author interview | KUOW News and Information

author interview

Are you a fan or a superfan?

Apr 13, 2017

Jeannie Yandel talks with Zoe Fraade-Blanar and Aaron Glazer about what it takes to be a superfan. Zoe Fraade-Blanar and Aaron Glazer are co-authors of the book "Superfandom: How our Obsessions Are Changing What We Buy and Who We Are."

Courtesy of Libby Lewis Photography

There are many things to know about Roxane Gay. She grew up in Nebraska. Her family is of Haitian descent. She came to critical attention in 2014 for her best-selling collection of essays “Bad Feminist.” She teaches creative writing at Purdue University. She is the first black woman hired to write a Marvel Comics series, “Wakanda.” She kind of owns Twitter. But perhaps the most crucial thing you need to know about Roxane Gay is that she is awed by and in love with her craft, fiction writing especially, in difficult and delightful ways.

Dear Sugar Radio is a weekly podcast from member station WBUR. Hosts Steve Almond and Cheryl Strayed offer "radical empathy" and advice on everything from relationships and parenthood to dealing with drug problems or anxiety.

Today the Sugars talk parenting and mental health. In this letter, a new father who struggles with bipolar disorder wonders if his young daughter is in danger of adopting his "self-hating" feelings.


Dear Sugars,

Ten years ago, Stephenie Meyer put a twist on the whole boy-meets-girl thing.

In her young adult novel Twilight, girl meets vampire and, later, werewolf. The supernatural romance between Bella and Edward sparked a saga that includes four best-selling books translated into more than 50 languages and five blockbuster movies.

Joyce Carol Oates at Eastern Washington University's Get Lit! festival in 2013.
Flickr Photo/Spokane Focus (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds interviews author Joyce Carol Oates about her latest novel, "The Sacrifice." It’s a fictionalized account based off the 1987 episode of Tawana Brawley, who falsely accused six men of rape. 

Author Sharma Shields with her new novel, "The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac."
Screenshot from YouTube

Jeannie Yandel talks with author Sharma Shields about her latest novel, "The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac," and what monsters represent for her as a writer and a parent. 

Ms. Marvel designs by Adrian Alphona. Ms. Marvel, described by writer G. Willow Wilson as "kind of a hipster," is the second from the left.
Marvel Comics

G. Willow Wilson’s origin story, in a matter of speaking, started in New Jersey on about 3 acres of land surrounded by old-growth woods, where her parents raised rabbits and chickens and grew corn, blackberries and sweet potatoes.

Marcie Sillman talks to local author Garth Stein about his latest novel "A Sudden Light." Set in a historic estate in Seattle, the novel follows the Riddell family's past and present.   

This story originally aired October 1, 2014.

Author Richard Ford, Livre sur la Place, September 2014.
Flickr Photo/ActuaLitte

Ross Reynolds interviews Pulitzer prize-winning novelist Richard Ford about his new book of novellas, “Let Me Be Frank With You."

It continues the story of Frank Bascombe, which began in Ford's earlier works, "The Sportswriter," "Independence Day" and "Lay of the Land."

  Ross Reynolds speaks with novelist David Mitchell about what he says is the most important book he's done: a translation of a memoir by a young autistic Japanese boy. In the book, "The Reason I Jump," the boy explains the behaviors that may seem strange to outsiders. Mitchell himself has a child with autism. He talks about what he learned from doing the translation.

Wikipedia Photo/Mariusz Kubik

Ross Reynolds speaks with novelist David Mitchell. Paris Review describes his  books, which include "Cloud Atlas", "Black Swan Green" and the newly released "The Bone Clocks," as ambitious, formally complex, imaginatively powerful, and immaculately written. 

Mitchell talks about why he brings back characters in book after book, and how he finds the concentration to write such intricately designed narratives.

The Origins Of American Hipsters

Aug 21, 2014
Justin Martin's book, "Rebel Souls."

Marcie Sillman talks with author Justin Martin about his book, "Rebel Souls: Walt Whitman and America's First Bohemians."

Ross Reynolds talks with Ilan Stavans about his new book, “A Most Imperfect Union: A Contrarian History of the United States."

Thinking Like A Freak, Economically Speaking

May 23, 2014
KUOW Photo

Arwen Nicks talks with best selling authors Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner about their most recent book, "Think Like A Freak."

Murray Carpenter's book, "Caffeinated."

Ross Reynolds speaks with journalist Murray Carpenter about his book, “Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts, and Hooks Us."

The book takes a closer look at the common drug we take for granted on a daily basis.

Doug Fine's book, "Hemp Bound."

Ross Reynolds speaks with Doug Fine, a self-described comedic investigative journalist, about his new book, "Hemp Bound: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution."

Fine spoke with scientists and farmers around the world about how hemp is used. In February, President Obama signed the Farm Bill, which allows industrial research on hemp.

Astra Taylor's book, "The People’s Platform."

Ross Reynolds speaks with writer and filmmaker Astra Taylor about how the Internet has become a victim of its own success. She is the author of "The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age."

From Nigeria To Middle America: Optimism Spans Continents In Mengestu's Book

Apr 25, 2014
Dinaw Mengestu's book, "All Our Names."

Steve Scher sits down with 2012 MacArthur Genius Grant recipient and writer Dinaw Mengestu to talk about his newest book, "All Our Names."

Holly George-Warren's book, "A Man Called Destruction."

Ross Reynolds talks with author Holly George-Warren about her new biography of musician Alex Chilton, "A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, From Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor Man."

Stuart Taylor's book, "Mismatch."

Marcie Sillman talks with Stuart Taylor, Jr., a Brookings Institution nonresident senior fellow, about race and how it should or should not be used in college admissions or hiring practices.

Taylor is also the author of "Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It's Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won't Admit It."

Miriam Pawel's book, "The Crusades of Cesar Chavez."

Ross Reynolds talks with Miriam Pawel about her new book, “The Crusades of Cesar Chavez: A Biography."

Chavez was the most influential Latino civil rights leader in American history. In the 1960s, he led migrant farm workers into a powerful force and national movement to boycott grapes.

But in his later years, the effort flagged, and Chavez's flaws became apparent. Pawel examines the man in full.

David Cay Johnston's new book, "Divided."

David Hyde talks with investigative reporter and author David Cay Johnston about his new book, "Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality." The book comprises a collection of essays on the growing wealth gap and how economies grow while citizens get poorer.

Flickr Photo/Jason Howie (CC BY-NC-ND)

David Hyde talks with Seattle author Maria Semple about why she thinks social media is the biggest threat to writing and art since Peter Criss' first solo album.

Nell Lake's book, "The Caregivers."

Marcie Sillman talks with journalist and author Nell Lake about her new book, "The Caregiver: A Support Group's Stories of Slow Loss, Courage, and Love."

William Easterly's new book, "The Tyranny of Experts."

David Hyde talks with New York University Professor William Easterly about his new book, "The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor."

Krista Bremer's memoir, "My Accidental Jihad."

Marcie Sillman talks with author Krista Bremer about her memoir, "My Accidental Jihad." In it Bremer reflects on her marriage to a Libyan-born Muslim and the challenges she faced in a multicultural family.

Jeremy Rifkin's latest book, "The Zero Marginal Cost Society."

Marcie Sillman talks with Jeremy Rifkin about his new book, "The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism."

Emma Donoghue's New Novel 'Frog Music'

Apr 14, 2014
Emma Donoghue's book, "Frog Music."

Marcie Sillman talks with writer Emma Donoghue about her new book, "Frog Music." It was inspired by the unsolved 1876 murder of a woman named Jenny Bonnet in San Francisco.

Donoghue also discusses about how fact inspires her fiction. Her award-winning novel, "Room," was about a 5-year-old boy and his mother who were kept prisoner by their father and husband, respectively, in a backyard shed. The book was based, in small part, on a real life story Donoghue had seen in the news.

The Way To Go: Kate Ascher On Transportation And Infrastructure

Apr 11, 2014
Kate Ascher's book, "The Way to Go."

Steve Scher sits down with urban development consultant Kate Ascher to talk about her new book, "The Way To Go: Moving By Land, Sea and Air."

Flickr Photo/Groucho

Marcie Sillman talks with author and professor Jared Diamond about an adaptation of his book, "The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal." The adaption targets high school students.

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