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.


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!

Geoff Dyer: White Sands  

Paradoxically, Geoff Dyer begins his attempt to locate America by first traveling to Tahiti. There, he discovers that Gauguin’s vision of it no longer exists – if it ever really did. Can he find the soul of America in its landscapes?

Louise Erdrich: LaRose, Part II  

In part two of this conversation about LaRose – Louise Erdrich's novel about an act of restorative justice that tests the boundaries between two families – the discussion explores the non-linear form the novel moves in towards seeking balance and resolution.

Louise Erdrich: LaRose, Part I  

In Louise Erdrich's LaRose, a terrible tragedy forces two families to resort to a form of traditional "restorative justice" in which one son must be given to replace the loss of another. Erdrich talks about this act as an attempt at restoring balance in a tight knit community where healing can take generations.

Joyce Carol Oates: The Man Without a Shadow  

Joyce Carol Oates raises questions about memory – ethics, what it means to love, identity, and the ability to engage, and takes us on a trip down memory lane with a reading from a previous memoir recounting her favorite bad-for-you childhood foods. 

Kate Tempest: The Bricks that Built the Houses  

Rapper, poet, playwright and now novelist, Kate Tempest always knew she would write The Bricks that Built the Houses as an accompaniment to the characters in her record Everybody Down. 

A. Scott Berg: Max Perkins  

A. Scott Berg's Max Perkins: Editor of Genius is the biography of Maxwell Perkins, a long time Scribner editor who worked with the likes of Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe. 

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