Thomas McGuane, the celebrated (and sometimes notorious) writer of such books as The Sporting Club and 92 in the Shade has just published his first novel in 10 years. It's a bit different for a guy best-known as a "man's writer." The protagonist of The Cadence of Grass is a woman. William Marcus of Montana Public Radio reports. (7:15)
The Cadence of Grass is published by Knopf.
Lost and Found
Liane Hansen talks to Eliza Gilkyson about her new CD, Lost and Found. Gilkyson has spent 30 years in the music business, and the CD reflects her long experience as a songwriter. There is a song written for her father, who was also a songwriter, and the album closes with a hymn-like piece, "Riverside," that reflects the turn of the millennium and Sept. 11. (7:30)
The CD is on Red House Records. Catalog # RHR CD 162. See www.elizagilkyson.com.
Music critic David Greenberger reviews Blood Money and Alice, two new releases -- with different sounds -- from singer-songwriter Tom Waits. (3:30)
The CDs are 2002 releases on the Anti records label. Blood Money, Catalog #86629-2 and Alice, Catalog # #86632-2. See http://www.anti.com/tom.php.
John Mayer Makes Room for Squares
Singer/songwriter/guitarist John Mayer creates well-crafted, guitar-driven pop songs, and he's earned a loyal fan base by touring constantly -- and by making songs available on the Web. He talks with All Things Considered guest host Liane Hansen about writing songs, his major-label debut Room for Squares, and becoming a reluctant rock 'n' roll star. (8:00)
John Mayer's Room for Squares is available on Aware/Columbia Records.
The Seal Wife
Alan Cheuse reviews a new novel by Kathryn Harrison called the Seal Wife. It's a story set in 1915 Alaska. (2:00)
The book is published by Random House.
Milk of the Moon
Music critic Meredith Ochs reviews Milk of the Moon, the latest CD from singer/songwriter Greg Brown. (3:15)
The CD is on Red House Records.
Swimming to the Other Side
Music commentator Marika Partridge reports on singer Pat Humphries and an extraordinary song. Humphries isn't well-known outside folk music circles, but Swimming to the Other Side is becoming something of an underground anthem. Listen to three versions of the song online, and hear what Humphries fan Pete Seeger has to say about it. (10:00)
The song is on a CD called Hands, and Pat's website is www.pathumphries.com.
Poet and teacher Gregory Pardlo reviews a new book of poetry from Major Jackson, Leaving Saturn. (2:15)
The book is published by University of Georgia Press.
Music critic Tom Moon reviews the new CD from Bobby McFerrin, Beyond Words. (3:45)
The album is on the Blue Note label. See www.bobbymcferrin.com/home.html.
Nick Mirov reviews the latest release from San Francisco singer-songwriter John Vanderslice. It's his third album, entitled Life and Death of an American Fourtracker. (3:30)
This album is available through Barsuk records, www.barsuk.com or www.johnvanderslice.com.
Gould's Book of Fish
Tom Vitale brings us the story behind the latest novel by Tasmanian author Richard Flanagan. The book, Gould's Book of Fish, a Novel in 12 Fish, is based on the journal of a William Gould, a 19th century convict doing time in a penal colony in colonial Australia. (8:00)
The publisher is Grove/Atlantic.
Fool Me Good
Meredith Ochs reviews Fool Me Good. It's the first
album by Georgia country blues singer Precious Bryant. (4:00)
Fool Me Good is on Terminus Records (ASIN: B00005UF3W) See
The Incantation of Frida K.
Alan Cheuse reviews a novel from Kate Braverman, called The Incantation of Frida K., based on the life of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. (2:15)
It's published by Seven Stories Press.
The Turk: The Life and Times of the Famous Eighteenth-Century Chess-Playing Machine
Robert talks with Tom Standage, author of The Turk: The Life and Times of the Famous Eighteenth-Century Chess-Playing Machine. The book chronicles the invention of a chess-playing machine made by a Hungarian nobleman in 1769. He says the invention spurred the invention of the power loom and the computer. (5:15)
The CD Mondo Platinum is a collection of artists from around and it has sold millions. It was put together by Miles Copeland and features songs from areas including Burundi, Algeria Greece and Italy. Liane Hansen talks with Copeland about the new album. (8:00)
Mondo Platinum is on Mondo Melodia Records. Artists featured in this story were: Notis Sfakianakis, the song "Gypsy Day" from Greece; Zucchero, the song "II Volo" from Italy; Khadja Nin, the song "Mama," from Burundi.
Tom Manoff has a review of the CD Reflections of Spain, featuring Spanish music for guitar, played by David Russell. Manoff thinks Russell, who is in fact Scottish not Spanish, plays with a natural elegance, passionate but never over the top. (5:00)
The CD label is TELARC.
As winter turned to spring this year, reviewer Alan Cheuse was reading a sort of cold-weather novel set off the coast of Alaska called 2182 kHz, by David Masiel . (3:00)
The publisher is Random House.
Sally Semrad's Alt-Country Road Trip
Texas native Sally Semrad always dreamed of being a musician. So several years ago, she packed up her red guitar and moved to Los Angeles to follow that dream. Her debut CD Left of Me is a fusion of Texas-style country and California roots-rock. Listen to tracks from the CD, and hear her conversation with All Things Considered guest host Liane Hansen. (8:00)
The CD is on Stanley Recordings, available from http://cdbaby.com. More information about Sally Semrad is at http://stanleyrecordings.com.
David Greenberger reviews When I Was Cruel by Elvis Costello. He says the album bristles with sonic energy that harkens back to the early days of Costello's career, when he was branded an angry young rocker. But these songs are informed by middle age, mature self-awareness and bitter experience. (4:30)
The CD is from Island Records. See http://www.islandrecords.com/elviscostello/home.las.
In Our Gun
The British band Gomez is back with a new album after a two-year touring and recording hiatus. Gomez has captured the Mercury Prize, the U.K. equivalent of a Grammy. But most people in the United States aren't familiar with the folky, electronic blend of rock music. Rico Gagliano has a review of the band's new CD, In Our Gun. (3:30)
Gomez, In Our Gun. Virgin Records, 2002.
The Bleeding of the Stone
Reviewer Alan Cheuse tells us about a book by Ibrahim al-Koni, Libya's leading novelist, that has just been published in English. It is called The Bleeding of the Stone. It was originally published in Arabic in 1990. (2:15)
The publisher is Interlink. The book is translated by May Jayyusi and Christopher Tingley.
Hoagy Carmichael: A Life in Melody
If Cole Porter and George Gershwin provided a soundtrack for the city, then Hoagy Carmichael was the voice of America's heartland. A new Carmichael biography and song collection -- both called Stardust Melody -- lead a resurgence of interest in the prolific songwriter's work. Sing along Wednesday on All Things Considered (10:15) Expanded coverage
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Alan Cheuse's Book Review for 2001
Alan Cheuse's Summer Reading List
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