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Preview: KERA's Think Podcast

KERA's Think

Published: Tue, 22 Aug 2017 20:17:43 +0000

Last Build Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2017 20:19:10 +0000

Copyright: Copyright 2016 KERA

Where Southern Food Really Came From

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 20:17:43 +0000

As a culinary historian, Michael W. Twitty has researched the origins of Southern food traditions. He talks with host Krys Boyd about the history of soul food, barbecue and other Southern staples and about how these styles of cooking bring together people from different backgrounds. His new book is called “The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South” (Amistad).

Media Files:

New Theories On Alzheimer’s

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 20:17:11 +0000

More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. And while a cure remains elusive, doctors are developing promising treatments. Dr. Dale E. Bredesen talks with host Krys Boyd about current treatment options. His new book is called “The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline” (Avery).

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The History of American Racism

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 19:43:42 +0000

If we hope to rid our country of racism, we need to understand the origins of racist thought. That’s the basis of historian Ibram X. Kendi’s research, in which he explores the intellectual justifications that lead to discriminatory policies. He talks with Krys Boyd about his book “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America” (Nation Books), which won the 2016 National Book Award for nonfiction and is now out in paperback.

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How To Spot A Narcissist

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 19:43:01 +0000

Narcissists are known for having low self-esteem, and they attempt to boost their confidence through external validation. Psychologist Elinor Greenberg studies people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and she talks with host Krys Boyd about why people develop these personalities – and about treatments available to them. Her story “The Truth About Narcissistic Personality Disorder” appears in Psychology Today.

Media Files:

How Global Health Went Viral

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 20:22:11 +0000

The United States has helped save millions of lives in Africa through foreign aid. Dr. Mark Dybul, former executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria and professor of medicine at Georgetown University, joins host Krys Boyd to talk about the connection between global health and national security. His essay “How HIV, SARS, and Ebola Put Global Health on the Agenda” appears in the current issue of The Catalyst.

Media Files:

Organized Crime and Human Trafficking

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 20:14:18 +0000

Anecdotal evidence has pointed to a connection between human trafficking and organized crime. And a new study seems to confirm that theory. Vanessa Bouche, an assistant professor of political science at TCU, conducted the study and talks with host Krys Boyd about her findings and about current strategies for combating trafficking.

Media Files:

Asking The Big Questions About Having Kids

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 21:01:30 +0000

Deciding to bring a child into the world presents a daunting list of questions for would-be parents to consider. And the deep thinking doesn’t stop after the delivery. SMU philosopher Jean Kazez joins host Krys Boyd to walk through some of these considerations, which she writes about in “The Philosophical Parent: Asking the Hard Questions About Having and Raising Children” (Oxford University Press).

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Rediscovering The Favorites: Kids’ Books For Grownups

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 21:00:30 +0000

One of the small joys of parenthood comes in sharing a beloved book from childhood with your own kids. Bruce Handy talks to host Krys Boyd about how revisiting the work of Louisa May Alcott, Dr. Seuss and others can be incredibly rewarding years after we’ve moved onto more grown-up reads. His new book is called “Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children’s Literature as an Adult” (Simon & Schuster).

Media Files:

One Border, Two Brothers And The Drug Trade

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 20:21:05 +0000

José and Miguel Treviño grew up in the Mexican border town of Nuevo Laredo. José eventually immigrated to the U.S. while Miguel stayed behind and moved up the ranks of the Zetas cartel. Joe Tone joins host Krys Boyd to tell the story of how the brothers’ paths crossed later in life – and caught the attention of the F.B.I. His new book is called “Bones: Brothers, Horses, Cartels, and the Borderland Dream” (One World). He speaks tonight at Interabang Books.  

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Cain And Abel Of The Breakfast Table

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 20:18:11 +0000

If you had a bowl of corn flakes this morning, you have John and Will Kellogg to thank. Howard Markel talks to host Krys Boyd about the 19th Century wellness trend that led to the invention of the cereal – and about how their company shaped manufacturing, philanthropy and even medicine. He tells the siblings’ story in “The Kelloggs: The Battling Brothers of Battle Creek” (Pantheon). Markel talks about the book tonight during an Authors Live! event at Highland Park United Methodist Church.  

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When White Supremacists Came To Charlottesville

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 20:19:50 +0000

On Saturday, Charlottesville, Va., became the epicenter of America’s racial unrest as white nationalists sparred with counter-protesters in a scene reminiscent of the darkest days of the Civil Rights era. We’ll get an update from the scene from the Charlottesville bureau chief for WVTF radio, Sandy Hausman. And later in the hour, Carol Anderson, chair of the African American Studies department at Emory University, joins us to dissect the events of the weekend and to talk about how we got to here. Her book “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide” (Bloomsbury) was released in 2016.  

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Behind The Scenes Of America’s Sports Temples

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 20:05:42 +0000

On game days, some stadiums can pack in 100,000 people or more – often dwarfing the populations of the towns that surround them. Sports writer Rafi Kohan talks with host Krys Boyd about the effect these venues have on the cities that build them – and about the communal experience that takes place inside them. His new book is called “The Arena: Inside the Tailgating, Ticket-Scalping, Mascot-Racing, Dubiously Funded, and Possibly Haunted Monuments of American Sport” (Liveright).  

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Inside ‘The Glass Castle’

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 15:39:47 +0000

The big screen adaptation of Jeannette Walls’ memoir, “The Glass Castle,” hits theaters today. It stars Oscar-winner Brie Larson as the author during her time growing up in a dysfunctional family. Walls talks to host Krys Boyd about revealing the truth of her upbringing to friends – and about her feelings once the book wound up on a banned book list.  

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Sex In The Suburbs: A Conversation With Novelist Tom Perrotta

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 20:47:05 +0000

Tom Perrotta is known for his best-selling novels “The Leftovers” and “Little Children” – both have made it to television and movie screens. He joins us to talk about his latest effort, “Mrs. Fletcher” (Scribner), focuses on a fortysomething divorcee rediscovering her sexuality in suburbia.  

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“An Inconvenient Truth” Revisited

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 20:46:25 +0000

The documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” led many Americans to consider climate change for the first time and won an Oscar along the way. Now, “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” looks at the topic 10 years on. Directors Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk join us to talk about what they learned while making the film.  

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The Politics Of Skin Color

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 20:20:28 +0000

In many countries, skin color can influence who is afforded the most opportunities within a society. Yaba Blay, a political science professor at North Carolina Central University, talks to host Krys Boyd about the social hierarchies associated with skin tone – and how skin bleaching, hair relaxing and other treatments are used by men and women facing discrimination.  

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Go Ahead, Major In Philosophy. You’ll Still Get A Job

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 20:19:35 +0000

College students with ambitious career plans usually gravitate to business schools, law schools, maybe medicine. George Anders joins us to talk about taking a different approach – seeking a broad education that will be more dynamic in the long run. He writes about the idea in “You Can Do Anything: The Surprising Power of a ‘Useless’ Liberal Arts Education” (Little, Brown and Co.).  

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Broken Promises: Education And Native Americans

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 20:25:22 +0000

Native American students drop out of school at a rate that’s twice the national average. Rebecca Clarren joins us to talk about how cultural insensitivity, declining federal funding and other factors have led to an educational crisis among American Indians. Her story “How America Is Failing Native American Students” appears in The Nation.  

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Lessons From A Disaster: The 1964 Alaska Quake

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 20:24:44 +0000

In 1964, the second most powerful earthquake in recorded history struck Alaska, leveling the city of Valdez and destroying an island village. Henry Fountain joins us to tell the story of the geologist who studied the quake’s aftermath and redefined our understanding of plate tectonics. His new book is called “The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet” (Crown).  

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All The Light We Cannot See

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 20:08:27 +0000

Even during the darkest night sky, all around us we’re surrounded by light. Science writer Bob Berman joins us to talk about the many kinds of light we cannot see – how they are crucial for life and how they can kill us if we’re not careful. His new book is called “Zapped: From Infrared to X-Rays, the Curious History of Invisible Light” (Little, Brown and Co.)  

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Trump Is Doing More Than You Think

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 20:05:09 +0000

The first six months of the Trump administration has featured cabinet shakeups, investigations into secret meetings and plenty of tweeting. David A. Graham joins us to try to separate the gossip from the governing with a conversation about the actual policies the president has pushed through concerning border security, climate change and deregulation. He writes about politics and global news for The Atlantic.    

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Rethinking The U.S. Prison System

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 20:39:55 +0000

The U.S. is home to more than 20 percent of the world’s inmates. In a special episode looking at our criminal justice system, we’ll talk with a law school professor about why America locks up more of its citizens than any other country, we’ll hear from a criminologist about our increased use of solitary confinement, and we’ll talk with a former inmate who’s made it her life’s work to help other incarcerated women transition back to freedom.  

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Where Memories Live In The Mind

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 20:06:59 +0000

As we go through life, our brains collect memories every day. And scientists are starting to better understand how our minds organize these memories to help us better navigate life. Alcino J. Silva of the UCLA Brain Research Institute joins us to talk about the latest research into memory storage, which he writes about in Scientific American.  

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How To Speak Emoji

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 20:06:10 +0000

Thanks to emojis, we can now send whole texts to one another that don’t contain a single word. Linguist Vyvyan Evans joins us to make the case that all of these hearts, winks and thumbs are actually advancing our ability to communicate. His new book is called “The Emoji Code: The Linguistics Behind Smiley Faces and Scaredy Cats” (Picador).  

Media Files:

When Running Drugs Is Your Only Option

Wed, 02 Aug 2017 21:16:09 +0000

The Tarahumara people of Northern Mexico are some of the world’s greatest ultrarunners. That skill caught the attention of the country’s drug cartels, who began to use the Tarahumara to transport drugs across the border. Ryan Goldberg joins us to talk about the difficult position these athletes are in, which he writes about in the current issue of Texas Monthly.  

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The Best And Worst Places To Be Poor In America

Wed, 02 Aug 2017 21:14:26 +0000

As the income divide in America continues to increase, so does the level of desperation for the working poor. Brookings economist Carol Graham joins us to talk about how when individuals stop believing they have a future, they cease to invest in them, the subject of her recent report “The Geography of Desperation in America” (Brookings).  

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Why Does Gender Matter?

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 20:19:35 +0000

Transgender Americans were told last week by President Trump that they are no longer able to serve in the military. And a debate is underway in Austin over where transgender Texans will be allowed to use the restroom. Heath Fogg Davis – a Temple University political scientist who also happens to be a transgender man – joins us to talk about the current issues facing the trans community. His new book is called “Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter” (NYU Press).  

Media Files:

Brain Damage And The Future Of Football

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 20:18:54 +0000

A new study of 111 brains donated by former NFL players showed that all but one suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. Boston University neurologist Jesse Mez lead the study, and he joins us to talk about his findings and what the information might mean for the future of football.  

Media Files:

Human Smuggling: An Undercover Agent’s Story

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 20:13:09 +0000

Last week in San Antonio, 10 people died and nearly 30 more were hospitalized after experiencing extreme heat while being smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico. For nearly 30 years, Hipólito Acosta worked as a U.S. special agent tasked with busting smugglers and others who took advantage of immigrants. He joins us to talk about his experience, which he writes about in “Deep in the Shadows: Undercover in the Ruthless World of Human Smuggling” (Arte Publico Press).  

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How We Catch Feelings

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 20:06:59 +0000

Scientists have a pretty solid understanding of how viruses and other contagions are passed among us. It’s still a mystery, though, that behavior also seems to be contagious. Science journalist Lee Daniel Kravetz joins us to talk about why we sometimes mimic one another, which he writes about in “Strange Contagion: Inside the Surprising Science of Infectious Behaviors and Viral Emotions and What they Tell Us About Ourselves” (Harper Wave).  

Media Files:

Fire In The Texas Panhandle

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 20:13:33 +0000

In the wide-open terrain of the Texas Panhandle, one of the major concerns for residents is the outbreak of a prairie fire. Skip Hollandsworth joins us to tell the story of one such fire this spring and the effect it had on young ranchers living outside Amarillo. His story “The Day the Fire Came” appears in the current issue of Texas Monthly.  

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What Siri Won’t Tell You

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 20:24:41 +0000

Steve Jobs imagined the iPhone as the one gadget we’d need for everything. Brian Merchant joins us to talk about how arguably the 21st Century’s most significant piece of technology came to be, which he writes about in “The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone” (Little, Brown and Company).  

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The Ritchie Boys Vs. The Nazis

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 20:24:10 +0000

As tensions rose in the 1930s, some Jews left Germany, only to return to Europe a few years later as American soldiers. Bruce Henderson joins us to tell the story of these fighters – known as The Ritchie Boys – who acquired intelligence crucial to defeating the Nazis. His new book is called “Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned with the U.S. Army to Fight Hitler” (William Morrow).  

Media Files:

A Fight You (Probably) Won’t Win

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 20:24:04 +0000

Even if an employee sues a company and wins, that person often finds it tough to find another job. So what’s a worker to do? Laura Beth Nielsen, a Northwestern sociology professor and research professor with the American Bar Foundation, joins us to talk about navigating the tricky process of suing an employer – specifically on grounds of discrimination. She’s a co-author of “Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality” (University of Chicago Press).  

Media Files:

A Bug’s Life

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 20:15:10 +0000

Some of us are understandably creeped out by insects. We should probably try to come to terms with them, though – for every human, there are 1.4 billion bugs. David MacNeal joins us talk about the world’s bug-lovers – the people who study them and learn how we can benefit from their presence. His new book is called “Bugged: The Insects Who Rule the World and the People Obsessed with Them” (St. Martin’s Press).  

Media Files:

A Preview Of America … In Texas

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 20:11:52 +0000

Last week, Gov. Greg Abbott called the Texas Legislature back to Austin for a special session on the heels of one of the wilder legislative sessions in recent memory. Lawrence Wright joins us for a conversation about the current state of Texas politics – and how what happens here often is a preview of things to come nationally. His story “The Future Is Texas” appears in The New Yorker. Wright speaks tonight at the Dallas Museum of Art as part of Arts & Letters Live! in partnership with the World Affairs Council of Dallas-Fort Worth.  

Media Files:

Impossible Moral Dilemmas

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 20:11:01 +0000

Philosophers love to discuss what are known as “trolley problems” – thought experiments that force us to choose between two unsatisfactory choices. Binghampton University philosophy professor Lisa Tessman joins us to talk about working through moral quandaries, which she writes about in “When Doing the Right Thing is Impossible” (Oxford).  

Media Files:

How Medicine Became Big Business

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 21:58:44 +0000

This summer, the biggest debate in Washington has centered on the Affordable Care Act. Princeton professor Paul Starr joins us to talk about how health care evolved into big business. His book “The Social Transformation of Medicine: The Rise of a Sovereign Profession & the Making of a Vast Industry” (Basic Books) won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize and has just been updated and re released.

Media Files:

The Cult Of Wellness

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 21:53:38 +0000

A focus on wellness essentially means committing oneself to attaining a healthy mind and body. And today, it’s become a buzz word used to sell everything from vitamins to vacations. Amy Larocca joins us to talk about our obsession with living our best lives. Her story “The Wellness Epidemic” appeared recently in New York magazine.

Media Files:

Burning For Love: Arson In Rural America

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 20:46:08 +0000

Earlier this decade, a string of dozens of arsons left a rural Virginia county on edge wondering when the next house would burn. Washington Post reporter Monica Hesse visited Accomack County to cover the case, and the more she learned about the culprit, the weirder the story got. She tells it in her new book, “American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land” (Liveright).

Media Files:

America’s Battle With The Bottle

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 21:17:09 +0000

From the Founding Fathers to today, America has struggled with its complicated relationship with alcohol. Christopher Finan joins us to tell the stories of Iroquois leader Handsome Lake, prohibitionist Carrie Nation, AA founders Bill Wilson and Bob Smith and others who’ve tried to get America sober. His new book is called “Drunks: An American History” (Beacon Press).

Media Files:

Redefining “Rich”: Not Just The 1%

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 21:15:27 +0000

The conversation around income inequality typically focuses on the 1 percent vs. the rest of us. Brookings Institution economist Richard Reeves joins us to talk about why the division is really between the top 20 percent of earners – the upper middle class – and everyone else. His new book is called “Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That is a Problem, and What to Do About It” (Brookings).  

Media Files:

A Journey Through The Secret Struggle Of Mental Illness

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 21:14:46 +0000

When Stephen Hinshaw was growing up, his father mysteriously left the family for months at a time. And it wasn’t until he was an adult that he learned the truth. Hinshaw – now a psychology professor – joins us to talk about the dangers of keeping mental illness a secret, which he writes about in “Another Kind of Madness: A Journey Through the Stigma and Hope of Mental Illness” (St. Martin’s Press).  

Media Files:

National Parks In Peril

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 19:43:03 +0000

More than 330 million people visited a national park last year. And many more are headed to one this summer. Environmentalist Terry Tempest Williams joins us to talk about how we can better care for these natural wonders, which she writes about in “The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks” (Picador). She speaks tonight at 7:30 as part of DMA Arts and Letters Live! at the Dallas Museum of Art.  

Media Files:

Why Humans Imagine

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 19:42:07 +0000

Human advancement – whether in the arts, the sciences or even in our relationships with one another – hinge on one quality: creativity. Columbia College Chicago professor Stephen Asma joins us to talk about how creativity works in the brain – and about how we can visualize a reality that doesn’t yet exist. His new book is called “The Evolution of Imagination” (University of Chicago Press).  

Media Files:

How Science Gets Women Wrong

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 22:15:19 +0000

Throughout history, scientists have theorized that women are the fairer sex – better suited for nurturing roles while men think the big thoughts. And it’s no coincidence that most of the scientists making those claims were men. Science journalist Angela Saini joins us to talk about how gender bias has clouded our understanding of women, which she writes about in “Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong – and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story” (Beacon Press).

Media Files:

A Young Doctor Learns The Ropes

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 22:13:56 +0000

As Republicans in Congress debate the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, one of the ongoing conversations about health care centers on how we provide it for those who struggle to pay. Dr. Rachel Pearson joins us to talk about learning to practice medicine on poor patients visiting a free clinic in Galveston – and about what the experience taught her about inequality in the healthcare system. Her memoir is called “No Apparent Distress: A Doctor’s Coming-of-Age on the Front Lines of American Medicine” (W.W. Norton and Co.).

Media Files:

What Makes Us Curious

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 20:39:27 +0000

Our curiosity is what drives us to innovate and make connections with others. Astrophysicist Mario Livio joins us to talk about our urge to know what we don’t and how our brains are wired to want to learn. His new book is called “Why: What Makes Us Curious” (Simon & Schuster).  

Media Files:

Finding Hope After Heroin

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 19:59:22 +0000

For nearly a decade, Tracey Helton Mitchell lived on the streets of San Francisco addicted to heroin. She joins us to talk about how she eventually became a stable mother of three after getting clean – and about how our rehab system can be improved. Mitchell is the author of “The Big Fix: Hope After Heroin” (DaCapo).  

Media Files:

The Culture Of The Modern Workplace

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 17:49:51 +0000

Even if we retire at 65, that means for more than 40 years of our lives we’ll get up and go to work five days a week. We’ll talk this hour about the time we spend in the office with a Wall Street Journal reporter, a researcher who focuses on office humor and the author of a book about the changing relationship between companies and their employees.  

Media Files:

Solving North Korea: The World’s Biggest Problem

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 20:33:59 +0000

A nuclear missile launched from North Korea would take about half an hour to reach Los Angeles. And making sure that never happens is one of the top priorities of the Trump administration. Mark Bowden joins us to walk through four strategic options for dealing with Kim Jong Un. His story “The Worst Problem on Earth” appears in The Atlantic.  

Media Files:

How “Thelma & Louise” Redefined The Roles Of Women In Hollywood

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 20:31:51 +0000

In the 1991 movie “Thelma & Louise,” Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon leave their uninspired domestic lives behind for a crime spree out on the open road. Becky Aikman joins us to talk about the film’s unlikely path from script to screen – and about why more than 25 years later Hollywood is still gun shy when it comes to female-led casts. Her new book is called “Off the Cliff: How the Making of Thelma & Louise Drove Hollywood to the Edge” (Penguin). She speaks tonight as part of Authors Live at Highland Park United Methodist Church.  

Media Files:

A Million Miles And Counting: A Trucker’s Tale

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 20:21:31 +0000

If not for truckers, we wouldn’t have food in our grocery stores, fuel in our cars or the ability to move an entire house worth of stuff across the country. Finn Murphy has logged more than a million miles back and forth across the United States driving trucks. He joins us to talk about all those hours at the wheel, which he writes about in “The Long Haul: A Trucker’s Tales of Life on the Road” (W.W. Norton).  

Media Files:

Accepting Yourself When Others Won’t

Mon, 10 Jul 2017 20:45:30 +0000

Lizzie Velasquez became an Internet sensation – though not in a way anyone would want – when she was the subject of the video “World’s Ugliest Woman.” She joins us to talk about living with the rare genetic condition that has affected her appearance – and about how we can have a positive attitude despite setbacks in our lives. Her new book is called “Dare to be Kind: How Extraordinary Compassion Can Transform Our World” (Hachette).  

Media Files:

Rwandan Women Rising

Mon, 10 Jul 2017 20:44:12 +0000

In 1994, Rwanda witnessed a genocide that left more than a million people dead. And in the aftermath, the country entrusted the job of rebuilding to women – in fact, more than 60 percent of its elected leaders in Parliament are women. Swanee Hunt joins us to talk about the lessons we can learn from these women, which she writes about in “Rwandan Women Rising” (Duke University Press).  

Media Files:

The DEA, The Zetas And A Massacre In Mexico

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 19:27:14 +0000

In March 2011, gunmen from the Zetas cartel descended on the Mexican town of Allende to exact revenge on a suspected source working with the DEA. When they were done, dozens and dozens of men, women and children were dead. Ginger Thompson joins us to detail the leak that lead to the killings – and to talk about what life in Allende is like now. Her story “How the U.S. Triggered a Massacre in Mexico” is a co-production of ProPublica and National Geographic.  

Media Files:

The Dallas Police Shootings: A Year Later

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 19:03:07 +0000

A year ago today, demonstrators gathered in downtown Dallas to protest the killings by police officers of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling and others. And by the end of the night, five of the officers who were assigned to protect those protesters were killed in a shootout that also left a gunman dead. During this special episode of Think, we’ll look back at the night of July 7, 2016, we’ll hear from one of the officers who was wounded in the attack and we’ll talk about how Dallas has changed – and stayed the same – since that night.  

Media Files:

Due For An Upgrade: Engineering A Better Human Body

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 16:49:41 +0000

Researchers are hard at work studying ways to extend the reach of the human body – from figuring out how to regenerate lost limbs to developing telepathic communication. Adam Piore joins us to talk about rethinking the limits of our existence, which he writes about in “The Body Builders: Inside the Science of the Engineered Human” (Ecco).  

Media Files:

Abstinence Ed In Texas

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 20:23:08 +0000

A majority of Texas schools offer abstinence-only sex education or no sex education at all. At the same time, Texas has one of the highest teen-pregnancy rates in the nation. We’ll talk about the many factors at play when it comes to teaching the state’s young people about sex with Cynthia Osborne of the Center for Health and Social Policy at the University of Texas and Jessica Chester, a former teen mom who now advises people on family planning.  

Media Files:

A.I. In The E.R.: Artificial Intelligence In Health Care

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 20:22:27 +0000

Facebook uses artificial intelligence to recognize faces in photos. IBM is putting it to work for businesses with its Watson platform. And now health researchers are confident A.I. is the next frontier in diagnosing patients and curing diseases. We’ll talk about the promise of artificial intelligence in health with Dr. Ruben Amarasingham of the Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation and Venkatesh Hariharan, CEO of Dallas-based HealthNextGen.  

Media Files:

Getting Grief Right

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 20:04:55 +0000

Patrick O’Malley is a psychotherapist by trade – yet that training didn’t fully prepare him to deal with the death of his infant son. O’Malley joins us to talk about how grief is not something to be cured – rather, it’s part of our lasting connection to the ones we’ve lost. His new book is called “Getting Grief Right: Finding Your Story of Love in the Sorrow of Loss” (Sounds True).  

Media Files:

Everything But The Taste: How Other Senses Shape Our Love Of Food

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 19:35:01 +0000

Eating is an experience that requires all of our senses. And the color of the plate, the sound of the music and the feel of the fork in our hands can enhance – or distract from – how the food actually tastes. Charles Spence, head of Oxford University’s Crossmodal Research Laboratory, joins us to talk about how our senses work together to create a memorable meal, which he writes about in “Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating” (Viking).  

Media Files:

The Fate Of The American Revolution

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 17:12:27 +0000

There may be no two contemporaries in American military history who are remembered more differently than George Washington and Benedict Arnold. Historian Nathaniel Philbrick joins us to talk about how the relationship between these two changed during the war, which he writes about in “Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution” (Penguin). Nathaniel Philbrick on … … the role Benedict Arnold played in America’s origin story:  “We had George Washington as this great hero, but if you’re going to create a myth of origins you also need a villain, and enter Benedict Arnold. By attempting to surrender West Point to the Brittish, he was a traitor not only to George Washington and the Continental Congress but to every American. Suddenly, we had the hero and we had the villain. We had the snake in the Garden of Eden. And so the genesis of the country could move beyond an act of betrayal when it came to King George and look to the defense of our own personal freedoms.” This episode originally aired on May 15, 2017. 

Media Files:

The Osage Murders

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 17:11:53 +0000

In the 1920s, members of the Osage tribe were some of the richest people in the world after oil was discovered on their land. New Yorker writer David Grann joins us to tell the story of how these newly-minted millionaires were suddenly being killed off – and how a former Texas Ranger was brought in to solve the mystery. His new book is called “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI” (Doubleday). Get prepared for our conversation by reading this review by The Dallas Morning News. This episode originally on May 2, 2017. 

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Beauty, Evolution And Darwin’s Forgotten Book

Fri, 30 Jun 2017 19:58:45 +0000

Physical attraction is usually one of the first traits that draws couples together. And it’s no different in the animal kingdom. Yale ornithologist Richard Prum joins us to talk about how various creatures have changed their physical appearances in order to attract a mate – and about what animal courtship has taught us about human sexuality. His new book is called “The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwin’s Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World – and Us” (Doubleday).  

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Kumail Nanjiani On Turning A Crisis Into Comedy

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 19:46:54 +0000

The first time Kumail Nanjiani met the parents of his future wife, Emily Gordon, was in her hospital room as Emily lay motionless in a coma. She eventually recovered, and the pair have turned the experience into the critically acclaimed romantic comedy “The Big Sick.” The film opens in Dallas this weekend, and Nanjiani joins us to talk about finding humor in one of the darkest times of their lives.  

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The Stock Market Meltdowns That Defined Our Nation

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 19:46:10 +0000

America has survived five major crashes of the stock exchange – though each one left scars. Scott Nations joins us to detail the first in 1907, the most recent in 2010, as well as the ones in between. Plus, we’ll talk about what we learned from these disasters. His new book is called “A History of the United States in Five Crashes: Stock Market Meltdowns that Defined a Nation” (William Morrow).  

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The (Un)natural Lakes of Texas

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 21:03:46 +0000

Texas is home to more than 150 lakes. And these bodies of water serve a number of functions. Andrew Sansom, executive director of the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University, joins us to talk about how our lakes are managed, the role they play in supplying water to the state, and why the majority of our large lakes are manmade.  

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How To Pick A Podcast

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 21:03:00 +0000

Hundreds of thousands of podcasts are available for us to listen to. And deciding which ones are worth our time is hard work. As host of the WAMU radio show “The Big Listen,” Lauren Ober reviews new podcasts for a living. She joins us to talk about the ones we should be listening to this summer.  

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A Doctor Faces Death

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 22:08:31 +0000

In his bestseller “When Breath Becomes Air,” Paul Kalanithi documented his transition from rising neuroscientist to deteriorating cancer patient. Along that path, he wrestled with many of life’s difficult questions. His, wife, Dr. Lucy Kalanithi, was by his side as he worked on the book until his death in 2015. She joins us to talk about that experience.

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The Push To Replace Obamacare

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 22:07:40 +0000

This week, the Senate will debate the details of its bill that would replace the Affordable Care Act. The legislation is opposed by all Democratic senators – and a handful of Republicans, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Vann Newkirk is covering the story for The Atlantic. He joins us to talk about what’s in the bill, how it differs from its counterpart passed by the House – and about the politics surrounding the discussion.

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Life After High School With Autism

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 19:50:34 +0000

Young people diagnosed with autism have access to special programs and schools to help them through their early years. But what happens to these people as they age out of these support systems? We’ll talk about preparing people to thrive as autistic adults with Gary Moore, co-founder of the nonPareil Institute, Susan Wood, executive director of Hope Center for Autism, and Jack Winters, a young man with autism.  

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How To Watch Movies

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 20:38:29 +0000

As the movie critic for the Washington Post, Ann Hornaday analyzes movies for a living. In the thick of summer blockbuster season, she joins us to talk about how we can better understand the sights and sounds of the big screen, the subject of her book “Talking Pictures: How to Watch Movies” (Basic Books).  

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A Saudi Woman Takes The Wheel

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:52:00 +0000

Manal al-Sharif grew up in Mecca as a member of a fundamentalist family. And when she went to work as a computer security engineer, her eyes were opened to the sexist policies of her homeland. She joins us to talk about being a feminist in a patriarchy, which she writes about in her memoir, “Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening” (Simon & Schuster).  

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In The Shadow Of The Moon

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:51:19 +0000

On Aug. 21, a total solar eclipse will trace a line stretching from Oregon to South Carolina. A similar event happened in July of 1878, which helped astronomers of the day to better understand our solar system. David Baron joins us to tell the story of the scientists who chased the eclipse, which he writes about in “American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World” (Liveright Publishing).  

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What Women Need After Prison

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 19:43:40 +0000

Following the death of her son, Susan Burton struggled with drugs for 15 years – an addiction that resulted in multiple prison stints. Once she finally got clean, she founded A New Way of Life, an organization that supports former female inmates. She joins us to talk about the impact incarceration has on people – and about the challenges of re-entering society – which she writes about in “Becoming Ms. Burton: from Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women” (The New Press).  

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Earth’s Extinctions: Past And Future

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 19:41:23 +0000

Earth has endured five mass extinctions due to extreme heat, cold, asteroids and other factors. Science journalist Peter Brannen joins us to talk about the common threads that run through these disasters – and about what they can tell us about our future. His new book is called “The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth’s Past Mass Extinctions” (Ecco).  

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When Everyone Is Your Friend

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 20:11:00 +0000

People who live with Williams syndrome are biologically incapable of distrusting others. Jennifer Latson joins us to talk about what it’s like to move through your day thinking everyone is your friend. That’s the life of 12-year-old Eli D’Angelo, who Latson profiles in her book “The Boy Who Loved Too Much: A True Story of Pathological Friendliness” (Simon & Schuster).  

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The Psychology Of Poverty

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 20:10:19 +0000

When people live in poverty, the financial challenges are obvious. What researchers are learning, though, is that feeling poor is problematic, too. University of North Carolina psychology professor Keith Payne joins us to talk about how perception of economic standing influences the brain, which he writes about in “The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die” (Viking).  

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Party Loyalty Vs. Ideology

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 19:35:20 +0000

Among those active in the political conversation, it feels as if we’re as divided as ever. Many Americans, however, aren’t as invested in the day-to-day business of Washington as cable news would make us think. LSU political scientist Nathan Kalmoe joins us to talk about how voters who are only casually engaged with politics make up their minds on Election Day. He’s a co-author of “Neither Liberal nor Conservative: Ideological Innocence in the American Public” (University of Chicago Press).  

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How College Works (Or Doesn’t)

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 19:34:36 +0000

When parents shell out tens of thousands of dollars for their children to attend prestigious colleges, oftentimes the classes are led not by tenured professors but by teaching assistants. Georgetown University professor Jacques Berlinerblau joins us as part of KERA’s American Graduate initiative to talk about how universities function – and about how students can get more out of their education dollars. His new book is called “Campus Confidential: How College Works, or Doesn’t, for Professors, Parents, and Students” (Melville House).  

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A Friendship Forged In Forgiveness

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 20:15:59 +0000

Novelist Rachel Kadish’s grandparents survived the Holocaust in Poland. Novelist Jessica Shattuck’s grandparents were members of the Nazi party in Germany. More than 70 years after the end of World War II, the fellow writers join us to explore what it means to be friends given their family histories – and what role forgiveness plays in their relationship.  

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Are America And China Destined For War?

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 19:46:31 +0000

Athenian historian Thucydides theorized in the 5th Century B.C. that a rising power will eventually always challenge the ruling one. Graham Allison of Harvard’s Kennedy School joins us to talk about how this theory is playing out today, which he writes about in “Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).  

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How The U.S. Is Making The World Less Democratic

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 19:39:05 +0000

Since World War II, Western nations have been the world’s biggest proponents of democracy. Brian Klaas studies democratization and political violence as a fellow at the London School of Economics. He joins us to talk about the ways in which the U.S., Britain and other nations are actually hindering democratic efforts across the globe. His new book is called “The Despot’s Accomplice: How the West is Aiding and Abetting the Decline of Democracy” (Oxford University Press).  

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The Creation Of The U.S. Army

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 19:48:42 +0000

Following the Revolutionary War, George Washington and Alexander Hamilton favored the creation of a standing army. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and others did not. Historian William Hogeland joins us to talk about how Washington and Hamilton won out to create the Legion of the United States, the topic of his book, “Autumn of the Black Snake: The Creation of the U.S. Army and the Invasion That Opened the West” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). He’s in town to speak tonight and Thursday to the World Affairs Council of Dallas-Fort Worth.  

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The Death Of Advertising

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 19:47:58 +0000

At times, it feels as if we’re constantly bombarded with advertising. Yet with DVR’s, ad-blocking software and other tools, we’ve never had more ways to avoid being marketed to. Former advertising executive Andrew Essex joins us to talk about how advertisers are rethinking how they reach consumers, which he writes about in “The End of Advertising: Why It Had to Die, and the Creative Resurrection to Come” (Spiegel & Grau).  

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A Conversation With Jonathan Safran Foer

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 20:03:53 +0000

Jonathan Safran Foer is known for his novels “Everything is Illuminated” and “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.” He joins us to talk about his latest effort, “Here I Am” (Picador), which focuses on a family in crisis living in Washington. He speaks tonight as part of DMA Arts and Letters Live!  

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Understanding The Crisis In Venezuela

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 20:02:53 +0000

Venezuela was once known as the country with the world’s largest oil reserves. Today, though, the nation is in a financial crisis that’s forced it to borrow money at astronomical rates. Kejal Vyas is a foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal who’s been covering the country’s downward spiral. He joins us to talk about what went wrong and how every day Venezuelans are struggling to survive.  

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A Prescription For America’s Healthcare System

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 21:15:20 +0000

As a health policy adviser to President Obama, Ezekiel Emanuel helped to craft what would become the Affordable Care Act. He joins us to talk about ways to deliver higher quality healthcare at a lower cost, the subject of his new book, “Prescription for the Future: The Twelve Transformational Practices of Highly Effective Medical Organizations” (Public Affairs).  

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How A Basic Income Could End Poverty

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 21:14:41 +0000

One of the ideas that’s frequently floated as a solution to poverty is a universal basic income. Jesse Walker joins us to talk about how the concept could work – and about how some thinkers from across the political spectrum are intrigued by the idea. His story “The Indestructible Idea of the Basic Income” appears in the July issue of Reason magazine.  

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The Quest To Discover Where Babies Come From

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 20:47:28 +0000

Before the late 19th Century, scientists actually understood very little about human reproduction. Edward Dolnick joins us to talk about the often-times hilarious lengths early researchers went to in their search for the origins of life. His book is called “The Seeds of Life: From Aristotle to da Vinci, from Shark’s Teeth to Frogs’ Pants, the Long and Strange Quest to Discover Where Babies Come From” (Basic Books).  

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What We Learned From James Comey’s Testimony

Thu, 08 Jun 2017 19:31:44 +0000

This morning, former FBI Director James Comey will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee about his interactions with President Trump concerning the bureau’s investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russia. We’ll talk about what we learned and where we go from here with Rebecca Deen, chair of the political science department at UT-Arlington and Dale Carpenter, chair of constitutional law at the SMU Dedman School of Law. KERA will provide live NPR coverage of the testimony beginning at 9 a.m.  

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A Talk With David Brown

Thu, 08 Jun 2017 19:10:12 +0000

Last summer, Dallas Police Chief David Brown was thrust into the national spotlight as he teamed with Mayor Mike Rawlings to lead the city through the aftermath of a shooting spree that left five officers dead. The now retired chief joins us to talk about helping to heal the department he once lead – and about his lifelong commitment to his hometown – which he writes about in his new memoir, “Called to Rise: A Life in Faithful Service to the Community That Made Me” (Ballentine Books).  

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The Power Of Likability

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 20:24:21 +0000

During our high school years, most of us had a pretty good sense of where we stood in the social pecking order. University of North Carolina psychology professor Mitch Prinstein joins us to talk about how childhood popularity influences happiness and success as adults. He writes about the topic in “Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World” (Viking).  

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The Legacy Of Loving

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 20:23:34 +0000

Fifty years ago this month, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws banning interracial marriages. Georgetown law professor Sheryll Cashin joins us to talk about how the ruling continues to pave the way for a more inclusive society. Her new book is called “Loving: Interracial Intimacy in America and the Threat to White Supremacy” (Beacon Press).  

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The Sperm Donor Generation

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 19:46:37 +0000

At least a million children living in the U.S. can thank a sperm donor for their very existence. Jacqueline Mroz joins us to talk about how the circumstances of their birth affect these children – and the parents who raise them – which she writes about in “Scattered Seeds: In Search of Family and Identity in the Sperm Donor Generation” (Hachette Books).  

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A Look At Ramadan

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 19:46:01 +0000

Muslims are a little over a quarter through the holy month of Ramadan, which commemorates the revelation of the Quran to the prophet Muhammad. Ahmed Ali Akbar, host of Buzzfeed’s “See Something, Say Something” podcast, joins us to talk about the customs that make up Ramadan – and about how his participation in them has evolved through his life. His essay “I Don’t Know Why I Pray But I Keep Trying” appears on Buzzfeed.  

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The Fall Of Syria

Mon, 05 Jun 2017 19:39:10 +0000

It seems every day brings new stories of the horrors of life in Syria. Sebastian Junger joins us to detail how the country got to the state it’s in. His documentary “Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS” airs Sunday on National Geographic Channel.  

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The Science Of Human Behavior

Mon, 05 Jun 2017 19:38:27 +0000

Many of us have experienced split-second decisions that drastically alter the directions of our lives. Stanford professor Robert M. Sapolsky joins us to talk about the many internal and environmental factors that come together and push us to act swiftly. He writes about the topic in “Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst” (Penguin Press).  

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A Conversation With Elizabeth Strout

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 19:31:15 +0000

Legions of readers know Elizabeth Strout from her bestselling novels “My Name is Lucy Barton” and “Olive Kitteridge.” She joins us to talk about her latest work of fiction, “Anything is Possible” (Random House). To get ready for the interview, check out the review of “Anything is Possible” in The Dallas Morning News.  

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