Interviews By Topic

A poison garden

Amy Stewart is a serious gardener with a side gig – writing about all the plants that could kill you.More

Poison tea

Kathryn Harkup is a chemist with an expertise in poison. She’s made a close study of a famous poisoner that employed everything from arsenic to cyanide to knock off close to 300 (fictional) victims: Agatha Christie, the mystery writer.More

"If Beale Street Could Talk" by James Baldwin

The author of "Another Brooklyn" recommends a James Baldwin novel she says belongs on everyone's bookshelf.More

"The Land at the End of the World" by António Lobo Antunes

The author of "The Sympathizer" recommends António Lobo Antunes' novel.More

"The Complete Short Stories of James Purdy"

The notorious filmmaker recommends the complete short stories of "one of the greatest―and most underappreciated―writers in America in the latter half of the twentieth century."More

Books on books on books

Why do we keep dividing the world of books into different genres — like romance novels, science fiction and literary fiction? Novelist Lauren Beukes says we should simply get rid of the whole idea of genre.More

Rashid Johnson, Antoine’s Organ, 2016.

Rashid Johnson is a rising star in the art world. Using signature materials like shea butter and black soap, he explores themes of race, yearning and escape, and grapples with what it means to come of age as a black artist and intellectual.More

Right-wing provocateur and Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes pumps his fist during a rally at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park on April 27, 2017 in Berkeley, Calif.

Investigative journalist Alexandra Hall examined the "Proud Boys," a men's organization whose founder preaches libertarian ideals, the rejection of feminism, and the "veneration of the housewife," which translates to the belief that most women belong at home.More

trains for the train sounds, Paris

Cities are full of music — but can cities also BE music? David Rothenberg gives us a tiny history of how composers have used cities to make music, beginning with Pierre Schaeffer’s “Musique concrète.”More

Left to Right: Aaron Henkin, Wendel Patrick (WYPR)

Baltimore-based podcasters Aaron Henkin and Wendel Patrick are interviewing people and telling their stories, block by block.
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horoscope

Astrology, the Myers-Briggs test, and even Buzzfeed place you into the same archetype as thousands of other people. So why turn to them? It comes down to crafting a personal narrative using archetypes.More

Chloe Benjamin

Author Chloe Benjamin on how the magical worlds of her novels are rooted in her daily life.More

The midwives of "Call the Midwife" (BBC)

Anne Strainchamps joins a group of women, Laurie, Jane, Carol and Liz, to watch the premiere of Season 7 of "Call the Midwife" and talk about birth.  More

water

David Foster Wallace gave the commencement speech at Kenyon College in 2005. It was popular enough to eventually be published in a thin little book called “This Is Water.”More

Three of the transgender men whose stories are told in "Unbound"

Sociologist Arlene Stein has been following four people who were identified as female at birth but later transitioned to male.  She tells their stories in her book, “Unbound.”   More

Cruises suck

David Foster Wallace's essays have their own unique cult following. There’s one, “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again,” which is a hilarious diatribe about cruise ships, which convinced many of us we should never, ever go on a cruise.More

Cracked cover

Even this many years later, it’s hard to underestimate what a popular and controversial writer David Foster Wallace still is. There’s even an entire field of "David Foster Wallace Studies" — one of its leaders is Clare Hayes-Brady.More

Tennis in the Sierpinski triangle

The most famous thing David Foster Wallace wrote is Infinite Jest, his huge, sprawling novel set in a dystopian near future. It’s a little eerie how well he predicted our world today — including the election of someone a lot like President Trump.More

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