Writer Nick Flynn was working in a homeless shelter in his 20s when his father — an alcoholic and self-proclaimed writer who left when Flynn was a baby — showed up as a client. His story is now a movie called Being Flynn, starring Paul Dano and Robert De Niro.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist opens up about his experiences as a father to four children and husband to writer Ayelet Waldman in his book of personal essays, Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father and Son, now out in paperback.
This interview originally aired on October 7, 2009.
The Australian singer-composer and his band The Bad Seeds are best known for his angry, twisted ballad-like lyrics. Their most recent albums were last year's Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! and Live at the Royal Albert Hall.
The Library of America has just published the first of a two-volume collection of the novels and stories of the late writer William Maxwell, whose writing voice John Updike once described as "one of the wisest and kindest in American fiction."
Kiran Desai's novel The Inheritance of Loss won the 2006 Man Booker Prize. Her mother, Anita, has been short-listed for the prize three times. Her books include Fire on the Mountain, Clear Light of Day and In Custody. Kiran was born in New Delhi and moved to the United States as a teenager.
Etgar Keret, a best-selling author in Israel whose books have also been published in the United States, talks about recent events in the Middle East. Keret collaborated with Palestinian author Samir El-Youssef for the book Gaza Blues. Keret contributed a collection of short stories and El-Youssef, a novella.
Underground comic book writer Harvey Pekar and his wife Joyce Brabner. In 1976 Pekar published the first in a series of comic books about his mundane life as a veterans hospital clerk and record collector in Cleveland. It was called American Splendor, and he has continued to publish them since. In 1987 one of them earned him an American Book Award. Now he is the subject of the new film American Splendor which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.
She is a leading portrait photographer specializing in writers. Over the years her subjects have included Truman Capote, Tom Wolfe, William Styron, Raymond Carver, Joyce Carol Oates, Sue Miller and Sarah Vowell, among others. She is currently working on a book of her author portraits to be released next year.
Writer David Leavitt. Author of 14 books, Leavitt specializes in gay fiction and Italian traveling narratives. He was first published in the New Yorker at the age of 20 and followed that with stories in Harper's Magazine, and the 1984 O.Henry Prize Story Collection. His novel about the publishing world, "Martin Bauman; or A Sure Thing" (Houghton Mifflin) has just been published in paperback.