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Best of the Book Nook: The Dean's List, by Jon Hassler


Jon Hassler was considered to be the dean of Minnesota writers. He wrote stories about life in small towns in Minnesota and a number of novels that lampooned academia. It was a subject he knew well, he had been a college professor for many decades in small towns in Minnesota. His novel "The Dean's List" was a sequel to his popular book "Rookery Blues" and it was yet another farcical send-up of academic life.

Professor Hassler came out to see us that day in Yellow Springs. When I listened back to this interview after all of these years I recalled that he had offered some reading suggestions. One of them was for "The Collected Short Stories" of the Irish writer William Trevor. 22 years after Jon Hassler gave me that reading suggestion I finally followed up on it and obtained a copy. I'm reading it now. He was right, Trevor's stories are superb and they remind me a little bit of Hassler's fiction. I can see now why he liked them. Jon Hassler died in 2008.

Special Bonus segment:

In the third and final segment you can hear an amazing in-studio performance by a vocal group from Toronto, Ontario. Moxy Fruvous came through our region about 20 years ago on tour and they stopped by to perform four songs on the program. Their performance that day was really quite extraordinary. I used to play one of their songs during the hour that we featured "The Book Nook." That tune was called "My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors." These were some rather literary musicians.

The Book Nook on WYSO is presented by the Greene County Public Library with additional support from Washington-Centerville Public Library,  Clark County Public LibraryDayton Metro LibraryWright Memorial Public Library, and Microsun Lamps.

Vick Mickunas introduced the Book Nook author interview program for WYSO in 1994. Over the years he has produced more than 1500 interviews with writers, musicians, poets, politicians, and celebrities. Listen to the Book Nook with Vick Mickunas for intimate conversations about books with the writers who create them. Vick Mickunas reviews books for the Dayton Daily News and the Springfield News Sun.