British Literature

On this edition of ST, we present a fascinating discussion with Dr. Robert Spoo, the Chapman Distinguished Chair at The University of Tulsa College of Law, who has recently been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2016 by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. This foundation annually awards prestigious fellowships to individuals in both the arts and sciences who have demonstrated exceptional scholarship and/or creativity throughout their careers; this year, the foundation awarded 175...

On this installment of ST, we speak with the British writer Kate Hamer, whose first novel has recently appeared here in the U.S. to widespread acclaim. "The Girl in the Red Coat Hardcover" was published stateside last month, at which time Amazon named it a Best Book of February 2016. In doing so, a critic for Amazon noted: "It's every parent's nightmare: Beth, a single mother, takes her 8-year-old daughter, Carmel, to a local festival for some fun and frivolity and she vanishes. What follows...

(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. Sumptuously produced with interesting photos and facsimiles" (The...

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...

On this edition of ST, we learn about the newest production from Tulsa's own American Theatre Company, "Waiting for Godot" by Samuel Beckett. Our guest is Lisa Wilson, who's directing this postmodernist/absurdist classic. The play will be staged from tonight (the 30th) though November 7th at the ATC space in downtown Tulsa near 3rd and Lansing. As noted of this play at the ATC website (where you'll also find more info on tickets and show times): "There they are; a leafless tree on a desolate...

On today's ST, we learn about a new musical -- a "bro-mantic" comedy, no less -- loosely based on the thousand-year-old epic poem, "Beowulf." It's the still-in-development "Beowulf, Lord of the Bros," and it will be workshopped at a pair of free-to-the-public performances on Friday and Saturday, the 30th and 31st, at the Theatre Two space in Kendall Hall on the TU campus, with both shows starting at 7pm. Our guests are the director for this show, Kyle Dougan -- a University of Tulsa alum (BA ...

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. Sumptuously produced with interesting photos and facsimiles" (The Independent), this book curates 125 charming, off-the...

On this edition of ST, we listen back to an interview from March with 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. When he appeared on our show, Strohm spoke about his newest book, "Chaucer's Tale: 1386 and the Road to Canterbury." The year 1386, as Strohm explains, was probably the worst of Chaucer's life,...

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.... Scott Fitzgerald never...

Today is the unofficial holiday known as Bloomsday -- a day meant to celebrate, at gatherings large and small across the globe, the life and work of the modernist Irish writer James Joyce. Why today, you ask? Because all the events related in Joyce's "Ulysses" -- seen by many readers and critics as the greatest novel ever penned in English -- take place on June 16th (and specifically on June 16th, 1904) in and around Dublin, Ireland. Tonight, therefore, Book Smart Tulsa and TU's Oklahoma...

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. Tomorrow night, Tuesday the 24th, Max will give a free-to-the-public lecture on the TU campus entitled "Public Selves/Private Selves: From James Joyce to David Foster Wallace." (This event will happen in Tyrrell Hall, beginning at 7pm.) As...

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. Strohm's latest book is a short biography of Chaucer, recently out from Viking: ...

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...

Last month, it was announced that the University of Tulsa's McFarlin Library had acquired a rare, well-preserved copy of a large, handmade, and lavishly decorated book that's seen by many experts as one the most handsome illustrated books produced during the 20th century. Published by Golden Cockerel Press in 1931, "The Four Gospels" is a sterling example of the renaissance in artistry and craftsmanship in British book design/production that occurred in the late-19th and early-20th centuries....

Our guest on this edition of ST is the Japanese-born British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, one of the leading novelists of his generation, whose works have been translated into 28 languages, and who's also the recipient of the 2013 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award (which is bestowed annually by the Tulsa Library Trust). Ishiguro joins us today by phone; he won the 1989 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for his masterful novel, "The Remains of the Day," and his other novels include "A Pale...