Art / Fiction

Episode 178: Hallgrímur Helgason

  Iceland is a paradise for writers, with its highly literate population, generous government grants and total absence of cockroaches. Unfortunately there are only 330,000 Icelanders, so even if they all buy your book your horizons are limited. Fortunately that’s why the novelist (and print-maker, and translator and more) Hallgrímur Helgason visited America. A conversation at the … Continue reading »


Episode 119: Joseph O’Neill

  His novels include the much admired Netherland, and The Dog, long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. We spoke at the American Irish Historical Society, where we were joined by the splendid musicans Eamon O’Leary and Stephanie Coleman who put down their instruments during the conversational part of the program. People are so considerate.  PERSON: Seamus Heaney … Continue reading »


Episode 101: Rivka Galchen

 Having endured the rigors of med school and growing up Jewish in Oklahoma, she has written a collection of stories, American Innovations, and a splendid novel, Atmospheric Disturbances. She is conversant with both literature and science, the intellectual equivalent of jeans and formal wear, although I’m unsure which is akin to which. Plus music by … Continue reading »


Episode 96: Lev Grossman

  Lev Grossman is a journalist, the book critic at Time Magazine, and a novelist, best known for the three books in The Magicians series which he decribes as, in part, Harry Potter for adults. We spoke at the Brooklyn Historical Society accompanied by Mamie Minch.  PERSON: J.K. Rowling  PLACE: Oxford University  THING: his antidepressants … Continue reading »