On this edition of our show, we speak with the author and journalist Denise Kiernan, whose writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Village Voice, Discover, Ms., and many other publications. She's written a number of books for adults and children, and has also worked as a producer for ESPN, MSNBC, and other media outlets.
(Please note: This show originally aired earlier this year.) When we say that someone is a "tinkerer," we might be offering a word of praise...or a put-down. Today's edition of ST explores the positive definition of the term "tinkerer," as a creative inventor or innovator.
On this edition of ST, we speak with the widely celebrated young writer Nathaniel Rich (born 1980), whose essays and short stories have appeared in Harper's, McSweeney's, and elsewhere, and whose latest novel is called "Odds Against Tomorrow." Late last week, Rich did a Book Smart Tulsa reading and signing in connection with this book; while he was here in town, we spoke with him. Set in a New York City of the very near future, the novel tells the story of one Mitchell Zukor, a gifted young mathematician who works for a financial consulting firm called FutureWorld.
Sure, you loved "The Catcher in the Rye" at the age of 16...but would you still love it? You appreciated "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Cannery Row" way back when, but would that still be the case today? And on the other hand, if the plays of Ibsen or Shakespeare didn't exactly knock you out during that long-ago sophomore year of college, do you think they'd still miss the mark? Or might they be worth another shot?
(Please note: This show first aired in December of last year.) On this edition of ST, we speak by phone with Jacob Tomsky, whose new book, "Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality," has been getting some glowing reviews from all over. A longtime veteran of the hotel biz, Tomsky here offers a detailed and unflinching yet also down-to-earth and amiable --- and, throughout, quite well-written --- autobiography about what it's really like to work (in every capacity) at an upscale hotel in America.
On this installment of ST, we're joined by our old friend and colleague, Jeff Martin, a local writer who's also the coordinator and creator of the popular Book Smart Tulsa reading series, the fiction editor at This Land, and an occasional commentator for this program. Jeff's newest book, just out, is an fun-to-read trade-paperback collection that brings together many works of short (make that "very short") fiction exploring "an Oklahoma of the mind," so to speak.
The "new KAKC" --- an AM Radio titan from the annals of Tulsa broadcasting --- emerged in the middle 1950s, when rock and roll was just starting to make its very significant mark on American culture. KAKC was the Top 40 station in our community, and invariably one of the most popular stops on the radio dial, well into the 1970s.
On this edition of ST, we welcome back Machele Miller Dill, an assistant professor of musical theatre here at the University of Tulsa. Dill is directing "Spring Awakening," which the TU Department of Theatre will present in the Lorton Performance Center (here on the TU campus) from tomorrow night (the 11th) through Sunday afternoon (the 14th).
What does it mean when the recent financial meltdown is fully understood by only one American citizen (or two, at the most) out of every 100 randomly chosen individuals? What should we make of law-makers --- based in Washington, DC, or elsewhere --- who debate nuclear policy when they've never taken a class in physics? What happens when people everywhere become more and more reliant on technology even as they understand less and less of it?