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Fiction--Authorship

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36:33

Scott Spencer: Turning Orderly Lives Into Chaos

Many of Spencer's novels feature a turning point -- a dreadful, unplanned act committed by one of the characters. In his latest book, Man in the Woods, a carpenter accidentally kills a man, which leads him to question himself and his relationship with God.

36:43

Franzen On The Book, The Backlash, His Background

Jonathan Franzen's new novel Freedom has been called "a masterpiece" by Time Magazine and has received rave reviews from critics. Franzen talks about the runaway success of his previous novel The Corrections, and the strong reaction elicited by Freedom.

21:42

Stephen King: The 'Craft' Of Writing Horror Stories

While writer Stephen King was recovering from a near-fatal car accident, he finished a nonfiction book about the craft of writing. In a 2000 interview with Terry Gross, King talked about the demons that haunted him after the accident -- and how writing helped his recovery process.

14:28

'Things They Carried' Back From Vietnam

Novelist Tim O'Brien served in Vietnam as an infantryman in 1968. He wrote about the war in several novels, including Going After Cacciato and If I Die in a Combat Zone. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1990 about his classic book of short war stories, The Things They Carried.

21:25

'Echo Maker' Author Richard Powers

After a car accident, a 27-year-old man emerges from a coma with a rare neurological disorder. He can recall most everything about his life, but he believes his family members and closest friends are imposters. Richard Powers' The Echo Maker won the National Book Award for fiction in 2006; it's newly out in paperback. (This interview first aired on Dec. 12, 2006.)

38:05

'Wondrous Life' Explores Multinationality

Novelist Junot Diaz's first novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao explores the complexities of living in two cultures at once. Set in both the United States and in the Dominican Republic, the novel follows the story of Oscar Wao in prose that frequently mixes Spanish and English in the same sentence.

44:03

Alice Sebold's Bleak 'Almost Moon'

Author Alice Sebold has produced difficult books before: Her novel The Lovely Bones, soon to be filmed by director Peter Jackson, centers on a 14-year-old looking down from heaven after her own rape and murder.

Now comes Sebold's latest fiction, The Almost Moon: Its narrative involves a middle-aged woman who murders her ailing elderly mother.

21:43

Philip Roth's 'Ghost' Returns

Philip Roth's newest novel, Exit Ghost, is his ninth and final Nathan Zuckerman book.

The series began in 1979 with The Ghost Writer; a compendium, Zuckerman Bound, is now available.

Roth won a Pulitzer Prize in 1997 for American Pastoral; his 28 novels have won him numerous other awards, including the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Gold Medal for Fiction.

21:00

Bill Flanagan, Fondly Biting the TV-Network Hand

Novelist Bill Flanagan wrote the comedy A&R about the smooth operators and the scatty artists who make the music business so entertaining. Now he's lampooning the cable-TV industry in his novel New Bedlam. The source for his send-ups? His day job as an MTV networks exec.

31:13

Carol Muske-Dukes, 'Channeling Mark Twain'

Poet and novelist Carol Muske-Dukes founded the University of Southern California's doctoral program in literature and creative writing; she's written three novels and seven collections of poetry, been a National Book Award finalist and received a Guggenheim fellowship.

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