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Jane Smiley on "The Age of Grief."

Writer Jane Smiley. Her newest work, a combination of novella and short story, probes the disappointments and loss of middle age. It is titled The Age of Grief.


Doris Lessing's Science Fiction.

Writer Doris Lessing. Since her first novel, The Grass is Singing, published in 1950, she has written many books and plays, including the Children of Violence series, The Golden Notebook, and more recently Shikasta and her "space-fiction" series. Her new novel is titled The Fifth Child. Fresh Air book critic John Leonard once described Mrs. Lessing as "one of the half-dozen most interesting minds to have chosen to write fiction in English in this century."


Poet Sharon Olds Discusses Her Life and Reads Some of Her Poetry.

Poet Sharon Olds. She writes passionate and intensely personal poems about her childhood with abusive and alcoholic parents, and her own experiences as a mother and a wife. Suicide attempts in New York, and encounters on the subway also provide inspiration for her work. Sharon Olds is the recipient of the 1985 National Book Critics Circle Award for her collection titled The Dead and the Living.


Gregory Djanikian Reads His Poem "Renovations."

Poet Gregory Djanikian. Djanikian emigrated to this country from Egypt when he was a youngster. He'll read a poem called "Renovations," about his coming to grips with chaos. (Rebroadcast. Originally broadcast on April 21, 1989.)


Russell Banks Asks the Question: Is it Possible to Break the Chain of Male Violence?

Novelist Russell Banks often depicts ordinary people coping with difficulties in contemporary society. His new book "Affliction," takes on the subject of male violence, following the story of Wade Whitehouse, "a good man beset by the dark side of the macho mentality." Banks has also written for "Esquire," "Vanity Fair," "The Nation," and other publications.

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