Backward Glances

« previous episode | next episode »

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Guest host Miles O’Brien fills in for Leonard Lopate. On today’s show: former British Prime Minister Tony Blair talks about his life in politics. Then, legendary crime writer James Ellroy discusses his new memoir. And Daniel Kehlmann talks about his novel, Fame. Plus, word maven Patricia T. O’Conner answers your questions about our confounding English language.

Tony Blair

Tony Blair, former prime minister of the United Kingdom, discusses his ten years in office as Labour Party leader. He explains his decisions to go to war in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, and, most controversially of all, Iraq. He shares his views on emerging power relationships and economies, and looks ahead to the changing world. His memoir A Journey: My Political Life is his firsthand account of his years in office and beyond.

Comments [16]

James Ellroy on The Hilliker Curse

Legendary crime writer James Ellroy talks about his mother’s death and his obsessive search for “atonement in women.” The Hilliker Curse: My Pursuit of Women is about guilt and the power of malediction. Ellroy describes his shattered childhood, his delinquent teens, his love affairs and marriages, his nervous breakdown, and the beginning of a relationship with an extraordinary woman who may just be the woman he’s been searching for.

Comments [15]

Daniel Kehlmann on Fame

Daniel Kehlmann talks about Fame: A Novel in Nine Episodes. It touches on fame and facelessness, truth and deception.

Comments [1]

Word Maven Patricia T. O'Conner

Our word maven, Patricia T. O'Conner, answers questions about the English language and grammar. An updated and expanded third edition of her book, Woe is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English, has recently been published in paperback, and a paperback version of Origins of the Specious, written with Stewart Kellerman, was just issued. Have a question about language and grammar? Call us at 212-433-9692 or leave us a question as a comment below.


Comments [63]

Guest Picks: James Ellroy

What is James Ellroy's favorite book? Read more to find out!


Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.