January 10, 2019
Amos Oz (1939-2018), noted Israeli novelist and peace activist, recorded November 2004, author of A Tale of Love and Darkness and forty other books, and perennial Nobel Prize candidate. He died December 28, 2018.
January 7, 2019
Larry Kirwan, creator of the musical Paradise Square, at Berkeley Rep through Feb. 24, 2019. Co-founder of the Irish American band Black 47 and author of five books.
January 3, 2019
Katya Cengel, author of Exiled, From the Killing Fields of Cambodia to California and Back. A look at the plight of Southeast Asian refugees, from their lives under the genocidal watch of the Khmer Rouge to their difficult times in the United States, to the fear and possibility of deportation under ICE.
December 31, 2018
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.
December 27, 2018
Ray Bradbury (1920-2012), author of The Martian Chronicles, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Farenheit 451, etc. Archival interview recorded in 1992. Interviewers: Richard Wolinsky & Richard A. Lupoff.
December 24, 2019
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. Aired on the second anniversary of his death, and with the release this week of a new version of Watership Down on Netflix.
December 20, 2018
Justine Bateman, author of Fame:The Hijacking of Reality, former co-tar of the television sitcom Family Ties. Justine Bateman discovered the pitfalls of fame at the age of 16. In Fame she puts her own experiences within the context of how society and individuals view fame.
December 17, 2018
Frank Bonham (1915-1988). Archive interview,
The author of stories and novels in the western genre from the pulp magazine era to the 1980s, author of young adult novels from the early sixties to his death, also author of stories in other fields, including mysteries and science fiction, interviewed in the fall of 1988 by KPFA’s Lawrence Davidson, assisted by author Bill Pronzini for the Probabilities radio program.
December 3, 2018
Nathan Tysen, lyricist for the musicals Tuck Everlasting, at TheatreWorks Palo Alto through Dec. 30, 2018, Amelie and the forthcoming Paradise Square, at Berkeley Rep with previews starting on Dec. 30, 2018.
November 29, 2018
Octavia Butler (1947-2006). Interview recorded November 1998 with Richard A. Lupoff & Richard Wolinsky
Octavia Butler died at the age of 58 in 2006. At the time of her death, she’d published 16 books, with another volume of uncollected stories published posthumously. The author of several acclaimed science fiction and fantasy novels, most notably Kindred and The Parable of the Sower, her reputation has only grown in the twelve years since her death
November 26, 2018
Taylor Mac & Niegel Smith. Taylor Mac is writer, performer, and co-director, and Niegel Smith is co-director, Taylor Mac’s Holiday Sauce at the Curran in San Francisco through December 1, 2018.
November 22, 2018
Jeffrey Eugenides, whose latest book is a collection, Fresh Complaint. This collection consists of two new stories which bookend stories written over the course of the Pulitzer Prize winner's career; called one of the 100 Notable Books of the Year by the New York Times. Rebroadcast.
November 18, 2018
Dancer Joey Arrigo, acrobat Bradley Henderson and publicist Steven Ross from Cirque du Soleil "Volta", which plays in San Francisco through February 3, 2019.
November 15, 2018
Esi Edugyan, author of the novel, Washington Black.
Washington Black tells the story of a young slave in Barbados in the 1840s who is taken under the wing of the abolitionist brother of his master. The novel follows his adventures as he wends his way through the world. One of the NY Times Ten Notable Books of 2018.
November 12, 2018
Jonathan Lethem in Berkeley. Excerpts from an interview recorded on March 13, 2016 in front of a live audience.
Lethem is the acclaimed author of Motherless Brooklyn, Fortress of Solitude, Chrome City and other novels. His latest novel is The Feral Detective.
November 8, 2018
Helen Benedict, author of the novel Wolf Season.
Wolf Season takes place in a small town near Albany, New York, where Iraq war veterans and Iraqi refugees both live and work, and what happens when a natural disaster forces them to interact. How does PTSD and trauma affect those who lived or fought in a war zone, and how does that trauma scar them afterward? Rebroadcast from January 2018.
November 5, 2018
John Fisher, Artistic Director, Theatre Rhino, director of The Boy from Oz at Theatre Rhino through November 17, 2018, and writer/performer of A History of World War II, at the Marsh in San Francisco through February 2, 2019.
November 1, 2018
Andre Dubus III, author of the novel Gone So Long,
Gone So Long focuses on an ex-con in Boston, sent to prison for killing his wife, who drives to Florida to visit the daughter he never knew, and on the daughter and how that violence affected her life and the lives of those around her.
October 29, 2018
Roz Chast, whose latest book is Going into Town: A Love Letter to New York.
Going into Town is a graphic guide-book to New York, originally written for her daughter but expanded into an often funny and probably helpful look at the Big Apple. Rebroadcast
October 25, 2018
Ben Fountain, author of Beautiful Country, Burn Again: Democracy, Rebellion and Revolution.This book details the 2016 presidential campaign through essays, some of which were previously published in a different form in The Guardian, reflecting on why the Clinton campaign failed and how the media and political establishment let the country down.
An essential read.
October 22, 2018
Jeanine Tesori & Alison Bechdel, composer and author of the graphic novel, Fun Home, at TheatreWorks Mountain View through October 28, 2018. Rebroadcast from January 2017.
October 18, 2018
Gary Shteyngart, author of the novel Lake Success.
Gary Shteyngart's latest book features a hedge fund manager on a road trip across America in 2016, and explains and satirizes the lives of the very rich. Gary Shteyngart took that very road trip via Greyhound himself, exploring middle America and sensing the Trump victory even before it happened. Funny and illuminating at the same time.
October 15, 2018
Rupert Everett, actor and director, the film The Happy Prince. Also: Playwright Charles Busch discussing the social and artistic implications of drag.
October 11, 2018
David Sedaris, author of Calypso.
This latest collection of essays deals with family life, the death of David Sedaris' sister, and other events. Funny and often moving, his best collection in recent years.
October 8, 2018
Loretta Greco, Artistic Director of Magic Theatre, director of Sweat at ACT Geary, through Oct. 21, 2018
September 17, 2018
Johanna Pfaelzer, the new Artistic Director of Berkeley Rep, starting in the 2019-2020 season. Also: Loretta Greco, director of Sweat, at ACT Geary through Oct. 21, 2018
September 13, 2018
Charles Busch, playwright, Red Scare on Sunset, at New Conservatory Theatre.Sept 21-Oct 21, 2018.
Charles Busch is a noted drag artist and playwright. His works include Die Mommie Die and The Tale of the Allergists' Wife.
September 10, 2018
Robert Kelley, Artistic Director, Theatreworks Palo Alto.
June 15, 2015
Chris Hedges, author of Wages of Rebellion. The Moral Imperative of Revolt.
Chris Hedges is a former New York Times bureau chief, now a columnist, who writes about the United States in the context of an ever-increasing oligarchy. His books are must-reads. This is a Q&A from a KPFA event, June 9, 2015 and includes some questions from the audience.
August 30, 2018
Elizabeth Rosner, author of Survivor Cafe, recorded live at Pegasus Books, Solano Ave., Berkeley, Nov. 30, 2017. Aired for the first time. Survivor Cafe deals with trauma and its effects, both direct and indirect. The daughter of Holocaust survivors, Elizabeth Rosner examines the effects of war and other tragedies on the psyche, and how those effects can be passed down, generation to generation.
August 27, 2018
Erik Larson. author of In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin. First aired on July 21, 2011. The story of the U.S. Ambassador to Germany during the early days of the Hitler regime. A fascinating account.
August 23, 2018
Erroi Morris, author of The Ashtray (Or the Man Who Denied Reality). The noted documentarian (The Thin Blue Line, The Fog of War, the TV series Wormwood) discusses the nature of truth in terms of his argument with a philosopher who believed all truth was subjective.
August 20, 2018
Joseph Kanon, author of the novel Defectors.
One of the leading spy novelists writing today, Joseph Kanon began his career as an editor at a major publishing house. His novel "The Good German" became a successful film. "Defectors" tells the story of American defectors living in Russia during the height of the Cold War.
August 16, 2018
Paul Theroux, author of the memoir Sir Vidia's Shadow about V.S. Naipal (1932-2018), who died August 11, 2018. Interview recorded October 28,1998 hosted by Richard Wolinsky & Richard A. Lupoff. Remastered/re-edited 2018.
August 13, 2018
Bill English, Artistic Director, San Francisco Playhouse, and director of Sunday in the Park with George, which plays at the Playhouse, through September 8, 2018.
August 9, 2018
Glen David Gold, author of I Will Be Complete: A Memoir.
I Will Be Complete tells the story of Gold's life through his twenties, focusing on his relationship with his mother, who left him alone frequently to go off and do her own thing, and his relationships and attempts at coming to grips with his own life story. Reading like a novel, I Will Be Complete uses fictional tropes to tell a real-life story.
August 6, 2018
Howard Browne (1908-1999)
Archive 1980s interview with the pulp editor and television writer, conducted by Richard A. Lupoff, digitized and re-edited in 2018 by Richard Wolinsky.
Browne spent several years as editor for Ziff-Davis publications, including Amazing Stories, and also spent years writing for television shows in the 1960s and 1970s. He also wrote several mystery and science fiction novels under various pseudonyms.
July 23, 2018
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.
July 19, 2018
Richard Powers, author of the novel The Overstory.
Based on prodigious research, Powers tells of the way trees communicate with one another, and spins stories based on real life confrontations between protestors and those who would destroy the lifeblood of the planet to pay off leveraged debt. Long-listed for the Man Booker Prize.
July 16, 2018
Jeanne Sakata, playwright, Hold These Truths, at Theatreworks Lucie Stern Theatre July 11-August 5, 2018
July 12, 2018
Nancy MacLean, author of Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America.
Duke University Professor Nancy MacLean, in researching the life of libertarian professor James Buchanan, discovered the philosophical underpinnings of what Hillary Clinton (almost unknowingly) called the “vast right-wing conspiracy.” Funded by Charles Koch and other donors, they’ve taken over the GOP and have an agenda, she says, that ultimately will allow minority rule in the United States for the forseeable future.
July 9, 2018
American Conservatory Theatre Special: Carey Perloff interviews Khaled Hosseini, author of A Thousand Splendid Suns, and Ursula Rani Sarma, playwright of the ACT production, which runs July 17-29, 2018. Recorded January 17, 2017 on stage at the Geary Theatre.
July 5, 2018
Harlan Ellison (1934-2018)
Impossible to categorize, and sometimes impossible to be around, Harlan Ellison was an acclaimed short story writer known for his science fiction and fantasy, a novelist, an editor known for the classic Dangerous Visions anthologies, a television writer and consultant, a media gadfly, and one of the most steadfast promoters of reading and independent bookstores. Interview recorded recorded in San Francisco on September 15, 1997, while he was on tour for his collection, Slippage. Hosts; Richard Wolinsky & Richard A. Lupoff
July 2, 2018
Salman Rushdie, author of The Golden House.
The Golden House focuses on a wealthy Indian family living in New York, and concerns such topics as the relationship of wealth to criminal enterprises in New York and Bombay (Mumbai), the world of the artist in New York, the recent presidential election, and film images in our culture. Now out in paperback. Rebroadcast.
June 28, 2018
Simon Winchester, author of The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World.
A master at non-fiction writing, Simon Winchester looks at the difference between precision and accuracy, and at how these two elements helped create the world we see today, from automobiles to cell phones, from microscopes to telescopes.
June 25, 2018
Adam Gopnik, author of At The Strangers Gate
Adam Gopnik has been a staff writer for the New Yorker magazine for over three decades. His latest book, “At The Strangers’ Gate” deals with his arrival in New York in the early 1980s, and focuses on changes in life and culture over the course of that decade. Rebroadcast
June 21, 2018
Len Cariou, solo performer, Broadway and the Bard, at the Lesher Center, June 21-24, 2018.
Len Cariou was the original Broadway star of A Little Night Music and Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and is a regular on the TV series Blue Bloods.
June 18, 2018
Octavio Solis, playwright of Quixote Nuevo at California Shakespeare Theatre, June 13 - July 1, 2018,
June 14, 2018
Norman Mailer (1923-2007)
Program based on interviews recorded November 6, 1995 with Richard Wolinsky & Richard A. Lupoff and May 19, 1998 with Richard A. Lupoff. Career retrospective
The iconic author of several novels including The Naked and the Dead, Ancient Evenings and Harlot's Ghost, and non-fiction works including Armies of the Night and The Executioner's Song.
June 11, 2018
David Henry Hwang & Jeanine Tesori, playwright and composer of Soft Power, at the Curran Theater in San Francisco, June 20-July 8, 2018.
June 7, 2018
Tayari Jones, author of the novel, An American Marriage
An American Marriage deals with a marriage torn apart by the unjust arrest and imprisonment of the husband after an accusation by a white woman at a motel, and how both spouses deal with the following few years.
June 4, 2018
Sheryl Kaller & Pamela Gray, director and playwright of A Walk on the Moon at ACT Geary Theatre, June 9-July 1, 2018
May 31, 2018
Isaac Butler & Dan Kois, authors of The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America.
An oral history of the creation of Tony Kushner's masterpiece, Angels in America, from its original conception through to the recent revivals. Fascinating and worthwhile.
May 28, 2018
Tom Perrotta, author of Mrs. Fletcher and The Leftovers.
Mrs. Fletcher is a comic novel with a divorced mother and empty nest syndrome, and her obsession with internet pornography. Rebroadcast.
May 7, 2018
Liz Diamond, director of Father Comes Home from the Wars, Parts 1, 2 and 3 by Suzan-Lori Parks, April 25 - May 20, 2018.
May 3, 2018
Michael David Lukas, author of The Last Watchman of Old Cairo.The Last Watchman of Old Cairo” tells the story of a family hired a thousand years ago to guard a synagogue in Cairo, and of a secret scroll that may or may not exist. Michael David Lukas is also the author of the novel The Oracle of Stamboul.
April 30, 2018
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. Rebroadcast.
Posted April 30, 2018
Tom Alan Robbins, actor, Head Over Heels, at the Curran April 10 - May 6, 2018
April 26, 2018
Tony Kushner, playwright, Angels in America, recorded March 17, 2006.
Tony Kushner is arguably America's greatest living playwright at the moment. Angels in America runs at Berkeley Rep through July 22, 2018.
April 23, 2018
Cherilyn Parsons, founder and director of the Bay Area Book Fair, April 28-29, 2018 in Berkeley.
April 19, 2018
Andrew Sean Greer, author of the novel Less.
Less tells the story of a middle-aged writer turning fifty, his relationships with an older famed poet and a younger man, and a trip around the world intended to not only escape his current situation but gain an understanding of his work and his inner life. A comic novel about being gay, about relationships, and about the nature of travel and life of a writer.
Winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Rebroadcast.
April 16, 2018
Arts-Waves: Michael Mayer, director, Head Over Heels, at the Curran April 10 - May 6, 2018.
April 12, 2018
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. Rebroadcast
April 9, 2018
Jessica Hagedorn, playwright of The Gangster of Love, at the Magic Theatre, April 11-May 6, 2018
April 6, 2018
Steven Saylor, author of The Throne of Caesar.
Steven Saylor’s latest novel takes his detective protagonist, Gordianus the Finder, to the days leading to the assassination of Julius Caesar. In the novel, Gordianus has just been appointed by Caesar to the Roman Senate, and has been tasked by Caesar and by Cicero, to discover if there’s any plot afoot to kill the dictator before he leaves to conquer Parthia.
Posted April 4, 2018
Rachel York, actor, Head Over Heels, at the Curran Theatre, April 10 - May 6, 2018
April 2, 2018
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. Rebroadcast.
March 29, 2018
Peter Carey, author of the novel, A Long Way from Home.
A Long Way From Home delves into the story of racism in Australia and the oppression of the indigenous aboriginal peoples who inhabited the continent for two centuries before the white man and colonialism arrived. The novel does this by focusing on the Redex, an auto trial which featured a voyage around Australia starting in Sydney.
March 26, 2018
Richard Fouts, playwright and Suze, Allen, director, The Birthday Lottery at Z Space, March 29 - April 1, 2018
March 22, 2018
Joyce Maynard, author of the memoir, The Best of Us.
The author of several novels and multiple memoirs, Joyce Maynard’s latest book deals with her unexpected relationship and marriage in her late fifties, followed shortly thereafter with her husband’s diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. It’s both a love story and a harrowing tale of coping with a fatal disease.
March 19, 2018
Ryan Weible, director, Saturday Night by Stephen Sondheim, at 42nd St. Moon Gateway Theatre through April 15, 2018.
March 15, 2018
Tim Kreider, author of I Wrote This Book Because I Love You. Tim Kreider gained a reputation as a cartoonist in the style of B. Kliban before turning political following the stolen election of 2000 and 9/11. His series, “The Pain — When Will It End?” ran for twelve years in the Baltimore City Paper and other alternative weeklies. His latest collection of essays deals with the personal and the political, and examines such topics as the war on terror, atheism, the circus and other themes.
March 12, 2018
Peter Mayle (1939-2018), author of Encore Provence. Recorded October 18, 1999.
Peter Mayle became a best-selling author following the publication of his memoir, A Year in Provence, about the renovation of his home after he moved to the South of France. He followed it with novels and collections of essays, including Encore Provence, for which he went on tour in 1999.
February 19, 2018
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. Rebroadcast
February 15, 2018
Trina Robbins, author of the memoir, Last Girl Standing.
A legend in comic book circles, an artist at a time when hardly any women drew comics, Trina Robbins' latest book, a memoir, “Last Girl Standing,” deals with her life as an artist, author, and clothing designer. She was the first woman to edit a comic book created by women, “It Ain’t Me Babe,” the first woman to draw “Wonder Woman,” and the single most influential historian chronicling the women who created comics and cartoons.
February 12, 2018
Joy Carlin, director, Widowers' Houses by George Bernard Shaw at Aurora Theatre through March 4, 2018.
February 5, 2018
Margaret Atwood, 1989.
Interview recorded February 22, 1989, focusing on The Handmaid's Tale and Cat's Eye. Interviewers:
Richard Wolinsky, Richard A. Lupoff and Lisa Goldstein
February 1, 2018
Ursula K. LeGuin (1928-2018)
Ursula K. Le Guin, who broke the artificial wall between science fiction and literature, died on January 22nd, 2018 at the age of 88. An essayist and poet along with being a fiction writer, she transcended all genres with the quality of her prose and the allegorical nature of her work. Among her best known works are The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, and her fantasy novels set in Earthsea.
Interview recorded September 29, 2000 while on tour for the novel The Telling. Hosts: Richard Wolinsky & Richard A. Lupoff.
January 29, 2018
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.
January 25, 2018
Nathan Englander, author of Dinner at the Center of the Earth. Nathan Englander’s second novel concerns the ongoing crisis between Palestinians and Israels in the story of a prisoner, a former Mossad agent, now being held in an Israeli prison. No one knows he is there. Based on the story of “Prisoner X,” the novel deals with the nature of identity, politics, and empathy.
January 22, 2018
John Kolvenbach, playwright, Reel to Reel, at Magic Theatre through February 25, 2018.
January 18, 2018
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.
January 15, 2018
The Gershwin Project II: Deena Rosenberg, author of Fascinating Rhythm and Michael Strunsky of the Gershwin Trust, recorded August 14, 1992.
Hosts: Richard Wolinsky & Alex Davis.
January 11, 2018
Sue Grafton (1940-2017)
Program contains excerpts from two interviews
January 8, 2018
Judith Ivey, actress, The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter, directed by Carey Perloff, at ACT Geary Theatre through February 4, 2018.
January 4, 2018
Helen Benedict, author of the novel Wolf Season.
Wolf Season takes place in a small town near Albany, New York, where Iraq war veterans and Iraqi refugees both live and work, and what happens when a natural disaster forces them to interact. How does PTSD and trauma affect those who lived or fought in a war zone, and how does that trauma scar them afterward?
January 1, 2018
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. Rebroadcast