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.


Mitch Sisskind: Do Not Be a Gentleman When You say Goodnight  

Mitch Sisskind's Do Not Be a Gentleman When You Say Goodnight is a distillation of nearly fifty years of brilliant comic writing.  

Peter Orner: Am I Alone Here?  

When novelist Peter Orner's father died, he found himself unable to write. At the same time, his marriage fell apart. He consoled himself by reading and started to write responses to the literature that gave him comfort. 

TC Boyle: The Terranauts  

TC Boyle's The Terranauts centers around eight earth explorers who lock themselves up in E2, a biodome created to mimic earth and test the viability of a self-sustained environment. But what happens between the eight terranauts and their mission control has a bigger impact on sustainability than science had counted on.

Tessa Hadley: The Past  

Tessa Hadley's book, The Past, has at its center a summer vacation home, and the four middle-aged siblings who come together to decide whether to sell it or not. 

Ann Patchett: Commonwealth  

Ann Patchett's latest novel, Commonwealth, follows fifty-two years in the life of a large family. The idea of the book came to her because as a bookstore owner, she saw that what was missing from the shelves was the story of a big, modern family.

Jonathan Safran Foer: Here I Am  

The hero of Here I Am is a pun-loving television writer who is pummeled by the loss of everything he values.  This novel expands a family crisis into a global crisis which threatens the state of Israel.

Nicholson Baker: Substitute  

Nicholson Baker's Substitute: Going to School with a Thousand Kids was born of a desire to write a book articulating his theories about education – theories based on having had kids in school. Realizing his premise was weak, as he'd never been a teacher, he embarked on the adventure of a lifetime by becoming a substitute teacher. 

Nadja Spiegelman: I'm Supposed to Protect You from All This  

Since memory is not only malleable but unreliable, which version of the truth will prevail?

Jacqueline Woodson: Another Brooklyn  

Another Brooklyn, award-winning Young Adult novelist Jacqueline Woodson's first novel for adults in twenty years, tells the story of childhood friends as they grow into women. 

Marisa Silver: Little Nothing  

An ugly young dwarf girl transforms first into a beauty, then into a tall woman, then into a wolf. 

Affinity Konar: Mischling  

In Auschwitz, the infamous Dr. Mengele conducted horrifying physical and psychological experiments on concentration camp prisoners. Affinity Konar's Mischling (meaning mixed blood) is the story of twin sisters who find themselves imprisoned in Dr. Mengele's "zoo."

Colson Whitehead: The Underground Railroad  

Colson Whitehead's new great American novel depicts a real underground railroad that transports a fugitive slave to stops that defy time and history, highlighting the daily struggles of black people, past and present.

Adam Fitzgerald: George Washington  

Adam Fitzgerald's poetry in George Washington: Poems comes across as playful while exploring the concept of Americana and what that means. 

Krys Lee: How I Became a North Korean  

Krys Lee's first novel dramatizes boundaries and borders – not just political ones but those that complicate human relationships.  

Joe McGinniss Jr: Carousel Court  

A married couple wind up in a wasteland of foreclosed houses and abandoned homes.

Tom McCarthy: Satin Island  

Tom McCarthy's Satin Island features a protagonist who, as his company's corporate anthropologist, has been given the enormous task of compiling a report summing up the modern era.

Tom Lutz: Drinking Mare's Milk on the Roof of the World  

In his travels to more than 100 countries – some dangerous, some surprisingly not – Tom Lutz finds that the more places he goes, the more the world leaves him a little bit lost.

Michelle Latiolais: She  

Neither a novel nor a collection of stories, the "fictions" in She  weave together a composite view of Los Angeles.  

Constantine Phipps: What You Want  

A tale of the ordinary, everyday quest for contentedness -- written entirely in heroic couplets.

Vivian Gornick: The Odd Woman and the City  

Vivian Gornick's memoir The Odd Woman and the City takes us on a tour of a life that is lived by walking, observing and talking. Gornick keeps her eyes open, and does she ever have a mouth on her!

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