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Literature

The Brian Lehrer Show

Living, Thinking, Looking: Essays by Siri Hustvedt

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Acclaimed novelist and essayist Siri Hustvedt will discuss Living, Thinking, Looking: Essays, her new collection of meditations on philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, literature and psychoanalysis.

→ EVENT: Siri Hustvedt in conversation with Paul Auster at The Strand, Thursday, June 14, 7:00-8:00pm

→ EVENT: Reading, Q&A, and book signing at Community Bookstore (143 Seventh Ave., Brooklyn), Thursday, June 21, 7:00-8:00pm

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Tributes: Ray Bradbury

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Few people deserve being called “iconic” as much as science fiction writer Ray Bradbury – who gave us such classics as Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, and Dandelion Wine – among no less than 500 published works. And since he just died at the age of 91, you might want to hear his July 1990 interview with Leonard Lopate. 

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The Takeaway

Ray Bradbury Dies at Age 91

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Ray Bradbury has died at age 91, and with him dies an imagination that sparked the imagination of so many readers. John Hockenberry remembers his first Bradbury novel, The Illustrated Man, which came as part of his membership to a science fiction book club. John was joined by science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson, known for his award-winning Mars trilogy.

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The Takeaway

Jennifer Egan, One Tweet At A Time

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Over the course of its short life, Twitter has been many things to many people… from not-so-personal diary to celebrity sounding board; from advertising platform to political tool for the collective masses. And now, Twitter can add one more title to its list of uses: Literary device for Pulitzer Prize winners. Beginning last Thursday night, the New Yorker began publishing Jennifer Egan’s new short story “Black Box,” one tweet at a time.

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The Takeaway

'The Bonfire of the Vanities' Revisited with Alvin Hall

Monday, May 28, 2012

Twenty five years ago, the novel “The Bonfire of the Vanities” was published. Written by Tom Wolfe, the book tells the story of a greedy, white Wall Street trader who accidentally kills a black teenager in the South Bronx, then deliberately flees the scene of the accident. Highlighting issues of class privilege, racism, greed, and politics, the book was a commercial and critical success, and came to define an era in New York City and in America. Journalist and personal finance expert Alvin Hall joins to answer the question: How much has New York changed in 25 years?

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Pico Iyer Talks About Graham Greene

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pico Iyer examines the closeness he has always felt to the English writer Graham Greene.  In The Man Within My Head, he follows Greene’s trail from his first novel, The Man Within, to his later classics like The Quiet American looking at all he has in common with Greene: an English public school education, a lifelong restlessness and refusal to make a home anywhere, a fascination with the complications of faith.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

On an Irish Island

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Robert Kanigel tells the story of Great Blasket, an island off the west coast of Ireland renowned during the early 20th century for the rich communal life of its residents and the unadulterated Irish they spoke. With the Irish language vanishing all through the rest of Ireland, the Great Blasket became a magnet for scholars and writers drawn there during the Gaelic renaissance. On an Irish Island is a love letter to a vanished way of life.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Celebrating Edith Wharton

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Susan Wissler, Executive Director of The Mount, and writer Roxana Robinson talk about the 150th anniversary of Edith Wharton’s birth. They’ll look at the life, writings, and legacy of Wharton, one of America’s most celebrated writers. The Mount, the Lenox estate Wharton designed and where she wrote Ethan Frome and The House of Mirth, will be celebrating her birthday throughout 2012. The New York Society Library’s exhibition Edith Wharton's "New York City: A Backward Glance" is also on view.

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The Takeaway

Kevin Young on African American Culture, and Its Role in the Country's Cultural Progress

Friday, March 09, 2012

In poet Kevin Young's new book, "The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness," Young offers a remarkable, encyclopedic essay on the history of African-American culture. Young explores how African-American culture and American culture have affected one another. The book, part prose and part essay, also explores how African-American culture has become an essential and inextricable part of American culture.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Ruben Santiago-Hudson on "Their Eyes Were Watching God"

Monday, February 27, 2012

Ruben Santiago-Hudson discusses directing and acting in the first ever radio play/production of Zora Neale Hurston’s "Their Eyes Were Watching God,” which commemorates the 75th anniversary of the original publication. It is being performed on February 29 and March 1, at 7 pm, in WNYC’s Greene Space and will be broadcast nationally in September.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Pico Iyer on Graham Greene

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Pico Iyer examines the closeness he has always felt to the English writer Graham Greene.  In The Man Within My Head, he follows Greene’s trail from his first novel, The Man Within, to his later classics like The Quiet American looking at all he has in common with Greene: an English public school education, a lifelong restlessness and refusal to make a home anywhere, a fascination with the complications of faith.

Comments [6]

The Takeaway

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of 'The Snowy Day'

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

In 1961, Ezra Jack Keats wrote and illustrated his first children’s book. It was called "The Snowy Day" and it told the story of Peter, a young, African-American boy in Brooklyn, enjoying the season's first snowfall. The book was immediately popular. Prior to its publication, no other mainstream children’s book had featured a black hero in a non-caricatured way.

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The New Yorker: Out Loud

Donald Hall looks at his barn, and back through time

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Donald Hall looks at his barn, and back through time.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Rita Dove on Twentieth-Century American Poetry

Friday, December 16, 2011

Rita Dove, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and former U .S. Poet Laureate, discusses The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry . Featuring poems both classic and contemporary, this collection reflects both a dynamic and cohesive portrait of modern American poetry and outlines its trajectory over the past century.

 

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The Takeaway

Helen Vendler, Rita Dove, and the Changing Canon of Poetry

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The titans are clashing in the world of poetry. Over Thanksgiving, literary critic Helen Vendler published a savage review of a new anthology, "The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry." The book was edited by Rita Dove, a former Poet Laureate. Dove responded to Vendler's scathing review with an equally vitriolic reply. Vendler is white, and Dove is black, which is either tangential to, or central to, the issue — depending on whom you talk to. The incident has many in the poetry world talking about issues of race, aesthetics, and who belongs in the poetry books, and who does not. 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Life of Alice James

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Biographer Jean Strouse talks about the life of Alice James, sister of famed writers William and Henry, and the only daughter in a family of brilliant and eccentric men. Alice James is a singular portrait embedded in a family history that dazzled her age and still interests ours.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Life with Joseph Heller

Friday, December 02, 2011

Erica Heller tells about growing up with her iconic father, Joseph Heller, and the rest of her family, which could be by turns caring, infuriating, and exasperating, and anything but dull. Her memoir, Yossarian Slept Here: When Joseph Heller Was Dad, the Apthorp Was Home, and Life Was a Catch-22, details the Hellers’ charmed but turbulent lives.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Caryl Phillips on Race, Culture, and Belonging

Friday, November 25, 2011

Born in St. Kitts and brought up in the UK, Caryl Phillips has written about and explored the experience of migration for more than 30 years through his novels, plays, and essays. In Color Me English: Thought About Migrations and Belonging Before and After 9/11 he reflects on the shifting notions of race, culture, and belonging before and after the September 11 attacks.

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The Takeaway

Charles Dickens at 200

Thursday, November 17, 2011

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…" The words are timeless, they could apply to the world today. But of course, they were written over 150 years ago by Charles Dickens, in his masterpiece "A Tale of Two Cities." If he were still alive, Charles Dickens would be turning 200 in just a few months.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Once Is Not Enough

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

After retiring from teaching literature, Patricia Meyer Spacks, a National Book Award finalist, reread dozens of novels and reports the results of her experiment in On Rereading.

Is there a book you like to read again and again?  

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