History
Icon-add-to-playlist Icon-download Icon-drawer-up
Share this ... ×
...
By ...
Embed:
Copy
Jessica Shattuck The Women in the Castle
April 12, 2017 11:50 AM PDT
itunes pic

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of The Avid Reader. Today we are happy to have with us Jessica Shattuck author of The Women In the Castle published in March by William Morrow.

Jessica’s previous work includes her novel The Hazards of Good Breeding, a NYT Notable Book.

Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Glamour and many other periodicals.

Her non-fiction has appeared in the Times, Mother Jones, Wired and the Globe.

The Women In The Castle explores the lives of three survivors of Hitler’s Germany.

Marianne, Benita and Ania.

Marianne is the natural leader. A righteous woman bound by a promise made to a hero, a man who wished to see his country remain a free and just one who decides to attempt to assassinate Adolph Hitler. An attempt that failed and that led to his hanging as well as Albrecht’s, Marianne’s husband and hundreds of others including Ania’s husband as well.

Now Marianne is responsible for bringing the women and their children together to her castle where they attempt to rebuild lives. An attempt that also fails in part, fails in part because it is an enormous task but also because each of the women, just like each of us, is not necessarily what they seem or what we expect them to be.

This dynamic drives the novel and pushes and pulls us many ways at once. Jessica places the reader in a precarious position (always a good thing) where we have to work out for ourselves who is right, who is wrong, who is absolved and who isn’t, who is on the right side of things.

The novel is emboldened and elevated by the dilemmas it poses to us but it is also driven forward with sheer energy and a story that captivates from the Prologue to the epilogue.

1Q1A Jessica Shattuck The Women in the Castle
April 12, 2017 11:49 AM PDT
itunes pic

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of The Avid Reader. Today we are happy to have with us Jessica Shattuck author of The Women In the Castle published in March by William Morrow.

Jessica’s previous work includes her novel The Hazards of Good Breeding, a NYT Notable Book.

Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Glamour and many other periodicals.

Her non-fiction has appeared in the Times, Mother Jones, Wired and the Globe.

The Women In The Castle explores the lives of three survivors of Hitler’s Germany.

Marianne, Benita and Ania.

Marianne is the natural leader. A righteous woman bound by a promise made to a hero, a man who wished to see his country remain a free and just one who decides to attempt to assassinate Adolph Hitler. An attempt that failed and that led to his hanging as well as Albrecht’s, Marianne’s husband and hundreds of others including Ania’s husband as well.

Now Marianne is responsible for bringing the women and their children together to her castle where they attempt to rebuild lives. An attempt that also fails in part, fails in part because it is an enormous task but also because each of the women, just like each of us, is not necessarily what they seem or what we expect them to be.

This dynamic drives the novel and pushes and pulls us many ways at once. Jessica places the reader in a precarious position (always a good thing) where we have to work out for ourselves who is right, who is wrong, who is absolved and who isn’t, who is on the right side of things.

The novel is emboldened and elevated by the dilemmas it poses to us but it is also driven forward with sheer energy and a story that captivates from the Prologue to the epilogue.

Michael Sims Arthur and Sherlock
April 05, 2017 11:55 AM PDT
itunes pic

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of The Avid Reader. Today our guest is our old friend Michael Sims, who we haven’t seen in a while but who has visited us in the past to discuss such arcane topics as The Story of Charlotte’s Web and Victorian Women in Crime.

This week we’ll be talking with Michael about Sherlock Holmes and his literary father Arthur Conan Doyle. The book is Arthur and Sherlock: Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes.

Michael has also written the award winning Adam’s Navel, The Adventures of Henry Thoreau and so many others. Many of which deal with the classics and Victorian Literature.

Arthur and Sherlock gives us a well rounded and entertaining explanation of the reasons behind the creation of Holmes and his first appearance in A Study in Scarlet.

I started reading Sherlock when I was 12, as did Michael, but for those who may be late comers or unfamiliar with Sherlock, you’ll be fascinated to learn about Arthur’s early years and the many influences that led to the creation of the world’s most renowned detective.

From Arthur’s medical school professor Dr. Joseph Bell, to Edgar Allen Poe’s detective Dupin.

As we read we begin to understand the creation of Holmes, down to his very name and we get a much better picture of this fascinating creature that still seems to appear on the silver screen annually and whose very name connotes so much to us and for that matter to every school child.

1Q1A Michael Sims Arthur and Sherlock
April 05, 2017 11:53 AM PDT
itunes pic

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of The Avid Reader. Today our guest is our old friend Michael Sims, who we haven’t seen in a while but who has visited us in the past to discuss such arcane topics as The Story of Charlotte’s Web and Victorian Women in Crime.

This week we’ll be talking with Michael about Sherlock Holmes and his literary father Arthur Conan Doyle. The book is Arthur and Sherlock: Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes.

Michael has also written the award winning Adam’s Navel, The Adventures of Henry Thoreau and so many others. Many of which deal with the classics and Victorian Literature.

Arthur and Sherlock gives us a well rounded and entertaining explanation of the reasons behind the creation of Holmes and his first appearance in A Study in Scarlet.

I started reading Sherlock when I was 12, as did Michael, but for those who may be late comers or unfamiliar with Sherlock, you’ll be fascinated to learn about Arthur’s early years and the many influences that led to the creation of the world’s most renowned detective.

From Arthur’s medical school professor Dr. Joseph Bell, to Edgar Allen Poe’s detective Dupin.

As we read we begin to understand the creation of Holmes, down to his very name and we get a much better picture of this fascinating creature that still seems to appear on the silver screen annually and whose very name connotes so much to us and for that matter to every school child.

Colum McCann Letters to a Young Writer
April 04, 2017 06:57 AM PDT
itunes pic

Good Afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of The Avid Reader. Today we are happy to have as our guest Colum McCann. Colum has written Letters to a Young Writer: Some Practical and Philosophical Advice, published earlier this month by Random House.

Colum is the award winning internationally bestselling author of Let The Great World Spin, Zoli, Dancer, This Side of Brightness and Songdogs. He teaches at the MFA program at Hunter College.

Letters is just that, a series of missives to an imaginary young writer who may be confused, excited, forlorn, and unsure. But she knows she wants to write and nothing can stop her.

If a dilettante, a scribbler like me picks up this book, one will will gain enormous knowledge and write better but in order to take the fullest and really only advantage of this book, you must be a writer. That is, you wake up in the morning and you have to write.

Letters pushes you, guides and goads you and most oftentimes inspires you and notwithstanding Rilke’s saying that “nobody can advise you and help you, nobody”, there is advice here and there is guidance.

There is a certain Zen like quality to the book. A kind of this isn’t going to make you a better writer but try doing this anyway. Kind of like mediation. Nothing happens.

Without meandering too much, as I am wont to do, let’s just say that this is a good book for a young writer to carry around, to underline, to dog-ear, to Google the epigraphs at the head of each chapter. To read while writing. To write while reading.

1Q1A Colum McCann Letters to a Young Writer
April 04, 2017 06:55 AM PDT
itunes pic

Good Afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of The Avid Reader. Today we are happy to have as our guest Colum McCann. Colum has written Letters to a Young Writer: Some Practical and Philosophical Advice, published earlier this month by Random House.

Colum is the award winning internationally bestselling author of Let The Great World Spin, Zoli, Dancer, This Side of Brightness and Songdogs. He teaches at the MFA program at Hunter College.

Letters is just that, a series of missives to an imaginary young writer who may be confused, excited, forlorn, and unsure. But she knows she wants to write and nothing can stop her.

If a dilettante, a scribbler like me picks up this book, one will will gain enormous knowledge and write better but in order to take the fullest and really only advantage of this book, you must be a writer. That is, you wake up in the morning and you have to write.

Letters pushes you, guides and goads you and most oftentimes inspires you and notwithstanding Rilke’s saying that “nobody can advise you and help you, nobody”, there is advice here and there is guidance.

There is a certain Zen like quality to the book. A kind of this isn’t going to make you a better writer but try doing this anyway. Kind of like mediation. Nothing happens.

Without meandering too much, as I am wont to do, let’s just say that this is a good book for a young writer to carry around, to underline, to dog-ear, to Google the epigraphs at the head of each chapter. To read while writing. To write while reading.

Paul La Farge The Night Ocean
April 03, 2017 06:37 AM PDT
itunes pic

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

Today we are happy to have with us Paul La Farge author of The Night Ocean, published just last month by Penguin.

Paul also wrote The Artist of the Missing, Haussmann, or the Distinction, Luminous Airplanes and The Facts of Winter.

He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Bard Fiction Prize and a fellowship from the NY Foundation of the Arts as well as one from the NEA.

The Night Ocean is a novel that comes in many parts. At first I thought I would be reading about the life of Marina Willett a psychiatrist and then I thought that the book would veer into the narrative of Charlie, Marina’s husband who has escaped from a mental hospital, perhaps to have drowned. But then I realized that we would be delving into the life and legend of H.P. Lovecraft, perhaps the most cultish sci-fi fantasy writer of all time. Before long though I realized that Lovecraft’s’ erstwhile protégé and literary executor Robert Barlow would be the subject of my studies. Finally another character enters and upends my understanding of all that has gone before. But in a good way.

Along the way I get to revisit my ancient relationship with William Burroughs and my childhood fondest memories with Ursula LeGuin.

Joining them is a host of other REAL LIFE characters, Isaac Asimov (one of my heroes) Edward R. Murrow, Charles Fort, Lord Dunsany, Gilbert and Sullivan, Fritz Leiber, Robert Bloch, Frida Kahlo, Frederick Pohl.

All in all, The Night Ocean sucks us into a world we may have been familiar with or perhaps not but by the ending, which is as enticing as the beginning, we are a little better for revisiting a man, a time and a set of circumstances that make us a little wiser.

1Q1A Paul La Farge The Night Ocean
April 03, 2017 06:36 AM PDT
itunes pic

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

Today we are happy to have with us Paul La Farge author of The Night Ocean, published just last month by Penguin.

Paul also wrote The Artist of the Missing, Haussmann, or the Distinction, Luminous Airplanes and The Facts of Winter.

He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Bard Fiction Prize and a fellowship from the NY Foundation of the Arts as well as one from the NEA.

The Night Ocean is a novel that comes in many parts. At first I thought I would be reading about the life of Marina Willett a psychiatrist and then I thought that the book would veer into the narrative of Charlie, Marina’s husband who has escaped from a mental hospital, perhaps to have drowned. But then I realized that we would be delving into the life and legend of H.P. Lovecraft, perhaps the most cultish sci-fi fantasy writer of all time. Before long though I realized that Lovecraft’s’ erstwhile protégé and literary executor Robert Barlow would be the subject of my studies. Finally another character enters and upends my understanding of all that has gone before. But in a good way.

Along the way I get to revisit my ancient relationship with William Burroughs and my childhood fondest memories with Ursula LeGuin.

Joining them is a host of other REAL LIFE characters, Isaac Asimov (one of my heroes) Edward R. Murrow, Charles Fort, Lord Dunsany, Gilbert and Sullivan, Fritz Leiber, Robert Bloch, Frida Kahlo, Frederick Pohl.

All in all, The Night Ocean sucks us into a world we may have been familiar with or perhaps not but by the ending, which is as enticing as the beginning, we are a little better for revisiting a man, a time and a set of circumstances that make us a little wiser.

Dan Chaon Ill Will
March 22, 2017 11:28 AM PDT
itunes pic

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of The Avid Reader. Today our guest is Dan Chain SHAWN, author of Ill Will, published in March by Ballantine.

Dan’s other works include the short story collection Stay Awake, the best seller Await Your Reply and Among The Missing a finalist for the National Book Award. Dan’s work has appeared in Best American Short Stories and the O. Henry Prize Stories. Dan teaches at Oberlin.

Ill Will is a book that if you go by all the reviews will scare the hell out of you. And after having read it, I would agree with a minor caveat. I didn’t feel like locking the doors, or worry that the creak on the tread was an intruder come to abduct and do terrible things to me. No I was more nervous about myself. What was I going to to? The book forces you to question some of your own preconceptions about the construct that you find yourself in. You know, the personality that you created for yourself a long time ago. If you don’t watch out the book can create slight chinks in the armor that you have hammered to make your live more livable, more normal. And these are things that are really scary. Because you can lock your doors, you can fight off an intruder or call the police but you can’t tell your self to change real quick or to ignore warnings that may have at once been on the horizon but are now approaching in a storm, sails billowing and flags flying.

In Ill Will, our protagonist is Dustin Tillman. He’s been through a lot but he has handled it with less than aplomb. Maybe he could have done things differently. He’s consumed with grief, uncertain of his place in the universe, estranged from his sons, caught in a web of murder and possible deceit and looking for a way to make things make sense (when that is what he is supposed to be doing for others) all while his universe emits this cosmic afterglow of ill will.

Writing this introduction has even made me a little nervous. So with that welcome Dan and thanks so much for joining us today.

1Q1A Dan Chaon Ill Will
March 22, 2017 11:27 AM PDT
itunes pic

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of The Avid Reader. Today our guest is Dan Chain SHAWN, author of Ill Will, published in March by Ballantine.

Dan’s other works include the short story collection Stay Awake, the best seller Await Your Reply and Among The Missing a finalist for the National Book Award. Dan’s work has appeared in Best American Short Stories and the O. Henry Prize Stories. Dan teaches at Oberlin.

Ill Will is a book that if you go by all the reviews will scare the hell out of you. And after having read it, I would agree with a minor caveat. I didn’t feel like locking the doors, or worry that the creak on the tread was an intruder come to abduct and do terrible things to me. No I was more nervous about myself. What was I going to to? The book forces you to question some of your own preconceptions about the construct that you find yourself in. You know, the personality that you created for yourself a long time ago. If you don’t watch out the book can create slight chinks in the armor that you have hammered to make your live more livable, more normal. And these are things that are really scary. Because you can lock your doors, you can fight off an intruder or call the police but you can’t tell your self to change real quick or to ignore warnings that may have at once been on the horizon but are now approaching in a storm, sails billowing and flags flying.

In Ill Will, our protagonist is Dustin Tillman. He’s been through a lot but he has handled it with less than aplomb. Maybe he could have done things differently. He’s consumed with grief, uncertain of his place in the universe, estranged from his sons, caught in a web of murder and possible deceit and looking for a way to make things make sense (when that is what he is supposed to be doing for others) all while his universe emits this cosmic afterglow of ill will.

Writing this introduction has even made me a little nervous. So with that welcome Dan and thanks so much for joining us today.

Next Page