Writers & Writing

This is your source for NPR author interviews, recent broadcasts from the Traverse City National Writers Series, and IPR's radio series Michigan Writers on the Air. You can also find NPR authors & interviews here.

Essay: Sacred Cows

13 hours ago

Just before our plane landed in Kathmandu, Nepal, we filled out a questionnaire about the purpose of our visit. I checked the box next to “Trekking” but I wanted to check “Pilgrimage.”


Author Loren Estleman will interview horror writer Joe Hill at the National Writers Series event at the City Opera House in Traverse City.
Deborah Morgan

When Traverse City author Doug Stanton met author Joe Hill at the Savannah Book Festival earlier this year, Stanton invited Hill to come talk about his new book "Strange Weather" at the National Writers Series.

 


Essay: Parental Support

Oct 5, 2018

My husband and I are traveling in the Upper Peninsula and stop at a state park for a picnic lunch. Walking across the parking lot, I glance down at the asphalt pavement and see a small turtle, maybe two inches long. Dick picks it up and turns it over. “Painted turtle,” he says. “I’ll put him back in the lake.”

National Writers Series: An evening with David Grann

Sep 28, 2018
Halle Meyers

David Grann is a New Yorker magazine staff writer and author of The Lost City of Z. His new book is called Killers of the Flower Moon. David talks this hour with editor and publisher Lucas Wittmann. 

 

National Writers Series: An evening with Eileen McNamara

Sep 28, 2018
Tom Haxby

Eunice Kennedy Shriver was the sister of President John F. Kennedy, and Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Ted Kennedy. Pulizer Prize-winning journalist Eileen McNamara worked at the Boston Globe for 30 years as a reporter and columnist. Her latest book is called “Eunice: The Kennedy Who Changed the World.” Eileen talks this hour with Interlochen Public Radio reporter Morgan Springer. Morgan asked Eileen why she gets angry when people lump all the Kennedy sisters together. 

Essay: Mystery Plant

Sep 28, 2018

Last fall, a book of my essays was published and I hosted a “launch party” to celebrate. It was a fun, informal gathering and I was pleased to greet many friends and colleagues. One of the guests brought me a tiny green plant as a gift.

National Writers Series: An evening with Drew Philp

Sep 27, 2018
Tom Haxby

At age 23, Drew Philp moved to Detroit and bought a house for $500. He spent the next few years renovating it, living without heat or electricity. Drew wrote a book about his experience, called “A $500 House in Detroit: Rebuilding an Abandoned Home and an American City.” He talks this hour with WTCM NewsTalk 580 radio host Ron Jolly. Ron asked Drew where he grew up. 

 

Sebastian Junger is an author and documentary filmmaker. His book “The Perfect Storm” was made into a Hollywood movie. Sebastian’s latest book is “Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging.” Sebastian Junger is joined by journalist Philip Caputo, who wrote the Vietnam memoir “A Rumor of War.” Philip and Sebastian talk with retired U.S. diplomat and political advisor Jack Segal. Jack asked Philip to start the discussion by reading from “A Rumor of War.” 

National Writers Series: An evening with Anna Quindlen

Sep 21, 2018
Tom Haxby

Anna Quindlen is a New York Times columnist and a prolific author of novels and nonfiction books. Her book “One True Thing” was made into a movie starring Meryl Streep. Quindlen’s latest novel is “Alternate Side,” about a New York City family whose idyllic life is shaken by a violent act on their quiet cul-de-sac. She talks this hour with Cynthia Canty, host of the Michigan Radio program Stateside. Cynthia asked what Anna wanted to be before she decided to become a writer. 

 

National Writers Series: An evening with Mary Roach

Sep 21, 2018
Halle Meyers

Mary Roach writes books about science that have a sense of humor. She’s written eight books, including “Stiff,” about human cadavers, and “Bonk,” about the science of sex. Roach’s latest book is “Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War.” She talks this hour with actor and author Benjamin Busch. He asked Roach about her beginnings as an author, writing press releases for the San Francisco Zoo from a trailer next to the gorilla exhibit. 

 

Essay: Lunch with Grandpa

Sep 21, 2018

When my grandfather invited me to go out to lunch, it wasn’t anyplace fancy, just the Booth Dairy a few blocks away. Booth’s was mostly a place to buy milk and ice cream, but they also had a little lunch counter where you could order sandwiches. 

National Writers Series: An evening with Beth Macy

Sep 20, 2018
Alan Newton

In one of Beth Macy’s previous books, Factory Man, she profiled a furniture maker in rural Virginia struggling to stay in business in an era of rising competition from Asia. In her latest book Dopesick, she returns to central Appalachia to explore the result of economic distress in these small towns: increasing drug addiction and overdose deaths, especially to OxyContin and heroin. Beth talks this hour with Interlochen Public Radio executive director Peter Payette.

National Writers Series: An evening with Richard Russo

Sep 14, 2018

Author Richard Russo’s novels include “Nobody’s Fool” and “Empire Falls.” His latest book is a collection of personal essays called “The Destiny Thief.” Richard talks this hour with actor and author Benjamin Busch. Benjamin asked Richard to explain how writers look at the world and translate it to the page.

 

National Writers Series: An evening with Jodi Picoult

Sep 14, 2018

Jodi Picoult has written ten New York Times number one bestsellers, including 2016’s “Small Great Things.” Her latest book is “A Spark of Light.” Jodi talks this hour with Detroit News columnist Neal Rubin, who asked her when she knew that writing would work out as a career. This event was recorded at the Traverse City Opera House in October 2016.

 

National Writers Series: An evening with Doug Stanton

Sep 14, 2018

National Writers Series co-founder Doug Stanton’s latest book is “The Odyssey of Echo Company: The 1968 Tet Offensive and the Epic Battle to Survive the Vietnam War.” He talks this hour with author and editor Colin Harrison, who edited Doug’s last two books. Colin asked Doug when he knew “The Odyssey of Echo Company” would become the next story he would tell. This event was recorded at the Traverse City Opera House in September 2017.

 

National Writers Series: An evening with David Maraniss

Sep 14, 2018

David Maraniss was born in Detroit and is now an associate editor at the Washington Post. He’s written biographies of Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Vince Lombardi, and others. His newest book, “Once in a Great City,” traces the heyday of Detroit and its decline. He talks this hour with fellow journalist John U. Bacon. David starts out explaining more about how he decided to write “Once in a Great City.” This event was recorded at the Traverse City Opera House in October 2016.

 

National Writers Series: An evening with Margaret Atwood

Sep 14, 2018

Margaret Atwood has written over 40 books spanning many genres, including poetry, essays, and fiction. Her latest books include “Hag-Seed,” which is a retelling of Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest,” and “Angel Catbird,” a graphic novel featuring a cat-bird superhero. Margaret starts off telling author and  National Writers Series co-founder Doug Stanton more about how she came to write “Angel Catbird.” This event was recorded at the Traverse City Opera House in October 2016.

 

Essay: Her Name

Sep 14, 2018

In college, I dated a guy named Hank who was a witty fellow with a gift for language. Although the romance didn’t last, some of his droll observations have lingered.


National Writers Series: An evening with Adriana Trigiani

Sep 13, 2018

Adriana Trigiani’s novels include The Shoemaker’s Wife and Big Stone Gap, which was made into a movie. Her latest novel is Kiss Carlo. Many of her books draw inspiration from her own family’s history and her Italian-American heritage. Adriana talks this hour with author and actor Benjamin Busch. She started the discussion by telling Ben about her family.

National Writers Series: An evening with Daniel Bergner

Sep 7, 2018

Daniel Bergner is the author of five books, including "In the Land of Magic Soldiers" and his latest, "Sing For Your Life," about African-American opera singer Ryan Speedo Green. He's also a journalist who writes for the New York Times Magazine and other publications. Bergner talks this hour with Interlochen Public Radio music host and producer Kate Botello. She asked Bergner how he first heard about Ryan Speedo Green.

National Writers Series: An evening with Murray Howe

Sep 7, 2018

Murray Howe is the youngest son of Gordie Howe, who spent 25 seasons playing for the Detroit Red Wings. Unlike his father and two older brothers, Murray Howe never worked as a professional athlete. Instead he became a doctor, practicing sports medicine. Murray Howe’s memoir is called “Nine Lessons I Learned from My Father.” He talks this hour with Ron Jolly, author and radio host for WTCM NewsTalk 580. Jolly asked Howe what it was like growing up in an athletic family.

Essay: Harder for Me

Sep 7, 2018

My daughter and I were at the kitchen table, discussing her eighth grade homework.

“It’s a stupid assignment,” Sara declared. “I’ll never pass this class.”

 


Essay: God's Begonia

Aug 31, 2018

I never expected to be doing missionary work, hampered as I am by doubt in the existence of God. It began when our book group met at a church and I discovered a gorgeous huge begonia in the hallway.


On this edition of Michigan Writers on the Air: Aaron Stander will talk with Mardi Link about the new edition of her true crime book, When Evil Came to Good Hart. Then Cari Noga will read from and give some background on her new novel, The Orphan Daughter. Finally, poet Fleda Brown will provide an audio essay about the life and work of the late Donald Hall. 

Essay: Carrying the Baggage

Aug 24, 2018

A friend is telling me about the new man in her life. “I really like the guy,” she says, “but I’m finding out he has a lot of baggage.” “We all do by this age,” I say.

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