James Laughlin, founder and editor of New Directions Books, a small publishing house that has brought out the work of avant-garde poets like Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams. Laughlin is himself a poet and an authority on Ezra Pound.
Book critic John Leonard reviews Alfred Kazin's new book, A Writer's America, which explores the country through the eyes of its great authors. Leonard's only complaint is that Kazin doesn't feature enough of his own distinct, literary voice.
The second half of a two-part interview with historian Ann Charters. She's spent 30 years studying the literature of Beat movement writers such as William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, and Allen Ginsberg. She's the editor of a new compilation called "The Portable Beat Reader" (published by Viking).
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is an African-American historian. He attended Yale University in the late '60s. The New York Times describes Gates as "a 41-year-old academic entrepreneur who has been one of the most sought-after scholars in the country in the last decade." Gates has taught at Yale, Cornell and Duke. Now he's been recruited to revitalize Harvard's African-American studies department, serving as its new chairman. He's written for Newsweek, Time, and The Nation.
Maureen Corrigan, who is a lapsed Catholic herself, reviews the book Catholic Girls, a collection of essays by other lapsed Catholics. The writers' feelings about being raised Catholic range from nostalgic to angry.
Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews A Chance Meeting: Intertwined Lives of American Writers and Artists 1854-67, by Rachel Cohen. It's a book about friendships between American writers and artists and photographers.
Elaine Showalter's A Jury Of Her Peers offers a literary history of American women writers spanning from the tales of Puritan Anne Bradstreet to the modern-day gay cowboy stories of Annie Proulx. Maureen Corrigan has a review.