Malcolm Gladwell

Celeste Sloman

Malcolm Gladwell

Monday, September 23, 2019 7:30 pm

At Benaroya Hall — S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium

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Literary Arts

Malcolm Gladwell is a writer, public speaker, and podcast host whose work deals with the unexpected implications of research in the social sciences. Gladwell’s latest, Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about People We Don’t Know (September 2019), is a challenging and controversial excursion through history, psychology, and scandals taken straight from the news.

Literary Arts Series subscribers and Create-Your-Own Series subscribers (except Student/U25 and complimentary subscriptions) will receive a copy of Gladwell’s new book, Talking to Strangers.

Exploring questions like the difference between choking and panicking, why there are dozens of varieties of mustard, but only one variety of ketchup, and what hair dye tells us about the history of the 20th century, Gladwell is known for his eclectic pick of subjects and themes—to him, everything is potentially interesting, or will lead to something interesting, and this guides his choice of subjects to write about.

In the past two decades, Malcolm Gladwell has published five New York Times bestselling books that have radically changed how we understand our world and ourselves: The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference (2000); Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005); Outliers: The Story of Success (2008), where he popularized the 10,000 hour rule; What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures (2009), bringing together the best of his writing from The New Yorker, and, most recently: David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants (2013).

Gladwell is also the host of the podcast Revisionist History, “Gladwell’s journey through the overlooked and the misunderstood,” which so far has aired three seasons. He is cofounder of the podcast company Pushkin Industries.

The success of his writing has given Gladwell an active second career as a public speaker at places like West Point and the National Institutes of Health, among many other institutions, and has landed him on the recommended reading list at many companies and business schools. Gladwell has been named one of the “100 most influential people” by TIME Magazine in 2005, and “a rock star, a spiritual leader, a stud” by Fast Company.

Gladwell was born in England and grew up in rural Canada. He studied history at the University of Toronto and wanted to go into advertising but couldn’t find a job and became a journalist instead, discovering that writing, which he had hitherto just thought was fun, could actually be made into a living. After a stint at The American Spectator he joined the Washington Post in 1987, where he covered business and science, before joining The New Yorker.

A former middle-distance runner in his high school years, he has retained his love of the sport and is an accomplished runner, having competed in races like the NYRR 5th Avenue Mile Race, where he placed 5th in his age category in 2014, running the mile under 5 minutes. He currently lives in New York City.

Event Details

Benaroya Hall — S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium

200 University Street
Seattle, WA 98101

View directions.

Transportation & Parking

This event will be held in the S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium, the largest event space at Benaroya Hall. 

Benaroya Hall is located at 200 University Street, directly across Second Avenue from the Seattle Art Museum. The public entrance to Benaroya Hall is along Third Avenue.

  • From Southbound I-5
    Take the Union Street exit (#165B). Continue onto Union Street and proceed approximately five blocks to Second Avenue. Turn left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Northbound I-5
    Exit left onto Seneca Street (exit #165). Proceed two blocks and turn right onto Fourth Avenue. Continue two blocks. Turn left onto Union Street. Continue two blocks. Turn left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Northbound Highway 99 (Aurora Avenue)
    Take the Seneca Street exit and move into the left lane. Turn left onto First Avenue and proceed one block. Take the next right (at the Hammering Man sculpture) onto University Street. Continue up the hill two blocks to Third Avenue. Turn left onto Third Avenue. Continue to the next block and turn left onto Union Street. Make the next left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Southbound Highway 99 (Aurora Avenue)
    Take the Denny Way/Downtown exit. Keep right and cross over Denny Way onto Wall Street. Proceed approximately five blocks and turn left onto Second Avenue. Continue south on Second Avenue approximately eight blocks. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.

By Bus
Benaroya Hall is served by numerous bus routes. Digital reader boards along Third Avenue display real-time bus arrival information. For details and trip planning tools, call Metro Rider Information at 206.553.3000 (voice) or 206.684.1739 (TDD), or visit Metro online. The Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, served by bus and light rail, has a stop just below the Hall (University Street Station).

The 430-car underground garage at Benaroya Hall provides direct access from the enclosed parking area into the Hall via elevators leading to The Boeing Company Gallery. Enter the garage on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street. Maximum vehicle height is 6’8″. Blink charging stations are available for electric vehicles. The event rate is $16.

Parking is also available at:

  • The Cobb Building (enter on University Street between Third and Fourth avenues).
  • The Russell Investments Center (enter on Union Street between First and Second avenues).
  • There are many other garages within a one-block radius of Benaroya Hall, along with numerous on-street parking options.


SAL is for everyone. We want all audience members to be able to experience our lectures and readings regardless of accessibility concerns. Accessibility services at our venues are provided at no cost to ticket holders. If you find you need to sit closer to the stage to accommodate your needs but find the cost of a Patron ticket prohibitive, then please contact us—we will seat you where you need to be, regardless of cost.

Open Captioning occurs at every event that takes place at Benaroya Hall. It is also always available upon request for all events in our other halls, with a two-week minimum notice. To make a request for Open Captioning services, please contact us at or 206.621.2230×10.

Assisted Listening Devices, including Hearing Loop Assisted Listening Systems, are available at all of our venues, with the exception of Broadway Performance Hall. If you would like more information, please contact us at or 206.621.2230×10.

ASL-Interpretated Events are always available upon request, with a two-week minimum notice. To make a request for ASL interpretation, please contact us at or 206.621.2230×10.

Wheelchair Accessible Ticketing is available in all sections at our venues, and and our venues are fully accessible to ticket holders with physical mobility concerns. If you would like more information, please contact us at or 206.621.2230×10.

For any further questions or requests, or to offer Seattle Arts & Lectures feedback on how we can be more accessible and inclusive, please reach out to our Patron Services Manager at or 206.621.2230×10.