Writers on Writing

On this edition of ST, we chat with the New York-based author and journalist Jennifer Egan, whose newest novel, the much-praised "Manhattan Beach," is just out. As was noted of this book in a starred review in Kirkus: "After stretching the boundaries of fiction in myriad ways...Egan does perhaps the only thing left that could surprise: she writes a thoroughly traditional novel. Realistically detailed, poetically charged, and utterly satisfying: apparently there's nothing Egan can't do." And further, per Dwight Garner in The New York Times: "Immensely satisfying....

On this installment of our show, an in-depth discussion with the novelist Tom Perrotta, whose books include "Election" and "Little Children" (both of which were made into well-regarded films). Perrotta has a new novel out, titled "Mrs. Fletcher," and he tells us about it on today's program. As was noted of this book in a front-page appreciation in The New York Times Book Review: "[This book], Perrotta's seventh novel and first since 2011's "The Leftovers," operates and succeeds in ways that will be pleasingly familiar to his admirers.

On this edition of ST, we are pleased to welcome the noted book critic, editor, and retired librarian Nancy Pearl back to our show. A former Tulsan, she's also the longtime book reviewer for this program, and she can be heard talking about books from time to time on NPR's Morning Edition. Nancy has a new novel out -- it's her first, and it's called "George and Lizzie" -- and it was thus praised by Booklist (in a starred review): "Pearl dramatizes a complicated and deeply illuminating union of opposites and conducts profound inquiries into the self, family, empathy, and love.

On this edition of ST, a discussion with the USSR-born writer Anna Badkhen, whose well-regarded books of nonfiction include "Walking with Abel: Journeys with the Nomads of the African Savannah," "The World Is a Carpet: Four Seasons in an Afghan Village," and "Waiting for the Taliban: A Journey Through Northern Afghanistan." She's written about wars and warfare -- and about living with warfare -- in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and Chechnya, and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Harper's, The New Republic, Foreign Policy, and elsewhere.

(Note: This interview first aired back in May.) On this edition of ST, we chat with Michael Wallis, the best-selling Tulsa-based author of "Route 66" and "David Crockett" and many other books.

On this edition of ST, we welcome the Tulsa-based author Jennifer Latham back to our show. Her recently published YA novel, "Dreamland Burning," is a suspenseful narrative about the Tulsa Race Riot. As was noted of this book in an appreciative review from School Library Journal: "Latham follows up 'Scarlett Undercover' with a rich work that links past and present in a tale that explores racial prejudice. After the remains of a skeleton are found in her Tulsa, OK, backyard, 17-year-old Rowan Chase becomes consumed with finding out the story behind the death.

Our guest on this installment of ST is author Ladee Hubbard, who joins us to discuss her first novel, which is just out. It's called "The Talented Ribkins." It's a creative and widely acclaimed book about race, class, politics, and America itself...and it focus on, of all things, a family of super-heroes. And per a starred review of this novel by Kirkus: "Crafty and wistful.... Hubbard weaves this narrative with prodigious skill and compelling warmth. You anticipate a movie while wondering if any movie could do this fascinating family, well, justice.

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

(Note: This interview originally aired back in May.) We speak with the New Mexico-based writer and biographer James McGrath Morris, who joins us to discuss his newest work: "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....

Our guest on this edition of StudioTulsa is Daniel Wilson, the bestselling sci-fi writer and Tulsa native (and TU alum) whose new novel, just out, is called "The Clockwork Dynasty." (Please note that Wilson will soon be reading from this book, and signing copies of it, at a Book Smart Tulsa event here in our community.) As was noted of this novel in The Los Angeles Review of Books: "Wilson is one of the foremost prophets of the near future.... In 'The Clockwork Dynasty,' the irrepressibly readable Wilson has retreated to pseudo-vampiric sentient robots.

(Note: This program first aired back in January.) On this edition of ST, we speak with Randall Fuller, the Chapman Professor of English here at TU.

On this edition of ST, we welcome the award-winning Oklahoma writer Rilla Askew back to our show. Her new book, just out, is her first-ever nonfiction volume; it's a collection of nine linked essays entitled "Most American: Notes from a Wounded Place." In this timely and reflective work, she argues that the State of Oklahoma -- whether we are talking about police violence, gun culture, race relations, secret history, religious fervor, spellbinding landscapes, or brutal weather -- is actually a "microcosm" of the United States.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in March.) Our guest is Chris Cleave, the British novelist whose bestselling WWII-era yarn, "Everyone Brave Is Forgiven," is now in paperback. As was noted of this book by an Amazon critic: "We've been wondering lately: What is the secret sauce that makes novels like Anthony Doerr's 'All the Light We Cannot See' and Kristin Hannah's 'The Nightingale' so popular, stories set against the backdrop of WWII? Whatever it is, it made me approach Chris Cleave's 'Everyone Brave Is Forgiven' with a particularly wary eye.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we are pleased to welcome back to the show Nancy Pearl, our longtime book reviewer. A former Tulsa resident, Nancy is a retired librarian, best-selling author, literary critic, and tireless reading advocate -- as well as a frequent book reviewer for NPR's All Things Considered. She joins us to offer some can't-miss reading suggestions for the summer months. Here are the books she tells us about:

Peter Blauner, "Proving Ground"

Jamie Harrison, "The Widow Nash"

Stephen Mack Jones, "August Snow"

Joseph Kanon, "Defectors"

(Note: This program originally aired last year.) On this installment of ST, we chat with the British writer Kate Hamer, whose first novel has appeared here in the U.S. to widespread acclaim. "The Girl in the Red Coat," as an Amazon reviewer has noted of this book, recounts what is basically "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 is an unusual and terrifying journey for them both.

(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 edition of ST, a great discussion that first aired on our show in March. At that time we spoke with Aravind Adiga, who joined us to discuss his then-new novel, "Selection Day." As was noted by The New York Times of this fine coming-of-age saga that focuses on two brothers in a Mumbai slum who are raised to become cricket stars: "Mr. Adiga's third novel supplies further proof that his Booker Prize...was no fluke. He is not merely a confident storyteller but also a thinker, a skeptic, a wily entertainer, a thorn in the side of orthodoxy and cant....

On this edition of ST, we chat with Michael Wallis, the best-selling Tulsa-based author of "Route 66" and "David Crockett" and many other books.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we are pleased to welcome Laurie Halse Anderson to our show. She's written many books of fiction and nonfiction over the years, and she's the winner of the 2017 Zarrow Award for Young Readers' Literature. She will been given this award at a special ceremony happening on Friday the 5th at the TCCL's Hardesty Regional Library, on East 93rd Street.

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.

Our guest on ST is Chris Cleave, the British novelist whose bestselling WWII-era yarn, "Everyone Brave Is Forgiven," has just appeared in paperback. As was noted of this book by an Amazon critic, when it was named (after first appearing in hardcover) as a Best Book of May 2016: "We've been wondering lately: What is the secret sauce that makes novels like Anthony Doerr's 'All the Light We Cannot See' and Kristin Hannah's 'The Nightingale' so popular, stories set against the backdrop of WWII?

Our guest on this edition of ST is Aravind Adiga, who won the Booker Prize for his novel, "The White Tiger." He joins us to discuss his newest book, just out, which is called "Selection Day." As was noted by The New York Times of this fine coming-of-age saga that focuses on two brothers in a Mumbai slum who are raised to become cricket stars: "Mr. Adiga's third novel supplies further proof that his Booker Prize...was no fluke. He is not merely a confident storyteller but also a thinker, a skeptic, a wily entertainer, a thorn in the side of orthodoxy and cant....

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.

On this edition of StudioTulsa Medical Monday, we speak with Bret Stetka, a health, science, and medical writer who works as an Editorial Director for Medscape by WebMD, and who is also a contributor to both Scientific American and Shots (the NPR Health blog). Stetka talks about how and why he decided, after completing his med-school training, to pursue medical journalism rather than, say, some sort of doctoring or medical research.

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 StudioTulsa, we're talking about the Bob Dylan Archive, that widely-reported-on treasure trove of 6,000+ items documenting the entirety of the legendary singer-songwriter's still-active career. This archive was purchased earlier this year by the George Kaiser Family Foundation and The University of Tulsa; it will be housed at TU's Helmerich Center for American Research (which is located within the Gilcrease Museum).

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