard)and away you went…ok it wasn’t that simple, but that’s a classic golden buddha story, or the Hero’s Journey as Joseph Campbell would have described it. Fascinating listening. Thank you.

  8. Stephanie on 01.03.2013 at 11:12 (Reply)

    I am so grateful I went to elementary school in the 80′s before this continuous group work started happening. I would have been absolutely miserable. I have always enjoyed school and learning and it makes me very sad to think some of these introverted kids are getting a terrible impression of school and learning due to the constant group work.

  9. I Got Nothin’ | Project Introvert OUT on 01.03.2013 at 21:33

    [...] I’m here to make a recommendation: If you haven’t heard Susan Cain’s interview at Slate’s Politics & Prose, I highly recommend it. (You can listen to it at that link or download it for free from iTunes.) [...]

  10. Lynn on 07.03.2013 at 13:10 (Reply)

    I’m also hoping you can make a San Francisco stop. My book club and my husband are currently reading and loving your book. Thank you!

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Quiet: The Book

- Wall Street Journal

Bill Gates names "The Power of Introverts" one of his all-time favorite TED Talks.

Best Nonfiction Book of 2012

QUIET has been voted the best nonfiction book of 2012
by Goodreads.com


1. There’s a word for “people who are in their heads too much”: thinkers.

2. Our culture rightly admires risk-takers, but we need our “heed-takers” more than ever.

3. Solitude is a catalyst for innovation.

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