A Landmark Collection of Michael Silverblatt's Interviews from KCRW's Bookworm.
Michael Silverblatt, host of KCRW’s Bookworm, the nation’s premier literary radio program, has been bringing writers and readers together in close company for more than three decades. Audiences around the world tune in each week to discover new ways of thinking about books through Silverblatt’s compassionate and enthusiastic conversations with contemporary writers, compelled by the surprising range of ideas and feelings that only his legendary close readings can evoke.
BOOKWORM: CONVERSATIONS WITH MICHAEL SILVERBLATT gathers interviews with some of the most influential luminaries of our time: John Ashbery, John Berger, Octavia Butler, Joan Didion, Carlos Fuentes, William H. Gass, Toni Morrison, Grace Paley, W.G. Sebald, Stephen Sondheim, Susan Sontag, and David Foster Wallace (who notably said to Silverblatt in their first of several conversations, “I feel like I wanna ask you to adopt me.”).
Gathered together for the first time in print, these conversations span years, revealing not only the quality and character of the writers, but also the special relationship that Silverblatt developed with them during their lifetimes. This collection reveals why so many consider Silverblatt to be our greatest reader, as he allows us to see these writers at their most animated and understood.
"Michael Silverblatt is a better reader than any writer deserves. He brings such intensity, such respect, to any book, not for its level of achievement in every case, or the richness and generosity of imagination reflected in it, though he is greatly moved by these things, but simply for the fact of it as a book, an utterance in the language above language that speaks of the fact of humanity, and the miracle of our mutual intelligibility at the highest levels of subtlety and beauty, wit and candor. He teaches his listeners something writers often forget, that books enter human lives and change them, if not for the better in any usual sense then for the broader, for the opportunity any book presents to be encountered, welcomed or rejected, as an articulated vision, something that can be pondered at length, satisfyingly. A book recruits the sensibility of the reader. It is much more than casual encounter with another mind that our own minds are made for. Michael is one of those luxuries civilization from time to time affords itself, a voice who can say that its strange works are wonderful." —Marilynne Robinson
"Each interview ranged far from the precipitating occasion as Silverblatt brought his considerable curiosity to questions of style, tone, language, structure, aspirations, and inspiration. Widely read, knowledgeable, and thoughtful, he elicited candid, detailed responses from his guests....A warm celebration of creativity and the writing life." —Kirkus Reviews
Literary Nonfiction. Poetics.
Review @ Kirkus Feature @ VultureChris Via @ Los Angeles Review of BooksExcerpt @ Literary HubReview @ Poets & WritersFeature @ The New York Review of Books
Michael Silverblatt is the host of KCRW's Bookworm, a nationally syndicated radio program showcasing writers of fiction and poetry. Describing his interviews as "conversations," Silverblatt has hosted hundreds of our most celebrated writers. As the guiding spirit of this weekly show, Silverblatt has reinvented the art of literary conversation, introducing listeners to new and emerging authors along with writers of renown. He also regularly hosts literary conversations for Lannan Foundation's "Readings and Conversations" series in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 2018, he was the inaugural recipient of A Public Space's Deborah Pease Prize, awarded to a figure who has advanced the art of literature.