Arts and Culture

Paper Trails: the Very Weird Fiction of Victor LaValle

Feb 25, 2011

Victor LaValle is the author of Big Machine, his second novel, and the his first one about a secret African American society headquartered in the Vermont woods, where they rescue junkies, alcoholics, and criminals and set them to work as quasi-superheroes looking to save the world.

On this episode of Paper Trails, the public radio show about books, LaValle faces down our panel of hosts Mark Oppenheimer and Brian Francis Slattery and their guest novelist Gregory Feeley.

Michael Kramer was an award-winning political columnist for Time and New York magazine. Now he’s the playwright behind “Divine Rivalry,” a show about da Vinci and Michaelangelo, making its world premier in Hartford. We’ll talk politics and art.

Chion Wolf and Colin will also read your e-mails in "The Sack," our weekly mailbag feature.

Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.

The Book Show

Feb 25, 2011
creative commons, libookperson

To see a complete list of the books discused on this show, go to R.J. Julia.

Long Distance

Feb 24, 2011
creative commons, jonwick04

A new edition of a classic McKibben book about what it takes to be a world-class athlete and where the true meaning of endurance can be found.

At 37, the celebrated writer and environmentalist Bill McKibben took a break from the life of the mind to put himself to the ultimate test: devoting a year to train as a competitive cross-country skier. Consulting with personal trainers, coaches, and doctors at the US Olympic Center, he followed the rigorous training regimen of a world-class athlete.

An Experimental Buffet

Feb 23, 2011

This week on the Needle Drop, we sample some of the most experimental records of this month from Mogwai, Nicolas Jaar, and Colin Stetson.

We also check in on some Vivian Girls sideprojects and scope a new track from Beach Fossils, too.

Frank Stitt is a star in Alabama for his take in his restaurant, on combining Italy and the south. The James Beard Awards named him the best chef of the southeast.

His cookbook, Frank Stitt's Bottega Favorita is filled with recipes for adventurous cooks with time on their hands, many beautiful recipes in all categories.

We talk about some of his most doable recipes in the book, from drinks to appetizers, salads, dressings, entrees and more

As a journalist and life-long deli obsessive, David Sax was understandably alarmed by the state of Jewish delicatessen. A cuisine that had once thrived as the very center of Jewish life had become endangered by assimilation, homogenization, and health food trends. He watched in dismay as one beloved deli after another—one institution after another—shuttered, only to be reopened as some bland chain-restaurant laying claim to the very culture it just paved over.

Little Princes

Feb 22, 2011
Sukanto Debnath/flickr creative commons

In search of adventure, twenty-nine-year-old Conor Grennan traded his day job for a year-long trip around the globe, a journey that began with a three-month stint volunteering at the Little Princes Children’s Home, an orphanage in war-torn Nepal.

Horsemen of the Esophagus

Feb 20, 2011

Today on Paper Trails, the new public radio show about books, author Jason Fagone discusses his book Horsemen of the Esophagus: Competitive Eating and the Big Fat American Dream, about the very, very weird world of competitive eating.

J.D. Salinger

Feb 19, 2011
creative commons, Adie_92

Will Hochman, who teaches at Southern Connecticut State University, is one of these walking encyclopedias of all things J.D. Salinger.

Mr. Salinger, of course, wrote the iconic Catcher in the Rye, and other books, then stopped communicating with the outside world in 1965.  As with any famous recluse, absence creates a sensation of interest and for him the long cat and mouse game began.

Hot Seat!

Feb 19, 2011
creative commons codepo8

Today's guest is Jackie Farrelly.  She's the Property Manager at Long Wharf Theatre, where she's been responsible for set dressing and props for over one hundred productions during her tenure. Jackie, a Connecticut native, lives in North Haven.

Flickr Creative Commons, Chascow

Earlier this week, Bernie Madoff gave an interview to a reporter working on a book called "Wizard of Lies, Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust." Wow. Prison must be really boring if he's willing to give that writer his time.

Blue for Oceans

Feb 18, 2011
Wikimedia Commons

First among all poetic virtues, according to Ezra Pound, is the heart's tone. In the poems of this debut collection, the tone of the poet's heart sounds clearly.

Set within an American family in the second half of the twentieth century, the poems move from California to New England, from boyhood to ailing parents, from a long marriage to love's dissolutions, from childbirth to children leaving home.

Remembering Fredi Washington

Feb 18, 2011
The Connecticut Historical Society. 2001.22.16.

Fredericka Carolyn "Fredi" Washington was born in Savannah, Georgia in 1903 and died in Stamford, Connecticut in 1994.  Fredi began her career as a dancer at the Cotton Club in Harlem during the 1920s.  She appeared in Black and Tan, a short film featuring Duke Ellington and his orchestra, in 1929 and went on to career in motion pictures.  She is most famous for her portrayal of Peola in Imitation of Life (1934).  Peola, a light-skinned young African-American woman, chooses to pass as white in order to escape racial discrimination.