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The Misfit's Manifesto

A self-defined misfit makes a powerful case for not fitting in—for recognizing the beauty, and difficulty, in forging an original path.

A misfit is a person who missed fitting in, a person who fits in badly, or this: a person who is poorly adapted to new situations and environments. It’s a shameful word, a word no one typically tries to own. Until now.

Lidia Yuknavitch is a proud misfit. That wasn’t always the case. It took Lidia a long time to not simply accept, but appreciate, her misfit status. Having flunked out of college twice (and maybe even a third time that she’s not going to tell you about), with two epic divorces under her belt, an episode of rehab for drug use, and two stints in jail, she felt like she would never fit in. She was a hopeless misfit. She’d failed as daughter, wife, mother, scholar—and yet the dream of being a writer was stuck like “a small sad stone” in her throat.

The feeling of not fitting in is universal. The Misfit’s Manifesto...
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Coming Soon from TED Books

Who Are You, Really? ON SALE8/15/2017
Why Dinosaurs Matter ON SALE9/19/2017
The Misfit's Manifesto ON SALE10/24/2017

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About the Authors

Dan Ariely
May R.

Dan Ariely

Dan Ariely, James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University, is a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight. He is the author of Payoff and the New York Times bestsellers Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, and The Honest Truth About Dishonesty.

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Zak Ebrahim
Photograph by Ryan Lash

Zak Ebrahim

Zak Ebrahim was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on March 24, 1983, the son of an Egyptian industrial engineer and an American school teacher. When Ebrahim was seven, his father shot and killed the founder of the Jewish Defense League, Rabbi Meir Kahane. From behind bars his father, El-Sayyid Nosair, co-masterminded the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Ebrahim spent the rest of his childhood moving from city to city, hiding his identity from those who knew of his father. He now dedicates his life to speaking out against terrorism and spreading his message of peace and nonviolence.

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Hannah Fry

Dr. Hannah Fry is a mathematician and complexity scientist from University College London’s Center for Advanced Spatial Analysis. Fry also regularly presents the Number Hub strand of BBC Worldwide’s YouTube channel, Headsqueeze. Her first TED talk attracted more than 500,000 views across all TED channels and evolved into her first book, The Mathematics of Love.

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Margaret Heffernan

Margaret Heffernan is an entrepreneur, chief executive, and author. She was born in Texas, raised in Holland, and educated at Cambridge University. She worked for the BBC and developed interactive multimedia products with Peter Lynch, Tom Peters, Standard & Poors, and The Learning Company. She has served as Chief Executive Officer for InfoMation Corporation, ZineZone Corporation, and iCAST Corporation. The author of Beyond Measure, Willful Blindness, and A Bigger Prize, among others, she blogs for the Huffington Post, CBS Moneywatch, and Inc.com.

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Pico Iyer
Photograph by Derek Shapton

Pico Iyer

Pico Iyer is a British-born essayist and novelist long based in both California and Japan. He is the author of numerous books about crossing cultures, among them Video Night in Kathmandu, The Lady and the Monk, and The Global Soul. An essayist for Time since 1986, he also publishes regularly in Harper’s, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, and many other publications across the globe.

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Chip Kidd
Photo Credit:

Chip Kidd

Chip Kidd is a designer/writer in New York City. His book cover designs for Alfred A. Knopf, where he has worked nonstop since 1986, have helped create a revolution in the art of American book packaging. He is the recipient of the National Design Award for Communications, as well as the Use of Photography in Design award from the International Center of Photography. Kidd has published two novels, The Cheese Monkeys and The Learners, and is also the author of Batman: Death By Design and the coauthor and designer of True Prep, the sequel to the beloved Official Preppy Handbook. His 2012 TED Talk has been viewed 1.2 million times and is cited as one of the “funniest of the year.” He is most recently the author of the bestselling GO: A Kidd’s Guide To Graphic Design.

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Rob Knight

Rob Knight is a Professor of Pediatrics and Computer Science & Engineering and Director of the Microbiome Initiative at the University of California, San Diego. He is cofounder of the American Gut Project and the Earth Microbiome Project.

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Marc Kushner

Marc Kushner is a practicing architect who splits his time between designing buildings at HWKN, the architecture firm he cofounded, and amassing the world’s architecture on the website he runs, Architizer.com. Both have the same mission: to reconnect the public with architecture. Kushner’s core belief is that architecture touches everyone—and everyone is a fan of architecture—even if they don’t know it yet. New forms of media empower people to shape the built environment, and that means better buildings that make better cities that make a better world.

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Ken Lacovara

Kenneth Lacovara has unearthed some of the largest dinosaurs ever to walk our planet, including the super-massive Dreadnoughtus, which at sixty-five tons weighs more than seven T. rex. His discoveries have landed him three times in Discover magazine’s 100 Top Science Stories of the year and in Time’s Top Stories of 2014. Lacovara was named by Men’s Journal as one of the The Next Generation of Explorers and he is an elected fellow of the prestigious Explorers Club in New York. Lacovara is the founding Dean of the School of Earth Environment at Rowan University and Director of the Rowan Fossil Park. He lives in New Jersey. Why Dinosaurs Matter is his first book.

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Brian Little

Dr. Brian Little is an internationally acclaimed scholar and speaker in the field of personality and motivational psychology. He is a Fellow of the Well-Being Institute and Director of the Social Ecology Research Group in the Department of Psychology at Cambridge University. Previously, he taught at McGill, Oxford, and Harvard Universities. Dividing his time between Canada and the UK, Dr. Little is also a Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus at Carleton University in Ottawa, and he lectures worldwide on personality, motivation, and well-being. Who Are You, Really?  is his first book.

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Siddhartha Mukherjee
Photograph © Deborah Feingold

Siddhartha Mukherjee

Siddhartha Mukherjee is the author of The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction, and The Laws of Medicine. He is the editor of Best Science Writing 2013. Mukherjee is an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University and a cancer physician and researcher. A Rhodes scholar, he graduated from Stanford University, University of Oxford, and Harvard Medical School. He has published articles in Nature, The New England Journal of MedicineThe New York Times, and Cell. He lives in New York with his wife and daughters. Visit his website at: SiddharthaMukherjee.com

 

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Carrie Nugent
Bret Hartman

Carrie Nugent

Dr. Carrie Nugent is a scientist that works on discovering and finding asteroids. She works on NASA’s NEOWISE mission, which uses a space-based infrared telescope to discover, track, and characterize asteroids. She is a 2016 TED fellow, and hosts and produces Spacepod, a podcast about space exploration. She even has an asteroid named after her: 8801 Nugent. Asteroid Hunters is her first book.

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Stephen Petranek

Stephen Petranek’s career of more than forty years in the publishing world is marked by numerous prizes and awards for excellent writing on science, nature, technology, politics, economics, and more. He has been editor-in-chief of the world’s largest science magazine, Discover, the editor of The Washington Post’s magazine, founding editor and editor-in-chief of This Old House magazine for Time Inc., senior editor for science at Life Magazine, and group editor-in-chief of Weider History Group’s ten history magazines. His TED talk, 10 Ways the World Could End, has been viewed over a million times. He is now the editor of Breakthrough Technology Alert, for which he finds the investment opportunities that create true value and move the human race forward.

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David Rothkopf
Foreign Policy

David Rothkopf

David J. Rothkopf is CEO and Editor of the FP Group, where he oversees all editorial, publishing, event, and other operations of the company, publishers of Foreign Policy Magazine. He is also the President and CEO of Garten Rothkopf, an international advisory company specializing in global political risk, energy, resource, technology, and emerging markets issues based in Washington, DC. He is the author of numerous internationally acclaimed books, including The Great Questions of Tomorrow, Power, Inc., Superclass, and Running the World. He writes a weekly column for Foreign Policy, a regular column for CNN, and is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Financial Times, CNN, Newsweek, Time, and many others.

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Andrés Ruzo

Andrés Ruzo is a geoscientist and a National Geographic Young Explorer. The Boiling River is his first book.

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Barry Schwartz

Barry Schwartz is a professor of psychology at Swarthmore College and the author of Why We Work, The Paradox of Choice, and Practical Wisdom. His articles have been published in The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Parade Magazine, USA TODAY, Advertising Age, Slate, Scientific American, The New Republic, Harvard Business Review, and The Guardian, and he has appeared on dozens of radio shows, including Morning Edition, Talk of the Nation, Anderson Cooper 360, and CBS Sunday Morning.

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Kio Stark
Bre Pettis

Kio Stark

Kio Stark is the author of the novel Follow Me Down, the independent learning handbook Don’t Go Back to School, and When Strangers Meet. She writes, teaches, and speaks around the world about stranger interactions, independent learning, and relational technology.

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Lidia Yuknavitch

Lidia Yuknavitch is the national bestselling author of the novels The Small Backs of Children, Dora: A Headcase, and the memoir The Chronology of Water. Her acclaimed TED Talk “The Beauty of Being a Misfit” has over 1.5 million views. She is the recipient of the Oregon Book Award, the Ken Kesey Fiction Award, and was a finalist for the 2012 Pen Center Creative Nonfiction Award. She writes, teaches, and lives in Portland, Oregon.

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