Gail Godwin Interview

January 3rd, 2010 by Lewis Frumkes


Gail Godwin is a lovely lady and an elegant writer. She was raised in Asheville North Carolina and many of her books are set in the South. She was three times nominated for the National Book Award, and has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition to writing she is an artist, and a librettist. Five of her novels have been on the New York Times Best-Seller List and her current novel Unfinished Desires is recommended by the NY Times Book Review. She serves with me on the Editorial Board of The Writer Magazine and is a charmer. Join Gail and me for a nice discussion.

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Richard Lederer Interview

December 13th, 2009 by Lewis Frumkes


Verbivore, logophile, word wizard, lexicraftologist, all of these apply to Richard Lederer who may just be our reigning expert and purveyor of recreational wordplay. He has written over thirty books on language with titles such as ANGUISHED ENGLISH, THE MIRACLE OF LANGUAGE, GET THEE TO A PUNNERY, THE CUNNING LINGUIST, CRAZY ENGLISH, MORE ANGUISHED ENGLISH and dozens of others. To his language books Richard has recently added two best-selling treasuries, A TREASURY FOR DOG LOVERS, and A TREASURY FOR CAT LOVERS. A recipient of many awards (One year Richard was elected International Punster of the Year by the International Pun Foundation, and the next he was given the Golden Gavel Award by Toastmasters International), he is a supreme entertainer. . . .and if you love words or are an aficionado of the English language you will adore Richard Lederer.

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Nicholson Baker Interview

September 21st, 2009 by Lewis Frumkes


Nicholson Baker is one of our most intelligent writers. Years ago, I reviewed Nicholson’s unusual self-meditation about his obsession with John Updike, “U and I” in the New York Times Sunday Book Review, and then watched as he produced one extraordinary book after the other. “The Mezzanine,” “Vox,” “The Fermata,” and a number of others. In this interview we are talking about “The Anthologist,” about Paul Chowder, a once-in-a-while published kind of writer who is experiencing “writer’s block” over an introduction to an anthology of poetry that he is supposed to write. The result is at once hilarious, profound, entertaining and brilliant, with throw-away insights by Baker that are worth the price of the book itself. Nick is such a modest and charming man that you won’t want to miss our little chat.

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Edward Teller Interview

August 26th, 2009 by Lewis Frumkes

edwardtellerEdward Teller, who agreed in 1988 to let me interview him after he heard the title of my book “How to Raise Your I.Q. By Eating Gifted Children,” for which of course I love him is one of the most important and controversial scientists of the 20th century.  At the time of our interview he had the President’s ear and  was the chief architect of the “Strategic Defense Initiative,” a network of anti-missile missiles which President Reagan believed would protect us from foreign nuclear attack. Credited with being the “father” of the “hydrogen bomb” which secures Teller’s place in history he asked me before the show not to refer to him as the “father” of anything. He also asked me what else I would ask him? When I replied that I would ask him to talk about some of the other famous scientists he had worked with, Von Neumann, Einstein, Von Karman, Szilard, Ulam, he said, “I will not talk about Ulam, Ulam is unimportant.” Stanislas Ulam, the brilliant Polish mathematician who was brought in to help Teller when the “Super” or hydrogen bomb wouldn’t work, apparently figured out the complex mathematics that would enable the bomb to ignite. It became known as the Teller/Ulam solution. Ulam had died two years before our interview and clearly Teller wished to keep him buried. When you hear Teller’s heavy Hungarian accent and slow manner of speaking in which he sets each word out one in front of the other like giant granite blocks you will understand why Terry Southern modeled his Dr. Strangelove after Teller.

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David Foster Wallace Interview

August 25th, 2009 by Lewis Frumkes

brief-interviews-with-hideous-menOriginally Aired in 1999; David Foster Wallace was a bedeviled wunderkind who had already written several books by the time he was 22. His best-known work was Infinite Jest, which takes on additional irony when one considers that Wallace committed suicide in 2008. During his lifetime he produced novels, essays, and short-stories, and taught at a number of colleges. A graduate of Amherst college summa cum laude with a double major in philosophy and English he received the MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” in 1997, and in the same year was also awarded the Aga Khan Prize for Fiction by editors of the Paris Review. In our interview in response to my question about what is his favorite word, Wallace prophetically tells me that while he doesn’t know if it counts as a favorite word, the word he used most in his writing is “troubled.”

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Jean Thompson Interview

July 4th, 2009 by Lewis Frumkes


do-not-deny-meJean Thompson has been called “America’s Alice Munro . . .one of the best contemporary short-story writers,” by Kirkus Reviews. Is she? Make up your own mind as I discuss her new volume “do not deny me,” with her. Or pick up one of her other collections, “Throw Like a Girl,” or “Who Do You Love,” and then decide. In any event David Sedaris is a big fan.

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Michael Connelly Interview

February 19th, 2009 by Lewis Frumkes


in-the-shadow-of-the-masterHis book, In the Shadow of the Master, might just as well refer to Michael who is considered by many to be just that a master of the tough guy crime novels. Check him out.

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Nicholas Sparks Interview

January 4th, 2009 by Lewis Frumkes

the-lucky-oneNick who has become a good friend over the years, essentially owns his own genre. It is Message in a Bottle, The Notebook, and now The Lucky One. His books hug the best-seller lists. His movies break records and hearts. Meanwhile Nick coaches track in New Bern North Carolina, has opinions on everything, and underwrites philanthropies and other good works you probably are unaware of. He’s quite a guy. Meet him here on our radio show.

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