The New Yorker Radio Hour The New Yorker Radio Hour is a weekly program presented by the magazine's editor, David Remnick, and produced by WNYC Studios and The New Yorker. Each episode features a diverse mix of interviews, profiles, storytelling, and an occasional burst of humor inspired by the magazine, and shaped by its writers, artists, and editors. This isn't a radio version of a magazine, but something all its own, reflecting the rich possibilities of audio storytelling and conversation. Theme music for the show was composed and performed by Merrill Garbus of tUnE-YArDs.
The New Yorker Radio Hour

The New Yorker Radio Hour

From WNYC Radio

The New Yorker Radio Hour is a weekly program presented by the magazine's editor, David Remnick, and produced by WNYC Studios and The New Yorker. Each episode features a diverse mix of interviews, profiles, storytelling, and an occasional burst of humor inspired by the magazine, and shaped by its writers, artists, and editors. This isn't a radio version of a magazine, but something all its own, reflecting the rich possibilities of audio storytelling and conversation. Theme music for the show was composed and performed by Merrill Garbus of tUnE-YArDs.More from The New Yorker Radio Hour »

Most Recent Episodes

Philip Roth's American Portraits and American Prophecy

The novelist and short-story writer Philip Roth died in May at the age of eighty-five. In novels like "Portnoy's Complaint," "The Human Stain," and "American Pastoral," Roth anatomized postwar American life—particularly the lives of Jewish people in the Northeast. And in works like "The Ghost Writer" and "The Plot Against America," he speculated on how the shadow of authoritarianism might fall over the United States. The breadth and depth of Roth's work kept him a vital literary figure throughout the second half of the twentieth century, and established him among the most respected writers of fiction in American history. David Remnick speaks with Roth's official biographer, Blake Bailey, about Roth's life and career. Judith Thurman, Claudia Roth Pierpont, and Lisa Halliday discuss the portrayals of women in Roth's work and the accusations of misogyny that he has faced. And, finally, we hear an interview with the author, from 2003, when he sat down with David Remnick for the BBC. Plus: the actor Liev Schreiber reads excerpts from Roth's fiction.

The Rezneck Riders

The Navajo Nation covers over twenty-seven thousand square miles in Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico; it's an area roughly the size of West Virginia. Vincent Salabye grew up there, in a community troubled by memories of conquest by the United States Army and by persistent poverty, addiction, and despair. To grapple with these hereditary demons, Salabye came up with a novel idea: he hopped on a bike. As a kid, he once rode all the way to Texas and back: almost three thousand miles. "That's my horse," says Vincent. "It takes me places. That's always ingrained in me. That's how my mind-set is, trying to explore the lands that I always grew up on." Now a new crop of cyclists on the Navajo Nation are following Salabye's impulse, and making a new kind of bike riding called Enduro their own. It's a dangerous, difficult, and extremely intense form of high-speed downhill racing. Enduro has given some Navajo men a new way to connect with their ancient tribal lands and to defy the hard prospects and low expectations that too often characterize coming of age on the rez.

Brazil, Bruce Lee, and Black Lives in the Music of Kamasi Washington, and the Uncertain Fu...

Benjamin Wallace-Wells provides a survey of some key midterm races and considers what they tell us about the direction of the Democratic Party. And David Remnick speaks with the saxophonist and bandleader Kamasi Washington. For anyone who thinks of jazz as just classic compositions played in dimly lit clubs, Washington's music will come as a surprise and revelation. His concerts are like dance parties. And his albums draws on influences from Coltrane to Stravinsky to Fela Kuti to N.W.A. His eclectic style has made him a star in the jazz world, and has attracted some high-profile collaborators, including Lauryn Hill, Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar. And the political message of some of his music led one critic to call him "the jazz voice of Black Lives Matter." "The major effect that music has is it connects people," Washington tells David Remnick, "That's kind of the extent of what the music can do. In the end, the world changes as people decide to change."

Brazil, Bruce Lee, and Black Lives in the Music of Kamasi Washington, and the Uncertain Fu...

Love, War, and the Magical Lamb-Brain Sandwiches of Aleppo, Syria

When Adam Davidson was a reporter in Baghdad during the Iraq War, he started dating a fellow-reporter, Jen Banbury, of Salon. On a holiday break, they left the war zone and traveled to Aleppo, Syria—then a beautiful, ancient, bustling city—and, while there, they ate the best sandwiches that they had ever had. They were shockingly good, so much so that Adam and Jen never quite registered what was in them or where they came from. The couple, now married, told this story to many friends over the years, but none was more interested than Dan Pashman, the host of the food podcast "The Sporkful." Fascinated by the mystery, Pashman set out on a quest to find and re-create the sandwiches. He talked to Syrian emigrés, a political refugee, and finally to Imad Serjieh, the owner of the family sandwich shop that bears his last name. Pashman found that the Serjieh sandwiches—preferably the one made with boiled, spiced lamb brain—aren't just a local favorite; they capture the essence of the city, and, as long as they are still being made, Pashman thinks, Aleppo lives. Plus, the writer and monologuist Jenny Allen has something she'd like to say to you—or, rather, some things she'd like you to stop saying. This episode originally aired on November 10, 2017

Tina Brown on Vanity Fair, the Eighties, and Harvey Weinstein

Tina Brown is a legend in New York publishing. She was barely thirty years old when she was recruited from London to take over a foundering Vanity Fair. Take over she did, becoming one of the power centers of New York culture by bringing together the intellectual world and the celebrity world of entertainment. She later brought enormous change to The New Yorker (including, for the first time, photographs); she launched Talk magazine with Harvey Weinstein; and she helped launch the Daily Beast. Her new book, "The Vanity Fair Diaries, 1983-1992" is a kind of coming-of-age story about a pre-Internet era of unruffled ambition, unlimited budgets, big shoulders, big hair, and fabulous parties. Tina Brown tells David Remnick that her experience with Weinstein, as unpleasant as it was—she found the mogul "bullying [and] duplicitous," profane and erratic—did not prepare her for the revelations of brutality and intimidation that have been published in The New Yorker and elsewhere. The experience has shaken her. "I have friends who've been accused of things who I want instinctively to defend, but I've held back," Brown says. "Because I don't know what's coming next. The truth is, you realize you don't really know anybody." Plus, the cartoonist Emily Flake on the joys of Rudy's Bar, where the combo of a shot and a beer costs five bucks. The sense of history and ritual, and the troubles confessed across generations, remind her of church—but at church, Flake points out, "they're not going to let you sit around for six hours and drink." This episode originally aired on November 10, 2017

Naomi Klein Interviewed by Jia Tolentino

The author of "No Logo" and "The Shock Doctrine," Naomi Klein has become what Noam Chomsky was to an earlier generation of leftists. Her theories tie inequality and climate change together, arguing that capitalists use disasters to advance the agenda of neoliberalism. In a conversation with the staff writer Jia Tolentino at the 2017 New Yorker Festival, Klein makes the case that, by embracing billionaire "saviors" like Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg, liberals helped pave the way for Donald Trump. She is clearly a partisan of the left, but she thinks we could all benefit from reflecting on the ways that each of us—on social media, for example—is a little bit Trumpish.

Hasan Minhaj Interviewed by Vinson Cunningham

On a high-school speech-and-debate team, Hasan Minhaj learned the value of a joke: "If I made the judges laugh, I automatically saw an increase in the amount of points that I would get. And so I was like, 'Oh, that's a really powerful tool to get people on your side.' " Now a "Daily Show" correspondent, Minhaj was asked to host the White House Correspondents' Association dinner during the first year of the Trump Administration. "No one wanted to do this," he said. "So, of course, it lands in the hands of an immigrant." But he is increasingly aware of the limits of comedy. After performing at the Moth's story-slam events, he wrote the special "Homecoming King," now on Netflix, which describes the hate crimes that his Indian immigrant family endured after September 11th. He spoke with the staff writer Vinson Cunningham at the 2017 New Yorker Festival. Plus, Yotam Ottolenghi finished a graduate program in philosophy; he tells Jane Kramer why he left it for a life in the kitchen.

Molly Ringwald, Judd Apatow, and #MeToo

The John Hughes films that made Molly Ringwald famous—"Sixteen Candles," "Pretty in Pink," and "The Breakfast Club"—look very different to their star now that she has a teen-age daughter of her own. Speaking with the writer and director Judd Apatow, who was heavily influenced by Hughes, Ringwald says, "I don't want to imagine a world where somebody basically mistreats my daughter and she doesn't expect an apology." But Apatow is well aware that, in time, audiences may judge his own body of work critically: "People will watch it in the future and go, 'Whoa, how did they think that was O.K. to do?' " Plus, Autumn Miles, a survivor of domestic abuse who has become an evangelical activist, says that churches need to stop encouraging women to submit to abuse. If male church leaders are guilty of sexism, she tells Eliza Griswold, they need to "repent."

The Government Took Her Son. Will It Give Him Back?

ICE, which has forcibly separated families in border detention, has put some immigrant children in the care of a separate agency, the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Althougha recent executive order modified the Administration's "zero tolerance" policy of child separation, it said nothing about reuniting the more than two thousand children still in detention with their families. Jonathan Blitzer has reported on the bureaucratic nightmare facing mothers and fathers when the government is unable or unwilling to tell them where their children are. At an ICE facility in El Paso, Blitzer spoke with Ana Maritza Rivera, whose five-year-old son, Jairo, was taken from her. Through sheer luck, she found a case worker who knew his location, but it isn't clear whether the government will reunite them before deporting Rivera to her native Honduras. Blitzer says that Rivera told an official, "If I get to the airport and my son is not there, you'll be killing me." And two crossword-puzzle constructors explain to David Remnick how they are crafting clues for a younger, more diverse audience of "solvers." "I want to see more bands that I like," Kameron Austin Collins says. "I want to see more black people—black people who aren't Jay-Z or Nas, who are common in crossword puzzles because of the letter combinations."

The Comedian Hannah Gadsby Goes Big Time, and Renounces Comedy

Hannah Gadsby is a headlining comedian in Australia, a regular at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and is about to become a very big deal in America with a special on Netflix called "Nanette." It's a full-length comedy show, and at the same time, a carefully structured critique of stand-up comedy. "Nanette" reflects her experiences as an overweight woman, a lesbian, a native of Tasmania, and an adult diagnosed with autism, and addresses subjects as serious as Gadsby's sexual assault.. She tells The New Yorker's Emily Nussbaum that comedy contains a kind of violence, and she might be done with it. Plus: Amanda Petrusich picks three outdoor music festivals worth sweating for.

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