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.
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.
Meg Wolitzer's novel The Position, which is now out in paperback, is about a 1970s era couple who write a Joy of Sex-style book, complete with illustrations of them making love — then their teenage children get a hold of it. Our book critic describes it as a "smart, wry novel... that turns out to be a poignant elegy to the fleeting health and pleasures of the body, as well as to the fleeting emotional and physical togetherness of the family." This interview originally aired on May 10, 2005.
Capote, the new film about Truman Capote, details the writer's life at the time around his breakthrough book, In Cold Blood. The film, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, tells the story of how Capote came to tell of the murder of a Holcomb, Kan., family.
Meg Wolitzer's new novel, The Position, is about a 1970s couple who write a Joy of Sex-style book, complete with illustrations of them making love. Their lives — and those of their children, who get their hands on the book — are never quite the same afterward.
Daniel Pinkwater's book The Artsy Smartsy Club is the third installment of his Hoboken Chicken stories. In addition to his duties as an NPR commentator, he's written more than 60 books for children, including Irving and Muktuk: Bad Bears in the Big City, and The Picture of Morty and Ray. This story was originally broadcast on July 13, 2004.