Writer Natalie Robins. Her new book, "Alien Ink: The F.B.I.'s War on Freedom of Expression," (published by William Morrow & Co.) is about the secret files the FBI has kept on American writers like Ernest Hemingway, Norman Mailer, E.L. Doctorow, and Grace Paley. The author obtained access to the files going back to writers like Jack London and Lincoln Steffens. The files are still being kept and many writers are unaware that they exist.
Cuban-born poet Heberto Padilla (air-BARE-toe puh-DEE-uh). He was a friend of Castro and an early supporter of the revolution in Cuba. But later he became disillusioned and was imprisoned by Castro as a counter-revolutionary in 1971. He left Cuba in 1980 and has been living and teaching in the U.S. He has a new memoir, "Self Portrait of the Other," published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.
The author came from a political family, which he says didn't groom him for life as a writer. Nonetheless, Vidal has continued to stay engaged in politics through his series of historical novels and a new essay collection, called At Home. He tells Fresh Air host Terry Gross about some of his early work, and how television helped bolster his celebrity.
Herbert Mitgang, cultural correspondent for The New York Times, and a former member of its editorial board. His new book, Dangerous Dossiers: Exposing the Secret War Against America's Greatest Authors, examines the 50-year espionage campaign waged by the CIA and the FBI against writers such as Ernest Hemingway, Sinclair Lewis, William Faulkner and Norman Mailer.