NPR stories about Author Interviews
December 11, 2012 Oprah Winfrey's second pick for her rebooted book club is The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, by first-time novelist Ayana Mathis. It's a chronicle of the Great Migration of African-Americans leaving the rural South, following a family matriarch who leaves Georgia to start a new life in Philadelphia.
December 10, 2012 In Who Could That Be at This Hour?, a prequel to A Series of Unfortunate Events, Daniel Handler satirizes pulp mysteries and uncovers the parallels between detective fiction and childhood. In both, he says, an outsider is trying to make his way in a mysteriously corrupt world.
December 9, 2012 Justin Lee grew up in a Southern Baptist family. At age 18, he came out to his family and church, who had trouble accepting him as a gay man. Lee later started the Gay Christian Network to encourage a dialogue between gay Christians, their families and their churches. His new book is Torn.
December 9, 2012 Author Sebastian Faulks says all of the characters in his new novel, A Possible Life, "struggle with the idea of selfhood, and who they are and identity." The novel weaves together five separate stories, jumping centuries and locations, and Faulks compares them to movements in a symphony.
December 4, 2012 North Korea remains one of the most isolated and repressive countries in the world. Each year, a brave few attempt an escape to freedom through China. In Escape from North Korea, writer Melanie Kirkpatrick tells the harrowing personal stories of North Korean defectors and their quest for freedom.
December 4, 2012 In his new book, author and oenophile Paul Lukacs traces the 8,000-year history of our original alcoholic beverage — from ancient times, when wine was believed to be of divine origin, to the sauvignon blanc you find in your supermarket today.
December 3, 2012 In his new novel, The Testament of Mary, Irish author Colm Toibin imagines Mary's life 20 years after the crucifixion, as she wonders what she might have done differently to ease her son's suffering. "I felt that I was Mary," he says. "I was her consciousness, watching the thing happening."
December 2, 2012 There are songs, and then there are anthems. Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" is a popular power anthem now, but almost never saw light of day. In his new book, music journalist Alan Light charts the unlikely rise of the song through countless weddings, funerals and in film and television.
December 1, 2012 Paul Young wrote his first book, The Shack, as a story to share with family and friends about faith and redemption. He printed 15 copies at an Office Depot but has gone on to sell 18 million copies. Now he's written a new book, this time for the world, about faith and transformation.
December 1, 2012 "Ours is not a bloodline, but a text line," say father-daughter author team Amos Oz and Fania Oz-Salzberger. Their new book, Jews And Words, explores the significance of text in the Jewish tradition. "For thousands of years, we Jews had nothing but books," Oz says. "They became part of the family life."
November 29, 2012 Somalia hasn't had a functioning central government for more than 20 years. But journalist Mary Harper says its image as a failed state is misleading. She argues that, even without a central government, businesses and local politics have found a way to flourish. Host Michel Martin talks with Mary Harper about her new book, Getting Somalia Wrong?
November 27, 2012 When Parton told her high-school classmates that she planned to go to Nashville and become a star, the whole class burst into laughter. In her book Dream More, Parton explains the principles behind her success and describes how she became one of the best-selling recording artists of all time.