Recommended Reading from NPR Member Stations
Summer 2003 Book Reviews and Author Interviews
Find out what books are being featured and recommended this summer on NPR stations around the country. Listen to stories and reviews about featured books and find out more by viewing the expanded coverage on the member station's Web site.
From member station WNYC in New York, N.Y.
There's a tendency for writers to romanticize childhood. Well, Joshua Furst resists that in his stories told in the voices of different children: children who are struggling with the more awkward parts of growing up, whose lives are both picturesque and troubled. Mr. Furst makes his fiction debut with a book called Short People. Hear Furst talk about his novel with WNYC's Leonard Lopate. Expanded Coverage.
'The Life You Save May Be Your Own'
From Minnesota Public Radio
Paul Elie tells the story of the intersection of four Catholic Americans -- Flannery O'Connor, Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day, and Walker Percy -- who used writing to combat their loneliness and express their faith. He talks to MPR's Tom Crann about the loneliness of writing, which Percy ironically called the "most social of occasions," and the meaning of "pilgrimage" in the title.
From member station WFCR in Amherst, Mass.
Sojourner Truth was born a slave and became an outspoken abolitionist. She is memorialized in a new statue in Florence, Massachusetts, and her life story is told in Truth, a new novel by Jacqueline Sheehan. WFCR's Bob Paquette spoke to Sheehan about her novel. Expanded Coverage.
From member station WBUR in Boston, Mass.
Book critic Harvey Blume says that James Gleick's new biography of Isaac Newton is an elegant look at the reclusive life and prophetic ideas of the seminal thinker. Expanded Coverage.
'First Nights' by Thomas Forrest Kelly
From member station KBAQ in Phoenix, Ariz.
KBAQ's Randy Kinkel reviews this lively book that takes us back to the first performances of five famous musical compositions. Thomas Forrest Kelly sets the scene for each of these premieres, describing the cities in which they took place, the concert halls, audiences and musicians, the sound of the music when it was first performed (often with instruments now extinct), and the popular and critical responses. He explores how performance styles and conditions have changed over the centuries and what music can reveal about the societies that produce it. More reviews from KBAQ.
From member station WSUI in Iowa City, Iowa
Native Indian writer, film maker and satirist Sherman Alexie reads from his latest collection of stories, Ten Little Indians. He reads a story called "Lawyer's League" and talks with the audience and WSUI's Julie Englander.
More book readings from WSUI.
From Minnesota Public Radio
Jeanne Ray says she has spent a lifetime thinking about cake. She has been writing professionally, however, only since the age of 60. She says she got a lot of coaching from her daughter, novelist Ann Patchett. Minnesota Public Radio's Euan Kerr discusses the novel with Ray. Expanded coverage.
'Naked in the Promised Land'
From member station WAMC in Albany, N.Y.
Lillian Faderman, now known for having been a pioneering professor in women's studies and gay and lesbian studies, reveals her astonishing past as a pin-up girl and stripper in her new memoir Naked in the Promised Land. She talks with WAMC's Gretchen Gerzina. Expanded Coverage.