Writer Annie Proulx. She just won the National Book Award for Fiction, for her second novel, "The Shipping News," (Scribner's). Proulx describes herself as "incautious, heedless, reckless, stupid." Her characters are often compared with Dickens', and her books are rooted in a particular landscape: "The Shipping News" takes place in a barren Newfoundland. It's been called, "a strange book, a stunning book, full of magic and portent." (Boston Globe).
Kumin's latest collection of essays and stories on living on a New Hampshire farm is called "Women, Animals and Vegetables." She received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1973, and is Poet Laureate of New Hampshire. She has published ten volumes of poetry, as well as collections of stories and essays.
Writer Maxine Hong Kingston. Her two memoirs, The "Woman Warrior," and "China Men," explored the experience of living within two cultures - Chinese and American - but belonging to neither. Last year Kingston wrote her first novel, "Tripmaster Monkey." (Rebroadcast. Original date 4/25/89).
Kingston's new book, Tripmaster Monkey, is about a fifth-generation Chinese American man in the 1960s, who tries to find a balance between his two cultures. She joins Fresh Air to talk about her life as a first-generation immigrant, her relationship with her mother, and how she developed her voice as a storyteller.
None of the stories in the writer's debut collection were previously published; magazines hated her dark, sexually charged stories of young women. But the book--and Gaitskill--have now found critical acclaim.
Grace Paley is a short story writer who has had several volumes of her work published. Paley is also known as a feminist and peace activist. She is in Philadelphia to guest lecture at Temple University. She joins the show to discuss her work.