Fintan O’Toole on Flann O’Brien

Sasha Weiss speaks with Fintan O’Toole, columnist for the Irish Times, about the genius and misfortune of the great Irish novelist Flann O’Brien.


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James M. McPherson on Abraham Lincoln

Historian James M. McPherson talks to Charles Petersen about the career, worldwide impact, and enduring political legacy of Abraham Lincoln.


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Garry Wills on the Death of Conservatism

Garry Wills speaks with Hugh Eakin about the end of the age of Buckley, the rise of right-wing radicalism, and the crisis facing the American conservative movement.


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Joyce Carol Oates on Shirley Jackson

Joyce Carol Oates talks to Sasha Weiss about the writer Shirley Jackson—her place in the writing of the 1950s, the renewal of interest in her work, and how she created her tidy, wicked stories in the midst of her chaotic life.


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David Cole on the Lawyers Who Authorized Torture

David Cole talks to Hugh Eakin about the Bush Administration lawyers who—as recently as 2007—approved illegal CIA interrogations, and why we need a full investigation of their actions.


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Lawrence Weschler on David Hockney

Lawrence Weschler—whose audio slide show about David Hockney’s iPhone drawings can be seen here—talks about Hockney’s longtime interest in new technology and his recent paintings, which will be on view at PaceWildenstein this fall.


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Norman Manea on Herta Müller

Norman Manea speaks with Hugh Eakin about Romanian-born German writer Herta Müller, the 2009 Nobel laureate in literature, and what her life and work reveal about the status of ethnic minorities in her native country. A transcription of highlights of the conversation is available at blogs.nybooks.com.


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Frederick Seidel Reads Selected Poems

Frederick Seidel reads selections from the work he has published in the Review, as well as poems from his recent collection, Poems 1959-2009. For more on Seidel’s work, read Dan Chiasson’s review of that volume, or Charles Simic’s blog post about the challenges Seidel’s work poses for critics and readers.


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James Bamford on the National Security Agency

James Bamford talks to Nathan Thrall about the politics behind the Bush administration’s evasion of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the technology and scope of the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping program.


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Jerome Groopman on the Changing Medical Profession

Jerome Groopman speaks with Andrew Martin about how regulation of shift length, the struggle to control costs, and the rise of “evidence-based” medicine have changed how doctors learn and practice.


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Chris Jordan on Midway Atoll and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Photographer and activist Chris Jordan speaks with Eve Bowen about his recent photographs, taken at one of the world’s most remote marine wildlife sanctuaries, of albatross chicks killed by plastic waste that their parents have mistaken for food.


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Joost Hiltermann on Iraq on the Edge

Joost Hiltermann speaks with Nathan Thrall about the political crisis facing Iraq as it prepares for parliamentary elections in 2010 and the final withdrawal of all American troops by the end of the following year.


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Andrew O’Hagan on Samuel Johnson

Andrew O’Hagan talks to Sasha Weiss about Samuel Johnson’s various and contradictory character, how his Rambler essays shaped our notions of literary talent and professional authorship, and why, in his tercentenary year, Johnson remains essential reading.


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Charles Wright Reads Selected Sestets and Other Poems

Charles Wright reads from his recent collection, Sestets, and talks to Sasha Weiss about the importance of landscape in his work, his writing process, and how he came to experiment with the six-line form.


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Cathleen Schine on Gail Collins

Cathleen Schine speaks with Sasha Weiss about Gail Collins’s book When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present, and about the victories and failures of the women’s movement.


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Deborah Eisenberg on Skylark

Deborah Eisenberg reads from Skylark, a Hungarian novel recently republished by NYRB Classics, and talks with Sasha Weiss about why it’s one of the most perfect novels she’s encountered.


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Dan Chiasson on Lydia Davis

Dan Chiasson reads from The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis, which he reviewed in the April 29, 2010 issue of The New York Review, and talks to Gabriel Winslow-Yost about accidental greatness, lonely translators, and reading at stoplights.


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Charles Rosen Plays Chopin

Charles Rosen plays the music of Frédéric Chopin and talks to Chris Carroll about the composer’s surprising radicalism and the critical controversy surrounding his work, the mysterious spianato style, and whether there is a right way to play Chopin’s music.


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Derek Walcott, Two Poems

Derek Walcott recites “Fare Well” by Walter de la Mare, and reads “The Hulls of White Yachts,” from his latest collection White Egrets.


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Robert Gottlieb on Charles Dickens

Robert Gottlieb speaks to Andrew Martin about Charles Dickens’s troubled life, his best and worst novels, and how to read without editing.


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