The Scummers is the last installment in Maynard's Crum trilogy. Maynard based Crum, his 1988 semi-autobiographical novel, on his small, poor West Virginia hometown. The people of Crum who know the book tend to love it or hate it. Maynard spoke with Terry Gross in 2003.
J.D Salinger died a year ago this Thursday, and in time for that anniversary, there's a newly published biography called, simply, J.D. Salinger: A Life. Book critic Maureen Corrigan says readers who revere Salinger will find a lot that's surprising in his early background.
A new biography tells the story of Buck's Chinese childhood, as the daughter of zealous missionaries. In Pearl Buck in China, Hilary Spurling makes a compelling case for a reappraisal of Buck's fiction -- transforming her from dreary "lady author" into woman warrior.
Singer-composer Nick Cave composed the soundtrack for last year's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford; he also wrote the screenplay and the soundtrack for The Proposition. Now, Cave has released a new CD with his band the Bad Seeds: Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
Novelist and screenwriter Richard Price discusses his new novel, Lush Life, about the repercussions of a shooting on the Lower East side. Price has written extensively about the realities of inner city life; he is a writer for HBO's The Wire which ends a five-year run on Sunday.
Diagnosed with cancer for the third time, Susan Sontag signed on for a harsh treatment regimen in hopes it would keep her alive. But it only added to her suffering. Her son, journalist David Rieff, has published a memoir about his mother's "revolt against death."
Writer Jonathan Franzen's massive 2001 bestseller The Corrections was based, in part, on his own life. His new book is a memoir, The Discomfort Zone: A Personal History. Franzen's other books include The Twenty-Seventh City, Strong Motion and How to be Alone.