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The Brian Lehrer Show

Agent Scully's Sci-Fi

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Actress and now author, Gillian Anderson, talks about her new book and upcoming debut at Comic-Con as an author.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Jules Feiffer Goes Noir

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bronx-born Obie, Oscar, and Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist and playwright, author and illustrator talks about his new graphic novel and looks back on his career. 

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Soundcheck

Pick Three: B.J. Novak

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Office screenwriter, actor and producer about his new book of short stories, One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories -- and we hear some of his favorite music. 

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Kurt Vonnegut Talks to the Dead

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

As part of WNYC's 90th anniversary celebration, Marty Goldensohn, former WNYC news director, shares excerpts from the station's 1998 series "Reports on the Afterlife." It's based on Vonnegut's book God Bless You Dr. Kevorkian, a fictionalized account of interviews with recently deceased people.

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Soundcheck

Terry Teachout on Duke Ellington; Author Amy Tan Picks Three; Matana Roberts Plays Live

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

In this episode: Duke Ellington is one of the towering figures in American music, but there's more to his story than hits like "Take The A Train." Cultural critic and writer Terry Teachout discusses his comprehensive biography about the iconic jazz composer and bandleader.

Plus: Amy Tan is best known for her literary achievements with books The Joy Luck Club and The Kitchen God's Wife. But the acclaimed author has a musical side as well: she's written an opera libretto and performs as "lead rhythm dominatrix" in the literary garage band The Rock Bottom Remainders. In an interview with Soundcheck host John Schaefer, Tan talks about her latest book, The Valley Of Amazement, and about the family-related obsession that inspired her to delve into the world of Shanghai courtesans in the early 1900s. Plus, she shares three of her favorite songs.

And: Matana Roberts grew up in Chicago hearing stories about her family, from its roots in Louisiana and Mississippi, to the Great Migration north early in the 20th century. These stories and her love of history have become the basis for her recent works for sextet, the ambitious COIN COIN project. Hear Roberts play accompanied by a slightly smaller quartet live in the Soundcheck studio.

 

This is an encore episode of Soundcheck.


Soundcheck

Francine Prose Picks Three; White Hinterland Plays Live; Perfect Pussy On Gender, SXSW And Kool Keith

Friday, May 02, 2014

In this episode: Author Francine Prose recently released a novel called Lovers At The Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 -- a kaleidoscopic portrait of one very complicated woman's life and those affected by it in the lead-up to World War II. She joins us to talk about the actual Parisian club and Henry Brassai photograph that inspired her tale -- and shares three songs that helped her get into her characters' heads while writing it all down. 

And: Musicians and songwriters on Soundcheck often say that “getting out of your comfort zone” is a good way to create fresh and surprising work. For Casey Dienell, who records under the name White Hinterland, getting out of her comfort zone meant scrapping her new album (twice), moving back to her hometown, and building a studio in her parents’ basement. Hear the dynamic songwriter perform songs from that album, Baby, in the Soundcheck studio.

 

 

Then: The noise-punk band Perfect Pussy, led by singer Meredith Graves, recently lent Soundcheck host John Schaefer a pair of earplugs and let loose in our studio. Watch them play in the Soundcheck studio and talk about everything from the term “cisgender” to Kool Keith. 

 

Soundcheck

12 Days Of Soundcheck '13: James McBride, 'Standing In The Need Of Prayer'

Friday, December 20, 2013

On Friday December 20, download a special live performance of James McBride's song "Standing In The Need Of Prayer," recorded in the Soundcheck studio.

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Soundcheck

A Karaoke-Soaked Memoir: Rob Sheffield's 'Turn Around Bright Eyes'

Monday, August 05, 2013

Karaoke and the idea of becoming whole again are at the heart of Rolling Stone writer Rob Sheffield’s newest memoir, Turn Around Bright Eyes: The Rituals of Love and Karaoke.

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Strangers

Gay Talese: Committed Voyeur

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Legendary non-fiction writer, Gay Talese, discusses his marriage, his work, and the scandals that have made waves in both. - Get the full story here.

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Soundcheck

For Edmund Morris, Music Is A Superior Language

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pulitzer Prize winnier Edmund Morris' new book This Living Hand, consists of 40 years of essays, lectures and notes from Morris. He tells Soundcheck about the brilliance of Beethoven, and why it's so hard to write about music.

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Annotations: The NEH Preservation Project

Herman Wouk Bucks Literary Trends to Produce Best-Selling Novels

Friday, January 25, 2013

WNYC

Herman Wouk, appearing in this 1955  Books and Authors Luncheon, contests what he perceives as the common view of his being "a conformist." 

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Annotations: The NEH Preservation Project

'The Birds Fall Down' and More: Rebecca West's Lamentations, 1966

Friday, January 18, 2013

WNYC

A funereal air hangs over the proceedings at Rebecca West's 1966 Book and Author's Luncheon appearance.

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Annotations: The NEH Preservation Project

Robert Sherwood Humanizes Wartime Efforts and Urges 'Enduring Peace'

Friday, December 21, 2012

WNYC

Calling himself a "Broadway wise-cracker and a Hollywood hack," Robert Sherwood, author, soldier, pacifist, and speechwriter, gives a stirring account of his wartime work for the Roosevelt administration at this 1948 Books and Authors Luncheon.

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Annotations: The NEH Preservation Project

Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. Defends His Account of JFK's Administration

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WNYC

In this speech at a Books and Authors Luncheon in 1965, the former special assistant to the president answers his critics and defends his insider's view of the Kennedy administration.  

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Annotations: The NEH Preservation Project

Vladimir Nabokov's Passionate Reading of 'An Evening of Russian Poetry,' 1958

Monday, November 26, 2012

WNYC

Before the controversy of the American publication of Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov cuts a different figure at this 1958 Books and Authors Luncheon.

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Soundcheck

The Challenges And Joys Of Parenting Musical Prodigies

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

National Book Award-winning author Andrew Solomon joins to discuss his new book, Far From The Tree, and shares how the families of musical geniuses such as Joshua Bell and Lang Lang struggled to cope with their children's tremendous talents.

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Mad About Music

Best-Selling Author Ken Follett's Musical Thrillers

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ken Follett is the author of more than a dozen best-selling novels, including "Eye of the Needle," "The Pillars of the Earth" and most recently, "Winter of the World." He is also a passionate music lover.

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Studio 360

Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths

Friday, October 26, 2012

Martin McDonagh has made a career writing dark comedies in which blood flows by the gallon, but his own story reads more like a Dickens novel. The son of working-class Irish immigrants in London, he dropped out of school at 16. Just ten years later, McDonagh was ...

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Annotations: The NEH Preservation Project

Foreign Correspondent David Halberstam Analyzes Conflict in Vietnam

Friday, October 12, 2012

WNYC

David Halberstam briefs this 1964 meeting of the Overseas Press Club on what he sees as a "sharp conflict" between America's official optimism and the reality experienced by reporters embedded in Vietnam.

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Annotations: The NEH Preservation Project

Günter Grass on American Vagaries: Boxing, Dancing, and Creating Art

Friday, October 05, 2012

WNYC

In May 1965, the Overseas Press Club hosted the German novelist Günter Grass, who had arrived in New York to teach a seminar at Columbia University. 

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