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Studio 360

Mark Helprin: In Sunlight and in Shadow

Friday, October 05, 2012

Mark Helprin has been a scholar, soldier, farmer, commentator, and a speechwriter (unpaid, he insists) for Bob Dole.  He’s best known, though, as a writer of great fiction, and his 1983 Winter’s Tale is widely regarded as a classic. His new novel, In Sunlight and in Shadow, is the story of a ...

 

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Annotations: The NEH Preservation Project

James T. Farrell on a Writer's Inner Life

Monday, September 24, 2012

WNYC

James T. Farrell, the creator of Studs Lonigan, is often thought of as a crude, dogged, naturalist writer; it's refreshing to hear the author speaking, in this recording from 1952, of what truly obsesses him: literature.

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Studio 360

Why Salman Rushdie Became Joseph Anton

Friday, September 21, 2012

On Valentines Day, 1989, Iran’s dying leader, the Ayatollah Khomeni, issued a fatwa (death sentence) against Rushdie for supposedly blaspheming Islam's prophet in his novel The Satanic Verses. Rushdie went into hiding for most of the next decade. His new memoir chronicles that ...

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Studio 360

Susanna Moore: The Life of Objects

Friday, September 14, 2012

Susanna Moore remains best known for her 1995 erotic thriller In the Cut, about a writing teacher who descends into a seedy world of murder and sexual violence. Her latest novel, The Life of Objects, is told from the point of view of an Irish girl, Beatrice, who comes to work ...

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Studio 360

The Legacy of David Foster Wallace

Friday, September 07, 2012

New Yorker staff writer D.T. Max has written the first major biography of author David Foster Wallace, Every Love Story is a Ghost Story. In it he uncovers how the author was personally stuck in a state of “perpetual adolescence,” symbolized by the signature bandana he wore ...

Bonus Track: David Foster Wallace reads from Infinite Jest

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Annotations: The NEH Preservation Project

James M. Cain, Popular Novelist, Argues to Strengthen Authors' Rights, 1946

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

WNYC

Novelist and screenwriter James M. Cain promotes his idea for an American Authors Authority that would treat literature as "property." Though it never caught on at the time, Cain's plan offers insight on present-day debates about copyrights. 

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Studio 360

Julian Barnes: The Sense of an Ending

Friday, August 10, 2012

Julian Barnes’s novel The Sense of an Ending follows the thoughts of an unreliable narrator in his 60s trying to reconstruct events from his youth. After it won the Man Booker Prize last year, it became a bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic, and recently came out in paperback ...

Bonus Track: Kurt's extended conversation with Julian Barnes

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Studio 360

Karen Thompson Walker: The Age of Miracles

Friday, July 27, 2012

A radical slowing of the earth is the premise for Karen Thompson Walker's debut novel The Age of Miracles. In her story, the earth's spinning slows down by an hour — within a few months, a full rotation takes 40 hours. Scientists are stumped. The concepts of “day” and ...

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Studio 360

Glen Duncan: Talulla Rising

Friday, June 22, 2012

Glen Duncan got strong reviews for his novels, but that didn’t sell his books. Then one New Year’s Eve, he made a drunken resolution to write a book about werewolves. He pulled it off, and last year Knopf published The Last Werewolf. The sequel, Talulla Rising is just out ...

Bonus Track: Glen Duncan reads from Talulla Rising

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Studio 360

Jesmyn Ward: Waiting for Katrina

Friday, June 15, 2012

Jesmyn Ward was at the tail end of summer break when Hurricane Katrina struck her hometown of Delisle, Mississippi, on the Gulf Coast. That harrowing experience inspired Ward’s novel, Salvage the Bones. It won the 2011 National Book Award for fiction. It’s a rare depiction of ...

Bonus Track: Jesmyn Ward reads from Salvage the Bones

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Studio 360

Paul Theroux's Narrow Escape

Friday, June 08, 2012

Writer Paul Theroux has visited most of the countries on Earth, traveling in a slow, observant way most of us never do. And his novels are often about people more or less like him: people who go somewhere alien and maybe find out who they are. In his new novel, The Lower River ...

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Studio 360

Novelist Chris Adrian

Friday, May 18, 2012

Chris Adrian's novels tell dark, fantastical stories that draw on his experience working as a pediatric oncologist. Adrian tells Kurt how writing helps him deal with the emotional burden of the medicine he practices. Anne Marie Nest reads selections from Adrian's forthcoming novel ...

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Studio 360

Lionel Shriver's Comedy of Terrorism

Friday, March 30, 2012

Lionel Shriver’s novel The New Republic is maybe in a genre by itself: a comedy about terrorism. “When I finished the novel in 1998,” she tells Kurt Andersen, “I did try to publish it, and I just couldn’t stir any interest.” After September 11, on the other hand, “publishing this book ...

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Studio 360

Anne Lamott: Beyond Bird by Bird

Friday, March 16, 2012

Anne Lamott started out as a novelist, but it was her best-selling 1994 nonfiction work Bird by Bird: Some Instruction on Writing and Life that catapulted her to fame. The book became a touchstone to writers and non-writers looking for practical advice on the hard work of creativity ...

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Studio 360

Pico Iyer's Fascination with Graham Greene

Friday, March 02, 2012

Graham Greene wrote more than two dozen novels between the 1920s and the 1980s — downbeat bestsellers set in sketchy places. Writer Pico Iyer has felt an almost mystical connection to Greene, whom he never met. He chronicles that obsession in The Man Within My Head ...

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Studio 360

Elizabeth Wurtzel

Friday, February 10, 2012

One classic reinvention fantasy goes like this: you leave a square, respectable job and write a best-selling book. Elizabeth Wurtzel did just that — but in reverse. She was in her twenties when Prozac Nation made her famous overnight. She became a rock critic and wrote a memoir about ...

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Studio 360

Shalom Auslander and Anne Frank

Friday, January 20, 2012

What if Anne Frank had lived? That’s the premise of the new novel by Shalom Auslander, who made his name with the dark comic memoir Foreskin's Lament. Hope: A Tragedy is about a yuppie named Solomon Kugel who leaves New York City with his family for a a rustic farmhouse. ...

Bonus Track: Kurt Andersen's full conversation with Shalom Auslander

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Studio 360

Umberto Eco

Friday, December 02, 2011

Umberto Eco is not your typical best-selling author. He’s a medieval scholar, a semiotics professor, and he packs his complicated fiction with philosophy, history, even passages in Latin. Yet his 1980 book The Name of the Rose is one of the most widely read modern novels. Eco's new novel ...

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Studio 360

Colson Whitehead Goes Zombie

Friday, November 25, 2011

Colson Whitehead is one of America’s most respected novelists, the author of The Intuitionist and Sag Harbor and a MacArthur ‘genius.’ But his new book goes pretty lowbrow. Zone One is about zombies — and not some postmodern metaphorical zombies. It’s the real deal, with brains being eaten ...

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Studio 360

Novelist Téa Obreht

Friday, October 21, 2011

Téa Obreht is 26-years old, and she’s already received wide acclaim for her first novel, The Tiger’s Wife. Last summer, she won the Orange Prize awarded to the best English-language book written by a woman. Now The Tiger's Wife is one of five works nominated for this year's National Book Award in fiction ...

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