Episode #616

Solitary, Dickinson, Bird

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Saturday, April 16, 2005

Kurt Andersen and his guest, the novelist Jonathan Lethem, discuss the pleasures and hazards of being alone. They’ll talk about the solitary work of writing a novel, and about musicians who ditch their bands to go solo. And we hear from Will Eno and James Urbaniak, the playwright and star of Thom Pain (Based on Nothing), the acclaimed one-man show running Off Broadway. Plus: a curator reveals the surprising depth of wallpaper, in Design for the Real World.


Jonathan Lethem

Special Guest: Jonathan Lethem

A native of New York City, Jonathan Lethem is famous for turning genres like science fiction and detective stories inside out. He is the author of The Fortress of Solitude and Motherless Brooklyn, which received the National Book Critics Circle award for fiction in ...


One-Man Band

A few years ago, the popular indie singer, songwriter, and violinist Andrew Bird moved out of Chicago to a farm in western Illinois. Out among the chickens and the soybeans, he started to write songs in which he could play all the parts by himself — replacing his ...


Poems by Emily Dickinson

Probably no writer spent more time in a room of her own than Emily Dickinson. In her 20s, she stopped socializing, and by middle age, Dickinson hardly ever left the family home in Amherst, Massachusetts. Even there, nobody knew that one of America's greatest poets was at work upstairs. In ...


All By Myself

Bob Paul is a graphic designer and painter who's been working up in the attic since he quit his very first job. He doesn't need anybody else, because he doesn't care what other people think. His son, producer Richard Paul, thinks that solitude like his dad's is almost addictive: ...


Thom Pain

We know the name of the man on stage, but we don't know much else about him — he constantly revises his opinions and his portrayal of himself. In the acclaimed new play Thom Pain (based on nothing), playwright Will Eno explores some of the darker and ...


Design for the Real World: Wallpaper

It's not just a substitute for paint, and design curator Susan Yelavich tells us why we should pay it more respect.


Back to the Future

Almost everywhere I glance these days, this new century, the 21st, is looking very much like an old one — the 19th. Let me explain.


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