Jonathan Franzen’s latest novel unfolds between multiple characters across time and geography, connected by a theme named in its title: “Purity.” Jeffrey Brown visits the author on the California coast to discuss the book’s inspiration and why he gets into heated public debates. Continue reading
The escape of Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán felt to novelist Don Winslow like it came straight out of the pages of his new book, “The Cartel.” Winslow has been writing about the drug wars for years, sharing observations of devastating brutality through his fiction. He joins Jeffrey Brown to discuss the challenge of conveying violence to readers and the futility of our war on drugs. Continue reading
“Since Atlanta, she had looked out the dining-car window with a delight almost physical.” So begins Pulitzer Prize-winner Harper Lee’s new book, “Go Set a Watchman”. The first chapter of the highly anticipated novel was released Friday. Continue reading
Picture books are usually kid-oriented, but two expletive-laden tales, written like traditional bedtime stories, are parents-only hits. “You Have To F**king Eat” and “Go The F**k To Sleep” have become best-sellers, with audiobooks voiced by Samuel L. Jackson and Bryan Cranston — two actors well-versed in the art of swearing. Jeffrey Brown interviews author Adam Mansbach. Continue reading
You’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but browsing the stacks of your local bookstore or public library, what makes you gravitate toward one one text over another? It could be the work of designers like Peter Mendelsund, whose new book “Cover” was released earlier this month.
Best-selling author Tom Clancy has died in Baltimore at the age of 66. His espionage novels ushered in a new genre of military thrillers and spawned successful films. What made Clancy’s books so popular? Gwen Ifill talks to NPR book commentator Alan Cheuse about the late author’s characters and strong imagination. Continue reading
The Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to celebrated Chinese writer Mo Yan, whose books include "Red Sorghum" and "The Garlic Ballads." Some more politically outspoken Chinese dissidents and intellectuals were critical of the choice, but the Nobel committee was quick to say the prize was awarded solely on literary merit. Continue reading
Jeffrey Brown talks to Charles Laughlin of the University of Virginia and Xiao Qiang at the University of California, Berkeley about prolific writer and Nobel Laureate Mo Yan, whose detractors cite a cozy relationship with Chinese state media and a savviness about staying away from topics sensitive to the Communist government. Continue reading