Lit Podcasts: 9/2/10: John Williams, Adam Langer, James Mauro, Ayelet Waldman

Leonard Lopate and Morris Dickstein, Distinguished Professor of English and Theatre at the CUNY Graduate Center, discusses John Williams: author of the 1965 novel, Stoner.

Novelist Adam Langer talks about his latest work, The Thieves of Manhattan, which serves as: a comical literary caper, an exploration of authenticity and fakery, and a tribute to books.

James Mauro discusses the 1939 World’s Fair, which took place at an important turning point for America—the window of time between the Great Depression and World War II (at Leonard Lopate).

Ayelet Waldman talks about her latest novel, Red Hook Road. (at Leonard Lopate)

This is a little old, but interesting. Colin Marshall (mp3) talks to Chris Wickham, Chichele Professor of Medieval History at Oxford University, Fellow of All Souls College and author of The Inheritance of Rome: A History of Europe from 400 to 1000, the latest in Penguin’s sprawling History of Europe series.

Lit Podcasts 8/27/10: David Mitchell, John Brandon, Louis Couperus, Yasunari Kawabata, Martin Amis

A short list this week. It seems like I listened to more than these.

David Mitchell on Bookworm from KCRW. This is one of his best interviews in the recent past.

A little old but interesting: Todd Shimoda on the Marketplace of Ideas.

John Brandon on his novel Citrus Country at the Leonard Lopate Show

Leonard Lopate discusses Louis Couperus

Leonard Lopate discusses Yasunari Kawabata

Martin Amis talks with Leonard Lopate

Flannery O’Connor Discussed on Leonard Lopate and NYRB

A new biography of Flannery O’Connor has led to a lengthy review of the book and an appraisal of her work by Joyce Carol Oates in the New York Review of Books, and an interview on the Leonard Lopate Show with the author of the book. Both are quite interesting for anyone who has enjoyed her works.

From Oates’ intro:

Short stories, for all the dazzling diversity of the genre, are of two general types: those that yield their meanings subtly, quietly, and are as nuanced and delicate and without melodrama as the unfolding of miniature blossoms in Japanese chrysanthemum tea, and those that explode in the reader’s face. Flannery O’Connor (1925–1964) came of age in a time when subtlety and “atmosphere” in short stories were fashionable—as in the finely wrought, understated stories of such classic predecessors as Anton Chekhov, Henry James, and James Joyce, and such American contemporaries as Katherine Anne Porter, Eudora Welty, Peter Taylor, and Jean Stafford.

But O’Connor’s plainspoken, blunt, comic-cartoonish, and flagrantly melodramatic short stories were anything but fashionable. The novelty of her “acidly comic tales with moral and religious messages”—as Brad Gooch puts it in his new life of O’Connor—lay in their frontal assault upon the reader’s sensibility: these were not refined New Yorker stories of the era in which nothing happens except inside characters’ minds, but stories in which something happens of irreversible magnitude, often death by violent means.