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WANNABE Reckonings with the Pop Culture That Shapes Me

June 24, 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Join us for an in-person event with cohost of NPR’s “Pop Culture Happy Hour” Aisha Harris, for a discussion of her debut book Wannabe.

Join us for an in-person event with cohost and reporter for NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour Aisha Harris, for a discussion of her debut book Wannabe: Reckonings with the Pop Culture That Shapes Me.

Joining Aisha in conversation is Erika J. Kendrick, a bestselling author, a screenwriter, and a national speaker.

Malik Books is hosting event Westfield Culver City Mall 6000 Sepulveda Blvd Ste 2470 Culver City, Ca 90230 Sat June 24, 2023, at 2PM

Can’t make the event? Purchase a Sign Copy Here.

In nine lively, incisive essays, NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour co-host Aisha Harris reflects on the cultural touchstones of her childhood and adolescence that have shaped her, setting them in context with current sensations transforming culture now.

NPR listeners trust Aisha Harris for her engaging and incisive insights on popular culture and the music, television, movies, and more that are influencing our lives today. In this insightful collection, she uses her keen analytical skills to examine her own life and the culture that defined who she is and how she thinks. In essays that span the personal and political, the high-brow and low, she explores how elements of popular culture became the formative touchstones of her youth in the 1990s.

Aisha probes the most personal aspects of her life, including her family, her adolescence, her relationships, and her work. In the opening essay, an interaction with Chance the Rapper prompts an investigation into the origin myth of her name that becomes an ode to Stevie Wonder, Roots, and her parents. In another, she takes us back to the days of the Spice Girls and being pressured by friends to dress up as Scary Spice even though she preferred Ginger—and how perfectly that feeling is captured in an episode of the award-winning series Pen15 streaming on Hulu. She traces the evolution of the “Black Friend” trope from its Twainian origins through Clueless and She’s All That to New Girl and the recent Sex and The City reboot. She also zooms way out into the overlap of taste and identity today, arguing for us to let go of the patriarchal ethos of selfhood that limits us to “you are what you like.”

Wannabe is a peak into Aisha’s brilliant mind and caring heart, an opportunity and a pleasure to sit back and jam with a smart, hilarious, pop-culture obsessed friend who opens new worlds with each entertaining and thought-provoking observation.

Can’t make the event? Purchase a Sign Copy Here.

Aisha Harris is the co-host of the popular NPR podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour. From 2012 to 2018, she covered culture for Slate magazine as a staff writer, editor, and host of the film and television podcast, Represent. She joined the New York Times in 2018 as the assistant television editor on the Culture Desk and became culture editor for the Opinion Desk, where she wrote and edited a variety of pieces on the arts, society, and politics. Born and raised in Connecticut, she earned her bachelor’s degree in theatre from Northwestern University and her master’s degree in cinema studies from New York University. She lives in Oakland, California.

“Aisha Harris is one of our smartest, most entertaining modern cultural critics. The nine pieces offer insight on Stevie Wonder, the Spice Girls, Pen15, and New Girl—among many other pop artifacts, of course—which might as well be parlance for, ‘Read me immediately.’”


Erika J. Kendrick is a bestselling author, a screenwriter, and a national speaker. She earned a psychology degree from Stanford University and an MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Erika was an NBA cheerleader for the Chicago Bulls before writing her novels, Confessions of a Rookie Cheerleader (Random House) and Appetite (Random House). She is currently touring her bestselling middle grade novel, SQUAD GOALS (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) and the acclaimed spinoff, COOKIE MONSTERS, which was released January, 2023. The next novel in the Valentine Middle School universe, INSTAFAMOUS, is due to drop Fall 2024. She has adapted her novels and is currently pitching to studios.


June 24, 2023
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Malik Books
6000 Sepulveda Boulevard, #Suite 2470
Culver City, CA 90230 United States

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