American Dervish

Nov 28, 2012

Ayad Akhtar’s book "American Dervish" (Back Bay Books/2012) has launched a flurry of praise as an intelligent, self-assured debut novel. The main character is a Pakistani-American boy growing up in Milwaukee. Akhtar has also stirred controversy for creating idiosyncratic, even unflattering portrayals of Muslim-Americans. Host Frank Stasio is joined in the studio by Ayad Akhtar to talk about writing and identity.


Nov 15, 2012

shrinking polar ice caps, rising temperatures, vanishing forests, acidic oceans and superstorms. Welcome to the new planet earth. A renowned environmental writer came up with this new spelling of Earth - Eaarth - because the planet we live on no longer resembles the planet we used to live on. The new planet has a new name.

There are many people in Durham with their own ideas about their city, but 27 share their particular insight in the new book “27 Views of Durham: The Bull City in Prose & Poetry

Chasing Sleep

Jul 31, 2012

Some people brag about how little sleep they need to function, but sleep disorders and the problems they cause are getting a lot more attention these days.  Are we actually suffering from an epidemic of sleep deprivation or do we just know more about this mysterious process of absent consciousness?

Arlan Andrews is a writer and engineer, but he has spent his life also pursuing unusual phenomena such as UFOs, paranormal activity and psychic experience. He is the founder of SIGMA, a group of science-fiction writers that speculate about the future for government officials. Andrews is in town to visit the Rhine Research Center and joins host Frank Stasio to talk about his work.

Writer Rosecrans Baldwin landed a job at a Parisian ad agency, and so for 18 months he and his wife lived in the City of Lights. What they confronted was a globalized and modernized city, which differed radically from the Paris of Hemingway and Fitzgerald.

Novelist Tayari Jones is the author of three books, all set in Atlanta, GA. Her latest, “Silver Sparrow” (Algonquin Books/2011) introduces readers to Atlanta’s black middle class through the story of two sisters, Dana and Chaurisse, whose father is married to both of the girls’ mothers.

Amazing Gifts

May 24, 2012

In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act opened up a host of protections for people with disabilities. Amongst its gains, it banned workplace discrimination and forced government and commercial spaces to become more accessible.

This is How

May 11, 2012

Augusten Burroughs, best-selling author of "Running with Scissors," has bared his soul to the world on everything from his dysfunctional adolescence to his struggles with alcoholism. Now, he's ready to take some of those experiences and use them to help others.


May 1, 2012

Yvonne Murphy loves a good paradox. Her poetry focuses on the embodiments of irony that are all around us. For instance: the aviary is meant to cage birds without appearing to cage birds.

In 1976 Judy Hogan was a poet, editor and young mother when she founded Carolina Wren Press in her Chapel Hill Apartment. At the time, she was dismayed at how difficult it was for women and poets of color to publish their work. So she took the extraordinary leap of starting a press.

Barbara Ras

Apr 11, 2012

Poet Barbara Ras's work has been called, "morally serious, poetically authentic, and spiritually discerning" by no less of an authority than C.K. Williams. He chose her book as the winner of the prestigious Walt Whitman award for first books in

Katy Munger

Some fans know her as Gallagher Gray or Chaz McGhee, but those who grew up with mystery writer Katy Munger in Raleigh knew her as one of six children in a large, eccentric family that lived in Cameron Park. Her father was the longtime books editor at The News & Observer, her mother was a political activist who took her children with her to protests and marches. Munger's lively childhood has helped shaped the characters she creates in three sets of mystery series, The Hubbert and Lil books, the Casey Jones series and her latest, the Dead Detective series. Host Frank Stasio talks with Katy Munger, who now lives in Durham, about her life, her work and how her characters interact with the justice system as “The State of Things” begins its annual Law & Order Week.

Rigor Amortis

Feb 10, 2011

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. If you’re not sure how to make a successful romantic gesture to the one you love, you might want to consult with a zombie. Sure, they eat brains, but they’re capable of love, too – a love that can last forever. Host Frank Stasio talks with writer Jaym Gates about a new collection of zombie short stories she co-edited called "Rigor Amortis" (Absolute XPress/2010) that deals with love from beyond the grave.

Book Cover: The Story of Forgetting

More than five million Americans have Alzheimer's disease. By mid-century, that number is expected to double, if not quadruple. Researchers are learning more about the progressive neurological disorder that affects memory and other functions of the brain, but there is still no treatment or cure. Writers have begun documenting the epidemic, creating fiction and nonfiction that renders the mysterious disease and how it uniquely changes the lives of patients and caregivers alike. The New York Times declared this writing a new genre, calling it "Alzheimer's Literature."

Holy Smoke

Nov 12, 2008

Most traditions have plenty of people, history and folklore to back them up. Carolina barbecue is no different. A new book called, "Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue" explores the Tar Heel tradition - past and present.