Biography

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 speak with the noted historian and scholar Blanche Wiesen Cook. The third and final volume of her landmark biography of Eleanor Roosevelt has just been published. "Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume 3: The War Years and After, 1939-1962" covers the final decades of a woman who towers over the 20th century, taking us through World War II, FDR's death, the founding of the United Nations, and much more. It is, as Maureen Corrigan noted on NPR's Fresh Air, "a monumental biography [and] an exhilarating story, as well as an undeniably melancholy one.

On this installment of ST, we speak with Alex Prud'homme, who is Julia Child's great-nephew as well as the co-author of her autobiography, "My Life in France" (which was adapted into the hit movie, "Julie & Julia"). Prud'homme joins us to discuss his new book, "The French Chef in America: Julia Child's Second Act." In this work, per a critic for Booklist, "Prud'homme deftly chronicles the years after Julia Child left France and settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts....

(Note: This show originally aired back in November.) We speak with the author and journalist John Sedgwick, whose many books range from a psychological thriller, "The Dark House," to a multi-generational family memoir, "In My Blood." He joins us to talk about his newest book, a work of popular history entitled "War of Two: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the Duel That Stunned the Nation." Interestingly, Sedgwick has an ancestor who actually knew both Hamilton and Burr quite well, and it was his own research into the life and work of that ancestor which first led Sedgwick to think of wri

(Note: This show first aired back in February.) On this edition of ST, we're discussing an interesting literary biography called "The Man Who Invented Fiction: How Cervantes Ushered In the Modern World." Our guest is the author, William Egginton, who is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and a Professor of German and Romance Languages and Literatures at the Johns Hopkins University. As was noted of this compelling study in the pages of Publishers Weekly: "Egginton weaves together Cervantes's life story with his development as a writer.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we learn about a fascinating new documentary film depicting the rise and fall of E.W. Marland, the legendary -- and often controversial, and always colorful -- Oklahoma oilman who was also the state's 10th governor. "High Stakes: The Life and Times of E.W. Marland," shot on location in Ponca City, Oklahoma, is the newest creation of co-producers Steve Herrin and Scott Swearingen, who have also made docs about Woody Guthrie, Thomas Gilcrease, and Willard Stone.

(Note: This interview originally aired last fall.) On this edition of ST, a discussion with Patricia Goldstone, who has been a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, has written for The Washington Post and The Economist, and is also an award-winning playwright.

(Please note: This interview originally aired last fall.) Our guest on today's StudioTulsa is the Oregon-based author Craig Ryan, who tells us about his book, "Sonic Wind: The Story of John Paul Stapp and How a Renegade Doctor Became the Fastest Man on Earth." This engrossing biography offers readers, per a starred review in Kirkus, the "remarkable, almost-forgotten story of an aerospace pioneer....

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we're discussing an interesting new literary biography called "The Man Who Invented Fiction: How Cervantes Ushered In the Modern World." Our guest is the author, William Egginton, who is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and a Professor of German and Romance Languages and Literatures at the Johns Hopkins University. As was noted of this compelling study in the pages of Publishers Weekly: "Egginton weaves together Cervantes's life story with his development as a writer.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Kristen T. Oertel, the Barnard Associate Professor of 19th Century American History here at TU.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in June; we are pleased to present it once again on MLK Day.) On this edition of ST, a discussion with the longtime Georgia-based journalist, Jim Auchmutey, who tells us about his book, "The Class of '65: A Student, a Divided Town and the Long Road to Forgiveness." It's a detailed profile of Americus High School, in rural southern Georgia, at a pivotal time in that school's -- and this country's -- history.

(Note: This interview first aired earlier this year.) On this edition of ST, a discussion with the Pulitzer Prize-winning architectural critic Paul Goldberger, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair who spent fifteen years as the architecture writer for The New Yorker and previously wrote for The New York Times.

(Note: This interview originally aired in June of this year.) One day in 1903, in the sandy, seaside Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed the direction of history. But it would take the world some time catch up with -- to both understand and appreciate -- what had happened that day. The age of flight had arrived, but its origin had been decidedly quiet, obscure, remote. And who exactly were Wilbur and Orville Wright, anyway?

On this edition of ST, an enjoyable discussion with writer Alex Palmer, whose new book is called "The Santa Claus Man: The Rise and Fall of a Jazz Age Con Man and the Invention of Christmas in New York." This fascinating and often entertaining work of popular history describes the so-called Santa Claus Association, which thrived in New York City in the 1920s, while also depicting the origin and development of Christmas itself as the modern-day, consumer-driven juggernaut that we're all quite familiar with now.

On this edition of ST, we speak by phone with writer James Kaplan, whose essays and reviews have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Esquire, and elsewhere. The first volume of Kaplan's definitive biography of Frank Sinatra, "Frank: The Voice," appeared in 2010. Now comes the second half of that life, the widely acclaimed "Sinatra: The Chairman," which the author discusses with us today. As per Publishers Weekly: "The great singer-actor contains multitudes in this vast, engrossing biography of Frank Sinatra's mature years....

(Note: This interview originally aired in June of this year.) On this installment of our show, a conversation with the distinguished historian and scholar, Robert Middlekauff, who is the Preston Hotchkis Professor of American History, Emeritus, at the University of California, Berkeley.

On this edition of ST, a discussion with Patricia Goldstone, who has been a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, has written for The Washington Post and The Economist, and is also an award-winning playwright.

In 1963, the up-and-coming pop artist Andy Warhol took a road trip across America, from New York to Los Angeles.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the author and journalist John Sedgwick, whose many books range from a psychological thriller, "The Dark House," to a multi-generational family memoir, "In My Blood." He joins us to talk about his newest book, a work of popular history entitled "War of Two: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the Duel That Stunned the Nation." Interestingly, Sedgwick has an ancestor who actually knew both Hamilton and Burr quite well, and it was his own research into the life and work of that ancestor which first led Sedgwick to think of writing this book.

On this edition of ST, a discussion with the Pulitzer Prize-winning architectural critic Paul Goldberger, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair who spent fifteen years as the architecture writer for The New Yorker and began his career at The New York Times. Goldberger tells us about his new book, a widely praised biography entitled "Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry." As was noted in the pages of Architectural Digest, Goldberger is "a riveting storyteller and accomplished reporter . . .

Our guest on today's StudioTulsa is the Oregon-based author Craig Ryan, who tells us about his new book, just out from Liveright: "Sonic Wind: The Story of John Paul Stapp and How a Renegade Doctor Became the Fastest Man on Earth." This biography offers readers, per a starred review in Kirkus, "[the] remarkable, almost-forgotten story of an aerospace pioneer....

(Note: This interview originally aired back in May.) Our guest on this edition of StudioTulsa is Timothy Dwyer, a writer whose work has appeared in Time, Washingtonian, and TheAtlantic.com.

(Please note: This show originally aired back in May.) On this edition of ST, we're discussing an interesting new biography, "Jonas Salk: A Life." Our guest is Dr. Charlotte DeCroes Jacobs, the Shenson Professor of Medicine (Emerita) at Stanford University. Dr. Jacobs -- who's also the author of "Henry Kaplan and the Story of Hodgkin's Disease" -- remembers firsthand the polio scare of the middle 20th century, and thus also remembers Salk's widespread celebrity in this country; her heroic portrait of Salk was hailed as a "treasure trove of facts and stories" by Library Journal.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the Kentucky-based writer and historian, Emily Bingham, who is the author of "Mordecai: An Early American Family" (2003) and co-editor of "The Southern Agrarians and the New Deal." Bingham tells us about her newest book, which is actually a biography of her own great-aunt: "Irrepressible: The Jazz Age Life of Henrietta Bingham." As was noted of this volume in a starred review in Kirkus: "A colorful portrait of a daring woman....

One day in 1903, in the sandy, seaside Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed the direction of history. But it would take the world some time catch up with -- to both understand and appreciate -- what had happened that day. The age of flight had arrived, but its origin had been decidedly quiet, obscure, remote. And who exactly were Wilbur and Orville Wright, anyway? Our guest on ST is the distinguished American historian and biographer -- and two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize -- David McCullough, who joins us to talk about his newest book.

On this edition of ST, we're discussing an interesting new biography, "Jonas Salk: A Life." Our guest is Dr. Charlotte DeCroes Jacobs, the Shenson Professor of Medicine (Emerita) at Stanford University. Dr. Jacobs -- who's also the author of "Henry Kaplan and the Story of Hodgkin's Disease" -- remembers firsthand the polio scare of the middle 20th century, and thus also remembers Salk's widespread celebrity in this country; her heroic portrait of Salk was hailed as a "treasure trove of facts and stories" by Library Journal.

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.

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 installment of ST, getting to know -- as best we can -- the rather mysterious figure (a/k/a "the father of English literature") who wrote "The Canterbury Tales." Our guest is Paul Strohm, who has taught medieval literature at Columbia University, was the J. R. R. Tolkien Professor of English Language and Literature at Oxford University, and remains a noted scholar of the life and work of Geoffrey Chaucer.

(Note: This interview originally aired in late October.) We speak with author and journalist Kirstin Downey, whose new book is "Isabella: The Warrior Queen." It's an engrossing biography of Isabella of Castile, the powerful Queen of Spain who sponsored Christopher Columbus's journey to the New World, established the Spanish Inquisition, and became one of the most influential female rulers in history.

Pages