Julie Orringer: The Flight Portfolio

"We need certain people in our world to feel larger than life. We need superheroes."

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Comic book franchises are all about the allure of a good superhero, but real-life superheroes are rare. Author Julie Orringer writes about one in The Flight Portfolio. Varian Fry saved thousands of lives during World War II.  In this brilliant work of historical  fiction, Orringer tells his remarkable story. Packed with jeweler's attention to detail, a memorable cast of sidekicks, hate-worthy villains, forbidden romance and harrowing accounts of dangerous secret operations, The Flight Portfolio might be the most amazing story you’ve never heard — until now!

Julie Orringer is the author of The Invisible Bridge and the award-winning short-story collection How to Breathe Underwater, which was a New York Times Notable Book. She is the winner of The Paris Review‘s Plimpton Prize for Fiction and the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Stanford University, and the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. She lives in Brooklyn.

About the Host

Amanda Stern is Bookable’s host. Founder of the popular literary event series Happy Ending at Joe’s Pub in New York City, Stern is also a writer. Happy Ending ran for more than a decade and was selected as New York’s best book-related series by New York Magazine, The Village Voice and NY Press. The New York Times Magazine singled out Happy Ending as a force keeping “downtown New York alive.”


This episode was produced, mixed, and sound-designed by Andrew Dunn, with Loud Tree Media executive producer and editor Beau Friedlander.  Our host and co-producer is Amanda Stern.


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