Anchee Min (BSS #507)

Anchee Min toiled in Chinese labor camps, was punished and labeled as an outcast, and escaped to America. This one hour conversation covers how she overcame hardships, stared down loneliness, found solace in Michael Jackson, worked five jobs, and made it as a bestselling novelist. Read More

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Matt Bell (BSS #506)

We talk with Matt Bell, author of IN THE HOUSE UPON THE DIRT BETWEEN THE LAKE AND THE WOODS, about how to encourage imagination, James Joyce lookalikes, labryinths in fiction and video games, Nethack, the problems with depicting the quotidian, and how language creates mystery. Read More

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Periel Aschenbrand II (BSS #505)

We talk with Periel Aschenbrand, one of Bat Segundo’s very first guests, for the first time in eight years, to discuss her latest memoir, ON MY KNEES, thank you notes, being introduced to Philip Roth as a “great writer,” judging other people, demonizing relatives in a book, and dental hygienists who may have killed their spouses. Read More

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Unemployment (FYE #7)

This program looks into whether or not the jobs are really coming back. Are we avoiding a serious problem that we don’t have the courage to stare in the face? To what degree are we repeating history? We meet a man who motivates the unemployed in library basements, get experts to respond to Chairman Bernanke’s recent claims that unemployment will fall between 5.8 and 6.2% by 2015, discuss the finer points of Beveridge curves with economics professor William Dickens, chat about how the last four decades of labor developments have contributed to the unemployment crisis with Down the Up Escalator author Barbara Garson, discover a company that protected the unemployed against discrimination with the National Employment Law Project’s Mitchell Hirsch, and learn about discrimination and how local labor policy reveals national labor policy with Dr. Michelle Holder of the Community Service Society of New York. Read More

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Claire Messud II (BSS #504)

Claire Messud returns to our program to discuss her latest novel, THE WOMAN UPSTAIRS, unlikable characters in fiction, why angry women aren’t featured in fiction, technological impediments, the millennial generation, Shel Silverstein’s songwriting career, James Joyce, and how fiction can be dangerous in a surveillance state. Read More

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Roxana Robinson (BSS #503)

We talk with Roxana Robinson about Sparta, talking and living with veterans, why soldiers don’t have a common experience, self-preservation vs. digital culture, Georgia O’Keeffe, playing tennis in inflatable courts, and how socioeconomic investigation into America’s ills often occurs by accident. Read More

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Lisa Hanawalt (BSS #502)

In this one hour conversation, artist Lisa Hanawalt discusses her collection My Dirty Dumb Eyes, informs us of the appropriate method to neigh like a horses, describes the bizarre business politics she observed at a toy fair, delineates the trappings of pop culture, tells us how to contend with online trolls, and even offers a few sartorial views. During the majority of this conversation, Our Correspondent is licked copiously by Ms. Hanawalt’s extremely friendly dog. Read More

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Lauren Beukes (BSS #501)

We talk with Lauren Beukes, author of THE SHINING GIRLS, about what it takes to find empathy in detestable characters, why fictitious sociopaths tend to be fond of Canadian Club, the benefits of lacerating villains, the proper ways to explain backstory in narrative, being vengeful, parallels between South African and American history, why Beukes sets her American novels in the Midwest, and how research creates ambiance. Read More

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Elliott Holt (BSS #500)

In this one hour conversation, Elliott Holt discusses her debut novel, You Are One of Them, her feelings about The Eagles, Chekhov vs. Dostoevsky, living in Moscow, the baleful babushkas in the swimming pool, whether advertising is an inevitable reality in crumbling nations, and her reluctant feelings about the literary star system. There is also a brief attempt at a Boris and Natasha impersonation. Read More

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Jack Butler (BSS #499)

This rare interview with Jack Butler, author of Jujitsu for Christ, discusses Southern writing, mixing the funny with the repulsive, Mississippi humidity, living in shanties, and combating desperation. Read More

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Bullies (FYE #6)

Bullying is the most common form of violence in America. We talk with poet Shane Koyczan, Sticks and Stones author Emily Bazelon, and Dr. William Copeland about bullying’s long-lasting effects. We also explore cyberbullying with distinguished author James Lasdun and journalist Camille Dodero. Read More

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Rebels (FYE #5)

We examine why rebels get the short end of the stick. We talk with historian Jeanne Theoharis about how Rosa Parks’s rebellious life has been swept under the carpet of modern American history, examine Pussy Riot’s rebellious legacy with many of the band’s supporters, and chat with a rebel journalist about a mysterious shooting in Missouri and the pros and cons of assumption. Read More

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