WYSO

Books - Fiction

In 2002 I had a very special guest come out to our studios in Yellow Springs to see me. Kathi Kamen Goldmark had been to Yellow Springs many times before. She was a graduate of Antioch College. On this particular occasion she came here for only one reason, to do this interview live in our WYSO studios.

Try to picture a scenario in which the United States has been taken over by corporations and that corporate power rules the land. Imagine that many of our leaders are being complicit with our corporate overlords and that corruption, shady deals, and money laundering have become the hidden hallmarks of power. In this fictional world Donald Trump is still our president but just about everything else is different. I realize this seems absurd and inconceivable.

I did not know it at the time but I began heading down the path to recording this interview with John Straley when I was in the third grade. I remember it like it happened yesterday. We had eaten lunch in the cafeteria at St. Augustin's School in Des Moines. Then I went out to play during recess with my best pal. His name was Jimmy Percival. We were over admiring the rose bushes blooming in front of the convent when an older kid, a fourth grader we didn't know came running over to us and starting beating up my buddy, Jimmy.

Reading books can be such a joyful experience. There are so many things to like about it. One of my favorite things is discovering a writer who has just published her first book and realizing that their work is something special. Then I have the eager anticipation ahead of waiting for them to write many more!

"Mississippi Blood" by Greg Iles
Original recording made in 2017

Peter James returned to the program to talk about the latest installment in his series that features Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. Roy's beat is the seaside city of Brighton, England and as this story begins he's spending some time with his son Bruno. They are attending a soccer match at the new stadium. As the two are settling into their seats the ever observant Roy notices a young man who is sitting a few rows in front of them and in his view this fellow is exhibiting some peculiar behavior.

Silas House returned to the program to discuss his new novel "Southernmost." The last time we had Silas on the show it was when he had just published his novel "Clay's Quilt." That was far too long ago.

In 2002 Susan Vreeland returned to the program to discuss her novel about Artemisia Gentileschi, an Italian painter of baroque masterpieces. "The Passion of Artemisia" was the followup to her extraordinary collection of linked stories "Girl in Hyacinth Blue." Vreeland's depiction of an artist who fought to overcome a sexist society now seems remarkably prescient during our current wave of #MeToo awakenings throughout our culture.

Over the years that I have been reading books and listening to music I have found that the creative processes of writing fiction and writing music have something in common when it comes down to preserving the literature or music which is being created; some authors have just one really great book to write and some musicians have just one really great album to record. Life is funny that way. I suppose that these creative people sometimes get all their really good stuff out in just that one package.

When Michael Koryta was a teenager in Bloomington, Indiana an abduction and homicide took place just down the road from where he was living. A young woman had been riding her bicycle in the area when she vanished without a trace. The police were baffled by the crime. Later on a confession was made by someone who claimed to have been involved in her abduction. When they attempted to verify the details of that confession in the hope of locating the victim they discovered that the confession had been spurious. It wasn't true.

Pages