Today we got the chance to visit with Webster Groves native and acclaimed author Jonathan Franzen about his latest novel Freedom, his inspirations, and his methods. You can hear the whole conversation in the St. Louis on the Air archives, but here are some highlights:
On whether or not he's working on a new book
It takes me a long time to write a book. They’re years in development before I get any pages I can believe in. I have some vague thoughts. Usually the vague thoughts I have at this stage, they turn out to be completely wrong headed.
Over the past couple of weeks on St. Louis on the Air, we've had a handful of conversations about the impact of September 11th on the people of this region. Though we in St. Louis were hundreds of miles away from Ground Zero, the events of that day have changed all of us.
Here's a quick roundup of the conversations you can find in our archives:
Today on St. Louis on the Air, we got a little peek at what Ira Glass fans can expect this weekend at Powell Hall. The voice behind PRI’s This American Life will recreate moments from the show live on stage with the distinctive sounds, voices, and music TAL fans have come to know-- but there won’t be any fancy mixing console or many recognizable radio props on stage. Glass says, “I’ll run it all from my iPad."
This morning as the National Weather Service upgraded the tornado risk to "high" for the St. Louis area this afternoon, meteorologist and severe weather expert Mike Smith joined us for St. Louis on the Air. Smith called this the "worst tornado season" since the 1950's and cautioned that complacency about risk can be one of the deadliest factors during any storm.
Forty years to the month after a paralyzing tornado struck Joplin, MO in 1971, rescue workers carefully search the again devastated city for survivors of last night's storm. KCUR's Dan Verbeck joined us from Joplin during today's St. Louis on the Air. 90 people are now confirmed dead due to the tornado, but one fire official told Verbeck they expect the toll to rise to at least 100.
This is the story of two boys living in Baltimore with similar histories and an identical name: Wes Moore. One of us is free and has experienced things he never even knew to dream about as a kid. The other will spend every day until his death behind bars for an armed robbery that left a police officer and father of five dead. The chilling truth is that his story could have been mine. The tragedy is that my story could have been his.