Archive for October, 2009

Jason Starr Interview

October 31st, 2009 by Lewis Frumkes


Jason Starr is a big talent coasting along just under the radar and worth discovering. If you’ve read his first book “Cold Caller,” and freaked out, or his most recent “Panic Attack,” you’ll know what I mean. Jason and I discuss how he got into writing. . .  writing thrillers, and how he views the rest of his life. An interesting young man.

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Jonathan Lethem Interview

October 24th, 2009 by Lewis Frumkes


Jonathan Lethem tells me he thinks Chronic City is his best and most complete work. This evaluation becomes interesting in light of the fact that we have a clash of critics in the Times. Michiko Kakutani in the daily New York Times reviewed the novel unkindly while Gregory Cowles on the cover of the New York Times Book Review called it a “bravura eighth novel.” Lethem, a MacArthur Award recipient, who has developed his reputation with “Motherless Brooklyn,” and “Fortress Of Solitude,” and been compared to a young Saul Bellow probably has little to fear from the critics, yet it is interesting to hear him discuss his current work and raison d’etre in his own words.

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Mariam Said Interview

October 24th, 2009 by Lewis Frumkes


Mariam Said joins me on the Frumkes Show to discuss her mother Wadad Makdisi Cortas’s fascinating memoir entitled “A World I Love,” and also a book by her late Husband Edward Said and Daniel Barenboim entitled “Parallels and Paradoxes.” The former is the story of her mother’s pioneering attempts to educate girls in the Arab World in a non-parochial way while at the same time retaining pride in their national heritage, while the latter is a series of dialogues between the eminent Argentinian-Israeli pianist Daniel Barenboim and the late Edward Said who was a Palistinian-American  literary and cultural critic of great renown as well as an impassioned commentator on the Middle East. The two as it happens were also great friends. Mariam is a wonderful woman whom I think you will find it a pleasure to meet.

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Lorrie Moore Interview

October 3rd, 2009 by Lewis Frumkes


Caryn James in The New York Times Book Review said of Lorrie “She may be the most acute and lasting writer of her generation,” and personally I don’t doubt it. One has only to read some of Lorrie’s short stories in “Birds of America,” “Like Life,” or “Self-Help,” or her novels, “Who Will Run the Frog Hospital?” “Anagrams,” or her latest “A Gate At The Stairs,” to realize that you are in the presence of a major talent. Yes she has won dozens of prizes for her writing, and yes she is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, but Lorrie Moore possesses that literary je ne sais quoi that is not immediately translatable until you meet her in the flesh. She has a certain charm, look, and disarming modesty that at first takes you off guard but soon announces itself as quiet confidence fused with high intelligence, playfulness, and a crackling sense of humor. A devastating combination I might add. Join me when I meet Lorrie for the first time in person and we get to know one another for you on the air. I think you’ll enjoy this remarkable writer. I did.

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Hanan Al-Shaykh Interview

October 2nd, 2009 by Lewis Frumkes


As J.M Coetzee says, “It is an extraordinarily brave act for a writer to undertake to inhabit, fully and sympathetically, the life her mother lived. And yet that is exactly what Hanan Al-Shaykh does in “The Locust and the Bird,” her novel based on her mother’s story. We enter 1930’s Beirut through a nine-year-old child who arrives there from a small town in Lebanon. We see her drawn to the excitements of the city, to the thrill of the cinema, and most powerfully to Mohammad, the young man who will be the love of her life. Suffice that Hanan Al-Shaykh is a gifted story teller, the author of “Women of Sand and Myrrh,” “The Story of Zahra,” “Beirut Blues,” and “Only in London.” She lives in London and visits me to discuss her new tale about her mother. A beautiful and fascinating woman. Join us.

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