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Fiction

The Takeaway

When Fiction Becomes a Horrific Reality: Aatish Taseer's 'Noon'

Friday, January 06, 2012

We are accustomed to hearing about violence and instability in Pakistan, yet it remains a faraway place to most Americans. Yet what if Pakistan was home and its violence and uncertainty were part of the fabric of your life? And what if that violence one day claimed someone close to you? As a writer and as a Pakistani, Aatish Taseer has struggled all his life to understand his relationship with his country, with his ethnic homeland Punjab, and with his politically prominent father Salman Taseer, the governor of Pakistan's Punjab province. A year ago this week his father was assassinated just as he was finishing his first novel "Noon." 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Lee Child on The Affair

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bestselling writer Lee Child talks about his latest crime thriller, The Affair. Elite military cop Jack Reacher sets off on an undercover mission to solve the mystery of a murder of a young woman in Carter Crossing, Mississippi, way back in 1997.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Lost Memory of Skin, by Russell Banks

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Russell Banks talks about his new novel, Lost Memory of Skin. Suspended in a strangely modern-day version of limbo, the young man at the center of the story must create a life for himself after he’s released from jail. With nowhere else to go, he takes up residence under a south Florida causeway.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Aatish Taseer's Novel, Noon

Monday, December 26, 2011

Aatish Taseer talks about his latest novel, Noon. Set against the background of a turbulent Pakistan and a rapidly changing India, it addresses some of the most urgent questions of our times—about nationhood and violence, family and identity.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Michael Connelly

Friday, December 09, 2011

Michael Connelly, one of the best known writers of detective and crime fiction in America, talks about his Harry Bosch series. In the latest book, The Drop, Bosch has been given three years before he must retire from the LAPD, and he wants cases more fiercely than ever.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Apricot Jam and Other Stories

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ignat Solzhenitsyn discusses his father Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's Apricot Jam and Other Stories, available for the first time in English. After years of living in exile, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn returned to Russia in 1994 and published this series of stories, all focusing on Soviet and post-Soviet life, illuminating the Russian experience under the Soviet regime.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Ann Beattie on Her Novel Mrs. Nixon

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ann Beattie discusses Mrs. Nixon, an imagining of the life of one of our most mysterious and intriguing public figures, the only modern First Lady who never wrote a memoir. Beattie reconstructs dozens of scenes in an attempt to see the world from Mrs. Nixon’s point of view, to explore what it must have been like to be married to such a spectacularly ambitious and catastrophically self-destructive man.

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The New Yorker: Out Loud

Thomas Mallon on alternative history in fiction

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thomas Mallon on alternative history in fiction.

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Talk to Me

Oxymoron: Frustration at Happy Ending

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Ending Music & Reading series host and curator Amanda Stern decided on “Frustration” as the theme of her series opener, inviting authors Seth Fried, Jesse Ball, and Paul La Farge to vent. Listen to the audio here.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Colson Whitehead on Zone One

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Colson Whitehead talks about his new novel, Zone One, a wry take on the post-apocalyptic horror novel about zombies. A pandemic has devastated the planet, leaving behind the uninfected and the infected, the living and the living dead. Now the plague is receding, and Americans are rebuild­ing civilization, focusing on resettling Manhattan. Armed forces have successfully reclaimed the island south of Canal Street—Zone One—but pockets of plague-ridden squatters remain.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Umberto Eco's Novel, The Prague Cemetery

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Umberto Eco discusses his highly anticipated, controversial novel, The Prague Cemetery. It looks at 19th-century Europe, rife with conspiracies and scapegoats. But what if, behind all of the conspiracies that ran rampant in Europe, both real and imagined, lay one man, who created its most infamous document? Eco takes readers on a journey through the underbelly of Europe’s world-shattering events.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Aatish Taseer on His Novel, Noon

Monday, November 07, 2011

Aatish Taseer talks about his latest novel, Noon. Set against the background of a turbulent Pakistan and a rapidly changing India, it addresses some of the most urgent questions of our times—about nationhood and violence, family and identity.

Comment

The Leonard Lopate Show

Gregory Maguire on the Wicked Years

Friday, November 04, 2011

Gregory Maguire discusses his bestselling series, the Wicked Years, inspired by The Wizard of Oz and the basis for a hit Tony-winning Broadway musical “Wicked.” His latest book is the conclusion to the series: Out of Oz: The Final Volume in the Wicked Years.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Amitav Ghosh on River of Smoke

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Amitav Ghosh talks about his new novel, River of Smoke, the second volume of his Ibis trilogy, about the opium trade. 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Author and Illustrator Chris Van Allsburg

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Writer and illustrator Chris Van Allsburg discusses creating the beloved childrens books The Polar Express, Jumanji, The Garden of Abdul Gasazi, the Sweetest Fig, and The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, among others. His latest books are Queen of the Falls and The Chronicles of Harris Burdick: Fourteen Amazing Authors Tell the Tales, an inspired collection of short stories by a cast of best-selling storytellers, based on the illustrations in his The Mysteries of Harris Burdick.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Alan Hollinghurst on The Stranger’s Child

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Man Booker Prize–winning author Alan Hollinghurst talks about his latest novel, The Stranger’s Child, a century-spanning saga about a love triangle that spawns a myth, and a family mystery, across generations.

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The Takeaway

The Booker Prize's 'Readability' Controversy

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

This year's winner of the prestigious Man Booker Prize for Fiction will be announced today. The British prize goes to "the very best book of the year" written in English by a citizen of the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland. Past winners have been propelled to international celebrity overnight, with the winning books selling hundreds of thousands of copies around the world. But this year's shortlist has generated a new complaint. Critics of the prize say Booker Prize judges have begun valuing "readability" above artistic excellence.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Why Read Moby-Dick?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Nathaniel Philbrick tells us why Moby-Dick is one of the greatest American novels. In his National Book Award-winning book, In the Heart of the Sea, Philbrick tells the story of the wreck of the whaleship Essex, the real-life incident that inspired Melville to write Moby-Dick. In Why Read Moby-Dick? He looks at the fiction itself, highlighting its humor and characters.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Lee Child on The Affair

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bestselling writer Lee Child talks about his latest crime thriller, The Affair. Elite military cop Jack Reacher sets off on an undercover mission to solve the mystery of a murder of a young woman in Carter Crossing, Mississippi, way back in 1997.

Comments [1]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Russell Banks on His Novel Lost Memory of Skin

Monday, October 10, 2011

Russell Banks talks about his new novel, Lost Memory of Skin. Suspended in a strangely modern-day version of limbo, the young man at the center of the story must create a life for himself after he’s released from jail. With nowhere else to go, he takes up residence under a south Florida causeway.

Comment