WNPR

Alternative History as a Literary Genre With Author Ben Winters

Jul 18, 2016

Author Ben Winter's latest work of alternative History, Underground Airlines, has been getting lots of attention in the short time since its release. Taking on themes such as institutional racism, social responsibility and personal redemption, the novel's relevance to today's top issues can't be denied.

This hour, we talk with Ben Winters about this new book and speak with historians and literary critics about alternative history as a literary genre. Is it possible that we can learn more about our present from a fictional past than we ever could from a history book?

GUESTS:

  • Ben Winters- Award winning author of  The Last Policeman series; his newest novel is Underground Airlines
  • Sherry Kramer- Award winning playwright and professor at Bennington College, Vermont where she teaches writing workshops on alternative history; author of The Wall of Water
  • Catherine Gallaghre- Historicist, literary critic and Professor of English Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley; co- author of Practicing New Historicism
  • Steven Silver- Founder, administrator and judge of the Sidewise Awards for Best Alternative History

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Colin McEnroe, Jonathan McNicol, and Betsy Kaplan contributed to this show.