Friday, July 15, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Jennifer Egan joins us to talk about her novel, Look at Me, the Leonard Lopate Show Book Club’s July selection. Look at Me, published in 2001, was a National Book Award finalist, and it explores the American obsession with image and self-invention. A fashion model named Charlotte Swenson suffers injuries in a car accident that leave her face so badly shattered that it takes 80 titanium screws to reassemble it. She is still beautiful but is oddly unrecognizable. Egan intertwines Charlotte’s narrative with the stories of other casualties of our infatuation with image—a teenaged girl starting a dangerous secret life, an alcoholic private eye, and an enigmatic stranger preparing a staggering blow against American society.
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Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Courtney Sullivan discusses her second novel, Maine, about four women who have nothing in common except for the fact that, like it or not, they’re related. Three generations of Kelleher women descend on the family’s beachfront property in Maine one summer, each grappling with their own hopes and fears.
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Jaimy Gordon discusses her novel, Lord of Misrule, which was the recipient of the 2011 National Book Award. It’s set in the ruthless and often violent world of cheap horse racing, where trainers, jockeys, grooms, hotwalkers, loan sharks and touts all struggle to take an edge, prove their luck, or just survive. It follows five characters throughout a year and four races at Indian Mound Downs, downriver from Wheeling, West Virginia.
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
Eleanor Henderson discusses her novel, Ten Thousand Saints. It tells the story of a boy named Jude, who was adopted by hippies and spends much of his youth getting high with his best friend, Teddy. But when Teddy dies of an overdose, Jude's relationship with drugs and with his parents sinks to new extremes.
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Senator Bob Graham, former two-term Governor of Florida who served eighteen years in the United States Senate, talks about his career in politics and his new novel, Keys to the Kingdom, a political thriller about a former Senator and co-chair of the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry Commission who is murdered near his Florida home. Enter Tony Ramos, ex-Special Forces operative and currently a State Department intelligence analyst, who investigates his murder and uncovers a shocking international conspiracy linking the Saudi Kingdom to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Ann Patchett talks about her new novel, State of Wonder, set deep in the Amazon jungle. It tells the story of Dr. Marina Singh, a research scientist who is sent to Brazil to track down her former mentor, Dr. Annick Swenson, who seems to have disappeared in the Amazon while working on a possibly very valuable new drug.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Writer, actor, and director Albert Brooks talks about his career and his new novel. Twenty Thirty: The Real Story of What Happens to America is set in the future, when America’s population is rapidly ageing and sucking up dwindling resources.
Friday, May 06, 2011
Novelist and journalist Linda Grant talks about her latest book, We Had It So Good, a novel spanning multiple generations. It opens in a fur storage house in Los Angeles with its American protagonist as a boy trying on Marilyn Monroe’s coat. The story follows him as he moves to England, marries, and raises a family.
Tuesday, May 03, 2011
Geraldine Brooks talks about her latest novel, Caleb’s Crossing. The story is based on a sliver of fact: in 1665, Caleb, a young man from Martha's Vineyard, became the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. The narrator is Bethia Mayfield, growing up in the tiny Puritan settlement of Great Harbor. She and Caleb forge a tentative secret friendship that changes both their lives.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Carsten Jensen, one of Scandinavia’s most acclaimed storytellers, talks about his novel, We, the Drowned. The story spans four generations, two world wars, and 100 years, from the barren rocks of Newfoundland to the lush plantations of Samoa, from the roughest bars in Tasmania to the frozen coasts of northern Russia. It's a humorous, thrilling tale of fathers and sons, the women they love and leave behind, and the sea.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Peter Mountford talks about his debut novel, A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism. It tells the story of Gabriel, who, on his first assignment for a hedge fund goes to Bolivia at the end of 2005 to seek out insider information on the plans of the controversial president-elect. If he succeeds, it means he’ll get a bonus that would make him secure for life. But standing in his way are his headstrong mother, who is a survivor of Pinochet's Chile, and Gabriel's new love interest, the president's passionate press liaison. Gabriel sets in motion a terrifying plan that could cost him the love of all those he holds dear.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Jon Michaud, the head librarian at The New Yorker, talks about his novel, When Tito Loved Clara. It’s about two people who grew up in the Dominican community in Inwood—Clara and Tito—who reconnect 15 years after their young love ended. Clara is struggling with assimilating into a new life in New Jersey, while Tito has never left the old neighborhood.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Environmental and consumer advocate Erin Brokovich talks about her debut novel, Rock Bottom, the first in a series of thrillers. It tells the story of Angela Joy Palladino, who became pregnant at 17 and fled her hometown in West Virginia as a pariah. Years later, she takes a job with a lawyer crusading against mountaintop removal mining, and has to return to that town. She winds up facing the betrayal of those once closest to her and confront the harrowing past she thought she had left behind.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Novelist Philip Kerr talks about his noir thriller Field Gray. The novel is set in Europe over three decades—from Berlin in 1931 to Adenauer's Germany in 1954— which has become a place awash in duplicitous "allies" constantly undermining one another, and follows the sardonic, tough-talking Bernie Gunther.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Novelist Francisco Goldman talks about his new novel, Say Her Name, a chronicle of his great love and unspeakable loss, tracking the stages of grief when pure love gives way to bottomless pain. A month before his second wedding anniversary, Goldman’s wife, Aura, broke her neck while body surfing during a beach holiday in Mexico. Nearly overcome with grief, he collected everything he could about his wife to keep her alive with every memory, and this novel is the result.
Monday, April 11, 2011
When David Foster Wallace took his own life in September of 2008, he left behind reams of unfinished work and a veritable young generation of readers still hungry for his work. This week, posthumous novel "The Pale King" is released from Wallace's long time publisher Little Brown. The book is unfinished, but was assembled from DFW's raggedy genius by longtime editor Michael Pietsch. Peitsch talks about how emotional it is for an editor to bring a book into the world when it's author is gone.