The Royal Society of Literature, in partnership with Lit Hub, presents Michael Imperioli and Ocean Vuong in conversation about their writing and the importance of literature in their lives. They will discuss the experience of writing and releasing novels when you’re known for other artforms, as well as the overlapping themes in both of their work, from coming-of-age stories, to mother figures, to violence, to vulnerability.
Michael Imperioli is best known for his starring role as Christopher Moltisanti in the acclaimed TV series The Sopranos—which earned him a Best Supporting Actor Emmy Award—and plays a lead role on season two of HBO’s The White Lotus. He wrote five episodes of The Sopranos; was co-screenwriter of the film Summer of Sam, directed by Spike Lee; and was anthologized in The Nicotine Chronicles, edited by Lee Child. Imperioli has appeared in six of Spike Lee’s films and has also acted in films by Martin Scorsese, Abel Ferrara, Walter Hill, Peter Jackson, and the Hughes Brothers. He cohosted the rewatch podcast Talking Sopranos with his Sopranos costar Steve Schirripa, with whom he also penned the best-selling book Woke Up This Morning: The Definitive Oral History of The Sopranos. Additionally, Imperioli is a singer and guitarist in the band ZOPA.
Ocean Vuong is the author of the critically acclaimed poetry collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds and the New York Times bestselling novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. A recipient of the 2019 MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant, he is also the winner of the Whiting Award and the T.S. Eliot Prize. His writings have been featured in Atlantic, Harper’s Magazine, Nation, New Republic, and the New Yorker. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, he currently lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.