American Literature

(Note: This program originally aired last year.) Is technology taking over and/or fundamentally changing and/or worsening our lives? It's a debatable question...or series of questions...but, for whatever it's worth, there ARE more and more books and novels and TV shows these days in which technological devices are taking over, changing, or even, yes, worsening our lives as human beings.

On this installment of ST, we speak with the New Mexico-based writer and biographer James McGrath Morris, who is the author of (among other books) the bestselling "Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, The First Lady of the Black Press." Morris joins us to discuss his newest work, which is just out: "The Ambulance Drivers: Hemingway, Dos Passos, and a Friendship Made and Lost in War." As was noted of this historical biography by the New York Journal of Books: "[This book] delves head-first into the mercurial relationship of these two American literary legends....

On this installment of ST, the bestselling writer Jonathan Lethem is our guest. He's well-known for such celebrated novels as "Dissident Gardens," "The Fortress of Solitude," and "Motherless Brooklyn." He joins us to discuss his latest book, just out now, which is a gathering of nonfiction pieces. It's called "More Alive and Less Lonely: On Books and Writers." It's an impressive collection of 50+ essays, some of them previously published and some newly written.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Randall Fuller, the Chapman Professor of English here at TU. He joins us to discuss his new book, "The Book That Changed America: How Darwin's Theory of Evolution Ignited a Nation." As the historian Eric Foner recently wrote of this book in The New York Times: "Fuller...is [previously] the author of a prize-winning study of the Civil War's impact on American literature.

On this installment of ST, we speak with Nancy Pearl, our longtime book reviewer. She's a Seattle-based bestselling author and retired librarian, and she used to work as a bookseller (decades ago) here in Tulsa. A tireless book advocate and literary critic -- and perhaps the only librarian ever to be fashioned and sold as an action figure -- Nancy can also be heard occasionally recommending books on NPR's Morning Edition. She talked with us about the following titles, all of which she thinks would make great gifts this holiday season:

On this edition of ST, we welcome Billy Collins back to our show. He is the winner of the Tulsa Library Trust's 2016 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award, and he'll be reading from his work at an event here in Tulsa on Saturday the 3rd at the downtown Central Library. (This event begins at 10:30am and is free to the public.) Known and loved by readers everywhere for his accessible, conversational, clearly rendered, and often witty poems, Collins has been called "the most popular poet in America" by The New York Times.

On this edition of our show, we offer a conversation with author Hisham Matar. His first novel, "In the Country of Men," was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize and the Guardian First Novel Prize, and his latest book, his third, is a memoir entitled "The Return." This work tells the story of his father's kidnapping by Muammar Qaddafi's government -- and of the fallout endured by Matar and his family over the ensuing decades.

Is technology taking over and/or fundamentally changing and/or worsening our lives? It's a debatable question...or series of questions...but, for whatever it's worth, there do seem to be more and more books and novels and TV shows these days in which technological devices are taking over, fundamentally changing, or even, yes, worsening our lives as human beings.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we offer a discussion with the widely acclaimed American writer Dennis Lehane, who's well-known for his bestselling novels in the crime/mystery/thriller genre, among them "Darkness, Take My Hand," "Sacred," "Gone Baby Gone," "Mystic River," "Shutter Island," "Live by Night," and "World Gone By." Lehane has also written for "The Wire" and "Boardwalk Empire," two popular TV series that aired in recent years on HBO, and several of his novels have been adapted into award-winning films.

On this edition of our program, we speak with Phil Klay, a writer and veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps whose 2014 short-story collection, "Redeployment," won the National Book Award for Fiction. Klay will appear in our community soon as part of a "Creative Writing Celebration" being presented by TU's newly established Creative Writing segment within the Department of English.

On this installment of ST, we speak with an Austin-based writer whose well-regarded debut novel has recently appeared in paperback from Harper Perennial.

On this edition of ST, we chat with author Stewart O'Nan about his latest book, "West of Sunset," which is just out in paperback. It's a novel that imagines the final years of F. Scott Fitzgerald's life, when he was living and working in Hollywood in the 1930s...and trying, more or less in vain, to re-capture the literary greatness of his earlier years.

(Note: This show originally aired earlier this year.) On this edition of ST, an engaging chat with Shaun Usher, a writer, researcher, and blogger based in the UK. Usher tells us about his latest book, which he edited and compiled: "Lists of Note: An Eclectic Collection Deserving of a Wider Audience." Hailed in the British press as "beautiful and immensely satisfying" (The Observer) and as "1. Splendid. 2. Addictive. 3.

Today's ST is a replay of a show from two weeks ago, which was preempted by a presidential press conference. For this edition of our program, we check in with our longtime book reviewer, Nancy Pearl, for a few page-turning gift suggestions. (With the holidays fast upon us, it's entirely worth pointing out that one can never really go wrong with a good book....) A well-known librarian, now retired, who began appearing on our show back when she lived in Tulsa -- in the early 1990s -- Nancy is also a bestselling author, literary critic, and book editor.

On this edition of ST, with the holiday season just around the corner, we check in with our longtime book reviewer, Nancy Pearl, for some page-turning, gift-giving tips. A well-known librarian -- now retired -- who began appearing on our show back when she lived in Tulsa in the early 1990s, Nancy is also a bestselling author, literary critic, and book editor.

On this edition of our show, we get to know the novelist and short story writer Jennifer duBois, who teaches in the MFA program at Texas State University. Her first novel, "A Partial History of Lost Causes," was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction, and her second, "Cartwheel," won the Housatonic Book Award for Fiction and was a finalist for the New York Public Library's Young Lions Award. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a former Stanford University Stegner Fellow, duBois is also the recipient of a Whiting Writer’s Award.

On this edition of ST, we welcome the writer and writing instructor Teresa Miller back to our program. She founded the Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers in the early 1990s, and around that same time she started hosting and producing a popular public-television interview show, Writing Out Loud. Her books include the novels "Remnants of Glory" and "Family Correspondence," as well as "Means of Transit," which is an autobiography.

On this edition of ST, we speak by phone with Erik Larson, the bestselling nonfiction writer whose page-turning historical narratives include "The Devil in the White City," "In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin," and (most recently) "Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania." This last named book -- exploring the events before, during, and after the 1915 sinking of the ocean liner Lusitania -- is the main thrust of our conversation, although Larson also speaks about how he locates, happens upon, researches, and writes his remarkable stories.

On this installment of ST, we speak with the poet and performance/conceptual artist, Kenneth Goldsmith, who has appeared on The Colbert Report, held a poetry reading in the White House, and published more than ten books. He's also the first-ever poet laureate to be selected by The Museum of Modern Art -- and he'll offer a free-to-the-public poetry reading tonight, Tuesday the 22nd, at 9pm in Tyrell Hall on the TU campus.

On this edition of our show, we speak by phone with Fran Stallings, a longtime storyteller who has performed at numerous national and international storytelling festivals, in schools and libraries, and on the radio. Stallings has two new books out, which she tells us about: "How to Fool a Cat: Japanese Folktales for Children" and "The Price of Three Stories: Rare Folktales from Japan." In each of these collections, Stallings has edited and adapted the stories of her friend and collaborator, Hiroko Fujita.

On this edition of ST, an engaging chat with Shaun Usher, a writer, researcher, and blogger based in the U.K. Usher tells us about his new book, just out, which he edited and compiled: "Lists of Note: An Eclectic Collection Deserving of a Wider Audience." Hailed in the British press as "beautiful and immensely satisfying" (The Observer) and as "1. Splendid. 2. Addictive. 3.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in March.) On this edition of ST, we speak with the writer J.C. Hallman, who was raised in Southern California, studied at the University of Pittsburgh and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and now teaches at Oklahoma State University.

"A Paris Apartment" -- A Bestselling Novel Now in Paperback

Jun 29, 2015

On this edition of ST, author Michelle Gable joins us by phone to discuss her bestselling novel, "A Paris Apartment," which is just out in paperback from St. Martin's. It's the readable and hard-to-resist story of one April Vogt, a furniture specialist at Sotheby's in NYC who travels to Paris to investigate an apartment in the fabled ninth arrondissement neighborhood that's been unoccupied -- and, in fact, totally forgotten -- for the past seventy years. Once in France, April quickly learns that the furniture-laden apartment is not merely some rich hoarder's repository.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Jennifer Latham, a Tulsa-based author whose debut novel is coming out next week: "Scarlett Undercover" is a noir-flavored, modern-day YA mystery with a 16-year-old Muslim American heroine who runs her own detective agency. Book Smart Tulsa will present a free-to-the-public Launch Party for this book next week, on Wednesday the 20th at 7pm, at the University of Tulsa's Zarrow Center for Art and Education in the Brady Arts District (in downtown Tulsa).

On this edition of ST, we listen back to an interview that was recorded about a year ago with Blake Bailey, who grew up in Oklahoma City, now teaches creative writing in Virginia, and is the author of three highly regarded literary biographies (of Richard Yates, John Cheever, and Charles Jackson). Bailey has now, in his newest book, turned his attention to his own roots -- and specifically to his late brother, Scott, whose too-brief life was marked by incessant tragedy, addiction, recklessness, and mental instability.

On this installment of ST, a fascinating discussion with the Tennessee-based storyteller and performer Jim Pfitzer, who will soon appear onstage in Tulsa in "A Standard of Change," the one-man play that he created about the life and work of Aldo Leopold (1887-1948). An influential American author, scientist, ecologist, forester, and conservationist, Leopold -- the "father of wildlife biology," as some have called him -- is probably best known as the author of "A Sand County Almanac," which is a literary classic that's especially popular with environmentalist readers.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak by phone with the acclaimed American composer Carlisle Floyd, whose opera, "Of Mice and Men," will be staged this weekend (that is, both this evening and Sunday afternoon) by Tulsa Opera at the Tulsa PAC. This widely performed work was first performed in 1970 by the Seattle Opera; other notable operas composed by Floyd include "Susannah" (1955), "Wuthering Heights" (1958), "Flower and Hawk" (1972), "Willie Stark" (1981), and "Cold Sassy Tree" (2000).

Our guest today on StudioTulsa is D.T. Max, a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine who's also the author of "Every Love Story is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace," a highly regarded literary biography which first appeared a few years ago.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the writer J.C. Hallman, who was raised in Southern California, studied at the University of Pittsburgh and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and now teaches at Oklahoma State University.

On this penultimate day of Black History Month, we're talking about the life and work of one of our greatest African American writers, Langston Hughes (1902-1967), the prolific and influential poet, activist, novelist, memoirist, playwright, and newspaper columnist. Our guest on ST is David Roessel, one of the editors of the recently published "Selected Letters of Langston Hughes" (Knopf).

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