Listen Live

Authors

First Draft - Nina McConigley

Jan 5, 2015

Nina McConigley is the author of the story collection Cowboys and East Indians, which was the winner of the 2014 PEN Open Book Award and winner of a High Plains Book Award. She was born in Singapore and grew up in Wyoming. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston, where she was an Inprint Brown Foundation Fellow.

First Draft - Michael Cunningham

Dec 29, 2014
Richard Phibbs

Michael Cunningham is the author of the novels A Home at the End of the World, Flesh and Blood, The Hours (winner of the Pen/Faulkner Award & Pulitzer Prize), Specimen Days, and By Nightfall, as well as the non-fiction book, Land's End: A Walk in Provincetown. His newest novel is, The Snow Queen. He lives in New York, and teaches at Yale University. www.michaelcunninghamwriter.com

First Draft - Emily St. John Mandel

Dec 22, 2014

Emily St. John Mandel was born and raised on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. She studied contemporary dance at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and lived briefly in Montreal before relocating to New York.

First Draft - Kent Haruf

Dec 15, 2014

NOTE: Kent Haruf passed away in December 2014.  This interview was recorded in May 2013. 

Kent Haruf’s honors include a Whiting Foundation Award, a Stegner Award, a Frank Waters Award, and a special citation from the PEN/Hemingway Foundation. His novel Plainsong won the Mountains & Plains Booksellers Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the New Yorker Book Award. He lives with his wife, Cathy, in his native Colorado.  His most recent novel is Benediction.

First Draft - Heidi Pitlor

Dec 8, 2014
Neil Giordano

Heidi Pitlor is the author of the novel The Birthdays of which Fred Leebron wrote "Undeniably gratifying...subtly riveting...This isn't just a terrific family novel; it's a terrific novel through and through." Heidi was formerly a senior editor at Houghton Mifflin and is presently the annual series editor for The Best American Short Stories. Her writing has appeared in such publications as Ploughshares, The Huffington Post, and Labor Day: True Birth Stories by Today's Best Women Writers.

This week on CrossCurrents, part 2 of The Great Book Series at the Aspen Institute. Senior moderators Pete Thigpen and Todd Breyfogle are guests.

Also Walter Isaacson, CEO and President of the Aspen Institute, on his new book, The Innovators.

About the Great Book Series from the Aspen Institute website:

First Draft - Jess Walter

Dec 1, 2014

A former National Book Award finalist and winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award, Jess Walter is the author of six novels, including The Beautiful Ruins and The Zero, one book of short stories and one nonfiction book. His work has been translated into 30 languages, and his essays, short fiction, criticism and journalism have been widely published, in Best American Short Stories, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Harper's, Esquire, McSweeney's, Byliner, Playboy, ESPN the Magazine, Details and many others. www.jesswalter.com.

First Draft - Anthony Marra

Nov 24, 2014
Smeeta Mahanti

Anthony Marra is the New York Times-bestselling author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, longlisted for the National Book Award and winner of the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize. It was selected as one of the ten best books of 2013 by The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, Salon, New York Magazine, Publishers Weekly, and Library Journal, among numerous other year-end lists. He is the winner of the Whiting Award, the Pushcart Prize, and currently teaches at Stanford University.  www.anthonymarra.net

First Draft - Karen Thompson Walker

Nov 17, 2014
Ramin Talaie

Karen Thompson Walker is the author of The Age of Miracles, which was a New York Times bestseller. She was born and raised in San Diego and is a graduate of UCLA and the Columbia MFA program. A former editor at Simon & Schuster, she wroteThe Age of Miracles in the mornings before work--sometimes while riding the subway. She currently lives in Iowa with her husband.

First Draft - Paolo Giordano

Nov 10, 2014

Paolo Giordano was born in Turin in 1982. He has a Master’s degree and a doctorate in theoretical physics. His novels are The Solitude of Prime Numbers and The Human Body.  Both novels have been translated – or are being translated – into many languages. Paolo Giordano also writes for Il Corriere della Sera. 

http://www.paologiordano.it/en/

First Draft - Stephan Eirik Clark

Nov 3, 2014
Stephen Geffre

Stephan Eirik Clark is the author of Sweetness #9 and the short story collection Vladimir’s Mustache, a finalist for the 2013 Minnesota Book Award.

Born in West Germany to a Norwegian mother and a Texan father, Clark split much of his childhood between England and the United States, and has lived in five states and five countries, including Ukraine, where he served a Fulbright Fellowship, and Russia.

First Draft - Peter Orner

Oct 20, 2014

Chicago born Peter Orner’s fiction and non-fiction has appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly, Granta, The Paris Review, McSweeney’s, The Southern Review, The Forward, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Ploughshares. Stories have been anthologized in Best American Stories and twice won a Pushcart Prize. Orner was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship (2006), as well as the two-year Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship (2007-2008).

First Draft - James Salter

Oct 13, 2014
Michael Lionstar

James Salter grew up in New York City and was a career officer and Air Force pilot until his mid-thirties, when the success of his first novel, The Hunters (1957), led to a fulltime writing career. Salter’s potent, lyrical prose has earned him acclaim from critics, readers, and fellow novelists. His novel, A Sport and a Pastime (1967), was hailed by the New York Times as “nearly perfect as any American fiction.” His latest book, All That Is, was published to critical acclaim in 2013. He lives in New York and Aspen.

First Draft - Boris Fishman

Oct 6, 2014
Rob Liguori

Boris Fishman was born in Minsk, in the former Soviet Union, in 1979, and emigrated to the United States in 1988. His journalism, essays, and criticism have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine and Book Review, The New Republic, The Nation, Harper’s, Vogue, The London Review of Books, The Wall Street Journal and other publications.

First Draft - Karen Joy Fowler

Sep 29, 2014
Beth Gwinn

Karen Joy Fowler is the author of six novels and three short story collections. The Jane Austen Book Club spent thirteen weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list and was a New York Times Notable Book. Fowler’s previous novel, Sister Noon, was a finalist for the 2001 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction. Her debut novel, Sarah Canary, was a New York Times Notable Book, as was her second novel, The Sweetheart Season. In addition, Sarah Canary won the Commonwealth medal for best first novel by a Californian, and was listed for the Irish Times International Fiction Prize as well as the Bay Area Book Reviewers Prize. Fowler’s short story collection Black Glass won the World Fantasy Award in 1999, and her collection What I Didn’t See won the World Fantasy Award in 2011. Fowler and her husband, who have two grown children and five grandchildren, live in Santa Cruz, California.  www.karenjoyfowler.com

First Draft - Joshua Ferris

Sep 22, 2014

Joshua Ferris is the bestselling author of three novels, Then We Came to the End, The Unnamed and To Rise Again at a Decent Hour. He was a finalist for the National Book Award, winner of the Barnes and Noble Discover Award and the PEN/Hemingway Award, and was named one of The New Yorker’s “20 Under 40” writers in 2010.  His current novel To Rise Again at a Decent Hour is short listed for the Man Booker Prize.  He lives in New York. www.joshuaferris.com

First Draft - Alan Lightman

Sep 15, 2014

Alan Lightman is the author of six novels, including Einstein’s Dreams, which was an international best seller and The Diagnosis, a finalist for the National Book Award.  He is also the author of two collections of essays and several books on science.  A theoretical physicist as well as a writer, he has served on the faculties of Harvard and MIT, where he was the first person to receive a dual faculty appointment in science and the humanities.  He lives in the Boston area.

First Draft - Stuart Dybek

Aug 25, 2014

Stuart Dybek is the author of five books of fiction: I Sailed With Magellan, The Coast of Chicago, and Childhood and Other Neighborhoods. Most recently published include Paper Lantern: Love Stories and Ecstatic Cahoots: Short Stories.  Both I Sailed With Magellan and The Coast of Chicago were New York Times Notable Books, and The Coast of Chicago was a One Book One Chicago selection. Dybek has also published two collections of poetry: Streets in Their Own Ink and Brass Knuckles.  His fiction, poetry, and nonfiction have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Atlantic, Poetry, Tin House, and many other magazines, and have been widely anthologized, including work in both Best American Fiction and Best American Poetry.  Among Dybek’s numerous awards are a PEN/Malamud Prize “for distinguished achievement in the short story,” a Lannan Award, a Whiting Writers Award, an Award from the Academy of Arts and Letters, several O.Henry Prizes, and fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 2007 Dybek was awarded the  John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.

First Draft - Hannah Tinti

Aug 18, 2014

Hannah Tinti is a writer, editor, and teacher.  Her short story collection, Animal Crackers, has sold in sixteen countries and was a runner-up for the PEN/Hemingway award. Her best-selling novel, The Good Thief, is a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, recipient of the American Library Association’s Alex Award, winner of the The Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, and winner of the Quality Paperback Book Club’s New Voices Award. She is now finishing a new novel.

Hannah has worked at bookstores, magazines, publishing houses, and literary agencies. In 2002 she co-founded the award-winning magazine One Story and for the past 12 years has been its Editor in Chief. In 2009 she received the PEN/Nora Magid award for excellence in editing and in 2014 One Story won the AWP Prize for Best Small Press. In 2011, she joined the Public Radio program, Selected Shorts, as their Literary Commentator, interviewing authors and actors about the importance of literature and reading.

First Draft - Kevin Barry

Aug 4, 2014
Olivia Smith

Kevin Barry is the author of City of Bohane and two story collections, his newest, Dark Lies the Island, is being published in America in September 2013. He has won the European Union Prize for Literature and the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award, and was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award. Dark Lies the Island is a Publishers Weekly Top 10 Fiction Book of Fall 2013. He lives in County Sligo, Ireland.

First Draft - Rick Bass

Jul 28, 2014

Rick Bass was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1958. His father was a geologist who passed on his passion to his son. Bass received a B.S. in petroleum geology at Utah State University in 1979, and then worked as a gas and oil geologist in Jackson, Mississippi. He started writing short stories during his lunch breaks.

He is the author of over twenty books. His first short story collection, The Watch, set in Texas, won the PEN/Nelson Algren Award, and his 2002 collection, The Hermit’s Story, was a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. Bass’s stories have also been awarded the Pushcart Prize and the O. Henry Award and have been collected in The Best American Short Stories. His newest novel is called All The Land To Hold Us.

First Draft - Edan Lepucki

Jul 14, 2014
Bader Howar

Edan Lepucki is a graduate of Oberlin College and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and her short fiction has been published in Narrative Magazine, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, Meridian,  FiveChapters, and McSweeney’s, among others. She is a staff writer for The Millions, and teaches creative writing at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and for Writing Workshops Los Angeles, which she founded.   Her novel is called California.  www.edanlepucki.com.

 

The Innovators with Walter Isaacson

Jul 11, 2014

McCloskey Speaker Series - The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution featuring Walter Isaacson

President and CEO of the Aspen Institute Walter Isaacson will speak about his forthcoming book, set to be released in October, 2014, by Simon & Schuster. Mr. Isaacson is the author of Steve Jobs; Einstein: His Life and Universe; Benjamin Franklin: An American Life; and Kissinger: A Biography, and the coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made.

First Draft - Elizabeth Gilbert

Jun 30, 2014
Jennifer Schatten

Elizabeth Gilbert was born in Waterbury, Connecticut in 1969, and grew up on a small family Christmas tree farm. She attended New York University, where she studied political science by day and worked on her short stories by night. After college, she spent several years traveling around the country, working in bars, diners and ranches, collecting experiences to transform into fiction. Her books include Eat, Pray, Love, Pilgrims, Committed, The Last American Man and most recently The Signature of All Things. Elizabeth Gilbert lives in the small river town of Frenchtown, New Jersey, where she and her husband run a large and delightful imports store called Two Buttons. More at www.elizabethgilbert.com.

Two speakers from this year’s Aspen Ideas Fest, Janna Levin, an astrophysicist from Barnard College and Kay Hymowitz, the author of the bestseller,  "Manning Up".

aspenideas.org

First Draft - Jack Driscoll

Jun 23, 2014

Jack Driscoll is the author of four books of poems, two collections of short stories, and four novels. In addition, he is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the NEA Creative Writing Fellowship, the NEH Independent Study Grant, two Pushcart Prizes and Best American Short Story citations, the PEN/Nelson Algren Fiction Award, the Associated Writing Programs Short Fiction Award, and seven PEN Syndicated Project Short Fiction Awards.

His stories have been read frequently over NPR’s “The Sound of Writing,” and his work has appeared nationally in magazines, literary journals, and newspapers such as Chicago Tribune, Kansas City Star, Civilization, Poetry, The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, and Ploughshares.

His novel Lucky Man, Lucky Woman received the 1998 Pushcart Editors’ Book Award, the Barnes and Noble Discovery of Great New Writers Award, and the 1999 Independent Book Publishers Award for Fiction. Stardog, his third novel, appeared in 2000, and How Like an Angel, a University of Michigan Press Sweetwater release, appeared in May, 2005. His newest short story collection, The World of a Few Minutes Ago, was published by Wayne State University Press in 2012

First Draft - Andre Dubus III

Jun 9, 2014

Andre Dubus III is the author of six books: The Cage Keeper and Other Stories, Bluesman, and the New York Times bestsellers, House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Days (soon to be a major motion picture) and his memoir, Townie, a #4 New York Times bestseller and a New York Times "Editors Choice". His work has been included in The Best American Essays of 1994 and The Best Spiritual Writing of 1999, and his novel, House of Sand and Fog was a finalist for the National Book Award, a #1 New York Times Bestseller, and was made into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly. His new book, Dirty Love, was published in the fall of 2013 and has been listed as a New York Times “Notable Book”, a New York Times Editors’ Choice”, a 2013 “Notable Fiction” choice from The Washington Post, and a Kirkus “Starred Best Book of 2013”.

Mr. Dubus has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for Fiction, Two Pushcart Prizes, and he is a 2012 recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. His books are published in over twenty-five languages, and he teaches full-time at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Fontaine, a modern dancer, and their three children. www.andredubus.com.

First Draft - John Freeman

May 19, 2014
Deborah Treisman

John Freeman is a writer and literary critic. He has written author profiles and book reviews for more than two hundred newspapers worldwide, was the onetime president of the National Book Critics Circle, and was the editor of Granta. His new book called How to Read a Novelist, includes 55 profiles of some of the very best novelists of our time.

First Draft - Jenny Offill

May 12, 2014
Michael Lionstar

Jenny Offill is the author of three children’s books and co-editor of two non-fiction anthologies. Her first novel Last Things (1999) was a New York Times Notable book and a finalist for the L.A Times First Book Award. Her second novel is called Dept. of Speculation. She teaches in the MFA programs at Brooklyn College, Columbia University and Queens University.

First Draft - Rachel Kushner

May 5, 2014

Rachel Kushner’s second novel, The Flamethrowers, was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award, shortlisted for the 2014 Folio Prize, longlisted for the 2014 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, and a New York Times bestseller and Top 10 Book of 2013. Her debut novel, Telex From Cuba, was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, winner of the California Book Award, and a New York Times bestseller and Notable Book. Kushner is the only writer ever to be nominated for a National Book Award in Fiction for both a first and second novel. Her fiction and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Paris Review, The Believer, Artforum, Bookforum, Fence, Bomb, and Grand Street. She is the recipient of a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship. www.rachelkushner.com

Pages