national writers series

National Writers Series: An evening with Tom Brokaw

Oct 7, 2019

Journalist and author Tom Brokaw anchored the NBC Nightly News for 22 years. He’s been working in the news for over 50 years, and he’s also published ten books. Tom’s best-known book is his first one from 1998, “The Greatest Generation,” about those who fought in World War II and helped out on the home front. His most recent book, which came out in 2019, is “The Fall of Richard Nixon: A Reporter Remembers Watergate.” Tom visited Traverse City in 2010 and talked with Doug Stanton on the stage of the City Opera House.

Macmillan Publishers

Jeffrey Eugenides’s first novel, “The Virgin Suicides,” was made into a movie directed by Sofia Coppola. “Middlesex,” his next novel, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. His most recent book is a collection of short stories called “Fresh Complaint.” Jeffrey visited Traverse City in 2011 and talked with fellow author Jeremy Chamberlin. At that time Jeffrey’s book “The Marriage Plot” had just been released. Jeremy asked Jeff to talk about growing up in Detroit in the 1960s and 70s.

National Writers Series: An evening with Temple Grandin

Oct 6, 2019

Temple Grandin is an advocate for people with autism, professor of animal science at Colorado State University, and a prolific author of books and research publications. Her most recent book is “Calling All Minds: How to Think and Create Like An Inventor.” Temple was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016. In 2010, a movie based on her life, starring Claire Danes as Temple, was released by HBO films. Temple visited Traverse City in 2013 and talked with editor and media consultant Laura Hohnhold on the stage of the City Opera House.

National Writers Series: An evening with Thomas Lynch

Oct 5, 2019

Thomas Lynch has been a funeral director in Milford, Michigan since 1974. But he’s better known for his poetry and essays, which are often inspired by his profession. His book “The Undertaking” was the basis of an episode of Frontline on PBS and a BBC documentary. Thomas’s most recent book is “Whence and Whither: On Lives and Living.” And a new book, “The Depositions,” is coming out in November 2019. Thomas visited Traverse City in 2010 and talked with author Jerry Dennis on the stage of the City Opera House.

National Writers Series: An evening with David Maraniss

Oct 2, 2019
Tom Haxby

David Maraniss is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and biographer. He’s written books about Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Vince Lombardi, and others. David last visited Traverse City in 2016, when he came to talk about his book “Once In A Great City: A Detroit Story.” His latest book delves into the personal history of his family. “A Good American Family” tells the story of David’s father, Elliott Maraniss, who was accused of being a communist informant during the McCarthy red scare era of the 1950s. David talks this hour with author and commentator John Bacon.

Interlochen Public Radio is celebrating great books with the National Writers Series, Friends of Traverse Area District Library and Harbor Springs Festival of the Book. 

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National Writers Series: An evening with Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Sep 5, 2019

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an activist, scholar, former politician, and author. She’s known for her vocal criticism of Islam. Ayaan’s most recent book is “Heretic: Why Islam Needs A Reformation Now.” Her book “Prey” is coming out in 2020. Ayaan visited Traverse City in 2012 and talked with lecturer, columnist, and former diplomat Jack Segal on the stage of the City Opera House. Jack asked Ayaan to talk about her journey from Somalia to the United States.

National Writers Series: An evening with Karl Marlantes

Sep 5, 2019
Tom Haxby

Karl Marlantes was one of the first ever guests of  National Writers Series in 2010, when he came to talk about his first book, “Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War.” That book draws on Karl’s experiences as a Marine in Vietnam. His latest novel, “Deep River,” is inspired by the history of his ancestors, who immigrated to Washington from Finland in the early 20th century. Karl talks this hour with fellow author and veteran, Benjamin Busch. Benjamin asked Karl to talk about the difficult process of getting his first book published.

National Writers Series: An evening with Douglas Brinkley

Aug 3, 2019
Tom Haxby

Douglas Brinkley is an author, professor, commentator and historian. He’s written and co-authored dozens of books, on topics as diverse as Rosa Parks, Jimmy Carter, Walter Cronkite and Hunter S. Thompson. Doug’s latest book is “American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race.” He talks this hour with author John Bacon. John asked Doug how growing up in Perrysburg, Ohio made him feel connected to the first moon landing.

National Writers Series: An evening with Daniel Pink

Aug 3, 2019

Daniel Pink specializes in books about business. He has one of the most-viewed TED Talks of all time, “The Science of Motivation,” and he adapted it into a bestselling book, “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.” Daniel’s latest book is “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing.” He talks his hour with Angie Morgan, founder of Lead Star, which is a consulting firm that helps professionals become better leaders. Before getting into business writing, Daniel was involved in politics. For two years, he was the chief speechwriter for Vice President Al Gore.

National Writers Series: An evening with Marie Benedict

Jun 15, 2019
Tom Haxby

Marie Benedict is a former lawyer who’s written ten novels. Her latest book, “The Only Woman in the Room,” is a work of historical fiction about the actress from the golden age of Hollywood, Hedy Lamarr. In addition to her acting career, Hedy was also an inventor. In the 1940s, she created a radio guidance system that eventually led to the development of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology. Marie Benedict talks this hour with journalist and director of arts and culture for the city of Detroit, Rochelle Riley.

Alan Newton

Lynne Olson, Elizabeth Berg, and Elizabeth Letts all join Writers Series co-founder Doug Stanton on the stage of the City Opera House to talk about their work. Author and journalist Lynne Olson is known for her books about history, especially World War II. Her latest is “Madame Fourcade’s Secret War.” Elizabeth Berg writes novels, such as “Open House” and “The Story of Arthur Truluv.” And Elizabeth Letts writes books of non-fiction and historical fiction. Her latest is about “Wizard of Oz” author Frank L. Baum’s wife, Maud Baum. Doug asked each author to describe their latest book.

National Writers Series: An evening with Lisa Scottoline

Apr 25, 2019
Halle Meyers

Lisa Scottoline is known for her legal thrillers, including the Rosato and Associates series, about women who are partners at a law firm. She's written thirty-two novels, and her latest book, "Someone Knows," is a stand-alone novel that tells the story of five teenagers whose lives are shattered after a dangerous prank goes wrong. Lisa also writes a weekly column for the Philadelphia Inquirer with her daughter.

National Writers Series: An evening with Keith Gave

Apr 16, 2019
Halle Meyers

Keith Gave spent six years in the U.S. Army, where he worked as a Russian linguist for the National Security Agency. When he left the army, Keith became a sports reporter covering hockey for the Detroit Free Press. He didn’t know then how his Russian experience would play a role in his journalism career. Keith explains it all in his book “The Russian Five: A Story of Espionage, Defection, Bribery and Courage.” This hour, Keith talks with fellow author, journalist and hockey fan Tim Rappleye. Keith told Tim that he was working on a new project.

National Writers Series: An evening with Tommy Tomlinson

Apr 15, 2019
Halle Meyers

Tommy Tomlinson spent 23 years as a reporter and columnist for the Charlotte Observer newspaper, and he’s written for publications including Esquire and Sports Illustrated. Since childhood, Tommy has struggled with obesity, and he decided to change his life by losing weight. He wrote about the process in his memoir, “The Elephant In the Room: One Fat Man’s Quest to Get Smaller in a Growing America.” Tommy talks this hour with acupuncturist and storyteller Elon Cameron. Tommy told Elon that when he started writing his book, he weighed 460 pounds.

National Writers Series: An evening with Gillian Flynn

Jan 27, 2019
HJB Photo

Gillian Flynn is best known as the author of “Gone Girl.” She also wrote the screenplay of the film version. Since then, Gillian has written more for the big and small screen. She co-wrote the screenplay for the 2018 film “Widows,” as well as the TV adaptation of her book “Sharp Objects.” She also wrote the series “Utopia,” which will be released by Amazon this year. Doug Stanton spoke to Gillian at the Traverse City Opera House in April 2013. She told him she loved macabre stories since she was a child, when her father played her movies that were possibly inappropriate for her age.

National Writers Series: An evening with Harlan Coben

Jan 26, 2019

Harlan Coben has published over 30 novels. His book "Tell No One" was made into a film of the same name. In the past few years, Harlan’s created three TV shows available on Netflix: No Second Chance, The Five, and Safe. His latest novel “Run Away” will come out in March of this year. Doug Stanton spoke with Harlan on the stage of the Traverse City Opera House in July 2015. At that time, his book “The Stranger” had just come out. Doug asked Harlan to tell him about how he balances his work with his family life.  

National Writers Series: An evening with Greg Iles

Jan 26, 2019

Greg Iles is known for his Penn Cage series of thrillers that take place in Natchez, Mississippi. Iles’s newest book, coming out in March 2019, is “Cemetery Road.” It’s a stand-alone novel of friendship, betrayal, and secrets that threaten to destroy a small Mississippi town. Doug Stanton talked with Greg Iles at the Traverse City Opera House in April 2017. At that time, his book “Mississippi Blood” had just been released.  It’s the third book in his Natchez Burning trilogy. Greg Iles began writing the trilogy while recovering from a traffic accident that almost killed him.

National Writers Series: An evening with Diana Gabaldon

Dec 9, 2018
Nancy Castaldo

Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling “Outlander” series of novels begins by telling the story of a young nurse during World War 2. She travels back in time to 18th century Scotland. Diana has published eight “Outlander” books, and she says her ninth one, called Go Tell the Bees that I Have Gone, should be released in 2019. The books have been developed into a popular TV show on Starz. Diana talks this hour with Deb Leonard, a member of the board of directors for the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, and a bookseller at Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor.

National Writers Series: An evening with Benjamin Percy

Dec 9, 2018
National Writers Series

Benjamin Percy’s writing could be classified as genre fiction, but with a twist. His book Red Moon is about werewolves, but it’s also a commentary on the war on terror. And his newest novel, The Dark Net, is a techno-thriller that imagines the sordid corners of the Internet as full of actual demons. Benjamin talks this hour with his friend and fellow writer, Jeremy Chamberlin. Their conversation was recorded at the Traverse City Opera House in September 2013. Percy started the discussion talking about his appetite for books as a child. 

 

National Writers Series: An evening with John U. Bacon

Dec 8, 2018
Halle Meyers

John U. Bacon is a journalist, commentator and educator, and he’s written books on sports and business. His latest book tells the tale of a historical event that isn’t as well-known as it probably should be: the great Halifax Explosion. In 1917, a French ship carrying volatile explosives was hit by another ship in the harbor in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The resulting fire caused the ship to explode, which resulted in a disaster killing and injuring thousands.  John U.

National Writers Series: An evening with Richard Clarke

Dec 7, 2018
Halle Meyers

Over his long career in public service, Richard Clarke has been an adviser to presidents Reagan, Clinton, and both Bushes. His 2004 memoir Against All Enemies was critical of multiple administrations for their lax approach toward counter-terrorism before and after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and of the Bush administration’s decision to wage war in Iraq. Richard has also written four fictional thrillers.

National Writers Series: An evening with Tayari Jones

Nov 11, 2018
Tom Haxby

Tayari Jones has written four novels, including Silver Sparrow and The Untelling. Her latest book, An American Marriage, is a love story challenged by racial injustice. Tayari talks this hour with fellow writer Aaron Stander, author of ten crime novels and host of Interlochen Public Radio’s “Michigan Writers on the Air.” Tayari starts by telling Aaron why she prefers writing her books on a typewriter.

National Writers Series: An evening with Amy Goldstein

Nov 10, 2018
Tom Haxby

Amy Goldstein is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and a long-time staff writer at the Washington Post. Her book Janesville: An American Story is about the city of Janesville, Wisconsin, whose General Motors plant closed during the Great Recession. Amy talks this hour with Shannon Henry Kleiber, a radio producer for To the Best of Our Knowledge from Wisconsin Public Radio and PRX. Shannon asked Amy to start off by reading from her book Janesville.

National Writers Series: An evening with Alice Walker

Nov 9, 2018
Tom Haxby

Alice Walker published her first book in 1968, making 2018 the 50th anniversary of her writing career. She’s authored dozens of works since then, including poetry, essays, short stories and novels. Alice won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her novel The Color Purple, becoming the first African American to receive that honor. Alice Walker is also known for her activism for human rights. Her latest book is a collection of poetry called Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart. Alice talks this hour with Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley.

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