321: Merrill Markoe
Nonfiction / Television

321: Merrill Markoe

The greatest gift to any humorist is a parent who is impossible to please. This writer, a co-creator of Late Night With David Letterman, describes a note in her mother’s copy of David Copperfield. “It said, ‘Not one of his best works. I was disappointed.’ If she was giving Dickens a hard time, what did I think that I was going to get?” … Continue reading »

Nonfiction

311: Sam Roberts

A reporter and editor for The New York Times for more than 30 years, he began at the Daily News, in the seventies, when the city faced financial collapse, terrorist bombs, a blackout, a psychotic serial killer, and Studio 54. “What a time to be city editor of a tabloid newspaper in New York!” He was 28. A … Continue reading »

Nonfiction

305: E. Jean Carroll

She asserts, boldly if not entirely persuasively, that the supreme literary form is the advice column. She is rightly celebrated for hers, Ask E. Jean, which ran in Elle magazine from 1993 through 2019, and for winning the Miss Cheerleader USA title in 1964, the invariable precursor of an esteemed career in journalism.  Continue reading »

Nonfiction

304: Randy Cohen

From time to time someone suggests that I be a guest on the show and describe my own person, place, and thing. I reply, maybe in season ten, my euphemism for never.  Then I smile and add, sure, if we’re confined to our homes by a horrible pandemic exacerbated by a criminally incompetent White House and can’t … Continue reading »

Nonfiction

Episode 217: Edmund White

  Much admired for his his autobiographical novels, including A Boy’s Own Story, and his work on French literature and culture, he is unashamed of his youthful craving for fame, noting: “If you say it in French, ‘gloire,’ it sounds better.” Well, sure: what doesn’t? A conversation at La Maison Française with music from Rich Jenkins.  PERSON: … Continue reading »