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Fiction

The Leonard Lopate Show

Tom Rachman's New Novel, The Rise and Fall of Great Powers

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tom Rachman talks about his new novel, The Rise and Fall of Great Powers, about a young woman who travels the world to make sense of her puzzling past. Taken from home as a girl, Tooly Zylberberg found herself spirited away by a group of seductive outsiders, implicated in capers from Asia to Europe to the United States. But who were her abductors? Why did they take her? What did they really want?

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The Leonard Lopate Show

China Dolls, a Novel by Lisa See

Monday, June 16, 2014

Lisa See talks about her novel China Dolls. It’s set in 1938 in San Francisco as a world’s fair is about to open on Treasure Island and a war is brewing overseas. Grace, Helen, and Ruby, three young women from very different backgrounds, meet by chance at the exclusive and glamorous nightclub and become fast friends, relying on each other through unexpected challenges and shifting fortunes. 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Porochista Khakpour on her novel ‘The Last Illusion’

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Porochista Khakpour talks about her new novel, The Last Illusion, a fabulist novel about a feral boy coming of age in New York that's based on a legend from the medieval Persian epic The Shahnameh, the Book of Kings. Khakpour tells the story of Zal, whose demented mother is horrified by the pallor of his skin and hair and becomes convinced she has given birth to a “White Demon.” She hides him in a birdcage and where he lives for the next decade. Freed from his cage and adopted by a behavioral analyst, Zal awakens in New York to the possibility of a future. 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Boris Fishman on His Novel, 'A Replacement Life'

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Boris Fishman talks about his novel A Replacement Life, which tells the story of Slava Gelman. A young Russian Jewish immigrant, he dreams of becoming an acclaimed journalist. When he realizes his career has hit a dead-end, he makes a decision that blurs his notions of truth, honor, and right and wrong. 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Don't Look Back

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

John Hope Bryant, the founder of Operation HOPE, explains how the poor can help revitalize our economy. We’ll find out what life is like aboard an aircraft carrier that’s home to 5,000 sailors and pilots. Boris Fishman on his novel, A Replacement Life, about a man who’s asked to forge a claim for Holocaust restitution. And a look at the fight between nature and man in one of the most man-made spots on Earth -- New York City.

The Leonard Lopate Show

The Book of Unknown Americans, a Novel by Cristina Henriquez

Monday, June 09, 2014

Cristina Henriquez talks about her novel The Book of Unknown Americans, about a boy and a girl who fall in love, and two families whose hopes collide with destiny. Arturo and Alma Rivera have lived their whole lives in Mexico. One day, their 15-year-old daughter, Maribel, is terribly injured, and they doubt that she’ll ever be the same. And so, leaving all they have behind, the Riveras come to America with a single dream: that in this country of great opportunity and resources, Maribel can get better.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

House of Cards Author: Politics Isn't a Place for Angels

Friday, June 06, 2014

Even Prince Charles has used the book's signature line: "You might think that, but I couldn't possibly comment."

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Smith Henderson's Novel Fourth of July Creek

Monday, June 02, 2014

PEN prize-winning writer Smith Henderson discusses his new novel, Fourth of July Creek. After trying to help Benjamin Pearl, an undernourished, nearly feral 11-year-old boy living in the Montana wilderness, social worker Pete Snow comes face to face with the boy's profoundly disturbed father, Jeremiah, a paranoid survivalist waiting for the coming End Times.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Euphoria, a Novel Based on Margaret Mead's Life

Friday, May 30, 2014

Lily King discusses her new novel, Euphoria. It's about three young anthropologists of the1930s caught in a passionate love triangle that threatens their bonds, their careers, and, ultimately, their lives, and was inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Adelle Waldman's The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Adelle Waldman's debut novel made a big impression when it was published last year—it was named one of the best books of the year by The New Yorker, Slate, NPR, and The New York Times. The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. follows writer Nate Piven, a young rising star in New York's literary world who can’t quite figure out his romantic life. It’s a portrait of a flawed and sometimes infuriating modern man searching for happiness, and it’s an honest look at how Nate thinks about women, sex, and love.

Leave your comments and questions about the book!

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On Being

Maria Tatar — The Great Cauldron of Story: Why Fairy Tales Are for Adults Again [remix]

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Fairy tales' overt themes are threaded throughout hit TV series like Game of Thrones and True Blood, Grimm and Once Upon a Time. These stories survive by adapting across cultures and history -- helping us work through things like fear and hope.

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On Being

[Unedited] Maria Tatar with Krista Tippett

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Fairy tales' overt themes are threaded throughout hit TV series like Game of Thrones and True Blood, Grimm and Once Upon a Time. These stories survive by adapting across cultures and history -- helping us work through things like fear and hope.

Comment

The Leonard Lopate Show

Wonderland, a Novel by Stacy D'Erasmo

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Stacey D’Erasmo discusses her new novel, Wonderland, about an a rock star who’s trying to make a comeback at age 44. This may be her last chance to cement her place in the life she chose and the life she struggled for, but she’s not sure if it’s a life she can sustain.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Lydia Davis's New Short Stories, 'Can't and Won't'

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Lydia Davis talks about her new collection of short stories, Can’t and Won’t. Her stories may be one-liners or they may be lengthier investigations, stories in the form of letters of complaint, stories extracted from Flaubert’s correspondence, or they may be inspired by the author’s own dreams or the dreams of friends. Davis is a MacArthur "Genius" Grant recipient and in 2013 she was awarded the Man Booker International Prize.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Good and the Bad: The Microbiome and Antibiotics, Politics and Tammany Hall

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Dr. Martin Blaser explains why our microbiome—the good bacteria and cells in our body—is essential for our health and how overusing antibiotics can damage it. An oncologist talks about losing his wife to breast cancer how that experience changed his attitude toward cancer treatment. Lydia Davis discusses her new collection of short stories, Can’t and Won’t. And we’ll take a look at Tammany Hall and how the infamously corrupt political machine also empowered the poor and disadvantaged.

The Leonard Lopate Show

Delicious! Ruth Reichl's Novel

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Former New York Times restaurant reviewer and Gourmet magazine editor-in-chief Ruth Reichl talks about her first novel, Delicious! It tells the story of Billie Breslin, who moves from California to take a job at Delicious!, New York’s most iconic food magazine. When the magazine is abruptly closed, Billie stays on in the empty office, maintaining the hotline for reader complaints. The lonely job becomes the portal to a miraculous discovery—she finds a cache of old letters written to the legendary chef James Beard.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Guest Picks: Ruth Reichl

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Former Gourmet editor-in-chief and best-selling memoirist Ruth Reichl was on the Leonard Lopate Show to talk about writing her first novel. She also told what her favorite comfort food and the one thing she couldn't live without. 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Casebook, a Novel by Mona Simpson

Monday, May 05, 2014

Mona Simpson talks about her new novel, Casebook, about a young boy’s quest to uncover the mysteries of his unraveling family. What he discovers turns out to be what he least wants to know: the inner workings of his parents’ lives.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Guest Picks: Mona Simpson

Monday, May 05, 2014

Writer Mona Simpson was on the Leonard Lopate Show recently to talk about her novel, Casebook. She also told us about what she's listening to -- on the radio, in the car, at home. 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Struggle: Covert War, Minimum Wage, Isolation and Exile

Monday, May 05, 2014

On today’s show: We’ll look into the history of covert operations, stretching all the way back to the Truman Administration. George Prochnik traces the life of Stefan Zweig, and tells us why this major literary star of the 1930s killed himself in 1942. Our series Strapped: A Look at Poverty in America series continues with former Labor Secretary Robert Reich on the economics of being poor and whether raising the minimum wage can actually help workers get out of poverty. And Mona Simpson talks about her latest novel, Casebook.