Tag Archives: Fiction

Podcast

Elizabeth George, A Banquet Of Consequences & Kenneth Wishnia, Jewish Noir

Mystery

Acclaimed crime novelist Elizabeth George talks about her latest Inspector Lynley novel, A Banquet of Consequences. And then, just in time for Hanukkah, a new noir collection of short stories — Jewish Noir. edited by mystery writer Kenneth Wishnia. Continue reading

Podcast

Two Allegories: Michael Golding’s A Poet of the Invisible World & Robin Cook’s Host

Mevlana_Konya

Michael Golding talks about A Poet of the Invisible World, his stunning new novel set in 13th century Persia. This fable explores the spiritual path taken by its main character, a Sufi poet with four ears.

Then, Robin Cook tells us about his new medical thriller, Host. It’s about what happens when medical research into the newest class of drugs — biologics — intersects with a greed-driven medical system. Continue reading

Podcast

Marcel Theroux, STRANGE BODIES & Jessica Abel, OUT ON THE WIRE

radio2

Marcel Theroux talks about his new novel Strange Bodies. It’s a fantastic multi-genre romp — part sci-fi, part thriller, part disquisition on literary immortality. And then we pivot to the renaissance in radio storytelling, talking with cartoonist Jessica Abel about her graphic book, Out On The Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio.

Continue reading

Podcast

Refugees of War: Lou Ureneck, THE GREAT FIRE & Lissa Evans, CROOKED HEART

Smyrna-burn-14d18h-1922

Lou Ureneck talks about his book, The Great Fire. It tells the story of the burning of Smyrna by the Turks and the rescue of thousands of civilians by an American. We also talk with British novelist Lissa Evans about her dark comedy Crooked Heart, set in wartime London. It’s about a young refugee from the Blitz and his rescuer, a small time con artist. Continue reading

Podcast

Sci-fi Imagines Climate Change: Paolo Bacigalupi’s THE WATER KNIFE & SHIPBREAKER

2060-2069wOceanLabels

Paolo Bacigalupi talks about his new thriller, The Water Knife. It’s about the fight over water supplies in the American Southwest that erupts when a climate-driven mega-drought hits the region.

Then, we re-air portions of our 2011 interview with Bacigalupi about his sci fi novel for young adults, Shipbreaker. Also set in the climate-changed world of the near future, it takes place in Florida in a time of sea level rise. Continue reading

Podcast

Artists, Development Wars and Murder on Long Island’s North Fork

North Fork

Christopher Bollen talks about his mystery novel, ORIENT. It’s about what happens when conflicts over development erupt in a community on the East End of Long Island — and several bodies turn up. Then we re-air our 2014 interview with Tana French about her mystery novel, A SECRET PLACE. It’s just been re-issued in paperback. Continue reading

Podcast

Memory of the Survivor: Peter Filkins on H.G. Adler’s THE WALL and THE JOURNEY

Kamp_Vught_B&W

Translator Peter Filkins talks about the third novel in German Jewish writer H.G. Adler’s trilogy about the Holocaust, The Wall. Later, we re-play a previous interview with Filkins about his translation of the first novel in the trilogy, The Journey.

Continue reading

Podcast

Reimagining History: Medieval & Modern

DB-f141v-d1l

David Flusfeder discusses his novel, John The Pupil. It’s about a medieval journey that prefigures the Renaissance era to come. And then another work of fiction that reimagines a historical figure: urban philosopher David Kishik talks about his book, The Manhattan Project. It imagines what Walter Benjamin would have written about New York had he succeeded in escaping to the US from Nazi-dominated Europe. Continue reading

Web Extras

Web Extra: Extended Interview with David Kishik

David Kishik

david-kishik-new-crop-2014Urban philosopher David Kishik talks about his book, The Manhattan Project. It imagines what Walter Benjamin would have written about New York had he succeeded in escaping to the US from Nazi-dominated Europe. Continue reading

Podcast

Overpopulation: Ecological Elephant In The Room?

OVER

Tom Butler of the Foundation for Deep Ecology talks about a gorgeous — and disturbing — new coffee table book of photojournalism, Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot.

And women mystery writers have gone from being ignored to being stars of the genre. We talk with mystery writer Sara Paretsky about women’s changing position in the genre and about her own socially conscious mystery writing. Then we congratulate Elizabeth Kolbert on her Pulitzer Prize for The Sixth Extinction. Continue reading

Podcast

The Amherst Affair: Austin, Mabel & Emily, Too

mabelloomistodd

William Nicholson talks about his new novel, AMHERST. It’s about the passionate affair between Emily Dickinson’s brother Austin and Mabel Todd. And later we re-air part of our 2007 interview with Debby Applegate about her biography of another 19th century figure associated with Amherst, Massachusetts: fiery evangelical preacher Henry Ward Beecher. Her book is THE MOST FAMOUS MAN IN AMERICA. Continue reading

Podcast

Doing Right by Our Companion Animals

dog cat

Ellen Cooney talks about her newest novel, The Mountaintop School For Dogs. It’s a mystery about an unusual and redemptive rescue operation. We also replay our conversation with animal behaviorist Vint Virga about his book, The Soul of All Living Creatures: What Animals Can Teach Us About Being Human.

Ellen Cooney

EllenCooneyWe use the word “humane” to describe behavior that is compassionate and caring. But maybe we should use something like “canane” instead or, yes, even “felane.” Because, can we really hold up humans as exemplars of such behavior? Maybe we need to act more like our companion animals act toward us.  If more of us treated them as well as they treat us, we’d have a lot fewer traumatized, abused and neglected animals. We also might have fewer traumatized, abused and neglected humans.

MttopcvrEllen Cooney ponders these questions in her new work of fiction, The Mountaintop School For Dogs And Other Second Chances. Wrapped within a kind of mystery novel is an exploration of our relationship to the animals who share our lives. What happens when things go wrong, either through misunderstanding or evil intent?

Cooney’s protagonist is a young woman who has been through some traumas of her own. Answering a mysterious ad in the paper, she finds herself in the midst of a unique rescue operation for abused dogs. What she learns there not only changes the lives the animals she has come to help, but her life, as well.

Ellen Cooney is the author of numerous previous novels, including Lambrusco, which we spoke about with her in 2008. She lives in Maine with her canine companions.

Read an excerpt from The Mountaintop School For Dogs

Vint Virga
soul-of-all-creatures-680x440We love our cats and dogs and thrill to the sight of wild animals. But we tend to forget that we are animals ourselves — and thus share our fragile planet with what are really our cousins in the animal kingdom.

Veterinary behaviorist Vint Virga says that other animals have much to teach us about being human — not just the biological traits we share, but also other qualities like resilience, compassion and being present in the moment.

Virga draws on his 25 years of working with both domestic pets and zoo animals to explore these themes in his thoughtful and moving book The Soul of All Living Creatures.

Vint Virga has appeared as a featured guest on ABC World News, PBS Nature, and National Geographic Explorer. He is one of only 61 behavioral veterinarians in the US. The Soul of All Living Creatures won a Nautilus Book Award in 2014.

Read an excerpt from The Soul of All Living Creatures

Podcast

Thrity Umrigar, THE STORY HOUR & THE WORLD WE FOUND

Thrity Umrigar
Thrity Umrigar

19144598WV spends the hour with Indian-born novelist Thrity Umrigar, talking about her latest work of fiction, THE STORY HOUR (Harper Collins, August 2014) and her 2012 novel, THE WORLD WE FOUND. Also, we air a sneak preview from next week’s show: a conversation with scientist Paul Ehrlich about HOPE ON EARTH.

Continue reading