Monday 12 November 2007: Jonathan Schell/Ha Jin
On 12 November I played two interviews I had recorded over the weekend. The first was with Jonathan Schell, senior visiting lecturer in international studies at Yale University and best known for his books The Fate of the Earth (Knopf) and The Unconquerable World (Metropolitan/Henry Holt) about his new book The Seventh Decade: The New Shape of Nuclear Danger, which will be published on 13 November by Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt.

The second was with novelist, poet and story-writer Ha Jin, whose best-known books include Waiting, which won the National Book Award in 1999, and War Trash, both published by Pantheon, which has just published his latest and longest novel A Free Life. He will speak at the Crest Theater in Sacramento as part of the California Lectures series on Thursday 15 November.

At the end of the program, I briefly considered the life and work of Norman Mailer, who died on 10 November. I mentioned his books The Naked and the Dead, Advertisements for Myself, The Armies of the Night and The Executioner's Song, then talked briefly about Why Are We in Vietnam?, which I think is his best novel. I quoted from A O Scott's essay in The Readers' Guide to Contemporary Authors, which links Mailer inextricably with his nemesis Gore Vidal, and ended by playing his own performance of his Alimony Blues on The Wrockers CD Stranger than Fiction (Oglio Records).

To hear this program, click here.

posted by Eric Tomb and others 8:43 PM

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