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Abdi Nor Iftin
June 13, 2018 07:42 AM PDT
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Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition go The Avid Reader.

Today our guest is Abdi Nor Iftin, author of Call Me American: A Memoir published just last week by Alfred Knopf.

This book is the story of a miracle, a series of miracles, set against a backdrop of pain, suffering and horror.

Abdi fell in love with America as a child. He learned English from Arnold Shwarzeneger and Michael Jackson, from Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone.

When the first waves of U.S. Marines landed, in Mogadishu to take on the cruel and lawless warlords, Abdi was one of the first to cheer the arrival of those heroes that he recognized from the movies.

He was wearing American clothes, knew American dance moves and even took on American as his surname.

Then, the Americans left, radical al-Shabaab took over and Western Culture was forbidden and things became deadly once again.

Abdi, through a series of fortuitous and incredible coincidences and twists of fates, made his way to America. It’s much more enlightening to hear how all this happened through his voice, so welcome Abdi and thanks so much for joining us today.

1Q1A Abdi Nor Iftin
June 13, 2018 07:40 AM PDT
itunes pic

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition go The Avid Reader.

Today our guest is Abdi Nor Iftin, author of Call Me American: A Memoir published just last week by Alfred Knopf.

This book is the story of a miracle, a series of miracles, set against a backdrop of pain, suffering and horror.

Abdi fell in love with America as a child. He learned English from Arnold Shwarzeneger and Michael Jackson, from Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone.

When the first waves of U.S. Marines landed, in Mogadishu to take on the cruel and lawless warlords, Abdi was one of the first to cheer the arrival of those heroes that he recognized from the movies.

He was wearing American clothes, knew American dance moves and even took on American as his surname.

Then, the Americans left, radical al-Shabaab took over and Western Culture was forbidden and things became deadly once again.

Abdi, through a series of fortuitous and incredible coincidences and twists of fates, made his way to America. It’s much more enlightening to hear how all this happened through his voice, so welcome Abdi and thanks so much for joining us today.

Tommy Orange There There
June 13, 2018 07:36 AM PDT
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Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of The Avid Reader. Today our guest is Tommy Orange author of There There published just last week by Knopf. Tommy is a recent graduate of the MFA program at The Institute of American Indian Arts. He is a 2014 Macdowell Colony Fellow and a 2016 writing by writers fellow. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma.

There There is an ensemble book, in some ways, reminding me of movies like Robert Altman’s Nashville where you have this large cast of characters, seemingly unrelated to the other but as the book progresses their paths begin to cross and they edge closer to each other until the reader recognizes the total connection between each and everyone of them. The most difficult thing about this process is holding each of these people in your head and then clearly see and follow the paths they take. This is what Tommy Orange has accomplished in There There.

This cast of characters, an aspiring documentary filmmaker, a boy who teaches himself traditional Native American dance by watching YouTube, another morbidly obese man lost in his own challenge. Well I guess they’re all lost in their own challenges.

These are just a couple of the twelve, really over twelve characters that propel this book to its final and overwhelming climax.

1Q1A Tommy Orange There There
June 13, 2018 07:34 AM PDT
itunes pic

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of The Avid Reader. Today our guest is Tommy Orange author of There There published just last week by Knopf. Tommy is a recent graduate of the MFA program at The Institute of American Indian Arts. He is a 2014 Macdowell Colony Fellow and a 2016 writing by writers fellow. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma.

There There is an ensemble book, in some ways, reminding me of movies like Robert Altman’s Nashville where you have this large cast of characters, seemingly unrelated to the other but as the book progresses their paths begin to cross and they edge closer to each other until the reader recognizes the total connection between each and everyone of them. The most difficult thing about this process is holding each of these people in your head and then clearly see and follow the paths they take. This is what Tommy Orange has accomplished in There There.

This cast of characters, an aspiring documentary filmmaker, a boy who teaches himself traditional Native American dance by watching YouTube, another morbidly obese man lost in his own challenge. Well I guess they’re all lost in their own challenges.

These are just a couple of the twelve, really over twelve characters that propel this book to its final and overwhelming climax.

Will Mackin Bring Out The Dog
June 01, 2018 09:48 AM PDT
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Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of The Avid Reader. Today our guest is Will Mackin, author of Bring Out The Dog. His first novel published by Random House in March.

Will is a 23 year veteran of the U.S. Navy and served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, GQ, NYT Magazine and Tin House and has been anthologized in The Best Short Stories of 2014.

Bring Out The Dog allows us to peer through the lens of someone who was there and to also comprehend the sense of war as it veers from the autobiographical to the fictional.

Will Mackin Bring Out the Dog
June 01, 2018 09:35 AM PDT
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Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of The Avid Reader. Today our guest is Will Mackin, author of Bring Out The Dog. His first novel published by Random House in March.

Will is a 23 year veteran of the U.S. Navy and served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, GQ, NYT Magazine and Tin House and has been anthologized in The Best Short Stories of 2014.

Bring Out The Dog allows us to peer through the lens of someone who was there and to also comprehend the sense of war as it veers from the autobiographical to the fictional.

Curtis Sittenfeld You Think It, I'll Say it
June 01, 2018 09:32 AM PDT
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Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of The Avid Read. Today our guys it Curtis Sittenfeld, author of You Think It, I’ll Say It: Stories published in April by Random House.

Curtis is the bestselling author of five novels. Those books have been selected by the NYT, Time, EW and People for many Ten Best lists, optioned for TV and film and translated into 30 languages. Her short stories have appeared in the WP, Esquire and her non-fiction has appeared in the NYT, Time, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic and Slate.

In this first collection Curtis writes stories about Donald Trump (I wake up every morning and my first thought is “Donald J. Trump is President of The United States of America!!!) and a package of other short stories that deal with women in right now America, all navigating this present and complicated culture with its norms and weirdness and allows these protagonists to deal with friendship, deceit, family, politics (as I mentioned) and of course social media.

Their stories are sad, poignant, funny, triumphant at times and tragic at others. In all, the great thing about these stories is that we feel, after reading each, that we have dealt with a real person and a real story.

Fran Leadon Broadway
April 30, 2018 01:26 PM PDT
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Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of the Avid Reader. Today our guest is Fran Leadon, author of Broadway: A History of New York City in 13 Miles published in April by Norton.

Mr. Leadon is an Associate Professor at City College and worked with Norval White and Eliott Willensky in publishing the AIA Guide to New York City, Fifth Edition (Oxford University Press, 2010)

And he is from my home town of Gainesville Florida.

Broadway is not just a street or an Avenue or a Boulevard. It is Broadway with a capital everything. The great White Way, Times Square, Union Square, The Woolworth Building, the Flatiron, the Ansonia. It is a street that defines a city. And what Mr. Leadon has done here is to encapsulate that street in its thirteen miles into the history of a place, a place that everyone in America and most people around the globe can identify with. Through copious research and a map of each mile to keep you centered, the book transports you in time and place and gives you an intimate picture of times forgotten and remembered, buildings that burnt down and were replaced and buildings that weren’t. After you read this book you will have a new understanding of this great city, a city that in good portion defines America.

1Q1A Fran Leadon Broadway
April 30, 2018 01:25 PM PDT
itunes pic

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of the Avid Reader. Today our guest is Fran Leadon, author of Broadway: A History of New York City in 13 Miles published in April by Norton.

Mr. Leadon is an Associate Professor at City College and worked with Norval White and Eliott Willensky in publishing the AIA Guide to New York City, Fifth Edition (Oxford University Press, 2010)

And he is from my home town of Gainesville Florida.

Broadway is not just a street or an Avenue or a Boulevard. It is Broadway with a capital everything. The great White Way, Times Square, Union Square, The Woolworth Building, the Flatiron, the Ansonia. It is a street that defines a city. And what Mr. Leadon has done here is to encapsulate that street in its thirteen miles into the history of a place, a place that everyone in America and most people around the globe can identify with. Through copious research and a map of each mile to keep you centered, the book transports you in time and place and gives you an intimate picture of times forgotten and remembered, buildings that burnt down and were replaced and buildings that weren’t. After you read this book you will have a new understanding of this great city, a city that in good portion defines America.

Matt Young Eat The Apple
April 25, 2018 01:18 PM PDT
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Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of The Avid Reader. Today our guest is Matt Young, author of Eat The Apple, published in February by Bloomsbury. I have interviewed so many people from the Clegg agency and have interviewed Bill himself. He is an amazing agent. [insert books?]

Eat The Apple is not a novel and it is not a diary and it is not a standard narrative of war or of being a soldier. It is not stream of consciousness nor is it a dialogue on war.

It’s more a reliving of a time. A time of Marine training, of three deployments to Iraq, a kind of a dream, a diagram, sometimes in the first person, sometimes in the second, sometimes a picture of Matt’s body and a self-diagnosis of pain, physical and psychic. Sometimes comically.

Whatever it may be, or what you feel it may be, it won’t easily be forgotten.

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