July 24, 2017
Elmore Leonard (1925-2013) was a leading light in the field of crime and noir fiction. Author of such novels as Get Shorty, Stick, Rum Punch and other thrillers which became films, he also was the vision behind the now classic television show, Justified. In this documentary using material from interviews conducted in 1988 and 1989, host Richard Wolinsky lets Elmore speak, in his own words, about his career and his writing process.
July 20, 2017
Adam Hochschild, author of Spain In Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. A brilliant history of the Spanish Civil War, focusing on a handful of Americans who wrote diaries and letters speaking of their involvement. With the rise of fascism in the United States, this history becomes extremely timely. Rebroadcast from June, 2016.
July 17, 2017
Richard Schickel (1933-2017) Longtime Time Magazine film reviewer, author of 36 books, recorded in 2003 discussing him memoir, Good Morning Mr. Zip Zip Zip, which chronicles his love for films and his childhood during World War II.
July 13, 2017
David Shields, author of Other People, Takes & Mistakes.
In his latest book, a collection of over thirty essays and stories, David Shields examines what it means to know another person, whether we can actually know anyone else.
July 10, 2017
Jacqueline Woodson author of Another Brooklyn.
The coming of age of four African American girls growing up in Brooklyn in the 1970s is a poetic tour de force, a finalist for the National Book Award. Jacqueline Woodson is better known as one of the premier writers of young adult and middle school fiction. Rebroadcast from November, 2016.
July 6, 2017
Kim Addonizio, author of Bukowski in a Sundress and Mortal Trash. Poet, novelist and short story writer, Kim Addonizio has built up a reputation as one of the most original and quirky voices writing today. Her memoir, Bukowski in a Sundress, deals with issues involving being a writer, dealing with an elderly parent, and working through issues of childhood. Rebroadcast from August, 2016.
July 3, 2017
Carl Hiaasen, author of Razor Girl, and Miami Herald political columnist. Carl Hiaasen is one of the best authors today in the field of comic crime novels. Razor Girl, as with previous books, is set in southern Florida (in this case Key West) and satirizes the state's politics and culture, including environmental issues and reality television. Rebroadcast from September, 2016
June 29, 2017
Colm Toibin, author of the novel House of Names.
House of Names is a retelling of the story of the House of Atreus, the classic Greek tragedy of Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, Electra and Orestes, which formed the basis of plays by Sophocles, Euripedes and Aeschylus, as well as influenced playwrights from Shakespeare to Eugene O’Neill.
June 26, 2017
John Fisher, Artistic Director of Theatre Rhino in San Francisco; Excerpts from the 1998 interview with Gore Vidal (see below).
June 22, 2017
Jim Obergefell, co-author of Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality. Written like a thriller, Love Wins, co-written by journalilst Debbie Cenziper, tells the story of the marriage equality case against the backdrop of Jim and John’s relationship, and the relationships of others who also joined the case. Rebroadcast from July, 2016.
June 19, 2017
Gore Vidal (1925-2012)
Interview recorded March 11, 1998, hosts: Richard Wolinsky and Richard A. Lupoff. 2017 producer: Richard Wolinsky.
Gore Vidal's novel The Smithsonian Institution is not an historical novel; it falls along the lines of his sf/fantasy satires like Duluth and Myra Breckenridge, though along the way he comments on actual American history, making it a kind of hybrid. Not among his best works, but worth a look.
June 15, 2017
Anna Quindlen, author of the novel Miller's Valley.
Miller's Valley is set in the late 1960s and early 1970s about a girl in a soon-to-be lost town who comes of age and power with the rise of second wave feminism. Anna Quindlen is a former columnist for the NY Times and Newsweek. Rebroadcast from April, 2016.
June 12, 2017
Han Ong, playwright, Grandeur; author, Fixer Chao.
Grandeur played at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco through June 25, 2017.
June 8, 2017
Andrew McCarthy, author of Just Fly Away
A young adult novel about a girl finding out she has a brother from an affair of her father and how she deals with it, Just Fly Away perfectly captures teen angst. Andrew McCarthy was the star of Pretty In Pink and Weekend at Bernie's, later went on to a career as a travel writer and television actor and director.
June 5, 2017
Wes Craven (1939-2016)
Interview with the late film director, then on tour with his novel Fountain Society. Wes Craven is best known for the Scream and Nightmare on Elm Street series of horror films. Recorded October 13, 1999.
Interviewers: Richard Wolinsky & Richard A. Lupoff.
June 1, 2017
Donna Seaman, author of Identity Unknown: Rediscovering Seven American Women Artists.
An examination of seven twentieth century women artists, all deceased and now mostly forgotten, whose contribution to the world of art in various disciplines should be remembered alongside their male counterparts. The seven artists: Louise Nevelson, Gertrude Abercrombie, Lois Madou Jones, Ree Morton, Joan Brown, Lenore Tawney and Christina Ramberg.
May 29, 2017
Octavia Butler (1947-2006)
Recorded in 1983, with Richard Wolinsky and Richard A. Lupoff. Octavia Butler is today known as a pioneer in anthropoligcal science fiction and fantasy. The first major African-American woman in the genre, she created such classics as Kindred and Parable of the Sower. This interview, conducted in her room at a science fiction convention in San Jose, is one of the earliest extant recordings of Octavia Butler talking about her background and career.
May 9, 2017 - May 26, 2017
KPFA Fund Drive pre-emptions
May 8, 2017
Jonathan Allen, co-author, Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign.
Shattered looks inside the failed Clinton campaign from the perspective of those involved as well as from a Beltway vantage point. The big question, never answered: Why is she running? This interview tries to fill in some of the holes in the book.
May 4, 2017
Peter Brook, co-director, Battlefield
Battlefield at ACT Geary through May 21, 2017, is a re-examination of Peter Brook's nine-hour adaptation of the Indian epic, Mahabharata, and Brook is one of the innovative masters of theater in the 20th and 21st centuries.
May 1, 2017
Simon McBurney, actor/director, The Encounter.
The Encounter, which played the Curran Theater through May 7, 2017, uses binaural sound to recreate both the South American jungle and the telling of the tale to disconnect and reconnect the audience with the relationship of themselves to reality. Part of a national tour.
April 27, 2017
Ian Rankin, author of the novel, Rather Be The Devil
Ian Rankin has carved a name for himself as the premier Scottish writer of noir fiction. His series detective, John Rebus, has appeared in most of his over 25 books. Focusing on police procedure in Edinburgh, these books capture Scotland, his people and politics, in a way that few others have.
April 24, 2017
Susan Faludi, author of In The Darkroom
In the Darkroom is a memoir about Susan Faludi's reconnection with her estranged father, who had moved back to Hungary and had a sex-change operation. The book is about identity, not only sexual, but also national and religious, and reads like a novel. Rebroadcast.
April 20, 2017
Ariel Levy, author of the memoir, The Rules Do Not Apply
Staff writer for the New Yorker, Ariel Levy focuses on how her life fell apart and how she dealt with hitting bottom. A miscarriage, the end of a relationship and her work at the magazine all combine in a riveting fashion.
April 17, 2017
Laura Tillman, author of The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts: Murder and Memory in an American City. This book is the true story of a horrific murder in Brownsville, Texas, and its relationship to the community, putting violent crime in the context of society at large.Rebroadcast.
April 13, 2017
Bill Pronzini, author of the novel The Violated.
The author of over 80 books, Bill Pronzini's latest novel is a police procedural involving a serial rapist, told from the perspective of several people involved.
April 10, 2017
Robert Hurwitt, former theatre critic, San Francisco Chronicle
April 6, 2017
Paul Auster, author of 4 3 2 1
Paul Auster's epic novel deals with the nature of probability. The book starts out with events leading up to the birth of one Archie Ferguson. Then we follow Archie as his family becomes poor, stays middle class, becomes rich, and becomes fatherless. The four Archies each lead their own lives in alternating chapters as they come to adulthood. Immersive and fascinating.
April 3, 2017
Bharati Mukerjee (1940-2017)
2011 interview: Miss New India.
The author of several novels of the immigrant experience, Bharati Mukerjee's final published novel was Miss New India.
March 30, 2017
Otessa Moshfegh, author of Homesick for Another World.
Considered one of the finest authors in America under the age of 40, Otess Moshfegh is developing her own cult following with her own iconoclastic style and dark humor. These stories reflect why she's growing in stature.
March 27, 2017
Steven Bach (1938-2009), author of Leni: The Life and Work of Leni Riefenstahl.
A biography of the film-maker and Nazi propagandist, creator of Triumph of the Will (and subject of a current Aurora Theater play, Leni). In the era of Donald Trump, a look back at the origins of modern propaganda becomes more than just a history lesson. Interview recorded in May 7, 2007.
March 23, 2017
Douglas Preston, author of Lost City of the Monkey God.
The story of the search for a fabled city in Central America, the book also covers a history of conmen and thieves, a search using modern technology, a trip into an unexplored jungle, and medical horrors in the aftermath. Preston weaves it all together in a way that keeps you turning the pages.
March 20, 2017
Josh & Jacob Kornbluth, filmmakers, Love and Taxes
Josh Kornbluth, writer & actor; Jacob Kornbluth, director, Love and Taxes, based on the stage monologue by Josh Kornbluth.
March 16, 2017
George Saunders, author of Lincoln in the Bardo
Known for his short stories, George Saunders tackles the long form in his brilliant first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo. Ghosts prowl a cemetery in Washington DC and Lincoln lays his son to rest in the midst of the Civil War. Told as an "oral history," this original piece of work sits in the mind afterward.
March 13, 2017
Liesl Tommy & Ayesha Jordan, Eclipsed
Liiesl Tommy, director; Ayesha Jordan, actor, Eclipsed by Danai Gurira at the Curran through March 19, 2017.
February 21 - March 11, 2017:
KPFA Fund Drive Pre-emption.
February 20, 2017
Dan Hoyle, writer/performer, The Real Americans
at The Marsh through February 25, 2017
February 16, 2017
Pamela Rotner Sakamoto, author of Midnight in Broad Daylight: A Japanese American Family Caught Between Two Worlds. A fascinating look at a Japanese family with members on both sides of World War II, in America at an internment camp and in the army; in Japan in Hiroshima.
February 13, 2017
Paul Theroux, author of Deep South.
Theroux's latest travel book is about America, the back roads of the South: South Carolina, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, the poorest parts of the United States, with stops in churches, gun shows, homes and stores. An in-depth look at the forgotten America. Rebroadcast from 2015.
February 9, 2017
Maria Semple, author of Today Will Be Different
A very funny novel about a wife and mother dealing with various and sundry problems over the course of one horrific day, by a former comedy writer and show-runner.
February 6, 2017
American Conservatory Theatre Special: Carey Perloff interviews Khaled Hosseini, author of A Thousand Splendid Suns, and Ursula Rani Sarma, playwright of the ACT production.
February 2, 2017
Cleve Jones, author of When We Rise.
When We Rise is a memoir about the life of the gay and union activist, dealing with being gay in San Francisco before AIDS, the AIDS crisis and the quilt, and life as union activist years later. The TV show is related to, but very different from the book. The Q&A posted here is almost entirely about activism in the Age of Trump.
January 30, 2017
Alison Bechel & Jeanine Tesori, Fun Home
Alison Bechdel, author of the graphic novel, and Jeanine Tesori, composer of the Tony Award winning musical Fun Home.
January 26, 2017
Robert Olen Butler, author of Perfume River
Perfume River tells the story of a Vietnam vet, struggling with his entry to old age, and with his older parents, one of whom has his own secrets from World War II, and with his brother, who ran to Canada rather than be conscripted. A return to form and one of Butler's best works.
January 23, 2017
Ashley Judd, author of All That Is Bitter and Sweet.
The film star discusses growing up in an abusive environment, and discusses her work as a global AIDS and feminist activist. Rebroadcast.
January 19, 2017
Margot Livesey, author of Mercury.
The author of several psychological thrillers, Margot Livesey's latest concerns obsession and how it can destroy a family and a marriage.
January 16, 2017
Rick Moody, author of Hotels of North America
Hotels of North America is an often screamingly funny book about an internet reviewer with issues. Moody's books are unclassifiable, ranging from science fiction and horror send-ups to experimental works on a variety of issues.
January 12, 2017
Bill Irwin, writer/performer, On Beckett, at ACT's Strand Theatre through January 22, 2017
January 9, 2017
Adam Johnson, author of Fortune Smiles and The Orphan Master's Son.
Fortune Smiles, a collection of stories, was the winner of the 2015 National Book Award. His recent novel, The Orphan Master's Son, about life in North Korea, won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Literature. Rebroadcast from 2015.
January 5, 2017
Rabih Alameddine, author of The Angel of History.
A novel about memory and forgetting, The Angel of History deals, via magic realism, with the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco and its effect on an immigrant Arab poet who was the only one of his friends to survive.
January 2, 2017
Richard Adams (1920-2016)
Interview with the author of Watership Down and The Plague Dogs, recorded spring, 1978. Richard Adams died on December 24, 2016. This was Richard Wolinsky's first solo interview. Digitized & re-edited in 2017.