Guest Host Martha Plimpton: Politics and Abortion; Ira Glass on David Rakoff; a New Literary Journal; Fighting HIV/AIDS in India; Why Humans Love Animals

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Martha Plimpton Greene Space Martha Plimpton in WNYC's Jerome L. Greene Performance Space (Stephanie F. Black)

Martha Plimpton fills in for Leonard Lopate. First, Slate's Amanda Marcotte discusses states restricting abortion access and other reproductive rights. This American Life's Ira Glass talks about David Rakoff's final work—a novel written in verse. Uzoamaka Maduka talks about the new literary journal The American Reader. Meena Seshu, founder and secretary general of SANGRAM, discusses fighting HIV/AIDS among sex workers in India. Dr. Vint Virga explains what animals can teach us about being human.

Politics and Abortion Rights

Slate's Amanda Marcotte talks about the move in many states pass restrictions on abortion access and how those efforts are being received. She'll also look at other women's issues in the news.

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Martha Plimpton and Ira Glass on their Friendship with David Rakoff

David Rakoff, who died last August at the age of 47, wrote a novel in his last years called Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish. Ira Glass, executive producer and host of This American Life, who recorded Rakoff's audiobook, talks about his life and final work.

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Starting a New Literary Journal

Uzoamaka Maduka talks about founding The American Reader, a new literary journal of litera­ture and criticism. The idea for the journal was hatched “on a fire escape in Washington Heights.”

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HIV/AIDS and Sex Workers in India

Meena Seshu, founder and Secretary General of SANGRAM, an Indian NGO, talks about working to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS by educating and empowering sex workers. In 2006, SANGRAM received international attention when workers refused to sign the U.S. government’s anti-prostitution pledge, choosing to return funding rather than turn their back on sex workers. Last month the Supreme Court ruled that this U.S. government policy requirement is unconstitutional because it violates free speech rights. Seshu talks about the impact of the ruling.

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The Human-Animal Connection

Veterinarian and veterinary behaviorist Vint Virga discusses the inner lives of animals and explores the strong relationships we forge with them. The Soul of All Living Creatures draws from his decades in veterinary practice to reveal how to perceive the world as animals do and how that can enrich our own appreciation of life, improve our character, relationships, and communication. 

Have you had a strong bond with a pet? Let us know—leave a comment!

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