Great Podversations Great Podversations features nationally-recognized writers in conversation. These candid discussions invite the listener to learn about literature, politics, history, economics, science, and culture through the voices of compelling authors and experts. NPR's Robert Siegel introduces each pair of fascinating guests. Great Podversations is produced by the University of Louisville Kentucky Author Forum, and distributed by Louisville Public Media. For more information and podcast show notes, please visit kentuckyauthorforum.com
Great Podversations

Great Podversations

From 89.3 WFPL News Louisville

Great Podversations features nationally-recognized writers in conversation. These candid discussions invite the listener to learn about literature, politics, history, economics, science, and culture through the voices of compelling authors and experts. NPR's Robert Siegel introduces each pair of fascinating guests. Great Podversations is produced by the University of Louisville Kentucky Author Forum, and distributed by Louisville Public Media. For more information and podcast show notes, please visit kentuckyauthorforum.com

Most Recent Episodes

Geraldine Brooks and Gal Beckerman

Author Geraldine Brooks discusses her book "Horse: A Novel" with journalist Gal Beckerman. Geraldine Brooks grew up in Australia and became a journalist with The Sydney Morning Herald, and later with The Wall Street Journal. Brooks was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction in 2006 for her novel "March." Many of her novels and nonfiction books have been New York Times bestsellers. Her first novel, "Year of Wonders," is an international bestseller, translated into more than 25 languages. In 2016, Brooks was named an Officer in the Order of Australia. Gal Beckerman is an author and the senior editor for books at The Atlantic. Before joining The Atlantic, Beckerman was an editor at The New York Times Book Review for six years. He also served as the opinion editor at the Forward newspaper and a staff editor and writer at the Columbia Journalism Review. Beckerman's writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The New Republic, and Bookforum. His first book, "When They Come for Us We'll Be Gone," was chosen as a book of the year by The New Yorker and The Washington Post.

Keri Blakinger and Piper Kerman

Author Keri Blakinger discusses her book, "Corrections in Ink: A Memoir" with writer Piper Kerman. Keri Blakinger is an investigative reporter based in Texas, covering criminal justice and injustice for The Marshall Project. She previously worked for the Houston Chronicle and her writing has appeared in the New York Daily News, the BBC, VICE, and The New York Times. Blakinger was a member of the Houston Chronicle's Pulitzer-finalist team in 2018, and her 2019 coverage of women's jails for The Washington Post Magazine helped earn a National Magazine Award. Piper Kerman is the author of the memoir "Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison." The book has been adapted by Jenji Kohan into an Emmy Award-winning original series for Netflix, which ran for seven seasons. Kerman collaborates with nonprofits, and philanthropies, and serves on the board of directors of the Women's Prison Association. She is also on the advisory boards of the PEN America Writing for Justice Fellowship, InsideOUT Writers, Healing Broken Circles, and JustLeadershipUSA.

Anna Quindlen and Amy Bloom

Author Anna Quindlen and writer Amy Bloom discuss Quindlen's book "Write for Your Life." Anna Quindlen is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, novelist, and opinion columnist. She is the best-selling author of nine novels, including "Every Last One," and "Still Life with Bread Crumbs." Her memoir "Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake", published in 2012, was a #1 New York Times bestseller. Quindlen's book "A Short Guide to a Happy Life" has sold more than a million copies. While a columnist at The New York Times, Quindlen won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary. Amy Bloom is the author of four novels and three collections of short stories. Her first book of nonfiction, "Normal: Transsexual CEOs, Crossdressing Cops and Hermaphrodites with Attitudes," is a staple of university sociology and biology courses. Her most recent book is the widely acclaimed New York Times best-selling memoir, "In Love". Bloom has written for magazines such as The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Vogue, Elle, The Atlantic Monthly, Slate, and Salon, and her work has been translated into fifteen languages. She is the Shapiro-Silverberg Professor of Creative Writing at Wesleyan University.

Moisés Naím and Ari Shapiro

Journalist and author Moisés Naím discusses his book, "The Revenge of Power: How Autocrats Are Reinventing Politics for the 21st Century" with radio host Ari Shapiro. Moisés Naím is an internationally-syndicated columnist and best-selling author. He is the chief international columnist for El País and La Repubblica, the largest daily newspapers in Spain and Italy. His columns have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg Businessweek, Newsweek, Time, Le Monde, El Estadão, and Berliner Zeitung. Dr. Naím is a Distinguished Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC. He is the founder and Chairman of the Board of the Group of Fifty (G50), which brings together top-flight progressive Latin American business leaders, and is a member of the board of directors of several global companies. Ari Shapiro has been one of the hosts of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon newsmagazine, since 2015. Shapiro has reported from above the Arctic Circle and aboard Air Force One. He has covered wars in Iraq, Ukraine, and Israel, and he has filed stories from dozens of countries and most of the 50 states. Shapiro's reporting has been consistently recognized by his peers. He has won two national Edward R. Murrow awards, and additional awards from the Columbia Journalism Review, The American Bar Association, and the American Judges Association.

Jamie Raskin and Fiona Hill

This conversation features Congressman Jamie Raskin and Russian expert Dr. Fiona Hill discussing both their books before a live audience at The Kentucky Author Forum on January 24th, 2022 at The Kentucky Center in Louisville. Jamie Raskin represents Maryland's 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was renamed Chair of the Oversight Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties for the 117th Congress. Representative Raskin's moving memoir "Unthinkable," tells the story of the forty-five days at the start of 2021 that permanently changed Raskin's life as he confronted the painful loss of his son to suicide, lived through the violent insurrection in our nation's Capitol, and was appointed House lead impeachment manager in the effort to hold President Trump accountable for inciting the political violence. He is a former constitutional law professor. Fiona Hill is recognizable to many Americans as the key impeachment witness during the U.S. House of Representatives Trump-Ukraine impeachment inquiry, and its investigation into charges of presidential misconduct. Growing up in a working-class town in northeast England, she rose to become Senior Director of European and Russian Affairs at the U. S. National Security Council. She served three presidents: two Republicans and one Democrat. Her poignant memoir "There Is Nothing for You Here" reveals how declining opportunity has set America on the grim path of modern Russia. Dr. Hill is a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program at The Brookings Institution

Roya Hakakian and Jen Balderama

Author Roya Hakakian discusses her book "A Beginner's Guide to America: For the Immigrant and the Curious" with journalist Jen Balderama. Roya Hakakian is the author of three books in English and has published two collections of poetry in Persian. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and on NPR's All Things Considered. Hakakian has collaborated on journalistic programming for network television, including 60 Minutes. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and served on the editorial board of World Affairs. Since 2015, she has taught at THREAD, a writing workshop at Yale, and is a fellow at the Davenport College at Yale. Jen Balderama is an editor in the Opinions section of The Washington Post, where she edits columns and essays by staff and contributing writers. Previously, she was an editor at The New York Times Book Review and on the national desk of The Times. For several years Balderama worked as a freelance editor of book-length nonfiction, novels, and essays. She was also a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, where she studied literary and cultural criticism. Her writing has appeared in Slate, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other publications.

Amy Zegart and Scott Shane

Author and professor Amy Zegart discusses her book "Spies, Lies, and Algorithms" with journalist Scott Shane. Amy Zegart is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, as well as a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute of International Studies at Stanford University. She is a contributing writer to The Atlantic and has written five previous books, including co-authoring with Condoleezza Rice "Political Risk: How Businesses and Organizations Can Anticipate Global Insecurity," based on their popular Stanford MBA course. Zegart specializes in U.S. intelligence, emerging technologies, national security, grand strategy, and global political risk management. Scott Shane is a journalist and author who spent 15 years covering national security and other subjects for The New York Times, where he won the Pulitzer Prize with Times colleagues in 2017 and in 2018 for stories on Russia's interference in the 2016 election. His most recent book is "Objective Troy: A Terrorist, A President, and the Rise of the Drone." Shane has written on interrogation and torture, terrorism and targeted killing, WikiLeaks and secrecy, the National Security Agency and many other topics. He reported for 21 years for The Baltimore Sun and is a former Moscow correspondent whose first book, "Dismantling Utopia," is a firsthand account of the Soviet Union's collapse.

Laurence Leamer and Leo Braudy

Author Laurence Leamer discusses his book "Capote's Women: A True Story of Love, Betrayal and a Swan Song for an Era" with professor, historian, and film critic Leo Braudy. Laurence Leamer is a New York Times best-selling writer and journalist. He is a former Ford Fellow in International Development at the University of Oregon and an International Fellow at Columbia University. In addition to Leamer's eighteen books, he has written for New York Magazine, The Washingtonian, Harper's, and The New York Times Magazine. He is regarded as an expert on the Kennedy family and has appeared on NBC Nightly News, CNN, and NPR discussing American politics. Leamer has written several best-selling biographies of other Americans, including Johnny Carson, the Reagan family, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Leo Braudy is a cultural historian and film critic. He is a professor of English and American Literature at the University of Southern California. His work appears in journals such as American Film, Film Quarterly, Genre, Novel, Partisan Review, and Prose Studies—to name a few. Braudy's book "Jean Renoir: The World of His Films" was a finalist for the National Book Award. He has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Harper's.

Frank Wilczek and Janna Levin

Physicist Frank Wilczek and Professor Janna Levin discuss Wilczek's book, "Fundamentals: Ten Keys to Reality." Frank Wilczek jointly won The Nobel Prize in Physics in 2004, for his graduate work at Princeton with David Gross. He was among the earliest MacArthur Fellows and has won many awards both for his scientific work and his writing, which includes hundreds of articles in leading scientific journals. His "Wilczek's Universe" column appears regularly in the Wall Street Journal. Wilczek is the Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Janna Levin is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Barnard College of Columbia University. A Guggenheim Fellow, Janna has contributed to an understanding of black holes, the cosmology of extra dimensions, and gravitational waves in the shape of spacetime. She is the presenter of NOVA's Black Hole Apocalypse special, aired on PBS. Levin's Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space explains the discovery of the century: the sound of spacetime ringing from the collision of two black holes over a billion years ago. Physicist Frank Wilczek and Professor Janna Levin discuss Wilczek's book, "Fundamentals: Ten Keys to Reality." Frank Wilczek jointly won The Nobel Prize in Physics in 2004, for his graduate work at Princeton with David Gross. He was among the earliest MacArthur Fellows and has won many awards both for his scientific work and his writing, which includes hundreds of articles in leading scientific journals. His "Wilczek's Universe" column appears regularly in the Wall Street Journal. Wilczek is the Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Janna Levin is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Barnard College of Columbia University. A Guggenheim Fellow, Janna has contributed to an understanding of black holes, the cosmology of extra dimensions, and gravitational waves in the shape of spacetime. She is the presenter of NOVA's Black Hole Apocalypse special, aired on PBS. Levin's Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space explains the discovery of the century: the sound of spacetime ringing from the collision of two black holes over a billion years ago.

Mary Roach and Peter Sagal

Writer Mary Roach and NPR host Peter Sagal discuss Ms. Roach's latest book, "Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law". Mary Roach is the author of six New York Times bestsellers. Roach has written for National Geographic, Wired, The New York Times Magazine, and Clinical Anatomy. Her TED talk made the TED 20 Most Watched list. Roach has been a guest editor for The Best American Science and Nature Writing, a finalist for the Royal Society's Science Book Prize, and a winner of the American Association of Engineering Societies' Engineering Journalism Award. Mary Roach's books have been published in 21 languages. Peter Sagal is the host of the Peabody Award-winning NPR news quiz show "Wait Wait . . . Don't Tell Me!" He is a playwright, screenwriter, amateur athlete, and host of several documentaries, including Constitution USA with Peter Sagal on PBS. Sagal has contributed to Opera News, Saveur, Finesse, The New York Times Magazine, Chicago magazine, and was the "Road Scholar" columnist for Runner's World. He's also won the Kurt Vonnegut Humor Award from the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library. Sagal is host to a number of podcasts, including HBO's "The Chernobyl Podcast" and "The Plot Against America Podcast."