James Ellroy Interview

October 3rd, 2010 by Lewis Frumkes


Lee Earle Ellroy, or James Ellroy as you know him is one of our most unusual and acclaimed writers. Best known for The L.A. Quartet, The Black Dahlia, L.A. Confidential etc. Ellroy’s novels have been translated into film at a rapid clip. His style has evolved from from the classic noir of his early novels to what is generally referred to as postmodern historiographic metafiction. But it is on The Frumkes Show that he discusses with me his second memoir The Hilliker Curse. Trust me you are in for a ride. I don’t want to ruin it here in my introduction, but his memoir may be even more unusual than his novels. Sex, women, more sex, drugs, redemption. . . .Listen to the show you’ll understand.

Category: Interviews | No Comments »

Jules Feiffer Interview

March 7th, 2010 by Lewis Frumkes


Jules Feiffer’s Pulitzer-winning comic strip ran for forty-two years in the Village Voice and one hundred other papers. A literary giant, Feiffer won an Obie Award for his play, Little Murders, plaudits for his screenplay Carnal Knowledge and an Oscar for his short animation Munro. In fact the list of his creative output is so distinguished I would need three pages to do it justice. . . for example do you remember the children’s classic The Phantom Tollbooth? So it was a delight to have Jules come in and chat with me about his life, his career, and his latest book Backing Into Forward which has received rave reviews in the New York Times and just about the entire review press. We not only had a ball, but Jules left me with a cartoon contribution to a new book I am working on called FAVORITE WORDS OF FAMOUS PEOPLE. More about that another time. Join me here and rejoice in the life of Jules Feiffer.

Category: Interviews | No Comments »

Tony Hendra Interview

February 7th, 2010 by Lewis Frumkes


Tony’s book Last Words which he wrote with George Carlin is careening around the best-seller lists as I write this, but Tony himself is here with me in the studio taping an interview. What makes this particular interview special is that Tony and I, old friends, are having a rollicking time when a knock on the door of the studio signals to me that Bruce Jay Friedman is in the studio to meet me later for dinner. I invite Bruce into the interview and the three of us just have a great time on air. Please enjoy a rare treat as I try to stay on point in the company of two of our greatest comic minds.

Category: Interviews | No Comments »

Murray Gell-Mann Interview

December 27th, 2009 by Lewis Frumkes


Murray Gell-Mann is the Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Theoretical Physics Emeritus at Caltech and widely regarded as one of the smartest men on the planet. Suffice that he speaks 15 languages, graduated from Yale University at the age of 18 and in 1969 won the Nobel Prize in physics for his work on elementary particles. Essentially he formulated the quark model of hadronic resonances, and identified the SU(3) flavor symmetry of the light quarks, extending isospin to include strangeness, which he also discovered. He also collaborated with Richard Feynman to discover the V-A theory of chiral neutrinos. Join us as we discuss basic concepts of cosmology, GUT theory, and Murray’s book “The Jaguar and The Quark.”

Category: Classics, Interviews | No Comments »

Freeman Dyson Interview

December 27th, 2009 by Lewis Frumkes


Freeman Dyson who has long been a legend at The Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton is a theoretical physicist and mathematician of the first order, a futurist, and a nuclear engineer. British by birth, Dyson studied with Hans Bethe at Cornell before moving to the Institute for Advanced Study.  He is probably best known for demonstrating in 1949 the equivalence of the formulations of quantum electrodynamics that existed at the time— Feynman’s diagrammatic path integral formulation and the operator method developed by Julian Schwinger and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga for which Schwinger, Feynman, and Tomonaga shared the Nobel Prize. Dyson also did seminal work in topology, analysis, number theory, random matrices and other abstruse topics in mathematics.  On first meeting him Dyson can seem a tad eccentric, subversive, perfectionistic and cantankerous. . . but ultimately with his impish little smile he comes across as quite charming. When I asked him of all the scientists with whom he worked whom he thought possessed true genius, he unhesitatingly answered. . . Richard Feynman.

Category: Classics | No Comments »

Liz Smith Interview

December 6th, 2009 by Lewis Frumkes


By turns smart, saucy, and sassy, Liz Smith has been called the highest paid syndicated columnist in the world, someone who has hobnobbed with princes and kings, with society doyens and movie stars. In fact she still commands an important presence around the country and on the internet, but alas she misses her New York audience. Why then does Rupert Murdoch who owns The New York Post which let her go stop to kiss her hello when he sees her?  What exactly happened ? Tune in and listen to this fascinating Texas gal tell me her story.

Category: Interviews | No Comments »

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.

Category: Interviews | 1 Comment »

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.

Category: Interviews | No Comments »

Buzz Aldrin Interview

June 29th, 2009 by Lewis Frumkes


magnificent-desolation“And as the astronauts later sat in the “Eagle”, waiting to begin their journey back home, knowing that they were doomed unless every system and part on board worked flawlessly, it was Aldrin who responded to mission control’s clearance to take off with the quip, “Roger.  Understand.  We’re number one on the runway.”  This passage from Buzz Aldrin’s memoir, “Magnificent Desolation, “ is part of the humor that came out when I interviewed him for my Radio Show at Barnes & Noble Super Store in New York City recently.  Hear the rest of the interview and be charmed by the second man ever to walk on the surface of the moon.

Category: Interviews | No Comments »

Lawrence Block Interview

May 28th, 2009 by Lewis Frumkes


step-by-stepLawrence Block, one of our greatest mystery writers, visits me to talk about his memoir, “Step By Step.” During the course of our interview in which Larry talks about his life of race-walking and having travelled to some 140 countries, he drops a startling revelation. He may have written his last novel. Is this true? I ask Larry, to which he responds that Matthew Scudder, Bernie Rhodenbar, and Keller his three novelist heroes may have reached a certain point of equilibrium where Larry himself could just walk away and be happy never writing another novel. Will he do it? Tune in and find out.

Category: Interviews | No Comments »