July 18, 2019
Susan Sontag (1933-2004), recorded while on tour for In America, her final novel, recorded March 16, 2000.
An activist, philosopher, novelist and film-maker, Susan Sontag made her mark felt over her long career with several works of fiction and non-fiction.
Interviewers Richard Wolinsky/Richard A. Lupoff.
July 15, 2019
Ha Jin, author of The Banished Immortal, a biography of the eighth century Chinese poet Li Bai (Li Po).
Known as a respected novelist, Ha Jin is tackling biography for the first time, trying to avoid the novelist's ideas about embellishing history. Still, it almost reads like a novel.
July 11, 2019
Barry Lopez, author of Horizon.
From the National Book Award-winning author of the now-classic Arctic Dreams, a vivid, poetic, capacious work that recollects the travels around the world and the encounters–human, animal, and natural–that have shaped an extraordinary life.
July 8, 2019
Steven Saylor, author of Throne of Caesar, just out in trade paper. Steven Saylor’s latest novel takes his detective protagonist, Gordianus the Finder, to the days leading to the assassination of Julius Caesar. In the novel, Gordianus has just been appointed by Caesar to the Roman Senate, and has been tasked by Caesar and by Cicero, to discover if there’s any plot afoot to kill the dictator before he leaves to conquer Parthia.
July 8, 2019
Nancy MacLean, author of Democracy in Chains.
Duke University Professor Nancy MacLean, in researching the life of libertarian professor James Buchanan, discovered the philosophical underpinnings of what Hillary Clinton (almost unknowingly) called the “vast right-wing conspiracy.” Funded by Charles Koch and other donors, they’ve taken over the GOP and have an agenda, she says, that ultimately will allow minority rule in the United States for the forseeable future.
July 1, 2019
Errol Morris, documentary film maker, author of The Ashtray (Or the Man Who Denied Reality).
The noted documentarian (The Thin Blue Line, The Fog of War, the TV series Wormwood) discusses the nature of truth in terms of his argument with a philosopher who believed all truth was subjective.
June 27, 2019
Armistead Maupin, author of the Tales of the City series of books. Recorded June 14, 2007 for the book Michael Tolliver Lives. The Tales of the City series added two more novels for completion, and a new miniseries came to Netflix at the beginning of June, 2019.
June 24, 2019
Simon Winchester, author of The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World.
A master at non-fiction writing, Simon Winchester looks at the difference between precision and accuracy, and at how these two elements helped create the world we see today, from automobiles to cell phones, from microscopes to telescopes.
June 20, 2019
Joseph Heller (1923-1999) author of Catch-22 and its sequel Closing Time. Recorded October 17, 1994. Co-hosts: Richard Wolinsky & Richard A. Lupoff. A new Hulu miniseries has breathed new life into Catch-22, the classic novel about military insanity in World War II that became iconic during the Vietnam era. Heller followed with several novels, including Closing Time, a post-war sequel.
June 17, 2019
David Sedaris, author of Calypso.
This latest collection of essays deals with family life, the death of David Sedaris' sister, and other events. Funny and often moving, his best collection in recent years.
June 13, 2019
Patricia Marx & Roz Chast, authors of Why Don't You Write My Eulogy Now So I Can Correct It?: A Mother's Suggestions.
Drawings in the inimitable style of Roz Chast are paired with New Yorker humor writer Patricia Marx's compendium of her mother's funniest sayings.
June 10, 2019
Giovanna Sardelli, director of Archduke at TheatreWorks Mountain View Center for the Arts thru June 30, 2019.
June 6, 2019
Tony Horwitz (1958-2019), author of Spying on the South.
In the mid-1850s, the future creator of Central Park, Frederick Law Olmstead, traveled down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to the Mexican border, detailing in his writings what he found along the way. In 2014-18, Tony Horwitz followed the same path, finding how life and the environment had changed (and not changed) along the way. A beautiful book. Tony Horwitz died of a heart attack ten days after this interview was recorded.
June 3, 2019
Frank Galati, director of Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco, at ACT Geary Theatre through June 23, 2019.
May 30, 2019
Lisa See, author of The Island of Sea Women.
Jeju Island, off the coast of South Korea, is the site of Lisa See's latest novel, which examines the relationship of two women set inside a matrifocal culture of women divers through the course of the 20th Century.
May 6, 2019
Annette O'Toole, lead actor in the play The Good Book, directed by Lisa Peterson, at Berkeley Rep's Peet's Theatre through June 9, 2019.
May 2, 2019
Richard Powers, author of The Understory, winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, now in trade paperback.
Based on prodigious research, Powers tells of the way trees communicate with one another, and spins stories based on real life confrontations between protestors and those who would destroy the lifeblood of the planet to pay off leveraged debt.
April 29, 2019
Kate Kilbane & Dan Moses, "The Kilbanes," creators and performers of Weightless, at ACT Strand thru May 12, 2019.
April 25, 2019
Cherilyn Parsons, founder and Executive Director, The Bay Area Book Festival, May 4-5, 2019 in downtown Berkeley.
April 22, 2019
George R.R. Martin, before Game of Thrones.
Before he hit it big with A Song of Ice and Fire, George R.R. Martin had already written a handful of novels, and several short stories, and was the force behind the 1980's TV show, Beauty and the Beast. Interviewers: Richard Wolinsky & Richard A. Lupoff, recorded 1991.
April 18, 2019
Dave Eggers, author of The Parade.
The award-winning author of the memoir, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, several novels and essays, Dave Eggers' latest novel is a parable of two contractors hired to build a road in an unnamed third world country.
April 15, 2019
Pre-empted for KPFA 70th Anniversary.
April 11, 2019
John Lanchester, author of the novel, The Wall. Taking place in a future where climate catastrophe has destroyed the world's beaches and refugees are seeking safety, a wall has been built, presumably around England, to safeguard against both the sea and human incursion. A frightening, plausible dystopia by the noted British essayist.
Extended podcast to be posted.
April 8, 2019
Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage, now out in paperback. An American Marriage deals with a marriage torn apart by the unjust arrest and imprisonment of the husband after an accusation by a white woman at a motel, and how both spouses deal with the following few years.
April 4, 2019
Tommy Orange, author of the novel, There, There. Set in Oakland, this acclaimed first novel novel focuses on the lives of urban Native Americans as they converge on a pow-wow in the Oakland Coliseum.
April 1, 2019
The Jungle. Co-director Justin Martin and actor Amman Haj Ahmad discuss the play, The Jungle, at the Curran through May 18, 2019.
March 28, 2019
Kurt Vonnegut, recorded1991. Rebroadcast in honor of the 50th anniversary of the publication of Slaughterhouse-5. Interviewers: Richard Wolinsky & Richard A. Lupoff
March 25, 2019
Falsettos. Interviews with James Lapine, director; William Finn, composer/lyricist; Spencer Liff, choreographer; and Jordan Roth, producer of the musical Falsettos, now at SHN Golden Gate through April 14, 2019
March 21, 2019
Brian Garfield (1939-2018) author of western fiction, Death Wish and Hopscotch. Brian Garfield, who died on December 29, 2018 wrote westerns under several pseudonyms, worked in Hollywood, wrote thrillers and cautionary tales, and wrote non-fiction as well. This interview was recorded in 1983. Interviewers are Richard Wolinsky, Richard A. Lupoff and Lawrence Davidson. Remastered & re-edited in 2019 by Richard Wolinsky.
March 18, 2019
Mfoniso Udofia, playwright, The Ufot Cycle. Her Portmanteau at ACT Strand Theatre through March 31, 2010. In Old Age World Premiere at the Magic starting March 27, 2019.
March 14, 2019
Barry Eisler, author of The Killer Collective.
Barry Eisler spent three years in the CIA before leaving to become a lawyer and novelist. Bringing together his protagonists, an assassin named John Rain and a detective named Livia Lone in one book, he examines the relationship of government to mercenary outsourcing, along with governmental cover-ups.
March 11, 2019
Don Reed, comedian, writer/performer That Don Reed Show at the Marsh, Berkeley through April 28, 2019.
February 18, 2019
Josh Costello, Artistic Director of Aurora Theatre Company starting July 2019.
February 14, 2019
Wes Craven (1930-2015).
The noted director of the Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream series, and other films, and author of the novel Fountain Society. Recorded October, 1999. Interviewers: Richard Wolinsky & Richard A. Lupoff
February 11, 2019
Francine du Plessix Gray (1930-2019)
Author of Them, a family memoir, and contributor to the New Yorker magazine. Them is a fascinating memoir of parents, set against the backdrop of the mid-part of the 20th Century, from World War II through life with the New York intelligentsia in the '50s through '70s. Recorded May, 2005.
February 7, 2019
Ursula K. Le Guin (1929-2018).
Ursula K. Le Guin, who broke the artificial wall between science fiction and literature, died on January 22nd, 2018 at the age of 88. An essayist and poet along with being a fiction writer, she transcended all genres with the quality of her prose and the allegorical nature of her work. Among her best known works are The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, and her fantasy novels set in Earthsea. Interview recorded September 29, 2000 while on tour for the novel The Telling. Hosts: Richard Wolinsky & Richard A. Lupoff.
February 4, 2019
Michael David Lukas, author of The Last Watchman of Old Cairo. The Last Watchman of Old Cairo” tells the story of a family hired a thousand years ago to guard a synagogue in Cairo, and of a secret scroll that may or may not exist. Michael David Lukas is also the author of the novel The Oracle of Stamboul.
January 31, 2019
Joyce Maynard, author of a memoir, The Best of Us.
The author of several novels and multiple memoirs, Joyce Maynard’s latest book deals with her unexpected relationship and marriage in her late fifties, followed shortly thereafter with her husband’s diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. It’s both a love story and a harrowing tale of coping with a fatal disease.
January 28, 2019
Tim Kreider, author of I Wrote This Book Because I Love You. Tim Kreider gained a reputation as a cartoonist in the style of B. Kliban before turning political following the stolen election of 2000 and 9/11. His series, “The Pain — When Will It End?” ran for twelve years in the Baltimore City Paper and other alternative weeklies. His latest collection of essays deals with the personal and the political, and examines such topics as the war on terror, atheism, the circus and other themes.
January 24, 2019
Peter Carey, author of the novel A Long Way from Home.
A Long Way From Home delves into the story of racism in Australia and the oppression of the indigenous aboriginal peoples who inhabited the continent for two centuries before the white man and colonialism arrived. The novel does this by focusing on the Redex, an auto trial which featured a voyage around Australia starting in Sydney.
January 21, 2019
Pam McKinnon, Artistic Director of American Conservatory Theatre (ACT)
January 17, 2019
Carol Channing (1921-2019)
Noted Broadway performer and the iconic star of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Hello, Dolly! on Broadway, and TV personality, and author of Just Lucky I Guess, a memoir. Recorded 2002.
January 14, 2019
Trina Robbins, author of the memoir, Last Girl Standing.
A legend in comic book circles, an artist at a time when hardly any women drew comics, Trina Robbins' latest book, a memoir, “Last Girl Standing,” deals with her life as an artist, author, and clothing designer. She was the first woman to edit a comic book created by women, “It Ain’t Me Babe,” the first woman to draw “Wonder Woman,” and the single most influential historian chronicling the women who created comics and cartoons.
January 10, 2019
Amos Oz (1939-2018), noted Israeli novelist and peace activist, recorded November 2004, author of A Tale of Love and Darkness and forty other books, and perennial Nobel Prize candidate. He died December 28, 2018.
January 7, 2019
Larry Kirwan, creator of the musical Paradise Square, at Berkeley Rep through Feb. 24, 2019. Co-founder of the Irish American band Black 47 and author of five books.
January 3, 2019
Katya Cengel, author of Exiled, From the Killing Fields of Cambodia to California and Back. A look at the plight of Southeast Asian refugees, from their lives under the genocidal watch of the Khmer Rouge to their difficult times in the United States, to the fear and possibility of deportation under ICE.