Throughout history, stories have been told but sometimes preserving them for future generations has proven difficult. We examine the ways stories have been passed down, and the role the written word has played in shaping our civilizations.
Martin Puchner, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Harvard University, and author, The Written Word: The power of stories to shape people, history, and civilization
We’re about to enter the season of New Year’s resolutions. Maybe you want to write a book, make a short film, or paint your masterpiece. We talk to two published authors about silencing your inner critic, breaking through any artistic funks, and finally putting pen to paper in 2019.
Danielle Krysa, author, Your Inner Critic is a Big Jerk: and other truths about being creative
It’s getting cold outside, which means it’s time to cuddle up with some good books to pass the time. Or maybe you’re just on the prowl for some holiday gifts for the reader in your life. Either way, we have some options for what to read this winter.
Ellen Keith, author, The Dutch Wife
Andrew Shaffer, author, Hope Never Dies: An Obama/Biden Mystery
It can easy to get the blues, especially with all of the division and turmoil in the world. But author Kate Davies has a different way of look at the world: one that can make us more hopeful, positive, and willing to pitch in and help. She calls it intrinsic hope, and it may be just what we all need this holiday season.
Kate Davies, author, Intrinsic Hope: Living courageously in troubled times
Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine American culture–what’s new and old in entertainment.
Back in 2000, author Dave Eggers became a cult hero with his memoir titled A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. In it, he chronicled the death of both his parents and his role stewarding his younger brother in their absence.
Eggers is also the co-founder of McSweeney’s, a non-profit publisher that is known for its literary fiction quarterly journal, and has written an interesting collection of fiction and non-fiction in the ensuing years. In 2005, he was named a Time Magazine Most Influential Person. His 2012 novel A Hologram for the King was a finalist for the National Book Award and his myriad other books have been shortlisted and won prizes across the country.
Throughout his career, Eggers has pushed the boundaries of writing, and no book better illustrates his desire to innovate than his 2014 novel, Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? It’s a book that consists only of dialogue. Each line is introduced with a single dash, and while it sounds complicated, the form actually makes it very straight-forward and easy to follow. It’s a revenge fantasy ethical debate featuring an unreliable main character who keeps kidnapping people.
Your Fathers, Where Are They? And The Prophets, Do They Live Forever? is a fascinating and challenging book. It certainly won’t be for everyone, but it’s a provocative quick-read and it’s unlike anything else I’ve ever read. Coming from an author with a pedigree like Eggers, it’s definitely worth reading and discussing.
Hank Green has a massive internet presence as a podcaster, vlogger, tweeter, and more. Now, he’s become an author. His new book, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, deals with internet fame and our reactionary culture head-on. He joins the show to discuss these issues, and whether is the internet is good.
Hank Green, author, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
For decades, science fiction was a genre written almost exclusively by white males. Now, the genre is flourishing with diverse voices, thanks in part to the trailblazing writer Octavia E. Butler. Historian Gerry Canavan discusses the obstacles Butler faced and her legacy on one of the most popular genres in American literature.
Gerry Canavan, professor at Marquette University and author, Octavia E. Butler