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Category: Literature

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Intellectual, accessible, and provocative literary conversations.

Episode Date
Cathleen Schine: The Grammarians
Language-loving twin sisters discover themselves united by passion but separated by needs in The Grammarians, the eleventh book by Cathleen Schine.
Sep 19, 2019
Mary Ruefle: Dunce
Dunce, by Mary Ruefle, finds meaning everywhere.
Sep 12, 2019
Katya Apekina: The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish

Katya Apekina’s novel The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish has a dark sense of humor, and an interest in the soul.

Sep 05, 2019
Sarah Rose Etter: The Book of X

Sarah Rose Etter’s The Book of X belongs to a literary conversation about the grotesque and surreal.

Aug 29, 2019
Peter Orner: Maggie Brown & Others

Characters with DNA, blood and soul populate forty three stories and a novella by Peter Orner: Maggie Brown & Others.

Aug 22, 2019
Toni Morrison: Beloved

From the archives, a highly resonate conversation with Toni Morrison about transfiguring love, as portrayed in her novel Beloved.

Aug 15, 2019
Toni Morrison Tribute

Nobel Laureate, Toni Morrison passed away this week at 88 years of age.  Bookworm is rebroadcasting a 2009 conversation with her about her novel, A Mercy.*

Aug 08, 2019
Howard Rodman: The Great Eastern

Literary legends Captain Ahab and Captain Nemo are pitted against each other by real life engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel in Howard Rodman’s The Great Eastern.

Aug 01, 2019
Ariana Reines: A Sand Book

The poetry in Ariana Reines's A Sand Book is centered around the theme of hiding: running away and trying to escape.

Jul 19, 2019
Ocean Vuong: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

Ocean Vuong speaks of leaving his thumbprint within his new novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous.

Jul 18, 2019
David Trinidad, Amy Gerstler, Ruth Greenstein: Punk Rock is Cool for the End of the World: Poems and Notebooks of Ed Smith

Editor/poet David Trinidad, poet Amy Gerstler, and publisher Ruth Greenstein reflect on the dynamic mind behind Punk Rock is Cool for the End of the World: Poems and Notebooks of Ed Smith.

Jul 11, 2019
David Trinidad: Swinging on a Star
David Trinidad’s Swinging on a Star is a two-part collection of poems that put the human in pop culture.
Jun 27, 2019
Laila Lalami: The Other Americans
 Laila Lalami’s The Other Americans is a polyphonic novel about social class and identity, with a revelation in every chapter.
Jun 20, 2019
Seth: Clyde Fans

A stunning graphic novel by one of the medium’s greatest creators, Seth’s Clyde Fans is about people living in a memory fog, and the strange reverie that life takes on when one grows older.

Jun 13, 2019
Ann Beattie: A Wonderful Stroke of Luck

Ben’s life falls down around him, and he’s the protagonist, in A Wonderful Stroke of Luck, by master writer Ann Beattie.

Jun 06, 2019
Dave Eggers: The Parade

The Parade, by Dave Eggers, is a book of creeping dread, where every worst thing is possible, and rational reason leads one to expect that the worst is not over.

May 30, 2019
Richard Powers: The Overstory

About the interdependence between humans and trees, Richard Powers found a place for the non-human in literary fiction with his new book, The Overstory.

May 23, 2019
Terrance Hayes: American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin

Seventy sonnets written in the first two hundred days of Trump's presidency, American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin, by Terrance Hayes, flies out of the cages of literary, cultural, and historical forms. WarningToday's episode contains strong language that some listeners may find offensive. 

May 16, 2019
Nafissa Thompson-Spires: Heads of the Colored People

The stories in Heads of the Colored People, by Nafissa Thompson-Spires, try to capture what’s human in what otherwise may only be trends.

May 09, 2019
Tayari Jones: An American Marriage

Her fourth book, which took her six years to write, An American Marriage brought Tayari Jones to the attention of Oprah’s Book Club. 

May 02, 2019
John Lanchester: The Wall

John Lanchester’s The Wall is a wild love story with a dystopian backdrop.

Apr 25, 2019
Nathan Englander:

In Nathan Englander’s, a secular Jewish son experiments with the task of shepherding his father’s soul safely to rest.

Apr 18, 2019
Chris Cander: The Weight of a Piano

Chris Cander’s The Weight of a Piano explores characters with passionate attachments to things that have been lost. 

Apr 11, 2019
Valeria Luiselli: Lost Children Archive

Valeria Luiselli's Lost Children Archive tells the story of a family by combining the American road trip subgenre with the Latin American tradition of an inward journey. 

Apr 04, 2019
Elizabeth McCracken: Bowlaway

Her nature oppositional, Elizabeth McCracken’s Bowlaway is a sad, funny, hilarious, and melancholic novel.

Mar 28, 2019