16 episodes

Madison BookBeat highlights local authors and book events. The show, hosted by Stu Levitan, airs every Monday afternoon from 1-2 pm.

Madison BookBeat Stu Levitan, WORT News and Public Affairs

    • Books

Madison BookBeat highlights local authors and book events. The show, hosted by Stu Levitan, airs every Monday afternoon from 1-2 pm.

    Danielle Evans, "The Office of Historical Corrections"

    Danielle Evans, "The Office of Historical Corrections"

    Stu Levitan welcomes one of the brightest new stars in the literary firmament, Danielle Evans, coming back to Madison on December 2 -- virtually at least --  to present her new collection The Office of Historical Corrections at the Wisconsin Book Festival.
    Grief and loss, apologies and corrections, anxiety and forgiveness. Women demanding to live full and complex lives. History. Performance. Race. These are the things which occupy Danielle Evans in the six stories and one novella which comprise The Office of Historical Corrections, just out from the good people at Riverhead Books, and already getting rave reviews.
    Danielle Evans burst onto the scene at age 26 with Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, a collection of eight short stories which she finished while on a fellowship at the University of Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. That collection received several awards and made her a National Book Foundation 5 under 35 honoree.
    In the decade since, she has taught creative writing at the aforementioned UW Institute for Creative Writing, American University and now the Johns Hopkins University. In recognition of her artistic excellence and merit, she is also the recipient of a 2020 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
    It is a real pleasure to welcome to Madison BookBeat, Danielle Evans
     
    Air Date - November 30, 2020

    • 53 min
    Stephen Coss, "The Fever of 1721: The Epidemic That Revolutionized Medicine and American Politics"

    Stephen Coss, "The Fever of 1721: The Epidemic That Revolutionized Medicine and American Politics"

    Stu Levitan welcomes Madison author Steven Coss, to discuss his all-too relevant book, The Fever of 1721: The Epidemic That Revolutionized Medicine and American Politics.
    That fever was small pox, the infectious disease that killed, crippled or disfigured nearly one-tenth of all humankind in the three thousand years leading up to 1700, and in the 1600s alone killed about 400,000 Europeans every year. And on April 21, 1721, small pox returned to the largest town in colonial America at the time, Boston, which was also the third busiest seaport in the British empire. What happened next would produce a major advance in medicine, our first independent newspaper, maybe even help spark the American revolution itself.
    It is quite a story, with a cast of characters that includes that scourge of Salem, Cotton Mather, an unhappy teenage printer’s apprentice named Benjamin Franklin, and the first populist politician in America. And it is a story with a profound paradox at its heart – it is the fundamentalist preacher who champions medical innovation and the iconoclastic journalist who attacks it for largely mercenary reasons, at least for a while.
    Steve Coss was born and raised in Connecticut, earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Temple University in Philadelphia. He has worked as an advertising agency copywriter and creative director in Chicago, Detroit, and here in Madison, where he now works in marketing communications for CUNA Mutual. The Fever of 1721 was his first book. He’s now working on a novel that concerns the assassination of President Kennedy.
    One disclosure – this interview was one of the first we did when things shut down in March, and we didn’t have a really good system yet for quality control on the sound. My audio in particular was pretty sketchy. So in addition to taping this new introduction, I have also taken the liberty of rerecording my questions, just to improve your listening experience.
    With that, It was, and remains, a pleasure to welcome to Madison BookBeat Steve Coss.

    • 52 min
    David Maraniss, "A Good American Family: The Red Scare and My Father"

    David Maraniss, "A Good American Family: The Red Scare and My Father"

    An encore presentation of a conversation with Madison’s own David Maraniss, the two-time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, associate editor for the Washington Post and best-selling author, about his latest book, A Good American Family: The Red Scare and My Father. The hour originally aired in May, 2019, when David appeared at the Wisconsin Book Festival, and was rebroadcast Nov. 16, 2020, to mark the publication of the paperback edition.
    David Maraniss has earned the sobriquet “Madison’s favorite journalistic son” because while he wasn’t born here, he did grow up here, West High class of 1967. That was because his father, Elliott Maraniss, was himself one of the city’s leading journalists as a reporter and editor for The Capital Times from 1957 to his retirement in 1982. But that is at the end of the story which David tells in A Good American Family, the very troubling and sadly still-relevant saga of how Elliott was blacklisted in 1952 when he was exposed as having been a member of the communist party, and what happened after.
    Among David's eleven earlier books - biographies of Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Vince Lombardi and Roberto Clemente, and a trilogy of books about the 1960s - Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed The World; Once In A Great City: A Detroit Story, and They Marched Into Sunlight: War and Peace, Vietnam and America and Vietnam, October 1967. That book has special relevance for local listeners because it is the most comprehensive account of the events leading up to the protest against the Dow Chemical Company that month.
    Before we begin, two disclaimers. First, like almost everyone who has reviewed the book or interviewed the author, I’m pleased to say that David is a friend of mine and in fact while he doesn’t realize it, our connection goes back to 1956. Second, unlike everyone else who has reviewed the book or interviewed David, I worked for Elliott at the Capital Times, as the Washington correspondent and then general assignment reporter from the summer of 1975 to the fall of 1977, when I quit the paper to support of the strike by the production unions. We'll get to that at the end of the hour.

    • 53 min
    Nicholas Lemann, "Transaction Man: Traders, Disrupters and the Dismantling of Middle-Class America"

    Nicholas Lemann, "Transaction Man: Traders, Disrupters and the Dismantling of Middle-Class America"

    Stu Levitan welcomes the distinguished author, educator and journalist Nicholas Lemann, who will be appearing this Thursday at the Wisconsin Book Festival to discuss his book Transaction Man: Traders, Disrupters and the Dismantling of Middle-Class America.
    Once upon a time, American society revolved around institutions. Government, the church, corporations, unions. Then, about 40 years ago, we turned into a society driven by transactions, a new market-based financial model that profoundly changed politics and economics, both here and abroad, and not for the better. More recently, the network-based world of the Internet has started to take hold, providing vast wealth for some, but threatening most with more economic insecurity.
    How we moved from institutions to transactions to networks – and what our next step might, or should be – is the business that occupies Nicholas Lemann in Transaction Man.
    Nicholas Lemann in a native of New Orleans, where he began his journalism career as a 17-year-old writer for an alternative weekly. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 1976, where he was president of the Harvard Crimson. He served as an editor at the Washington Monthly and Texas Monthly; on the national staffs at The Washington Post and The Atlantic Monthly, and as Washington correspondent and staff writer for The New Yorker, where his most recent piece, in the November 2 issue, is a very perceptive analysis of the Republican party after Trump.
    From 2003-2013 he served as Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, where he is now Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Pulitzer Moore Professor of Journalism and Dean Emeritus. He also directs Columbia Global Reports, a book publishing venture, and Columbia World Projects, on academic research outside the university.
    Transaction Man is his fifth book, following Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War; The Big Test: The Secret History of the American Meritocracy; American Democracy: 21 Historic Answers to 5 Urgent Questions, and the award-winning The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and How It Changed America.
    It is a great pleasure to welcome to Madison BookBeat, Nicholas Lemann.

    • 53 min
    Aimee Nezhukumatathil, "World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks and Other Astonishments"

    Aimee Nezhukumatathil, "World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks and Other Astonishments"

    Stu Levitan welcomes a guest who meets two of the criteria as a former Badger who will be appearing next week at the Wisconsin Book Festival. Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of an enchanting and stimulating collection of illustrated nature essays called WORLD OF WONDERS: IN PRAISE OF FIREFLIES, WHALE SHARKS, AND OTHER ASTONISHMENTS, published this year by the good people at Milkweed Editions, and just named as a finalist for the Kirkus Prize in nonfiction.
    If you took Aldo Leopold’s expert eye for Nature and Marcel Proust’s ability to evoke memory out of experience, and filtered it all through a poet and essayist who was the daughter of a Filipina mother and South Indian father, you might come close to what Aimee Nezhukumatathil has accomplished in World of Wonders.
    Born in Chicago in 1974, she lived as a child in Iowa, Arizona, Kansas, New York and Ohio; received her undergraduate and master’s degrees in poetry and nonfiction from The Ohio State University; was awarded a poetry fellowship to the University of Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing; spent 14 years teaching in western New York, and in 2016 accepted appointment as Professor of English and Creative Writing in the MFA program at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, where her husband, the essayist Dustin Parsons, also teaches.
    Since 2003, she has published four collections of poetry and a chapbook of garden poems with the poet Ross Gay, and has been included in several collections and anthologies. She has been awarded a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pushcart Prize, and a 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship in poetry, among other honors.
    It is a pleasure to welcome to Madison Bookbeat, Aimee Nezhukumatathil

    • 52 min
    Sarah M. Broom, "The Yellow House"

    Sarah M. Broom, "The Yellow House"

    Madison BookBeat host Stu Levitan welcomes National Book Award- winner Sarah M. Broom, author of The Yellow House, just out in a new paperback edition from Grove Atlantic. Her new virtual book tour starts tomorrow night at 7 in a Crowdcast conversation presented by our friends at the Wisconsin Book Festival.
    {MUSIC – Ellis Marsalis}
    Ellis Marsalis, of blessed memory, and his eldest son Branford, at the WWOZ Piano Night last April, asking the musical question, “Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?”
    But what does it mean to be from New Orleans? Indeed, what does it mean to be from anywhere? And what does it mean when the place you’re from no longer exists?
    In 1961, a 19-yo New Orleanian widow named Ivory Soule Webb, eight months pregnant with her third child, bought a camelback shotgun house at 4121 Wilson Avenue in the sprawling new development known as New Orleans East, seven miles but a world away from the fabled French Quarter. Ivory Mae and her second husband Simon Broom moved in with their blended family in 1964, and had some kids of their own. They named the twelfth and final child, born in the final hours of 1979, Sarah Monique.
    The house eventually acquired new yellow siding, but inside was never finished and in constant disrepair, especially after Simon died just six months after Sarah was born. The house survived Hurricane Betsy in 1965, but would not last long after the water of Katrina and the federal flood forty years later.
    What that house meant to one family, and what its loss means to the entire country, is the business that occupies Sarah M. Broom in her extraordinary debut, The Yellow House. Part narrative nonfiction, part memoir, it is also a profound meditation on race, place and class.  Published to enthusiastic, almost ecstatic acclaim last summer, it has enjoyed many printings and garnered Sarah the aforementioned National Book Award for Nonfiction and the John Leonard Prize from the National Book Critics Circle.
    Sarah M. Broom received her undergraduate degree in anthropology and mass communications from the University of North Texas and a Master’s degree in Journalism from UC-Berkeley. She’s been a newspaper and magazine journalist from Rhode Island to Hong Kong, an editor at the Oprah Magazine, has taught nonfiction at Columbia University, worked for the mayor of New Orleans and a radio station in Burundi and as Executive Director of the global nonprofit, Village Health Works. She is married to the film director Dee Rees, with homes in Harlem and the Marigny neighborhood of New Orleans.
    It is a pleasure and a privilege to welcome to Madison BookBeat, National Book Award-winner Sarah M. Broom

    • 54 min

Top Podcasts In Books