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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wednesday, July 31 - Dagoberto Gilb of Huizache

Tonight on Bibliocracy Radio 8 PM on KPFK 90.7 FM in Southern California:  Dagoberto Gilb, co-founder of HUIZACHE, a new literary journal.  Yes, the arrival of a new lit mag is a happy enough occasion but one founded with a particular vision, arguably a political one, and a cultural critique, and a mission, by a writer whose own struggles and successes have made him both militant and generous?  I must be talking about Huizache and its founder, literary lion Dagoberto Gilb.  He’s the much-acclaimed prize-winning novelist and short story writer whose work has appeared in Harpers and the New Yorker, and in eight books, including Woodcuts of Women and, most recently, Before the End, After the Beginning. Sponsored by CentroVictoria, the first two issues of Huizache, with contributors from Lorna Dee Cervantes, Gary Soto, Margaret Randall and Naomi Shihab Nye (as well as newer names) are still available, and you can subscribe to this important new journal – with its third issue on the way - at its website, here:

Thanks for listening on the radio, online, or as a free download anytime you like.  Friend me and KPFK on Facebook, and please get out your credit card now in anticipation of our summer mini-fund drive.  

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wednesday, July 24 - Karen Joy Fowler

Tonight on Bibliocracy Radio, 8 PM on KPFK 90.7 FM in Southern CaliforniaKAREN JOY FOWLER.  My guest tonight is the author of a bestselling first novel which in its embrace of feminist politics, genre, idiom, challenged and delighted, inviting in so many readers to her worldview and making overnight longtime fans of the author of Sarah Canary.  That first book by Karen Joy Fowler, published in 1991 arrived after publication of science fiction and other short stories, and before her big-time book, The Jane Austen Book Club, with her award-winning story “What I Didn’t See” in there, just to make things interesting. In her latest novel, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, we are offered yet another wrty, human, provocative invitation to learn what really happened, reconsider the facts, read the version as told by the protagonist of another story of secrets revealed, toward understanding the meta-power of powerful storytelling.  All of that on top of the delicious details of the story itself, this one about two "sisters" with a unique and enduring variety of sibling rivalry as it is constructed, unintentionally by their scientist father. This is a seriously funny book, entertainingly serious social criticism, thoughtfully and politically provocative family story.  Need more convincing? See my recent review at OC Bookly 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wednesday, July 17 - David Margolick on J.H. Burns

Tonight on Bibliocracy Radio, 8 PM on KPFK 90.7 FM in Southern CaliforniaDAVID MARGOLICK.  I read, eagerly, the latest from my guest tonight based solely on a favorite book he wrote some years ago, one of those small, perfect, complete stories which stays with you because it succeeds in every way.  That was Strange Fruit:  The Biography of a Song, about the ballad of lynching written by Abel Meeropol and sung most famously by Billie Holiday.  Its author, David Margolick, has written plenty since, but I am catching up with him tonight on the occasion of his biography of a literary character with whom most of us are unfamiliar, a mostly forgotten and in many ways unattractive personality, an important and talented and fascinating American writer.  In Dreadful:  The Short Life and Gay Times of John Horne Burns, David Margolick both introduces and attempts to explain the “dreadful” – as in the colloquial “gay” as in homosexual slang - for a difficult and weirdly exemplary life by the author of one of the once most acclaimed World War II novels by an American, The Gallery.  This is in fact writer David Margolick’s fifth book.  He is also a contributing editor at Vanity Fair.  Thanks for listening on the radio, online or anytime you like as a free download from the station archives.  Buy a book today.  This book!  Find me on Facebook.    

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Wednesday, July 10 "Film Night" with Peter Rainer

Wednesday night on Bibliocracy Radio, KPFK 90.7 FM:  Film critic PETER RAINER. Being challenged, taught, entertained by a generous and smart critic is a valuable thing, not to mention being affirmed by way of a smart political analysis that sort of reflects your own!  Veteran and award-winning film critic Peter Rainer’s writing on the movies has in 30 years earned him a big following, through his work at the old Herald Examiner, the Los Angeles Times, and for this loyal fan especially at the weekly “Film Week” show on KPCC, where so many rely on his funny, sharp, artful analysis of film and all its collateral meaning.  Rainer writes today for the Christian Science Monitor and, lucky for us, many of his essays and reviews are collected in a new volume from Santa Monica Press titled Rainer on Film:  Thirty Years of Film Writing in a Turbulent and Transformative Era.  The story of the movies as discussed, interpreted by Peter Rainer is indeed the story of the past weird and wonderful three decades, and it is a well-told story by a film writer who writes elegantly, authoritatively and humorously across disciplines, with style and insight.  But you already knew that if you hear him on the radio or read his newspaper reviews.  Thanks for listening on the radio, or online, or anytime you darn well please on electronic contraptions which you can plug in to the station archives.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Wednesday, July 3 - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Wednesday night at 8 on Bibliocracy Radio, KPFK 90.7 FM:  CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE.  My guest this week is celebrated worldwide for her literary ambassadorship on behalf of curiosity, candor, keen observation and urgent storytelling with both ambitious reach and accuracy.  Her confident, complex and richly detailed prose arrives with gravitas and humor, politics and the interconnectedness of perspectives which seem to demand one another.  I have not been so convinced by a writer of the verity of her portrayals about how we are living, seeing, thinking since reading Doris Lessing.  Yes, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is my guest tonight, and what a lucky host I am.  Author of the previous novels Half of A Yellow Sun and Purple Hibiscus, Adichie has earned both prizes and critical acclaim, as well as an international following.  She is the recepient of a MacArthur Fellowship and author of a short story collection, The Thing Around Your Neck.   In her newest, Americanah, the construction of a two principle characters across time and place accommodates elegantly her keen and provocative analysis of life on three continents.  One of the best books of the year.  Thanks for listening on the radio, or online, or as a free download from the station archives.  “Friend” me on Facebook, why dontcha?