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Memoir

The Leonard Lopate Show

Gary Shteyngart Tells a Brezhnev Joke

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Novelist Gary Shteyngart shares his American immigrant experience and family history in Little Failure: A Memoir. Born Igor Shteyngart in Leningrad during the waning days of the Soviet Union, he immigrated with his parents in the late 1970s after President Carter made a deal to trade grain for Soviet Jews. Small and asthmatic, he became the second most hated boy in his Queens Hebrew school. He talks about his earliest stories, which his grandmother rewarded for with cheese, makes Leonard laugh with an old joke about Brezhnev, and admits that writing a memoir was a challenge because all writers are liars. 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

A Journey through America’s Self-Help Culture

Monday, January 06, 2014

Jessica Lamb-Shapiro talks about growing up immersed in the culture of self-help as the daughter of a widowed child psychologist and parenting author. In Promise Land: My Journey through America’s Self-Help Culture she looks at the many self-help options out there and whether they can deliver what they promise.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Dwight Gooden: Doc

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Major League pitcher Dwight Gooden talks about his memoir of his talent, addiction, and recovery. In Doc, the Mets’ beloved Dr. K shares the intimate details of his life and career, revealing all the extraordinary highs and lows: The hidden traumas in his family; the thrill and pressure of being a young baseball phenom in New York; his self-destructive drug binges; and his three World Series rings.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Moral Tribes; Ann Patchett on Her Memoir; Mao Changed China; Ben Franklin's Sister

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Neuroscientist Joshua Green explains how human brains have evolved to deal with the conditions of our modern societies. Ann Patchett discusses writing and relationships in her new memoir, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage. We’ll look at the rise of Mao Zedong and his attempts to transform the Chinese into “The New People” at whatever cost. Historian Jill Lepore introduces us to Benjamin Franklin’s sister Jane, who was a gifted writer and a shrewd political commentator.

The Leonard Lopate Show

The Rhino Records Story

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Harold Bronson tells how he and Richard Foos founded a record label in the back of a record shop in the 1970s. In The Rhino Records Story he tells how the little record shop became a multimillion dollar corporation.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Japan in 1941; Rhino Records; Paul Auster's Early Life; Disappearring Monarch Butterflies; Bruce Dern

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Eri Hotta takes a look at the attack on Pearl Harbor from the Japanese point of view and examines Japan’s leaders entered a war they thought they were likely to lose. Harold Bronson tells the story of his Rhino Records, which was born in the backroom of a record store in the 1970s. Paul Auster discusses his early intellectual life— from his love of cartoons to writing his first poem at the age of 9. We’ll find out why scientists are worried about the monarch butterfly population. And Bruce Dern talks about playing Woody in Alexander Payne’s latest film, “Nebraska.”

The Leonard Lopate Show

Paul Auster's Report from the Interior

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Novelist Paul Auster discusses his new autobiography, Report from the Interior. It charts Auster’s moral, political, and intellectual journey as he grew up through the postwar 1950s and into the turbulent 1960s.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Philip Shenon on the Kennedy Assassination; Actress Lupita Nyong'o; Victoria Loustalot's Memoir; Our Word Maven

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

On today’s show: Philip Shenon shares his secret history of the Kennedy assassination—and tries to answer questions about President Kennedy’s death that people are still asking 50 years later. Lupita Nyong’o talks about her breakout role as Patsey in the film “12 Years a Slave.” Victoria Loustalot describes making peace with her father’s memory by taking the trip he had promised to take her on before he developed AIDS and died. And our “word maven” Patricia T. O’Conner takes your calls and questions about the idiosyncrasies of the English language.

The Leonard Lopate Show

This Is How You Say Goodbye

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Victoria Loustalot discusses her memoir, This Is How You Say Goodbye, about grieving for difficult and charismatic father. When Victoria Loustalot was eight years old her father swept her up in a fantasy: a trip around the world. But it never happened, because her father was HIV positive and would die within three years. Some 15 years later, Victoria went to Stockholm, to Angkor Wat, and to Paris, the places they were meant to see together, to make peace with her father.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Anjelica Huston

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Anjelica Huston talks about coming of age in Ireland, London, and New York. She discusses her parents separation in the early 1960s, encountering the Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac in London, and losing her mother in a car crash when she was just 17. She moved to New York and became a model in the 1970s. Her memoir, A Story Lately Told, is the first part of her life story.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Daniel Menaker on Life and The New Yorker

Monday, November 18, 2013

Daniel Menaker discusses beginning his career as a fact checker at The New Yorker in 1969. He was promoted to editor and he stayed at the magazine for another 24 years. InMy Mistake: A Memoir, he portrays life in that wonderfully strange place and beyond. He offers wry, hilarious observations on publishing, child-rearing, parent-losing, and the writing life.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Israel; Capturing Tribal Cultures on Film; Daniel Menaker's Life at The New Yorker; UNICEF

Monday, November 18, 2013

Haaretz columnist Ari Shavit looks at Israel's past and present dilemmas. Globe-trotting photographer Jimmy Nelson talks about capturing the ways of life, art, and traditions of tribal cultures around the world. And Daniel Menaker talks about his career at The New Yorker, where he began as a fact-checker and later became an editor at the beloved magazine. Caryl Stern, the president and CEO of the US Fund for UNICEF talks about what she’s learned from children around the world.

The Leonard Lopate Show

Mike Tyson

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Mike Tyson, philosopher, Broadway headliner, fighter, felon, and onetime heavyweight champion of the world, talks about his life in and out of the ring.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Ivan Klima's Crazy Century

Monday, November 11, 2013

Acclaimed Czech writer Ivan Klima reflects back on his life and on decades of war, totalitarianism, censorship, and the fight for democracy. Klíma’s memoir My Crazy Century begins in the 1930s on the outskirts of Prague. During WWII, most of his family survived the Terezín concentration camp, but when they returned home, their city was falling into the grip of Communism.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Bush and Cheney; Modernizing China; Sports Talk; Ivan Klima's Memoir

Monday, November 11, 2013

We’ll start off the show on this Veteran’s Day with New York Times Chief White House Correspondent Peter Baker on the complex relationship between President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Then, we’ll learn about the 19th-century Empress Dowager Cixi, who brought China into the modern age. Mike Pesca and Josh Levin, two of the hosts of Slate’s “Hang Up and Listen” podcast, join us for some Monday afternoon quarterbacking. Celebrated Czech writer Ivan Klima talks about being a witness to war, totalitarianism, censorship and the fight for democracy, and the role he played in his country’s history.

The Truth

The Memoirist

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Sex. Drugs. Fame. It's all in Hollywood actress Cecily Banks' scandalous new memoir. But will her homecoming be the real tell-all? Performed by Elana Fishbein, Matt Antonucci, Kevin Kiernan, Lauren Olson, Alessandro King, Sebastian Connelli, Blanche...

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Neuroscience and Morality; Ann Patchett; "Sidewalk Stories"

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Neuroscientist Joshua Green explains how our brains evolved after tribal life to deal with the conditions of our modern societies. Novelist Ann Patchett explores the commitments she’s made in her life in her new memoir, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage. Charles Lane on “Sidewalk Stories,” his black and white silent comedy that he filmed on the streets of Manhattan in the 1980s. And we’ll find out whether the American military knew about the trove of Nazi-stolen art that’s been in the headlines since the 1950s, decades before German authorities found it.

The Leonard Lopate Show

Robert K. Brown, Soldier of Fortune

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Robert K. Brown, former Green Beret, who was kicked out of Special Forces twice, talks about finding his true calling as a publisher. He launched an upstart magazine called Soldier of Fortune, which pushed the bounds of journalism to its limits. His book I Am a Soldier of Fortune: Dancing with Devils tells his own story, taking the readers into combat zones with him and his daring combat journalists. 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Shahan Mufti on His 1,400-Year Family History

Monday, November 04, 2013

Journalist Shahan Mufti tells his family’s history, which he can trace back 1,400 years to the inner circle of the prophet Muhammad. He offers a history of Pakistan by using the stories of his ancestors, many of whom served as judges and jurists in Muslim sharia courts of South Asia for many centuries. The Faithful Scribe is more than a personal history—it reveals the deepest roots of Islamic civilization in Pakistan.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Piers Morgan on Shooting Straight

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Piers Morgan, host of the CNN show Piers Morgan Live, discusses his childhood in England to his career as a tabloid editor to his rise to fame in the United States. Shooting Straight: Guns, Gays, God, and George Clooney offers an inside view of the real-time drama behind covering breaking news stories such as the killing of Osama bin Laden, Hurricane Sandy, and the massacre at Newtown. He talks about his love affair with America and with the news business.

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