Category Archives: LeBlanc Talk

From the Streets to the Stage

Originality and having your own voice are two journalistic qualities Adrian Nicole Leblanc has achieved effortlessly.

As the inspiring author and journalist read excerpts from her book, Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx to the audience, her sense of concern and endearment for the people she has gotten to know over a ten year period is evident through her writing.

Sitting in the Newman Library Conference Center, I listened to Leblanc read excerpts from her book, illustrating the lives Jessica and Cocoa. As I became enticed by the story of these two girls, my previous plans of catching the 7:20 ferry home and getting dinner no longer felt important to me.

Leblanc has taken an innovative turn in her career and is now focused on her new book about a struggling stand up comedian.

Through her voice and originality, Leblanc is able to capture the hearts and interest of her readers through these tragic yet motivating stories of life, hopelessness, addiction, and taking all the means necessary, even prostitution, to survive.

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Listening to LeBlanc

Author of Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc came to Baruch to talk about her book and experiences. Personally, I had not read the book beforehand nor had any idea what is about. Due to some personal business I had to take care of, I arrived fifteen minutes late to the event and ending up sitting all the way in the back of the room on the floor. I did pick up some of her thoughts on comedians and how hard they have it but most of what she said was lost on me

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LeBlanc shares her voice

While it seems to take journalist Adrian Nicole LeBlanc years to write a nonfiction novel, it only takes her minutes to warm up to a group and talk about it.

Much like the stand up comedians she’s currently interviewing for her upcoming book, this spring’s Harman Writer- in- Residence stood up at the podium last night and simultaneously entertained and imparted words of wisdom to her attentive audience. In a friendly and casual tone, LeBlanc read from her first book, Random Family, and her work in progress,  and answered a series of curious inquiries afterward.

Her response to one question was that, both writing and comedy is like “a long apprenticeship. It takes a long time to find your voice.”

It’s clearly the case that LeBlanc has long found hers.

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Adrian Nicole LeBlanc: The World Through Open Eyes

Who would have thought that Adrian Nicole LeBlanc with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a masters in law would go on to write about a range of people from teenage prostitutes and drug-dealers to stand-up comedians. At her reading last night, I learned that LeBlanc is a great writer because of her ability to not only be present with others, but to be also present with herself. She is also a great observer in her capacity to spotlight what seems to be the most mundane of moments or people. As LeBlanc said, her purpose as a journalist is to “stretch what you know about the world.”

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Adrian LeBlanc, A Masterful Writer and Speaker

At exactly 5:45 PM in the Newman Conference Center on the seventh floor of the library building, Professor Bernstein began with her own Twiku, titled after Baruch’s slogan, “Baruch Means Business,” with a twist on the actual meaning behind the slogan. Soon afterwards, Professor Hallowell took the stage to introduce Adrian Nicole LeBlanc and began immediately by describing the silence he encountered from his students upon their completion of her journalistic, non-fiction novel, Random Family, that required over ten, jaw-dropping, tenuous years of reporting to complete.

Currently, I am in her Harman Writers-in-Residence class, and one of the required readings is her book, Random Family. I remember finishing her novel the moment I purchased it in the beginning of the year, and yes, it is an AMAZING book. But still, her vocalized reading animated the plot, making it really come alive. Hearing her voice, her humor, her journalistic approaches, and the connections she finds between stand-up comedians and journalists was both enlightening as well as enrapturing. Though I had to go home earlier before the reading ended to finish writing my creative non-fiction piece for her class, I stayed til the end because I couldn’t peel myself away from my seat.

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Good Food, Good Talk – A Reading With Adrian Nicole LeBlanc

Adrian Nicole LeBlanc spoke inspiringly about her work to a crowd of eager listeners at Baruch College.

This Tuesday afternoon the Newman Conference Center at Baruch College got filled with listening ears and questioning voices. It was time for the annual Sidney Harman Writer-In Residence event, an opportunity for students and others interested to hear a guest speaker talk about her or his work. This time the stage was given to Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, nonfiction writer and author of the critically acclaimed book “Random Family,” now working on a new project about stand-up comedy.

My only prior experience of a book reading happened unplanned, when i was studying in a book store. I wondered why a microphone was set up next to me, and soon I got my answer. Frustrated over the abrupt ending of my study-session, I walked out without even concidering staying and listening to the author speak.

It was therefore with no expectaions I stepped into the Conference Center, and got my first positive surprise in form of tasty snacks. The athmospere was surprisingly good to be after  5 PM on a school day, and I do believe the free food deserves some credit for this. Even if the reading was not going to last more than a rough 1,5 hours, some extra energy would definitely not hurt the ability to concentrate.

LeBlanc herself charmed with a relaxed attitude and a passion for her work. Despite some minor issues like hearing the questions asked by the audience, I enjoyed my first real reading. And to a person hoping to have a future in journalism, LeBlanc’s talk was definitely an inspiring experience.

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