American Literature

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).

On this edition of ST, a conversation with Miranda July, the noted filmmaker, writer, and performance artist.

On this edition of ST, we present a chat with the prolific and award-winning contemporary American playwright, Lee Blessing, who's working on the University of Tulsa campus this week with students and faculty in TU's Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre.

Howdy, folks, and Happy New Year from StudioTulsa. We've been airing The Best of ST for 2014 on our program lately, and hopefully you've heard and enjoyed some or all of these encore presentations.

Here's a guide to what we've been listening back to over the past week; please note that each listing below has a link whereby you can access a free, on-demand "stream" of the show in question. And thanks, as ever, for listening to ST.

On this presentation of ST, we speak with Marja Mills, a former reporter and feature writer with The Chicago Tribune. Mills is also the author of a bestselling memoir, "The Mockingbird Next Door," which details the time she spent getting to know novelist Harper Lee -- the author, of course, of the immortal "To Kill a Mockingbird" -- as well as Lee's older sister, Alice. Mills will discuss this recently published book (its origins, its development, its major findings, and so on) tonight, Monday the 8th, at 6:30pm at a Book Smart Tulsa event at the Circle Cinema.

On this installment of ST, we speak with the winner of the 2014 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award, which is annually given by the Tulsa Library Trust. (Past recipients of this honor include Michael Chabon, John Updike, and Geraldine Brooks.) Ann Patchett is our guest today; she is a bestselling American novelist and essayist who's written six novels (among them "The Magician's Assistant," "Bel Canto," "Run," and "State of Wonder") and three books of nonfiction (including the recent "This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage").

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we listen back to an interview that we first aired earlier this year with the author, essayist, and cultural critic Chuck Klosterman. At that time, we chatted with Klosterman about his essay collection, "I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined)," which is an often funny and highly entertaining exploration of why we as a society are so attracted to -- yet also, of course, repelled by -- villains both fictional and nonfictional.

The Department of Theatre here at TU will soon present one of the greatest plays of the modern American stage, "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams. It's the play that made Williams a household name in the mid-1940s -- a clearly autobiographical drama, set in Depression-era St. Louis, in which an aging and rather unstable Southern Belle longs for her youth and dreams of a better life for her children: the restless would-be poet, Tom, who narrates this memory play, and the shy if not reclusive Laura, Tom's elder sister.

On this edition of ST, we listen back to an interview that we did in April with the novelist and essayist Ayelet Waldman (whose books include "Red Hook Road," "Love and Other Impossible Pursuits," "Daughter's Keeper," and "Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes"). Waldman spoke with us about her then-new novel, "Love and Treasure," which has been thus summarized in Booklist: "Classics scholar Jack Wiseman, in the last throes of pancreatic cancer, entrusts an enamel locket to his granddaughter, imploring her to find the rightful owner. It's the only thing he's ever asked of her.

The Tulsa Library Trust's Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Readers' Literature, inaugurated in 1991, aims to "give formal recognition, on behalf of the Tulsa County community, to nationally acclaimed authors who have made a significant contribution to the field of literature for children and young adults." Past winners of the Zarrow Award include Jim Murphy, Jacqueline Woodson, Jane Yolen, Gary Paulsen, Katherine Paterson, Madeleine L'Engle, and S.E. Hinton -- and this year, the highly deserving recipient of this award is Jack Gantos.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Jayne Anne Phillips, the acclaimed fiction writer whose previous books include "Black Tickets," "Machine Dreams," and "Lark and Termite." In her newest book, just out in paperback, Phillips both explores and re-imagines a real crime that occurred in 1931, in a West Virginia town not far from where she herself grew up. Phillips tells us of this novel -- called "Quiet Dell" -- on today's program.

Illustration Credit: NPR

On this installment of ST, we welcome back Nancy Pearl, our longtime book reviewer. Nancy is a former librarian --- and former Tulsan --- who's also a bestselling author, editor, critic, and book advocate. She's also the former Executive Director of the Washington Center for the Book at the Seattle Public Library. She can be heard on NPR's Morning Edition, where she regularly offers good-reading tips, and her wide-ranging, well-researched recommendations have also been collected into the ongoing and highly popular "Book Lust" series of volumes.

On this installment of ST, we speak by phone with Donis Casey, a mystery author and former librarian who is originally from Oklahoma and has been based in Arizona for many years. "Hell with the Lid Blown Off" -- the seventh title in Casey's popular Alafair Tucker series -- is newly available, and (as with the rest of Casey's fiction) this novel draws heavily upon her Oklahoma roots...as well as the roots of her Sooner State relatives.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Kevin Brockmeier, the Little Rock-based, widely acclaimed fiction writer whose books include the novels "The Illumination" and "The Brief History of the Dead" as well as the story collections "Things That Fall from the Sky" and "The View from the Seventh Layer." His newest book, just out, is an autobiography called "A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip: A Memoir of Seventh Grade" --- and it's been praised by Entertainment Weekly as "a funny, poignant oddity....

On this edition of ST, we listen back to a great conversation we had last year with Kate Christensen, the award-winning author of several novels as well as a memoir --- "Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites" --- which is just out in paperback. Christensen will be reading from and signing copies of this book tonight (Tuesday the 6th) at a Book Smart Tulsa eevent at Pohlenz Cucine Moderne (at 3402 South Peoria); this event is free to the public and begins at 7pm.

From Sherwin Nuland and Abraham Verghese to William Carlos Williams and Robert Coles --- from Siddhartha Mukherjee to Atul Gawande --- there's a long and noble tradition in American writing of gifted authors and journalists who also work professionally as physicians. On this edition of StudioTulsa on Health, we hear from such a writer, Dr. John Elefteriades, who's the Glenn Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Director of the Aortic Institute at Yale University and Yale-New Haven Hospital. Dr.

Today, we welcome Quraysh Ali Lansana back to StudioTulsa. Lansana was born Ron Myles in Enid, Oklahoma, and originally worked in broadcast journalism here in our state before studying poetry and literature in New York and Chicago. He's written several books of poetry, edited or co-edited several anthologies, and works as an Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at Chicago State University. He also teaches at writing workshops and literary events all over the country.

"Love and Treasure: A Novel"

Apr 23, 2014

On this installment of ST, we're pleased to speak with Ayelet Waldman, the well-known novelist and essayist whose previous books include "Red Hook Road," "Love and Other Impossible Pursuits," "Daughter's Keeper," and "Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes." Waldman tells us about her newest book, a novel called "Love and Treasure." It's been getting some rave reviews lately --- The Washington Post called it "absorbing [and] moving [and] a marvelous panorama of early-20th-century attitudes about women" --- and it was thus summarized in Booklist: "Classics scholar Jack Wiseman, in the la

On this edition of ST, we speak with Rebecca Miller, the acclaimed screenwriter, author, and filmmaker, who'll appear tonight (Thursday the 17th) at 7pm at a free-to-the-public Book Smart Tulsa event at the Circle Cinema. At this gathering, she'll be reading from and signing copies of her latest novel, "Jacob's Folly," which is just out in paperback; she'll also deliver an introduction before a screening of her 2009 film, "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee" (which she adapted from her novel of the same title).

On this installment of ST, we are pleased to speak once again with the author, critic, former librarian, and die-hard book-lover Nancy Pearl, who's well-known for her frequent appearances on NPR's Morning Edition, her tireless championing of old or out-of-print titles, and her "Book Lust" series of books about books. Nancy used to live in Tulsa, and she's been the book reviewer for this program for 20+ years --- indeed, while she usually joins us by phone from her home in Seattle, this time around, Nancy is with us in the studio.

The "Collected Poems" of Ron Padgett

Apr 1, 2014

On this installment of ST, we are pleased to welcome Ron Padgett back to our show. This Tulsa-born, New York-based poet, translator, and editor published his "Collected Poems" last fall, and he'll be reading from that book at 7pm tonight (Tuesday the 1st) at the AHHA / Hardesty Arts Center in downtown Tulsa; this event is co-presented by Book Smart Tulsa, Louder Than A Bomb: Tulsa, and This Land Press, and it's free to the public.

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