To the Best of Our Knowledge

The Ecstasy of the Fight

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Writer Kerry Howley spent months travelling through the Midwest, following two mixed martial artists as they tried to make a living through fighting. She writes about the experience in her book, "Thrown." Howley sees mixed martial arts as an ecstatic, transcendent, experience -- both for the fighters and the audience.


The Leonard Lopate Show

Why Writers Just Can't Quit New York City

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

From the dive bars to museums to easy public transit, writers like Susan Orlean and Leonard's brother Phillip Lopate make the case for why New York's the town for them.

Comments [22]

The Leonard Lopate Show

The Terror and Joy of Fatherhood

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Three fathers talk about the ways becoming a father can be one of the most profoundly terrifying, exhilarating, life-changing occasions in a man’s life.

Comments [23]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Ann Patchett's This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Ann Patchett examines her deepest commitments—to writing, family, friends, dogs, books, and her husband. She creates a portrait of a life in This is the Story of a Happy Marriagethat begins with her childhood, covers disastrous early marriage, a later happy one, and examines her relationships with family and friends and the joy of writing.


The Leonard Lopate Show

Ann Patchett's Story of a Happy Marriage

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Ann Patchett examines her deepest commitments—to writing, family, friends, dogs, books, and her husband.


The Leonard Lopate Show

Writers on Loving and Leaving New York

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hear their own stories of the allure of New York and the grief that comes when the city loses its magic.

Comments [32]

The Leonard Lopate Show

David Sedaris: Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls

Monday, May 20, 2013

David Sedaris, a master of the personal essay, talks about writing about his family, living abroad, and keeping a diary. He’s a regular contributor to The New Yorker, This American Life, and BBC Radio 4, and his latest book is Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls.


The Leonard Lopate Show

Guest Picks: Phillip Lopate

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Leonard's brother Phillip Lopate was on the show recently to talk about his two latest books -- one is a collection of personal essays and the other is advice on writing and teaching. He also revealed his love of "Friday Night Lights."


The Leonard Lopate Show

Phillip Lopate on His Writing Life

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Author Phillip Lopate discusses his latest books, Portrait Inside My Head, a collection of personal essays on memory, culture, parenthood, the trials of marriage, and New York’s storied past and present, and To Show and to Tell, which combines more than 40 years of lessons from his career as a writer and professor in a nuts-and-bolts guide to writing literary nonfiction.

Comments [2]

The Leonard Lopate Show

André Aciman's Essays on Elsewhere

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

André Aciman talks about his new book of essays, Alibis: Essays on Elsewhere, about time, place, identity, art, and the power of memory.

Comments [2]

The Brian Lehrer Show

David Brooks: Hello 2013

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

David Brooks, columnist for The New York Times and editor of The Best American Essays 2012, discusses the latest news from Washington, including a late-night fiscal cliff deal. Plus: his annual Sidney Award list of the year's best essays, and his new course, titled "Humility," at Yale University.

Comments [24]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Nora Ephron

Friday, December 28, 2012

journalist, essayist, novelist, playwright, screenwriter and director Nora Ephron died in June, at the age of 71. She was on our show a number of times, and was always funny and generous. To remember Nora Ephron, we’re re-airing a selection of my 2010 conversation with her about her book I Remember Nothing and Other Reflections.

You can listen to other interviews with Nora Ephon here.

Comments [2]

Annotations: The NEH Preservation Project

The Serious Stand-Up of S.J. Perelman

Friday, December 07, 2012


"Dehydrating in front of an audience," at this 1957 Books and Authors Luncheon, well-known dramatist and writer S. J. Perelman gives a chilling verbal portrait of the writer's life.

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Slate Culture Gabfest

The Culture Gabfest: What Is Stuffed Inside of What Is Stuffed Inside of What Edition

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Slate critics Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens and Julia Turner discuss the new James Bond film "Skyfall" and a list of the ten best American essays since 1950, plus Dan Pashman from The Sporkful podcast and blog joins them to discuss his new Thanksgiving cr


The Leonard Lopate Show

Nick Hornby on the Reading Life

Monday, October 22, 2012

Nick Hornby talks about his popular column in the Believer magazine, which chronicles the books he’s read, bought, skimmed, and meant to read. His new book of essays, More Baths Less Talking, is about his encounters with the reading life.

Comments [9]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Christopher Hitchens on Mortality

Friday, September 07, 2012

Carol Blue, the widow of Christopher Hitchens, discusses his last book, Mortality, a collection of his series of award-winning columns for Vanity Fair, written over the last year of his life. In this account of his affliction, Hitchens describes his battle with esophageal cancer and explores how disease transforms experience and changes our relationship to the world around us.

Comments [6]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Marilynne Robinson on Reading and Thinking

Monday, August 27, 2012

Novelist and essayist Marilynne Robinson talks about her new collection of essays, When I Was a Child I Read Books. She tackles the global debt crisis, the charged political and social political climate, the role of generosity in Christian faith, and talks about her own childhood in Idaho.

Comments [35]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Remembering David Rakoff

Monday, August 13, 2012

Writer David Rakoff died Thursday at the age of 47. His humorous essays examined a wide range of subjects, from his annoyance at first-world problems to undertaking a 21-day fast to his own bout with cancer. His most recent essay collection, Half Empty, won the 2011 Thurber Prize for American Humor. He was a frequent contributor to This American Life, and the author of the essay collections Don’t Get Too Comfortableand Fraud. He responded to our Guest Picks question “What’s one thing you are a fan of that people might not expect?” with “As someone often seen as hating everything and being immune to pleasure, which isn’t true, I love everything (except sports). I’m just scared of it.” He was on the Leonard Lopate Show a number of times, and was always a generous guest. You can listen to those interviews below.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Tributes: Nora Ephron

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Nora Ephron was many things – a screenwriter and director, responsible for “Sleepless in Seattle,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “You’ve Got Mail,” and “Julie and Julia.”  She loved writing, and came on the show a number of times over the years for her books I Feel Bad About My Neck, and I Remember Nothing,” as well as for her play, “Love, Loss & What I Wore.”  She was also a very funny, and very generous person, who volunteered to be on the show on the spur of the moment, should a guest cancel.  But she had her priorities: one of the last times we invited her to be a guest, she said that her son was performing in a band that night, and she had to be there.  She died at the age of 71. You can listen to her conversations with Leonard below.

Comments [2]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Dave Hill's Tasteful Nudes

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Comedian, writer, and musician Dave Hill tells us about his first collection of non-fiction essays. Tasteful Nudes:…And Other Misguided Attempts at Personal Growth and Validation includes his stories about stolen meat, animal attacks, young love, death, naked people, clergymen, rock 'n' roll, irritable Canadians, and prison. 

Comments [5]