Barrie Hardymon began her career studying viola at Juilliard. She has since worked as a cocktail waitress, a shop girl in a string of high-end lingerie boutiques and a cashier at New York's Strand bookstore. At the Strand, she distinguished herself by hollering "Next!" at a decibel level completely out of proportion to her size and by recommending John Fowles' The French Lieutenant's Woman — a novel that changed her life — to patrons wandering the Self-Help section. Inexplicably, the book remains in stock. Currently, she is a associate editor at NPR's Talk of the Nation and one of the loudest voices (still) on Blog of the Nation, the show's companion blog.