Sapphire, Patton Oswalt, Harley-Davidson

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Kurt Andersen talks with the writer Sapphire about her novel The Kid. Her latest book picks up where Push (which became the movie Precious) left off. The comedian Patton Oswalt breaks down the universe to its three essential parts: zombies, spaceships, and wastelands. And our American Icons series continues with a ride on the country's favorite motorcycle: the Harley-Davidson.







Cover of Sapphire's 'The Kid'Sapphire: From Precious to The Kid

When you’ve invested hours in the lives of characters in a book, you naturally imagine what becomes of them after the last page.  The novelist Sapphire has done the same, in a sequel to her 1996 book Push (which was the basis for the movie Precious). Sapphire’s latest novel is The Kid.  Towards the end of Push, Precious gives birth to a son, Abdul, and he is “the kid" of the new novel. Abdul is nine years old and his mother has just died.  We follow him through a very troubled young adulthood; he is abused and abusive.  But the book offers Abdul some hope when he discovers dance at a Harlem recreation center.  "I inflicted so much pain on his physical body through the abuse he's suffered,” Sapphire tells Kurt Andersen. “I wanted him to have joy and power in a positive way." (Originally aired: July 22, 2011)


Patton OswaltPatton Oswalt Geeks Out

The comedian Patton Oswalt reads the title essay from his memoir: Zombie, Spaceship, Wasteland. As Oswalt sees it, we all fall into one of these three science fiction fantasy archetypes. Produced by John DeLore and Studio 360’s Michele Siegel. (Originally aired March 4, 2011)

Poll: Are you a zombie, spaceship, or a wasteland?


Harley-DavidsonAmerican Icons: Harley-Davidson Motorcycle

It's not the fastest motorcycle or the fanciest, but to many Americans, a motorcycle is a Harley-Davidson. Veteran public radio producer Jay Allison, a longtime biker, heads to Laconia Bike Week to find the source of the mystique. Diehard riders (including a biker church deacon), scholars, and a Davidson family member explain how the Harley image yokes patriotism together with outlaw rebelliousness. With a look that suggests industrial might, a backstory of garage ingenuity, and a roar so distinctive the company tried to trademark it — Harley-Davidsons are the American motorcycles. (Originally aired October 15, 2010)

Slideshow: Harleys and their owners