with "Dinners with Ruth"

Evening’s NHPR moderator: Hannah McCarthy

Four years before Nina Totenberg was hired at NPR, where she cemented her legacy as a prizewinning reporter, and nearly twenty-two years before Ruth Bader Ginsburg was appointed to the Supreme Court, Nina called Ruth. A reporter for The National Observer, Nina was curious about Ruth’s legal brief, asking the Supreme Court to do something revolutionary: declare a law that discriminated “on the basis of sex” to be unconstitutional. That call launched a remarkable, nearly fifty-year friendship.

Dinners with Ruth is an extraordinary account of two women who paved the way for future generations by tearing down professional and legal barriers. It is also an intimate memoir of the power of friendships as women began to pry open career doors and transform the workplace. At the story’s heart is one, special relationship: Ruth and Nina saw each other not only through personal joys, but also illness, loss, and widowhood. During Ruth’s last year, they shared so many small dinners that Saturdays were “reserved for Ruth” in Nina’s house.

Dinners with Ruth also weaves together compelling, personal portraits of other fascinating women and men from Nina’s life, including her cherished NPR colleagues Cokie Roberts and Linda Wertheimer, her beloved husbands, her friendships with multiple Supreme Court Justices, and Nina’s own family—her father, the legendary violinist Roman Totenberg, and her “best friends,” her sisters. Inspiring and revelatory, Dinners with Ruth is a moving story of the joy and true meaning of friendship.

Nina Totenberg is NPR’s award-winning legal affairs correspondent. She appears on NPR’s critically acclaimed news magazines All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition, and on NPR podcasts, including the Politics Podcast and The Docket. Totenberg’s Supreme Court and legal coverage has won her every major journalism award in broadcasting.

The Music Hall Executive Director: Tina Sawtelle
New Hampshire Public Radio President & CEO: Jim Schachter
Writers on a New England Stage Interviewer: Hannah McCarthy
New Hampshire Public Radio Producer: Sara Plourde
The Music Hall Production Manager: Zhana Morris
The Music Hall Live Sound & Recording Engineer: Ian Martin
Musical Director and Band: Bob Lord and Dreadnaught
The Music Hall Literary Producer: Brittany Wason

Live song selections performed by Dreadnaught

“9 to 5” (Dolly Parton)
“You Don’t Own Me” (Leslie Gore)
“The Marriage of Figaro” (Mozart)
“Green Room (Theme from Writers On A New England Stage)” (Dreadnaught)

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