Episode #1137

Franzen & Chocolate Genius

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Friday, September 10, 2010

Studio 360 Episode 1137, Franzen & Chocolate Genius Jonathan Franzen, author of "The Corrections" and "Freedom" (Greg Martin)

Kurt Andersen talks to novelist Jonathan Franzen about his new book, Freedom, and why families remain so central to his fiction. In Camden, New Jersey — a town plagued by blight and violence — folks behind a new theater hope it can help the city turn around. And the singer Chocolate Genius performs live in our studio.

Franzen on Freedom

Ever since Jonathan Franzen wowed the literary world with his 2001 novel The Corrections, he's been hailed as the next great American writer. Kurt talks to Franzen about the perils of literary success and his new novel Freedom, another epic about a colorful and ...


More with Franzen

Our extended cut of Kurt's conversation with Jonathan Franzen, in which the novelist talks about the influence of Tolstoy on his writing, and laments being recognized during a trip to the supermarket for sugar-free Jell-O.



Felice Frankel spent the last 20 years photographing objects that only the most powerful microscopes can see. In her book No Small Matter, which she wrote with the Harvard chemist George Whitesides, Frankel shows what life on the nanoscale looks like. Produced by Studio ...

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Aquarium Poet

Jeffrey Yang spends a lot of time studying marine life. But he's not a biologist working on the beach. He's a poet who loves visiting his local aquarium. In his new book, An Aquarium, killer whales, eels, and fish become symbols of politics and mythology. Produced ...


Chocolate Genius

Marc Anthony Thompson, the musician known as Chocolate Genius, wrote intimate songs about his family for his new album Swansongs. He performs live for us in studio, and tells Kurt about the origin of his stage name and his love-hate relationship with Randy Newman.

Chocolate Genius ...

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Saving Camden

According to crime statistics from 2009, Camden, New Jersey ranks as America's most dangerous city. Some residents are looking to the arts to try to turn the city around. With a new theater opening this month, we wondered if an arts district can really save Camden. Produced by ...

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Road Music: Nina Nastasia

Studio 360 has been asking artists what music they listen to on the road. Singer-songwriter Nina Nastasia turns to Huun-Huur-Tu, a group of throat-singing musicians from Siberia. She says their song "Oske Cherde" helps her feel solitary and free, even on an overcrowded tour ...


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