On the Radio

Week of February 8, 2015

Writing for a Living

February 8, 2015

Ever dream of penning a best-seller? You're not alone. According to one estimate, more than 80 percent of Americans think they could publish a book. But what does it really take to make it as a writer?

  1. Making It As A Writer

    Laura Van Den Berg has the kind of literary success writers dream of. Her debut novel comes out later this month, and already it's become one of the most anticipated books of the year. But for Laura, writing hasn't always been easy.

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  2. MFA or NYC?

    Chad Harbach is a cofounder and coeditor of the literary magazine N+1. A few years ago, he penned a widely circulated essay looking at the rise of creative writing MFA programs in the US. He believes they're creating a distinctly new literary culture, with its own set of motivations and goals.

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  3. The Decline of the Creative Class

    It's not just writers that are struggling to make a living these days. Artists and other creative types are also feeling the pinch, especially as more and more businesses that support them disappear — think indie record stores or bookstores. Scott Timberg is a writer who believes the arts economy is collapsing. He tells Sara Nics that if the trend continues, the only artists who'll surive are those at the very top.

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  4. Sonic Sidebar: Why I Write

    Nobel Prize-winning writer Orhan Pamuk offers his take on why he writes.

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  5. Dangerous Idea: Do Not Write For Free

    Writer and activist Yasmin Nair's Dangerous Idea? Writers should always 

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  6. Self-Publishing Success

    In 2011, as a relatively unknown writer, Hugth Howey released a dystopian science fiction novella on the internet. Readers loved it and clamored for more. Before any print copies had even been published, Howey's WOOL series sold hundeds of thousands of copies, earning him a small fortune. He believes that self-publishing is the future for lots of writers.

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  7. On Our Minds: Reinhold Messner

    Correction: In the broadcast version of this interview, Reinhold Messner is incorrectly said to have walked 28,000 kilometers across Antarctica. He walked 2,800 kilometers.

    Reinhold Messner is arguably the world’s greatest living mountaineer. He’s climbed 14 of the world’s tallest peaks, and if that isn’t impressive enough, he was the first to climb Mt. Everest alone and without supplemental oxygen. He recounts some of these adventures in a new book called “Reinhold Messner: My Life at the Limit.” Steve Paulson caught up with him and asked how he got hooked on climbing.

     

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1001 Nights (Updated)

February 8, 2015

The bedtime stories of Sinbad, Ali Baba and Aladdin are enchanting stories. They’re also much more: violent, sexually explicit, political, and feminist.

  1. 1001 Nights 101

    The Thousand and One Nights have been told and re-told for centuries, censored and banned in the Middle East, and made into cheesy Disney movies for kids. But have you ever read them? Here's the backstory with Steve Paulson. 

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  2. 1001 Nights: A Retelling - Hanan Al-Shaykh

    Sheherezade –  the world’s first feminist. Lebanese writer Hanan Al-Shaykh has re-told some of her stories in a new collection.

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  3. SONIC SIDEBAR: Orhan Pamuk on The Arabian Nights

    How relevant are 1001 Nights today? Well, they’re still a powerful influence for some very famous writers. Here' Turkish author, Orhan Pamuk.

    You can also hear our interview with Pamuk on his novel "Snow."

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  4. Salman Rushdie on "Luka and the Fire of Life"

    Salman Rushdie's life has been a fantasy, but not necessarily in the way he would have wanted.

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  5. Dangerous Idea: Narcissism is Good

    Elizabeth Lunbeck’s Dangerous Idea is narcissism is good.

     

     

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  6. On Our Minds: OKCupid

    Christian Rudder, the founder of OKCupid, thinks cupid’s arrow may just be an algorithm.

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