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11-19-14: A 2014 Interview with David Greene

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"It was very easy to literally just tell their stories..."

—David Greene

David Greene is as genial over the ISDN line as he sounds on NPR. He was on an assembly line schedule to discuss his book 'Midnight in Siberia.' I imagine a book tour condensed into a series of ten-minute conversations and my admiration for the man who sat through the permutations of questions with such a generous tone knows no bounds.

My sensibilities are a bit odd, so perhaps he hadn't heard my questions quite so many times, but the sheer quality of the writing in 'Midnight in Siberia' makes it clear why he can sound so great day after day on NPR.

I'll let readers hear him speak for himself, and you will know that voice, if you follow this link to the MP3 audio file.




11-17-14: A 2014 Interview with Azar Nafisi

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"I wanted to show how close reality and fiction are..."
—Azar Nafisi

You won't be able to tell from this interview, but Azar Nafisi was losing her voice when she arrived to speak with me about her new book, 'The Republic of Imagination.' I met her at Peace United Church in Santa Cruz, where she was going to be speaking later in the evening for Bookshop Santa Cruz. Her wonderfully protective driver brought her some hot tea, and we sat down in a tiny room behind the pulpit and spoke as the sun set behind us.

Effusive is hardly the right term to describe our conversation, and as we spoke (or mostly her), the term rabble-rousing kept coming back to me. That was how I felt when I first read her book, and she brought that sort of spirit to our conversation. She was intense and passionate, but also precise.

That precision went a long way to helping her elucidate her takes on education, democracy and freedom to read as iut relates to freedom of thought. We discussed 'Babbitt' as a rather science-fictional novel, in that Lewis apprehends well the Things to Come that are not for the benefits of most of us. She also spoke to the power of reading to create memories not unlike those created by actual experience.

Nafisi expertly unpacked the themes of her book without spoiling the reading experience of the book. She's funny and low-key with regards to her own abilities, keeping her eye on the bigger picture. You can hear Azar Nafisi earn your vote for her as a leader of the Republic of Imagination by following this link to the MP3 audio file.



New to the Agony Column

11-19-14: Commentary : David Greene Catches 'Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey into the Heart of Russia' : The Character(s) of a Country

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with David Greene : "It was very easy to literally just tell their stories..."

11-17-14: Commentary : Azar Nafisi Resides In 'The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books' : Choose Your World

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Azar Nafisi : "I wanted to show how close reality and fiction are..."

11-15-14: Commentary : Cary Elwes Delivers 'As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride' : Re-Reading and Re-Viewing

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Cary Elwes : "...an unwise decision on my part..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 183: Azar Nafisi : Republic of the Imagination: America in Three Books

11-10-14: Commentary : Dana Cowin 'Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen' : Learning to Cook — and Live

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Dana Cowin : "...so I add a little more citrus..."

11-09-14:Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 182: Dana Cowin : Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen: Learning to Cook with 65 Great Chefs and Over 100 Delicious Recipes

11-06-14: Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Paolo Bacigalupi and A. S. King : "You're handing us all the problems..." Paolo Bacigalupi "That gray area is so important for readers..." A. S. King

11-05-14: Commentary : A. S. King Foresees 'Glory O'Brien's History of the Future' : Halls of Mirrorsr

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with A. S. King : "How much do we really change?"

11-04-14: Commentary : Paolo Bacigalupi Believes In 'The Doubt Factory' : Thrills Matter

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Paolo Bacigalupi : "...these are perfectly nice people..."

10-30-14: Commentary : Brian J. Showers Opens 'The Green Book, Issue 4' : 200 Years of Le Fanu

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 181: Paolo Bacigalupi : The Doubt Factory

10-27-14: Commentary : Jim Rockhill and Brian J. Showers Recall 'Dreams of Shadow and Smoke: Stories for J. S. Le Fanu' : New Stories for an Antiquary

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Brian J. Showers : "I have a lot reference materials on my desk..."

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