World Literature

"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.

"Don't just do something," goes an old saying that's sometimes attributed to the Buddha, "sit there." On this installment of ST, we speak with the widely acclaimed travel writer and essayist Pico Iyer, whose newest book is called "The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere." It may seem odd to find one of contemporary literature's best travel writers composing a book-lenth essay about not traveling, but Iyer begs to differ.

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.

On this installment of ST, we speak with Assaf Gavron, an Israeli novelist whose widely hailed fiction has been translated into several languages. Gavron's latest novel, newly available in English from Scribner's, is called "The Hilltop." Acclaimed by at least one critic as "the Great Israeli Novel" and winner of the prestigious Bernstein Prize, this ambitious, many-layered, and occasionally quite funny story explores contemporary life in a West Bank settlement.

On this Veterans Day edition of StudioTulsa, we're talking about a certain classic novel that came out of World War I, "The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse" by the Spanish author Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, and about a silent-film epic, from 1921, which had the same title, and which was based on this novel -- and which also introduced audiences around the globe to an unknown actor named Rudolph Valentino.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the well-regarded author, essayist, and cultural critic Chuck Klosterman, who has published a number of books and also writes the weekly "Ethicist" column for The New York Times Magazine. Klosterman's latest title, "I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined)," is just out in paperback; it's a far-reaching, 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...as well as the very notion of villainy itself.

(Note: This interview originally aired earlier this year.) There's an old Lenny Bruce one-liner that goes like this: "Everyday, people are straying away from the church and going back to God." In this day and age, there must be some truth to that idea; while it's true that more and more people in this country are giving up on the religion they grew up with or else rejecting organized religion entirely, it's also true that many who have turned away from religious institutions --- as well as many others who've lived wholly without religion --- really do hunger for something more than what con

Molière's "Tartuffe" --- or "The Impostor" --- is a classic French play that was first performed in 1664. Bitingly satirical and LOL funny, this play tells the story of a deplorable religious con-man who tries to obtain the title to his friend's estate by sending him to jail; the title character of this ever-popular comedy also tries to rob that friend blind, to seduce his wife and daughter, and so on. "Tartuffe" is a work that's often revived in updated versions or alternate settings, and such is the case with the production of "Tartuffe" that TU's Department of Theatre is now staging.

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.

Pages