Author Interviews

Life & Arts
10:49 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Novelist Elizabeth Strout Talks About 'The Burgess Boys'

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Elizabeth Strout visited KUT Austin to speak about her book "The Burgess Boys"
Credit Samantha Ortega for KUT News

The novel "The Burgess Boys" took the nation by storm last year. This month, the novel is available in paperback.

The follow-up to Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel "Olive Kitteridge" spent weeks atop the New York Times bestseller list and months making the rounds of book-circles.

Elizabeth Strout visited with the Texas Standard's Emily Donahue to talk about her book. Listen to their conversation in the audio player below.

Life & Arts
6:00 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Austin Author's New Thriller Links Love, Mystery and World War I

A young man about to go to war meets a young woman. They fall in love. A reckless, passionate affair follows. It lasts just a week, but it reverberates through six lifetimes.

That's just one layer of the narrative in a new novel by Austin author Justin Go. “The Steady Running of the Hour” includes a race against time and crosses two centuries and multiple continents – from the drawing rooms of London to the horror of World War I battlefields – through Europe, Asia and the U.S.

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Author Interviews
5:00 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Renowned Texas Journalist Shares Family History in 'The Harness Maker's Dream'

"The Harness Maker's Dream" tells the story of the Kallison family.
Credit facebook.com/HarnessMakersDream

The Kallison family name has resonated amongst Texans for generations.

It's the name of the department store in San Antonio crowned by a cowboy carrying a saddle on his right shoulder. It's also the of the Kallison Ranch, the place that brought Texas ranching into the 20th century.

"The Harness Maker’s Dream" recounts the story of Nathan Kallison, the Jewish Russian who escaped persecution and later became a successful rancher in Texas.

 

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Life & Arts
6:05 am
Fri January 31, 2014

'The Obedient Assassin' Tells the Story of Trotsky's Killer

John P. Davidson at the KUT Studio
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Imagine – you have it all – a life of luxury, famous friends, a beautiful lover. You are a good, supportive friend – happy and content. And it’s all a lie.

The truth keeps you up at night, tortures you during the day. But you can’t change who you are.

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Life & Arts
7:55 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Amy Tan's New Book 'The Valley of Amazement' is Filled With Family Secrets

The Valley of Amazement
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

It’s been eight years since Amy Tan’s last book. But critics are already saying “The Valley of Amazement” was worth waiting for. 

It’s a complicated story of mothers and daughters, secrets and lies, the past and the present, China and America. And – perhaps above all – it’s about women’s fierce wills to survive.

KUT's Emily Donahue spoke with Amy Tan about her new book. She was five years into writing a different novel, Tan says, when she took a new look at an old family photo.

“I had a photo of my grandmother sitting on my desk and it was my favorite photo of her,” Tan says. “She looks quite beautiful and dreamy eyed, and it is in fact the photo that is on the hard cover edition of ‘The Bonesetter's Daughter.’” 

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Author Interviews
8:57 am
Fri November 29, 2013

'Dallas Noir' Explores the City's Alluring Shimmer and Seedy Underbelly

The cover of Dallas Noir, a new collection of fictional stories.
Akashic Books

While Pulitzer Prize winner Larry McMurty described Dallas in Texas Monthly as “a second-rate city that wishes it were first-rate,” literary agent and editor David Hale Smith prefers a different description. This one’s found in the lines of Jimmie Dale Gilmore’s song “Dallas:"

Dallas is a rich man with a death wish in his eyes

A steel and concrete soul in a warm-hearted love disguise.

“It’s one of the great lyrics of all time. The song is a poem, but it really nails Dallas, and of course nails the essence of this book we put together,” Smith says. He sat down with KUT's David Brown to discuss that new book, “Dallas Noir." 

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Author Interviews
4:35 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

The Lair: The Story Behind the Story of the Teen Vampire Series

Emily McKay is the author of "The Lair," the sequel to "The Farm."
Emily Donahue, KUT News

Imagine a book about the future – a future where children are groomed to feed wild vampire-like beasts. A book with good guys who are bad guys, bad guys who retain a touch of humanity, and a few characters primed to save the world.

The Lair” is the second in a series of young adult books from Round Rock author Emily McKay. The first was “The Farm.”  Both are set in a post-apocalyptic future, in which adults have failed young people, and young people have adulthood thrust upon them.

McKay's vampires are neither glamorous nor elegant, but they are smarter, stronger and faster than humans. And in both “The Farm” and “The Lair,” human children are farmed to feed human/vampire Ticks.

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Books
2:59 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Why Superman's Origins May Be Steeped in Judaism

Superman and author Larry Tye. Tye says part of Superman's appeal originates with the trials and tribulations of his creator.
Larry Tye

It's a bird … it's a plane … it's … you guessed it: Superman.

The high-flying Son of Krypton has been been a cultural force for 75 years and, while he's graced the panels of comic books and the silver screen, his humble beginnings and evolution over the years have reflected changing political and cultural tides, says Superman biographer Larry Tye.

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Photojournalism
10:07 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Donna DeCesare's Unsettling Portraits of Children of War

Photo taken from the book "Unsettled."
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Update: Donna DeCesare is one of four gold medal winners of the 2013 Maria Moors Cabot prize, awarded by the Columbia Journalism School for outstanding reporting on Latin America and the Caribbean. “The Cabot Prize honors journalists who have covered the Western Hemisphere and, through their reporting and editorial work, have furthered inter-American understanding,” reads a statement on the journalism school’s website.

You can see more of DeCesare’s work on her website.

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Texas Book Festival
7:38 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Best Selling Authors Top 2013 Texas Book Festival Lineup

Poster Art by Randal Ford Photography. It was taken for the book "The Amazing Faith of Texas."
Texas Book Festival

The Texas Book Festival has revealed its 2013 lineup. Headliners include three writers who currently sit on the New York Times best seller list: Reza Aslan (Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth), Mark Leibovich (This Town), and Scott Anderson (Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East).

Other big names include:

  • Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson – Unflinching Courage: Pioneering Women Who Shaped Texas
  • Lawrence Wright – Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief
  • R.L. Stine – A Midsummer Night's Scream
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Author Interviews
9:02 am
Fri August 23, 2013

The Fight to Make Austin the State Capitol - And Keep It That Way

The majestic interior dome of the Texas state capitol building belies the rough and tumble fight to establish Austin not only as a city, but also the capital.
Filipa Rodriques/KUT News

Hard to imagine a city other than Austin as the capital of Texas, right? According to Austin author and historian (and doctor) Jeff Kerr, Austin's status as the capital city –  and just a city at all – was in peril several times after Texas declared its independence in 1836.

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Author Interviews
4:44 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

A Posthumous Tribute To Guns From A Sniper Shot To Death

Firearms designer John Browning submitted this design for the M1911 pistol to the U.S. Patent Office in September 1910.
Courtesy William Morrow

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 5:17 pm

A killing on a Texas gun range in February captured the headlines. The victim was Chris Kyle, considered by many to be the most deadly sniper in American military history.

The man who admitted to killing him was a veteran as well — a young, disturbed man who had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Texas
5:00 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Listen: Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison on Trailblazing Texas Women

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison encourages women interested in purusing a career in politics or public service to get some expererience outside of the industry before diving in. She is the author of a new book on the role of women in shaping Texas.
Gittings Photography

You think moving a piano is a pain now: Try doing it over rough terrain ... with no moving van.

Some of the women who came with their families to Texas in the early days of the 1800's insisted on bringing their pianos with them. While many of these women came from more genteel Southern backgrounds, the rough and rugged environment in Texas did nothing to dampen their spirits or enthusiasm.

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Borderlands
5:00 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Austin Author Explores History, Impact of Juarez Drug Violence

Gang members arrested in Juarez - part of the complicated web of drug cartels, gangs, and law enforcement that has left a bustling and dynamic city vulnerable and paranoid.
Raymundo Ruiz

Austin writer and UT professor Ricardo Ainslie extensively explored the Mexican city of Juarez to chronicle the impact of the drug war on the city and its people. KUT's Jennifer Stayton talks with Ainslie about his new book "The Fight to Save Juarez: Life in the Heart of Mexico's Drug War."

Ricardo Ainslie says the Mexican border city of Juarez used to be kind of like the state of Texas - with a strong, independent spirit.

But he says the violence of the drug cartels and the government's war hit just about everyone who lives there, and left the city vulnerable and paranoid. Eleven thousand people were killed in Juarez between January of 2008 and December of 2012.

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Austin
5:00 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Austinite Turns Story of Brutal Attack on Her Into Novel

Karin Richmond works in the arenas of tax incentive policy and economic development. "Blood on the Threshold" is her first novel, though the story is a very real one for her.
Photo by Filipa Rodrigues/KUT News.

Austinite Karin Richmond has turned the real-life story of a brutal attack on her into a novel. KUT's Jennifer Stayton talks with Richmond about "Blood on the Threshold" and her road to physical and psychological recovery.

Mirabelle Garret works in economic development in the Rio Grande Valley. In 1983, she takes a business trip to Austin and is the victim of a brutal attack in her hotel room. How brutal? Mirabelle is stabbed twelve times; a plastic garbage bag is stuffed down her throat; and she is hit in the face and temporarily blinded. Mirabelle thought she was going to die. But she lived. And worked hard to heal.

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