A Novel Idea Non-fiction to pulp fiction, host Suzanne M. Lang explores the world of books featuring conversations with writers, academics, and readers. We all have a story to tell. It's A Novel Idea.

A Novel Idea


Non-fiction to pulp fiction, host Suzanne M. Lang explores the world of books featuring conversations with writers, academics, and readers. We all have a story to tell. It's A Novel Idea.More from A Novel Idea »

Most Recent Episodes

Thais Nye Derich, Cathy Langlois – July 30, 2017

Suzanne M. Lang talks with Thais Nye Derich about her path of self-examination and learning to discover that she, like many other women, was a victim of the medical establishment that denied her the human right of birthing her own child. Second Chance, A Mother's Quest for a Natural Birth after Cesarean is not just a book about childbirth, but about control over our own lives and simply, about being human. Also featured is a conversation with Cathy Langlois, director of the Spirit Horse Center in Northern California who has written Enlighten Up, Practical Wisdom & Spiritual Guidance for an Imperfect World.

Daniel Pyne, Stephan Mack Jones – July 2, 2017

Neo-noir and crime fiction with Suzanne Lang in conversation with Daniel Pyne, screenwriter, show runner of Amazon's hit drama Bosch, and author of Catalina Eddy, a Novel in Three Decades. Suzanne also talks with poet and playwright Stephen Mack Jones, who has published his first novel, a crime thriller set in Detroit, August Snow.

Shanti Sekaran, Shelby Londyn-Heath – June 4, 2017

A Novel Idea features two novelists, whose books couldn't be more different. Both write about the challenges of difference, of motherhood, and of finding stability in a sometimes-hostile world. Shanti Sekaran brings us Lucky Boy, the saga of two women, strangers and cultures apart, whose lives are connected through the life of an infant boy. Shelby Londyn-Heath has written The Twilight Tsunami, a raw, funny, and hard-hitting account of the lives of people involved in the child welfare system.

Gary Soto, Gerald Haslam – May 7, 2017

Encore presentation of a 2013 broadcast features Suzanne Lang in conversation with author and poet Gary Soto and Rosemary Manchester talking with Gerald Haslam on the publication of his work In Thought and Action: The Enigmatic Life of S. I. Hayakawa. These are two writers with deep roots in California's Central Valley.

Jonah Raskin, Thomas E Cochrane – April 30, 2017

Prolific author and curious man, Jonah Raskin joins Suzanne M. Lang in conversation on his book A Terrible Beauty: the Wilderness of American Literature, which examines American literature through the lens of our contemporary environmental crisis. Suzanne also talks with with geologist Thomas E Cochrane, whose book Shaping the Sonoma-Mendocino Coast: Exploring the Coastal Geography of Northern California is a travel guide as much as a primer in plate tectonics. Something to consider when planning a roadtrip up the California coast.

Heather Lyn Mann – April 3, 2017

15,000 nautical miles, six years, and a world of insight ....Heather Lyn Mann joins Suzanne Lang in conversation about Heather's journey as expressed in her chronicle of her life's journey sailing around the Atlantic, Ocean of Insight, a Sailor's Voyage from Despair to Hope. The book is gripping, funny, and rewards with Heather's reflection on being human on a suffering planet.

Jessica Teich, Cathy Wild – March 5, 2017

A Novel Idea with Suzanne M. Lang features Jessica Teich with her memoir The Future Tense of Joy. A Rhodes Scholar, Teich happens upon an obituary of a fellow Rhodes Scholar who took her own life by jumping out a hotel window, which leads Jessica on a transformative journey. Also featured is Cathy Wild, whose book Wild Ideas: Creativity from the Inside Out uses personal stories and analysis of her own life to identify difficult to articulate concepts of identity, suffering, gratitude, and health.

Paul H.B. Shin, Wendy E. Simmons – February 5, 2017

Elite North Koreans struggle to protect themselves and their families in the face of a paraonoid, tyrannical regime in award winning journalist, Paul H.B. Shin's espionage thriller, Half Life. Suzanne M. Lang talks with Shin about the novel, set in 1997, during the period when famine was devastating North Korea and there were a series of high profile defections. Suzanne talks with Wendy E. Simmons, whose travel memoir, My Holiday in North Korea: the Funniest/Worst Place on Earth chronicles her recent visit to this strange country: a trip that blew her mind in ways she did not anticipate.

Jonah Raskin, Alison Owings, Elena Ferrante – January 29, 2017

This encore presentation features Rosemary Manchester in conversation with Jonah Raskin on his book James McGrath: The Life and Times of an Extraordinary American Teacher, Mentor, Cultural Ambassador, and Pedagogical Pilgrim: in a Class by Himself. Manchester also talks with Alison Owings on her oral-history Indian Voices: Listening to Native Americans. Plus, Barbara Quick reviews Italian author Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend.

Elaine Khosrova, Barbara Doud Wright – January 1, 2017

This edition A Novel Idea with Suzanne Lang features two authors who go deep into our cultural histories and help us understand where we've come from and where we are through some darn good story telling. Elaine Khosrova has written a book about Butter, and not just on how to make a good hollandaise sauce. Butter is one of our oldest foods and she describes for us the wonder to the palette of yak butter made in the old ways, along with the role butter has played spiritually, medicinally, and as an important food, for thousands of years. Barabara Doud Wright, whose deep family history inspired An Awakening Heart a fictional retelling of the Moravian Brethren who settled this continent at a most formative time in our nation's history, has just published An Irish Tale, inspired by her Irish roots on the other side of the family. It's a lyrical imagining of the young life of St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, and the Pagan woman who loved and healed him.

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