Hilton Als on Gus Van Sant’s Milk

Critic Hilton Als speaks with Michael Shae about Van Sant’s film in light of Harvey Milk’s experiences as a gay man in the 1950s and 1960s, and about Milk’s personal and political legacy.


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J. Michael Lennon on Norman Mailer’s Letters

J. Michael Lennon, who is at work on an authorized biography of Norman Mailer, speaks with Sasha Weiss about Mailer’s letters and what they reveal about his ambitions, his relationships with other writers, and his enduring obsessions.


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Lorrie Moore on Donald Barthelme

Lorrie Moore speaks with Andrew Palmer about Hiding Man, Tracy Daugherty’s new biography of Donald Barthelme.


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Anita Desai on Azar Nafisi

Novelist Anita Desai speaks with Eve Bowen about Things I’ve Been Silent About, Iranian expatriate Azar Nafisi’s new memoir.


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Mark Danner on the ICRC Report on US Torture

Mark Danner talks to Hugh Eakin about the confidential International Committee of the Red Cross report on the CIA’s secret prisons and reads excerpts from detainee Abu Zubaydah’s firsthand account of torture.


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Jonathan Raban on Wendy and Lucy

Jonathan Raban speaks with Charles Petersen about Kelly Reichardt’s film Wendy and Lucy and the stories of Jon Raymond, and about how these works illuminate—and are illuminated by—the socioeconomic realities of the Pacific Northwest.


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Dan Chiasson on John Ashbery

Poet and critic Dan Chiasson speaks with Giles Harvey about John Ashbery’s life and work, and reflects on the demanding pleasures of reading Ashbery’s poetry.


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John Ashbery Reads Selected Poems

John Ashbery reads sixteen of his own selections from among the more than forty poems he has published in the Review since the 1970s, and comments on a few of his most obscure film and literary references. © 2009 John Ashbery. All rights to this recorded material belong to the author. Used with gracious permission of John Ashbery.


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Pico Iyer on the Dalai Lama

Drawing on his long personal relationship with the Dalai Lama, Pico Iyer speaks with Hugh Eakin about the Tibetan leader’s stark new view of the Chinese regime and the future of Tibet.


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Orlando Figes on the Politics of Russian History

Historian Orlando Figes speaks with Sasha Weiss about his latest book, The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin’s Russia; the recent prosecutor’s office raid on the Memorial Society, a human rights organization working to preserve memories and documentary evidence of Stalin’s repression; and the dangers posed by resurgent Stalinism to the accurate telling of Russian history.


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Robert M. Solow on the Economic Crisis

Economist and Nobel laureate Robert M. Solow speaks with Hugh Eakin about the causes of the current crisis, the importance of credit in the functioning of the world financial system, and how new regulation might prevent future disasters.


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Tim Parks on Pinocchio

Novelist Tim Parks speaks with Andrew Palmer about Geoffrey Brock’s new English translation of Carlo Collodi’s children’s classic Pinocchio, and the book’s origins in the political and cultural tumult of 1880s Italy.


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David Hare Performs Wall

Playwright David Hare reads his monologue Wall, an exploration of the impact—on both Israelis and Palestinians—of the barrier built to divide Israel from the West Bank.


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Andrew Delbanco on the Universities in Trouble

Andrew Delbanco, director of American Studies at Columbia University, speaks with Michael Shae about the financial crisis facing American higher education.


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Christopher Ricks on John Keats

Christopher Ricks speaks with Giles Harvey about Posthumous Keats, Stanley Plumly’s recent biography of John Keats, and about the poet’s death and the idealized image that emerged during his “immediate afterlife.


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Helen Epstein on Prison Reform

Helen Epstein talks with Eve Bowen about lawyer Sunny Schwartz’s work in the San Francisco county jail system, and her program’s potential for transforming the treatment of prisoners nationwide.


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Ahmed Rashid on Pakistan in Crisis

Ahmed Rashid speaks with Hugh Eakin about the continuing conflict between the Pakistani government and the Taliban, the humanitarian crisis in Swat, and the violence that has spread from the border with Afghanistan to within sixty miles of the capital, Islamabad.


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Nicholas Kristof on Darfur

Nicholas Kristof speaks with Sasha Weiss about his experiences reporting in Darfur, the International Criminal Court’s indictment of Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir on counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and what the Obama administration can do to prevent further escalation of the conflict.


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David Cole on Same-Sex Marriage

David Cole talks to Michael Shae about the history of the legal battle over same-sex marriage, the changing demographics that favor nationwide support, and the legal and political tactics advocates and activists might use to ensure a just future for the institution.


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Michael Tomasky on Obama’s Strategy

Michael Tomasky speaks with Hugh Eakin about public perception of the President and his policies, the thinking behind the administration’s ceding of authority to Congress, and the sheer pace of Obama’s Washington.


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