Far Away and Up Close

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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Longtime foreign correspondent Edward Girardet talks about covering three decades of war in Afghanistan and looks at the troubled and complicated relationship between Afghanistan and the West. We’ll find out how the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council is remembering 9/11. Julie Otsuka talks about her new novel, The Buddha in the Attic, about Japanese picture brides brought to this country in the early 20th century. And novelists Julia Glass, Colum McCann, and Joseph O’Neill discuss dealing with 9/11 in fiction.

A Reporter’s Journey through Three Decades of War in Afghanistan

Edward Girardet looks at the troubled and complex relationship between Afghanistan and the West in the latter half of the 20th century. As a young foreign correspondent, Girardet arrived in Afghanistan just three months prior to the Soviet invasion in 1979. Over the next decades, he encountered key figures who have shaped the nation and its current challenges—from corruption and narcotics trafficking to selfish regional interests. His book Killing the Cranes: A Reporter’s Journey through Three Decades of War in Afghanistan provides crucial insights into why the West's current involvement has been so problematic.

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Impressions of 9/11: James B. Stewart

The events of 9/11 have had a profound effect on all of us. This week guests we’ve had on the show over the past year reflect about what the attacks and life in New York this past decade have meant to them. New Yorker contributor James B. Stewart was on the program back in April, we asked him about 9/11 after the show. Here’s what he had to say.


Julie Otsuka's Novel The Buddha in the Attic

Julie Otsuka talks about her new novel, The Buddha in the Attic . It tells the story of a group of young women brought over from Japan to San Francisco as “picture brides” nearly a century ago. She traces their extraordinary lives from journey by boat to San Francisco, to their tremulous first nights as new wives. Once they arrive in this country, they struggle to master a new language and adapt to a new culture, and it looks at their challenges as mothers raising children, who will ultimately reject their heritage and their history.

Hear Jane Kaczmarek reading from The Buddha in the Attic on WNYC's Selected Shorts

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InSite: Art + Commemoration

Kay Takeda, Director, Grants & Services, at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, which was displaced from the World Trade Center after 9/11, and Nadine Robinson, a 2001 LMCC artist-in-residence at the World Trade Center, discusses the program InSite: Art + Commemoration, ten artistic responses to mark the ten-year anniversary of September 11—on view online through October 11.

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Impressions of 9/11: Billy Collins

This week we’ll be playing short conversations we had with recent guests of the show about what 9/11 and the last decade have meant to them. Billy Collins was poet laureate of the United States on 9/11 and we spoke to him about the attacks after his appearance on the program last April.


9/11 in Fiction

Novelists Joseph O’Neill, author of Netherland; Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin; and Julia Glass, author of The Whole World Over, discuss how they addressed 9/11 in their work, the challenges of writing about the attacks and their aftermath, and how 9/11 has influenced their writing, the stories they wanted to tell, and fiction as a whole over the last ten years.

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Guest Picks: Joseph O'Neill

Find out what Joseph O'Neill has been reading and watching recently.


Guest Picks: Colum McCann

Novelist Colum McCann shares some of his favorite picks with us.


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