Eighty years ago on September 1, 1939 World War Two broke out. Today, we talk about a new novel and a surprising biography that illumine important but lesser known stories about that conflict: Julie Orringer’s acclaimed novel, The Flight Portfolio and Robert Matzen’s fascinating biography of the young Audrey Hepburn and her work with the Dutch Resistance against the Nazis, Dutch Girl.
Then, we welcome Peter Filkins back to Writer’s Voice; we’ve spoken with him before about his translations of the works of H.G. Adler. Now, he tells us about his biography of Adler, H.G. ADLER: A Life in Many Worlds. Continue reading
Brad Gooch talks about his biography Rumi’s Secret: The Life of the Sufi Poet of Love (now available in paperback from Harper Perennial.) Then, we’ve all heard of near-death experiences — going through a dark tunnel toward a brilliant loving light. But what if your near-death journey is to the nether regions instead? Buddhist publisher and author Samuel Bercholz tells us about his graphic memoir, A Guided Tour of Hell
Ellen Meeropol talks about her new novel, On Hurricane Island. It’s about what happens when an innocent American citizen is abducted to a domestic black site and tortured. Meeropol also discusses how being married to one of the sons of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg has influenced her writing.
Then, a look back at one of the greatest writers and critics of America’s first Gilded Age and his relevance for today, Jack London: Cecelia Tichi talks about her biography of the great writer and democratic socialist, Jack London: A Writer’s Fight For a Better America.
Andrea Wulf talks about her bestselling new book, The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World. It’s listed as one of the ten best books of 2015 by the New York Times. Then, we check in with journalist Jack Cushman of Inside Climate News about the historic climate pact out of Paris and how the just-passed omnibus spending bill will affect carbon emissions. Continue reading
Some picks for last minute book gifts from Writer’s Voice — even if the gift is just for you. Continue reading
We feature the work of two political cartoonists who have come out with graphic biographies: Ted Rall talks about his new graphic bio of Edward Snowden, Snowden. And then British cartoonist Kate Evans talks about her new graphic biography of the revolutionary leader, Rosa Luxemburg, Red Rosa. Continue reading
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
Acclaimed biographer James McGrath Morris discusses his just-released biography, Ethel Payne, First Lady Of The Black Press. Few Americans today have ever heard of Ethel Payne, much less understood the giant role she played in reporting the story — and advancing the agenda — of the civil rights movement in America. Through Payne’s riveting personal story, Morris takes the reader on an inspiring journey through the civil rights movement — and to a greater understanding of issues that continue to resonate strongly today. Continue reading
Writer, artist and historian Russell Steven Powell talks with Drew Adamek about the intersection of the natural world and our place within it, as it relates to the Connecticut River, the metaphorical spine that flows through our region. And in this, our last episode in our special series The River Runs Through Us, we also air highlights from previous episodes in the series.
Our thanks to Mass Humanities for their support for this series.
Lois Leveen talks about the remarkable true story of Mary Bowser, a freed slave who became a Union spy right inside the Confederate White House. Her acclaimed new novel, THE SECRETS OF MARY BOWSER, is based on it. And Eve LaPlante talks about her terrific new book, MARMEE AND LOUISA. It’s about the powerful relationship between Louisa May Alcott and her mother Abigail. Continue reading
Sarah Skinner Kilborne
Silk manufacturing was one of the most important industries to emerge out of the Connecticut River Valley in the 19th century. William Skinner was, perhaps, the most influential of the textile magnates. He lived the American Dream: a poor immigrant, he used grit and skill to build an industrial behemoth– and then lost everything in a catastrophic flood. But he rose like a phoenix, rebuilding his mill on the mighty Connecticut River and thereby putting Holyoke, Massachusetts on the world map.
Francesca Rheannon talks with his great granddaughter, Sarah S. Kilborne, about her book, American Phoenix, The Remarkable Story of William Skinner, a Man Who Turned Disaster Into Destiny, to learn more about the forces that shaped his life and the economy of the Connecticut River Valley.
Art historian Gail Levin talks about her acclaimed LEE KRASNER: A Biography; John Van Sickle talks about his translation of VIRGIL’S BOOK OF BUCOLICS, and WV airs a brief excerpt from an upcoming interview with Jeff Sharlet about his book, SWEET HEAVEN WHEN I DIE.