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Leonard Lopate - Underappreciated

WNYC

In July and August, Leonard Lopate explores underappreciated and forgotten works of great literature as part of a special summer reading series. The series will focus on authors that are little-known in America, authors that mysteriously fell out of fashion, and authors who never gained wide recognition in the first place.

In July and August, Leonard Lopate explores underappreciated and forgotten works of great literature as part of a special summer reading series. The series will focus on authors that are little-known in America, authors that mysteriously fell out of fashion, and authors who never gained wide recognition in the first place.
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Location:

New York, NY

Networks:

WNYC

Description:

In July and August, Leonard Lopate explores underappreciated and forgotten works of great literature as part of a special summer reading series. The series will focus on authors that are little-known in America, authors that mysteriously fell out of fashion, and authors who never gained wide recognition in the first place.

Language:

English

Contact:

WNYC Radio PO Box 1550 New York, NY 10116-1550 646-829-3985


Episodes

Underappreciated: Ann Petry's The Street

8/31/2011
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Farah Griffin, William B. Ransford Professor of English and Comparative Literature and African American Studies at Columbia University, discusses Ann Petry's 1946 novel, The Street, for our final Underappreciated segment of the summer. The Street is about a young single black mother who is trying to save money in order to move her son away from the influence of 116th Street. When it was initially published, it made Petry one of the first female African-American authors to receive...

Duration: 00:15:54


Underappreciated: L. J. Davis's A Meaningful Life

8/24/2011
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For this week’s Underappreciated segment, Jonathan Lethem, author of Motherless Brooklyn, The Fortress of Solitude, and Chronic City, discusses L. J. Davis's 1971 novel, A Meaningful Life. It’s about a failed writer who attempts to channel his creative energy into real estate, in the form of a decaying Brooklyn mansion-turned-rooming house he buys in the late 1960s. The novel raises questions about gentrification that are still relevant today. Lethem wrote the introduction for New York...

Duration: 00:15:55


Underappreciated: William Dean Howells’ A Hazard of New Fortunes

8/17/2011
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For our latest Underappreciated segment, Phillip Lopate discusses William Dean Howells’ 1890 novel A Hazard of New Fortunes, set in New York City in the late 19th century. The novel describes political tensions, social inequality, and urban landscapes all of which are still visible in present day New York, if slightly transformed. The novel follows Basil March and his family as they adjust after a move from Boston, and as he co-founds a magazine named “Every Other Week.”

Duration: 00:18:01


Underappreciated: Egil’s Saga

8/10/2011
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For this week’s Underappreciated segment, novelist Jane Smiley discusses the anonymously authored Egil’s Saga, an Icelandic saga dating back to 1240 AD, which follows the family history of Egil Skallagrímsson, a skaldic poet with a hot temper. Predating Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales by almost a century, the saga is part of the rich Viking literary tradition often overlooked by American readers. Jane Smiley wrote the preface of Sagas of Iceland.

Duration: 00:17:49


Underappreciated: David Markson's Wittgenstein’s Mistress

8/3/2011
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This summer's second Underappreciated segment looks at David Markson's 1988 novel Wittgenstein’s Mistress, which David Foster Wallace called “pretty much the high point of experimental fiction in this country.” Ann Beattie, longtime admirer and friend of David Markson, and Franoise Palleau-Papin, professor of American Literature at the University of Paris III (Sorbonne Nouvelle), discuss Markson's work.

Duration: 00:05:34


Underappreciated: Louis Couperus

8/18/2010
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Our latest Underappreciated is all about writer Louis Couperus, considered to be one of the greatest Dutch novelists of his time. Author and literary critic Paul Binding and award-winning translator Ina Rilke join us to discuss the life and work of Couperus, whose 1889 novel Eline Vere launched his career as an author. A psychological novel inspired by the naturalist style of Zola and the innovative characterizations of Flaubert, this "novel of The Hague" presents readers with an entire...

Duration: 00:16:55


Underappreciated: Henry Green

8/4/2010
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For this week’s Underappreciated segment, noted literary critic James Wood examines the life and work of English writer Henry Green, whose novels are frequently described as among the most important works of English modernist literature. His best-known work is Loving, and altogether he wrote nine novels and a memoir, Pack My Bag, between 1926 and 1952.

Duration: 00:20:20


Underappreciated: Hans Fallada

7/21/2010
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For this year’s first segment of our Underappreciated series, Dennis Johnson discusses the life and literary work of the German writer Hans Fallada. Before WWII, Fallada's novels were international bestsellers, but when he refused to join the Nazi party he was hounded, arrested, and eventually imprisoned in an asylum. There, he wrote three encrypted books that weren’t deciphered until long after his death. Fallada was freed at the end of the war, and, inspired by the true story of a...

Duration: 00:19:50


Underappreciated: Sheppard Lee

8/31/2009
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In our latest Underappreciated segment, UCLA English professor Christopher Looby discusses Robert Montgomery Bird’s novel, Sheppard Lee, Written by Himself about an unrepentant deadbeat discovers the ability to project his souls into dying men’s bodies, a form of antebellum identity theft.

Duration: 00:18:01


Underappreciated: Yusuf Idris

8/10/2009
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Yusuf Idris is an Egyptian writer best known for his short stories. On today's underappreciated we’ll discuss Idris’s book The Cheapest Nights with Roger Allen, Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania. He'll explain why Idris is considered one of the most important writers of the Arabic-speaking world in the 20th century.

Duration: 00:17:18


Underappreciated: Petersburg by Andrei Bely

8/3/2009
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Our second Underappreciated segment of the summer is on Andrei Bely's Symbolist novel Petersburg, which Vladimir Nabokov ranked as one of the top four novels of the 20th century, along with Franz Kafa's Metamorphosis, Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time, and James Joyce's Ulysses, to which it is often compared. John Elsworth, Professor Emeritus in the Russian Studies Department at the University of Manchester, is the translator of the most recent edition (2009) of the novel. He'll...

Duration: 00:14:58


Underappreciated: Yuri Olesha’s Envy

9/1/2008
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When it was published in 1927, Yuri Olesha's Envy was celebrated by the Soviet establishment as a condemnation of the bourgeois psyche. But two years later Olesha came under suspicion when Communist officials realized that the novel was a satire. Marian Schwartz, who translated Envy for the New York Review of Books imprint, tells us why Olesha's forgotten masterpiece deserves a second look. Weigh in: Tell us your ideas for underappreciated works of literature we should talk about on this...

Duration: 00:18:32


Underappreciated: Howard Sturgis’s Belchamber

8/25/2008
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Howard Sturgis was good friends with Edith Wharton and Henry James, but his novels were never as popular as theirs. His 1904 novel Belchamber traces the demise of a family of English aristocrats. Edmund White, who wrote the introduction to the New York Review of Books reissue of Belchamber, tells us why Sturgis deserves a place alongside his more famous friends.

Duration: 00:20:02


Underappreciated: Gregor von Rezzori's Memoirs of an Anti-Semite

8/11/2008
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In Gregor von Rezzori's semi-autobiographical satire, Memoirs of an Anti-Semite, the narrator looks back on a lifetime of fascination with and hatred of Jews. Elie Wiesel has said that Rezzori's voice "echoes with the disturbing and wonderful magic of a true storyteller." Deborah Eisenberg, who wrote the introduction to the New York Review of Books edition of the novel, joins us to explain why this book should be on your summer reading list.

Underappreciated: Merc Rodoreda

8/4/2008
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We continue our Underappreciated summer reading series with a look at Merc Rodoreda, who wrote The Time of the Doves in exile after Franco's regime began to suppress her native Catalan language and culture. A powerful story of a young shopkeeper living through the Spanish civil war, it’s considered by many to be the best Catalan novel of all time. Author Sandra Cisneros tells us why it should be more widely read.

Duration: 00:19:00


Underappreciated: Mehdi Charef

7/28/2008
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We continue our Underappreciated summer reading series with a look at Mehdi Charef, who helped create a new genre of Franco-African literature with his 1983 novel Tea in the Harem. It traces the conflicted identity and roots of a North African teenager living in Paris. Professor Alec Hargreaves of Florida State University tells us why Charef should be on your summer reading list.

Duration: 00:16:23


Underappreciated: Eileen Chang

9/3/2007
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Eileen Chang - also known as Zhang Ailing - is one of China's most widely read authors. After an unhappy childhood in Shanghai, she began publishing short stories as a college student in the 1940s. Her genius was recognized almost immediately, and there were soon rumors of her being considered for a Nobel Prize. In 1955 Chang resettled in America, where she continued to write but became increasingly reclusive. When she died in her Los Angeles apartment in 1995, it took neighbors days to...

Duration: 00:18:31