Episode #720

DaVinci, Diamonds, Saunders

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Friday, May 19, 2006

Studio 360 Episode 720, Da Vinci, Diamonds, Saunders Cover of "Persuasion Nation" by George Saunders (Caitlin Saunders)

Kurt Andersen -- with the help of novelist Anne Rice – searches for clues to how The Da Vinci Code became a worldwide phenomenon. We learn how to grow diamonds in a laboratory, and Kurt talks with George Saunders about his new volume of short stories, In Persuasion Nation.

The Da Vinci Code

Christianity as we know it is coming to an end: Sony Pictures' adaptation of Dan Brown's bestseller The Da Vinci Code is being released this week. With the help of novelist Anne Rice, Kurt Andersen tries to decode the controversy.

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A.M. Homes

The novelist A.M. Holmes knows how to transform tranquility into catastrophe. Yet her latest book, This Book Will Save Your Life, manages to reach a happy ending -- much to the chagrin of some critics. Kurt Andersen talks with Homes about the surreal lives ...

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Diamonds are Forever

They're not as rare as you might think. In fact, scientists have learned how to grow perfect diamonds in a laboratory. But that hasn't taken the shine off their allure, even for the experts who make them.

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George Saunders

In George Saunders' new collection of short stories, In Persuasion Nation, babies wear a device to simulate witty banter. Teenagers can be hardwired to receive ads through a socket in the backs of their necks. Kurt Andersen talks with the writer about why he ...

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Cat

Catherine Russell has been a back-up singer to the stars -- like Madonna, David Bowie, Paul Simon and Dolly Parton. Russell traces her rich musical journey from her legendary father's gig with Louis Armstrong to her new solo album, entitled Cat. Produced by Trey ...

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Stanley Kunitz

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Stanley Kunitz, who died this week, tended gardens in Massachusetts for most of his 100 years. In 2001, Wesley Horner visited Kunitz in his natural habitat.

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