KCRW's Bookworm

KCRW's Bookworm

United States

A must for the serious reader Bookworm showcases writers of fiction and poetry - the established new or emerging - all interviewed with insight and precision by the shows host and guiding spirit Michael Silverblatt.


Jim Gauer: Novel Explosives  

Quantum physics, the theory of relativity, and the miracle of the solar system fuel Novel Explosives, Jim Gauer’s ambitious and challenging novel.

Joshua Cohen: Moving Kings  

In the family novel, Moving Kings, Joshua Cohen weaves together the tragedy of Israeli occupation with an American housing crisis.

Peter Cole: Hymns & Qualms  

Poet and translator Peter Cole reveals that his intention is to yoke together beauty and terror in his new book Hymns & Qualms: New and Selected Poems and Translations.

Zachary Mason: Void Star  

Zachary Mason insists that Void Star is not cyber-punk  Although it is set more than 100 years in the future during climate catastrophe, he describes the novel as literary fiction that uses science fiction and genre elements.

Alan Felsenthal: Lowly  

Alan Felsenthal's first book of poetry, Lowly, moves in the direction of the visionary, the mystical and the metaphysical.

Yiyun Li: Dear Friend, from My Life, I Write to You in Your Life  

Written about a time when she was hospitalized for depression, Yiyun Li's Dear Friend, from My Life, I Write to You in Your Life is a combination of memoir and essay.  She believes that cherished writers saved her from sorrow and suicidal ideation.

Colm Tóibín: House of Names  

In his novel House of Names, Colm Tóibín finds, in adapting Greek tragedy, a home for all of his old concerns and room for new ones, too.

Claudio Magris: Blameless  

In Claudio Magris' Blameless, a museum of the implements of war and destruction is created to inspire peace. But this conversation is not just about war and peace.

Morgan Parker: There Are More Beautiful Things than Beyonce  

Morgan Parker says that the poems in her book There Are Things More Beautiful than Beyonce take a stand against the clichés of the dominant culture.

Brad Gooch: Rumi's Secret  

Biographer Brad Gooch reveals that he traveled 2500 miles to trace Rumi's footsteps, learned Persian and spent eight years to write Rumi's Secret: The Life of the Sufi Poet of Love.

Richard Bausch: Living in the Weather of the World  

Has the feeling of doom become our weather? If so, Richard Bausch says he contends with contemporary life by writing about people coping with loss and sorrow.

Ron Padgett: Motor Maids across the Continent  

Poet Ron Padgett reveals that in the 1960s, he found a dusty novel in a Manhattan bookstore. Originally written for teenage girls during World War I, Padgett has been playfully rewriting it ever since.

Steven Moore: My Back Pages  

Steven Moore has gathered his book reviews and essays that take us from the Beats and the Fifties to practically yesterday or even tomorrow. 

Julian Talamantez Brolaski: Of Mongrelitude  

Talamantez Brolaski is trans-gender and describes himself as a multi-gendered, racial and linguistic mongrel.  His poems chart a journey out of pain, confusion and darkness into a visionary state.

Elif Batuman: The Idiot  

Selin, the heroine of Batuman’s autobiographical first novel, The Idiot, is an 18-year-old Harvard freshman of Turkish-American descent.  Set in 1995, the novel observes the rise of internet culture.  

George Toles: Paul Thomas Anderson  

Screenwriter and critic George Toles' study of writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson focuses on his more recent films, including Punch-Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood and The Master. Toles values tracking his deepest personal experiences while watching a movie.

George Saunders: Lincoln in the Bardo (Part II)  

Known for the outrageous comedy of his acclaimed short stories, George Saunders says that daring to write this novel about grief, loss and the journey of the soul was like jumping off a cliff.

George Saunders: Lincoln in the Bardo (Part I)  

Lincoln in the Bardo dramatizes a grieving President Lincoln as he visits the grave of his beloved son Willie, who died at age eleven. In the novel, the buried dead believe they're not dead -- "they're sick and refer to their coffins as "sick boxes."

Emil Ferris: My Favorite Thing Is Monsters  

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, Emil Ferris' debut graphic novel, is the diary of a ten-year-old girl obsessed with monsters who also believes she herself is a werewolf. 

Gary Groth on Fantagraphics and the art of the graphic novel  

Gary Groth, editor of Fantagraphics, publisher of some of the most notable graphic novels today, discusses the rise of comics, what makes a good graphic novel, and what his selection process is like.

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