A Closer Look

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Monday, September 19, 2011

pills spilling out of bottles pills spilling out of bottles (nvinacco/flickr)

Guest host Mike Pesca fills in for Leonard Lopate. We’ll speak to the lead reporters behind ProPublica’s Dollars for Docs project,  which investigates how much money pharmaceutical companies spend on training and influencing doctors. Alexandra Fuller speaks about her new memoir Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness. Kevin Wilson talks about his novel The Family Fang. Plus, Joe McGinniss discusses his aggressive investigation of Sarah Palin.


Mike Pesca

ProPublica's Dollars for Docs

Charlie Ornstein and Tracy Weber, lead reporters of ProPublica’s Dollars for Docs project, relaunched this month, talk about their investigation into how much pharmaceutical companies are spending to train and ultimately influence doctors about their products. They discuss how much is being paid, why there are payments at all, the issues these payments raise, and how many doctors in New York City are getting money.

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Alexandra Fuller on Her Memoir Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness

Alexandra Fuller discusses her new memoir, Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, the follow-up to her 2003 book Let’s Not Go to the Dogs Tonight. It tells of the Happy Valley-era Africa of her mother's childhood; the boiled cabbage grimness of her father's English childhood; and the darker, civil war-torn Africa of her own childhood. The story focuses on Fuller’s mother, Nicola, born on the Scottish Isle of Skye and raised in Kenya, and her resilience in the face of tragedy and heartbreak.

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Kevin Wilson on The Family Fang

Kevin Wilson tells us about his new novel, The Family Fang, about performance artists Caleb and Camille Fang, and their children Buster and Annie, who unwillingly starred in their parents’ madcap pieces growing up. Now that they are grown up, the chaos of their childhood has made it difficult to cope with life outside the fishbowl of their parents’ strange world.

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The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin

Joe McGinniss talks about his controversial investigation of Sarah Palin as an individual, politician, and cultural phenomenon. The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin is based on his on-the-ground reporting and looks into Alaska’s political and business affairs and Palin’s political, personal, and family life to explain her beliefs, attitudes, and outlook, and influence.

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