Our interview with poet and award-winning author Ben Lerner about his gripping novel 10:04. On anxiety for the future, the importance of imagination, and why the line between fiction and reality is blurrier than we might suppose.
For me, literature, like life, is about being open to the contradictions of experience as opposed to papering them over or offering false solutions – Ben Lerner
Ben Lerner author of 10:04
Author David Sedaris
Best-Selling and celebrated author David Sedaris has been delighting readers for more that 20 years with his self-effacing essays in which he mines stories from his family, childhood, and day-to-day experiences for the perverse humour of human existence.
Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris
He first gained popularity in the early 1990s with his humourous radio essays on NPR (such as the SantaLand diaries in which he recounts his stint working as a Christmas elf at the Macy’s Department Store) and then later through his contributions to PRI’s This American Life, and the New Yorker magazine.
His latest collection of essays Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls is his 9th book and has earned him the usual glowing reviews and place on-top of the best-sellers list.
David Sedaris was in Toronto in May as part of his book tour and I leapt at the chance to have him on for an interview. We spoke about everything from his success as an artist, and his public persona, to his early days as a writer, and his admiration for the radio prose of the great Jonathan Goldstein.
CBC Radio’s Wiretap has long been one of my absolute favourite radio programs and podcasts. It combines fictive, humourous, and reflective elements, and the end result is a show that is thoroughly entertaining and thought-provoking.
Wiretap with Jonathan Goldstein
The show is hosted and produced by Jonathan Goldstein, who also produces pieces as a contributing editor for This American Life (he also worked at TAL as a full time producer from 2000-2002).
But interestingly Jonathan didn’t originally set out to be in radio – his main creative passion for most of his life has been writing and he has published several books, most recently I’ll Seize the Day Tomorrow.
I sat down with Jonathan to ask him about his life as a writer, his journey in public radio and the advantages and drawbacks of looking at life with an outsiders perspective.
Wiretap is currently in its 9th season, and if you haven’t already been won over, I highly recommend you check it out. You can find out more about the show and subscribe to the podcast at http://www.cbc.ca/wiretap/
Jonathan Goldstein, writer and host of CBC Radio’s Wiretap
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John Ralston Saul is perhaps Canada’s best known public intellectual. He is the author of many groundbreaking works on matters of society and politics from On Equilibrium to Voltaire’s Bastards, and the book version of his 1995 CBC Massey Lecture The Unconscious Civilization received the Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction.
Canadian writer and political thinker John Ralston Saul
In this episode of The Public, a full hour conversation with John Ralston Saul, on corporatism, reclaiming a sense of citizenship and his early days as a writer.
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