Memories and Scenes: Shtetl, Childhood, Writers – broadcast 11-24-2014, Scott Davis, Publisher. This is the first English translation of eleven autobiographical short stories by the beloved and successful 19th century Eastern European Yiddish writer, Jacob Dinezon. In this collection, Dinezon recalls his childhood years in the shtetl, the unusual and memorable characters he encountered along the way, and the events that led to his passion for becoming a writer. Contained within these stories is a treasure trove of Yiddish history, culture, and values the telling of which will amuse, educate and give reason to consider to the reader fortunate enough to open the book and start the journey. Find out more at http://www.pulist.net/memories-and-scenes-shtetl-childhood-writers.html
Samantha Bryant (broadcast 04-07-2015) — A “focus on speculative fiction” episode with co-hosts Samuel Montgomery-Blinn and Mur Lafferty and guest Samantha Bryant, Hillsborough author of debut novel Going Through the Change[Goodreads]. “Going through ‘the change’ isn’t easy on any woman. Mood swings, hot flashes, hormonal imbalances, and itchy skin are par for the course. But for these four seemingly unrelated women, menopause brought changes none of them had ever anticipated–super-heroic changes.” And! A (brief) special guest review, as Mur’s daughter a.k.a. Princess Scientist reviewed Ursula Vernon’s forthcoming Castle Hangnail. Enjoy!
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Jeremy Whitley (broadcast 02-02-2015) — A “focus on speculative fiction” episode with co-hosts Samuel Montgomery-Blinn and Mur Lafferty, talking with Durham comics writer Jeremy Whitley about his comics The Order of Dagonet and Princeless, and his work on My Little Pony: Friends Forever.
Danger of Love by Maryam Tabibzadeh (broadcast 9-8-2014) Marjan is the daughter of a Kashvili chieftain, the most powerful man in their province in Persia. Beautiful and educated, she was married at age nine to a rich merchant who is absent for months at a time. Russ is a British Christian missionary doctor stationed in Shiraz just as World War II is breaking out.
Auto Biography by Earl Swift (broadcast) A classic ’57 Chevy, in wretched shape. Hassled by banks, local officials, the FBI, and his own volatile demons, the Chevy’s thirteenth owner embarks on a mission to save the car and preserve the long record of human experience it carries in its steel and upholstery.
Written for both gearheads and Sunday drivers, Earl Swift’s fifth book of narrative nonfiction charts the shifting hopes and fortunes of the people who’ve gripped the car’s steering wheel, throwing a light on the sturdy resilience of the American Dream and our abiding relationship with the automobile. Find out more at earlswift.com
The Committee on Town Happiness by Alan Michael Parker (broadcast 6-9-2014) The Committee on Town Happiness consists of ninety-nine linked stories about disappearing townsfolk. Air balloons are launched to search for the missing, galas proliferate, laws are imposed ad absurdum, and a guerilla group forms as the Committee shapes the future of small-town America in this biting examination of modern bureaucracy. Find out more at alanmichaelparker.com
My Accidental Jihad by Krista Bremer (broadcast 5-26-2014) From acquaintances to lovers to a couple facing an unexpected pregnancy, this is the story of two people – a middle class American raised in Southern California and a Muslim raised by illiterate parents in an impoverished Libyan fishing village – who made a commitment to one another without forsaking their own identities.
Fascinating, often funny, and profoundly moving, this meditation on tolerance explores what it means to open our hearts to another culture and, just as important, to embrace our own. It is Krista’s unexpected struggle to reach beyond herself, her accidental jihad. Find out more at kristabremer.com/book
Guests on Earth by Lee Smith(broadcast 5-12-2014) A writer at the height of her craft, Lee Smith has created, through her masterful melding of fiction and fact, a mesmerizing novel about a world apart – a time and a place where creativity and passion, theory and medicine, fact and fiction, tragedy and transformation, are luminously intertwined. Find out more at leesmith.com/guests