19 episodes

Writer's Voice features author interviews and readings, as well as news, commentary and tips related to writing and publishing. We also talk with editors, agents, publicists and others about issues of interest to writers. Francesca Rheannon is producer and host of Writer's Voice. She is a writer, an independent radio producer and a broadcast journalist.

Writer's Voice with Francesca Rheannon Francesca Rheannon

    • Books
    • 4.3 • 12 Ratings

Writer's Voice features author interviews and readings, as well as news, commentary and tips related to writing and publishing. We also talk with editors, agents, publicists and others about issues of interest to writers. Francesca Rheannon is producer and host of Writer's Voice. She is a writer, an independent radio producer and a broadcast journalist.

    Elisa Gabbert, The Unreality of Memory

    Elisa Gabbert, The Unreality of Memory

    We spend the hour talking with Elisa Gabbert about her terrific collection of essays, THE UNREALITY OF MEMORY. It’s a contemplation of life in the pre-apocalypse, with profound and prophetic essays on the Internet age’s media-saturated disaster coverage and our addiction to viewing and discussing the world’s ills.

    Then we end with the poem “Memory” by poet Lucille Clifton and remember her work.

    Writer’s Voice — in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004. Rate us on your favorite podcast platform! It really helps others find our show. And like us on Facebook at Writers Voice Radio or find us on Twitter @WritersVoice.



    Elisa Gabbert

    We stare at our phones. We keep multiple tabs open. Our chats and conversations are full of the phrase “Did you see?” The feeling that we’re living in the worst of times seems to be intensifying, alongside a desire to know precisely how bad things have gotten—and each new catastrophe distracts us from the last.

    In her new collection, The Unreality of Memory & Other Essays, acclaimed poet and essayist Elisa Gabbert brings together provocative essays on disaster culture, climate anxiety, and our mounting collective sense of doom.

    Gabbert explores our obsessions with disasters past and future, from the sinking of the Titanic to Chernobyl, from witch hunts to the plague. Her deeply researched, prophetic meditations question how the world will end—if indeed it will—and why we can’t stop fantasizing about it. The Unreality of Memory offers a hauntingly perceptive analysis of our new ways of being and a means of reconciling ourselves to this unreal new world.

    In addition to The Unreality of Memory & Other Essays, Elisa Gabbert is the author of four other collections of poetry, essays, and criticism, including The Word Pretty and The Self Unstable. She writes a regular poetry column for the New York Times, and her work has appeared in Harper’s, The New Yorker and many other venues.

    Read an excerpt from THE UNREALITY OF MEMORY

    The Poem “Memory” by Lucille Clifton

     

    • 56 min
    Les Leopold, DEFIANT GERMAN—DEFIANT JEW & Anthony Horowitz, MOONFLOWER MURDERS

    Les Leopold, DEFIANT GERMAN—DEFIANT JEW & Anthony Horowitz, MOONFLOWER MURDERS

    We talk with Les Leopold about his Uncle Walter’s remarkable diary of life as Jew in Nazi Germany, Defiant German—Defiant Jew: A Holocaust Memoir from Inside the Third Reich. Les Leopold had the diary translated and has added much context and commentary to the book.

    Then, we talk with acclaimed crime novelist Anthony Horowitz about his newest murder mystery confection, Moonflower Murders. It’s the second in the Susan Ryeland series, following Magpie Murders.

    Writer’s Voice — in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004. Rate us on your favorite podcast platform! It really helps others find our show. And like us on Facebook at Writers Voice Radio or find us on twitter @WritersVoice.



    Les Leopold

    Eighty-two years ago this week, the end stage of Germany’s pre-war Jewish community began. On the night of November 10-11, The Nazis carried out a pogrom that ransacked and destroyed thousands of German homes, synagogues and shops.

    It was called Kristallnacht (“Crystal Night”) after the shards of broken glass that littered the streets. 30,000 Jewish men were taken away to concentration camps, among them my guest Les Leopold’s uncle Walter, who spent several months in Buchenwald before being miraculously released.

    Dr. Walter Leopold was a self-declared “revolutionary Jew” who kept a remarkable diary all through the years of living first in hiding and then under an assumed identity until the end of the War. Against all odds, he, his wife and his young daughter managed to survive as he fought in any way he could against Fascism.

    He died when his American nephew Les Leopold was only three. But like his uncle Walter, Les Leopold is a fighter against injustice. Writers Voice listeners know him from the multiple times we’ve interviewed him about his books on income inequality, including The Looting of America and Runaway Inequality, as well as his terrific biography of labor leader Tony Mazzocchi.

    Les Leopold turned the book Runaway Inequality into an ongoing project that trains tens of thousands of trade unionists about predatory capitalism and how to fight it. When he discovered his uncle’s diary, he was struck by its relevance to today. He knew he had to bring it to American readers. Hence the memoir, Defiant German—Defiant Jew.

    Anthony Horowitz.

    Anthony Horowitz is one of the world’s bestselling authors of crime fiction. He’s been a guest on Writer’s Voice multiple times.

    The byzantine twists and turns of his plots  provide much grist for guessing and the myriad references hidden in the text to other masters of the genre, like Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle, are always a delight to read.

    We spoke with him in 2017 about The Magpie Murders, which featured literary agent Susan Ryeland as the sleuth who finds her clues in a novel within the novel, written by her client Alan Conway and featuring another sleuth, Atticus Pünd.

    Now,

    • 58 min
    Stephen Snyder THE MEMORY POLICE & Marian Lindberg SCANDAL ON PLUM ISLAND

    Stephen Snyder THE MEMORY POLICE & Marian Lindberg SCANDAL ON PLUM ISLAND

    We talk with translator Stephen Snyder about his translation of Yoko Ozawa’s acclaimed novel The Memory Police. It’s an allegory for our age.

    Then we hear from Marian Lindberg about her book, Scandal On Plum Island: A Commander Becomes The Accused. It tells the neglected story of Major Benjamin Koehler, a distinguished Army officer who was blind-sided by charges of homoerotic behavior in 1914.

    We also preview our post-Election Day interview with legal scholar Lawrence Douglas, author of Will He Go? Trump and the Looming Election Meltdown in 2020. (Listen to the full interview here.)

    Writer’s Voice — in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004. Rate us on your favorite podcast platform! It really helps others find our show. And like us on Facebook at Writers Voice Radio or find us on twitter @WritersVoice.



    Stephen Snyder

    On an unnamed island, objects are disappearing: first hats, then ribbons, birds, roses.

    Most of the inhabitants are oblivious to these changes, while those few able to recall the lost objects live in fear of the draconian Memory Police, who are committed to ensuring that what has disappeared remains forgotten.

    When a young writer discovers that her editor is in danger, she concocts a plan to hide him beneath her floorboards, and together they cling to her writing as the last way of preserving the past.

    That’s the premise of the powerful and provocative novel by Yoko Ozawa, The Memory Police. A Finalist for the International Booker Prize and the National Book Award, the Memory Police is a haunting Orwellian novel about the terrors of state surveillance and the trauma of loss.

    We speak with Ozawa’s award-winning translator Stephen Snyder. He is professor of Japanese Studies at Middlebury College and the Center for the Art of Translation.

    Read an excerpt from Yoko Ozawa’s The Memory Police

    Marian Lindberg

    Just over a hundred years ago, ideas about masculinity were undergoing a change. Threatened by the women’s suffrage movement, immigration and the new field of psychology, the American notion of what it means to be a man became fixated on projecting strength, scorning vulnerability and, of course, strict heterosexuality.

    That’s the context Marian Lindberg sets for her exploration of a scandal that embroiled the military garrison on New York’s Plum Island in 1914.

    Major Benjamin Koehler was accused of being gay and groping subordinates while commander of Fort Terry–a remote coastal defense post in eastern Long Island Sound. Was it a set up? Was he even gay? And what light does the scandal shine on American society?

    Those are questions Lindberg examines in her book Scandal on Plum Island. One reviewer called it “social justice meets true-life suspense. “

    Marian Lindberg is Conservation and Communications Specialist with The Nature Conservancy in East Hampton, Long Island. She is also the author of The End of the Rainy Season.

    • 58 min
    Will Trump Go? A Post-Election Day Reaction from Lawrence Douglas

    Will Trump Go? A Post-Election Day Reaction from Lawrence Douglas

    The US is facing a constitutional crisis as Donald Trump tries to stop the counting of millions of mail-in ballots that could tip the presidency to Joe Biden.

    One person who predicted this very outcome is Amherst College legal scholar Lawrence Douglas. He’s the author of the recent book, Will He Go? Trump and the Looming Election Meltdown in 2020.

    Writers Voice spoke with Douglas in September and Francesca called him up the day after Election Day for his reaction to the situation we find ourselves in, the very situation that was the topic of his book—and of an article he published November 4 in the Guardian, Don’t be fooled: the delays in the US election result mean our system is working.

    • 15 min
    Thomas Frank, THE PEOPLE, NO

    Thomas Frank, THE PEOPLE, NO

    We spend the hour talking with political historian Thomas Frank about his ground-breaking book about Populism and anti-Populism, The People, No: A Brief History of Anti-Populism.

    It’s about the long history of elite distrust of pro-democracy working class/farmer political activism in the U.S. As Frank explains:

    The People, No is the story of how much of our modern world we owe to our home-grown democratic movements for reform. It is also a cautionary note for our time, a warning against the pundits who tell us to fear the plain people, to keep to the path of centrist complacency, to let the experts handle our lives and our future.

    Writer’s Voice — in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004. Rate us on iTunes,  Amazon Music or wherever you get your podcasts! It really helps others find our show.

    Like us on Facebook at Writers Voice Radio or find us on twitter @WritersVoice.



    Thomas Frank

    There are only a few days left before the most consequential election in American history. Will democracy come to an end if Trump wins? Many fear so, with reason.

    But democracy has been under attack since long before Trump started trying to dismantle it entirely.

    After he was elected in 2016, there were many pundits who questioned the value of democracy, scorning Trump as a “populist,” because supposedly the non-college educated white working class masses put him in office. In fact, Trump voters were better off than most Americans, with an average income of $70,000 (about $20,000 over median income at the time.)

    In a counterintuitive twist, somehow democracy was accused of leading to populism, and populism was decried as autocratic, illiberal, and, above all, stupid.

    But our guest Thomas Frank says that the pundits, academics and Democratic elite who attack populism have got the term all wrong–and they are heirs to a tradition that’s been getting it wrong since the Populist Party became a force in 19th century America.

    In fact, the Populists fought for expanding the vote to women; they rejected xenophobia against immigrants; and they built alliances between Black and white workers and farmers. And, far from being stupid, they pushed for policies that succeeding generations adopted as fundamental and needed reforms.

    In his book The People, No, Frank takes the reader through the history of populism and its opponents from the beginning down to today. The lesson he draws is that the real story of populism is the story of American democracy itself.

    Thomas Frank is the author of nine books, including Listen Liberal, which we spoke with him about in 2017.

    READ AN EXCERPT FROM THE PEOPLE, NO

    CHECK OUT THOMAS FRANK’S GALLERY OF ANTI-POPULISM ART

     

    • 58 min
    Jane Kleeb, Harvest The Vote & Eric Holthaus, The Future Earth

    Jane Kleeb, Harvest The Vote & Eric Holthaus, The Future Earth

    Is the Democratic Party doing enough to reach out to rural voters? We talk with Jane Kleeb, chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party about her book, Harvest the Vote: How Democrats Can Win Again in Rural America. (Harper Collins, 2020).

    Then, a powerful vision of creating a livable and just world for everyone. We talk with climate journalist Eric Holthaus about his book The Future Earth: A Radical Vision for What’s Possible in the Age of Warming.

    (Harper Collins, 2020).

    Writer’s Voice — in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004. Rate us on iTunes,  Amazon Music or wherever you get your podcasts! It really helps others find our show.

    Like us on Facebook at Writers Voice with Francesca Rheannon or find us on twitter @WritersVoice.



    Jane Kleeb

    The Democratic Party used to be big in America’s rural heartland. Wisconsin was once a bastion of progressivism, and Democrats were regularly elected to Congress from midwestern and other rural regions.

    But lately, The Democratic Party has lost an entire generation of rural voters. By focusing the majority of their message and resources on urban and coastal voters, Democrats have sacrificed entire regions of the country where, as our guest Jane Kleeb says, there is more common ground and shared values than what appears on the surface.

    In her book Harvest the Vote, Kleeb makes a powerful argument for why Democrats shouldn’t ignore rural America. On issues from climate change to health care, and education to corporate overreach, Kleeb shows that by paying attention to the voices and needs of rural voters, the Democratic Party can bring them back to the Blue fold — and improve its own responsiveness to the needs of ordinary people.

    Jane Kleeb is the chair of Nebraska’s Democratic Party and founder of Bold Nebraska, an organization that has built a powerful coalition of Native tribes, farmers and ranchers to oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline.

    Read an excerpt from Harvest The Vote

    Eric Holthaus

    There are a lot of books that, rightly, warn us about the dire state of the climate and the uninhabitable Earth we are hurtling toward.

    But there aren’t so many that show us what the Earth could be like if we use what we already know to reverse the effects of climate change over the next three decades.

    That’s what climate journalist and meteorologist Eric Holthaus does in his visionary new book, The Future Earth. He invites us to imagine how we can reverse the effects of climate change in our own lifetime.

    Holthaus also encourages us to enter a deeper relationship with the earth as stewards and to re-affirm our commitment to one another in our shared humanity. It’s all part of the same shift in consciousness and action we will need to survive and thrive.

    Eric Holthaus has written for the Wall Street Journal, Slate, Grist, and The Correspondent, where he currently covers the climate crisis.

    Read an excerpt from The Future Earth

     

    • 58 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
12 Ratings

12 Ratings

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Francesca Rheannon has an amazing show and often has me wondering why she hasn't become the next Katie Couric or Barbara Walters with her impressive array of questions, continuing the conversation while keeping us the audience entranced and enticed and always wanting more My favorite author interview by far is John Elder Robinsons I have both of his books and am currently awaiting a third because I am personal touched by ASD and Francesca Rheanon's interview allows me a chance to let others listen into a bit of our world and understand because they are the ones who refuse the books and there's no way I'd ever get them to read it her interview has had a few willing that have either borrowed my book or bought them for themselves However even when the author or book has no personal interest to me this show has me entertained and delighted!!!!!

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