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Marina Shifrin, author of “30 Before 30,” on the podcast

On this month’s episode of the Deerfield Public Library Podcast, we had a lovely conversation with writer Marina Shifrin. Her book of essays, 30 Before 30: How I Made a Mess of My 20s and You Can Too, documents her quest to make the most out of her twenties by completing 30 goals before turning 30. Each chapter in the book covers one of her goals, from riding a bike across the Brooklyn Bridge and living in a different country, to becoming famous and falling in love. 

Marina, who works as a TV writer and freelancer, is also known for her 2013 viral video where she quit her job while dancing to Kanye West and for her Modern Love column in the New York Times. Our conversation gets into the backstories behind these public sensations and the pressures of writing (and living) in the digital age. Marina was born in Russian and grew up in Skokie and Highland Park and attended Deerfield High School, so we also hear about how her time at DHS influenced her outlook.

Listen below for a truly funny and heartfelt conversation about Marina’s many lives, her advice for twenty-somethings, and how she writes her way through the strange demands on our generation. 

You can check out 30 Before 30: How I Made a Mess of My 20s and You Can Too here at the library, or learn more about Marina on her website. 

We hope you enjoy our 31st episode with Marina Shifrin! Each month we release an episode featuring a conversation with a notable guest, including authors, artists, and leaders from Deerfield, Chicagoland, and the world. Learn more about the podcast on our podcast page.

You can listen to all of our episodes in the player below or on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts. We welcome your comments and feedback—please send to

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