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Dialogue

Dialogue

Authors Collection

2021

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Daniel James Brown, the best-selling author of “The Boys in the Boat,” talks about his newest book, “Facing the Mountain,” which honors the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a segregated unit of Japanese-Americans who fought in World War II despite the fact that many of their families were incarcerated in the United States simply for being of Japanese descent..

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Tom Ikeda, who provided critical research for Daniel James Brown’s book “Facing the Mountain,” discusses his Seattle-based non-profit, Densho. It preserves the stories of Americans of Japanese descent during World War II. Ikeda’s parents and grandparents were imprisoned in the Minidoka camp in Idaho.

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Catherine Grace Katz talks with Marcia about “The Daughters of Yalta,” her first book. In it, she illuminates the contributions that Anna Roosevelt, Sarah Churchill and Kathleen Harriman made during the seminal 1945 meeting of world leaders at Yalta, which included their fathers, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Averell Harriman.

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Sarah Broom unpacks her National Book Award-winning memoir, “The Yellow House,” which chronicles the devastating effects that decades of neglect and bureaucratic amnesia have had on her childhood neighborhood of New Orleans East. The book also pays homage to the house she and her 11 siblings grew up in, which was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, but which lives on in Broom’s prose.

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Longtime New Yorker writer and author Susan Orlean rounds out the month with a lively chat with Franklin about her writing style and her work, including hundreds of magazine articles, “The Library Book,” and an upcoming memoir.

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Novelist Tayari Jones describes the process of writing “An American Marriage,” a novel that chronicles the trajectory of a marriage when one of the spouses is wrongfully convicted of a crime. Jones talks with Marcia about the serendipity that led to the book’s characters, as well as how her writing is informed by the experiences of her parents, who were both active in the civil rights movement.

2020

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Marcia Franklin talks with author Kirk Wallace Johnson about his book The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century. The book details Johnson’s investigation into a major theft of 300 rare bird skins from a British museum in 2009 by a 20-year-old American, Edward Rist. Rist then illegally sold the feathers into the arcane world of Victorian salmon fly-tyers.

Johnson discusses why he felt it was important to write the book, and how the crime and other heists like it damage the field of natural history. He also shares his thoughts on the “feather thief,” whom he interviewed.

The founder of The List Project to Resettle Iraqi Allies, Johnson worked in Fallujah, Iraq, for the U.S. Agency for International Development. He wrote a book about his experiences called To Be a Friend Is Fatal. His third book, “The Fisherman and the Dragon: Two Dreams at War off the Texas Coast,” will be published in 2021. He was in Boise to speak at The Rediscovered Bookshop.

2019

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Montana author Pete Fromm joins host Marcia Franklin to talk about his latest book, A Job You Mostly Won’t Know How to Do. The novel tells the story of a young man who has to raise his child when his wife dies in childbirth.

Fromm talks about how he developed the story, as well as his writing style. The two also discuss the success he’s had with his books in France.

Fromm also reminisces about the seven months he lived in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness of Idaho, which he recounted in his award-winning memoir, Indian Creek Chronicles: A Winter Alone in the Wilderness.

A five-time winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Literary Award, Fromm is the author of five novels and five collections of short stories, including The Names of the Stars, a follow-up to Indian Creek Chronicles, and As Cool As I Am, which was made into a movie starring Clare Danes. He also teaches in the low-residency MFA writing program at the Pacific University Oregon. He was in Boise to speak at the Rediscovered Bookshop.

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In this Dialogue, poet Richard Blanco talks with host Marcia Franklin. Blanco, who composed a poem for President Obama’s second inaugural and read it at the ceremony, is the first Latino and first openly gay person to be an inaugural poet.

He talks with Franklin about the process of writing the inaugural poem, “One Today,” how the piece reflected his life and his philosophy of writing, and how the experience changed his life. The two also discuss the power of poetry to bridge divides between people and within oneself.

Blanco was the keynote speaker at the 2019 Idaho Humanities Council’s Distinguished Humanities Lecture.

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Host Marcia Franklin interviews Michael Ames, the co-author of American Cipher: Bowe Bergdahl and the U.S. Tragedy in Afghanistan.

Ames, a former reporter for the Idaho Mountain Express and Sun Valley Magazine, became fascinated with the story of Bowe Bergdahl, an U.S. Army soldier who grew up in Hailey, Idaho, who was captured by the Taliban and held for five years.

Ames and co-author Matt Farwell take a deeper look into Bergdahl’s life and the politics surrounding the search for him and his eventual release. Franklin talks with Ames about his conclusions and why he felt it was important to write the book.

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In the second of a two-part interview with acclaimed author and world traveler Barry Lopez, Dialogue host Marcia Franklin continues her conversation with the National Book Award-winner about his newest book, Horizon. The memoir is both a look back at six regions of the world Lopez has written about, and a meditation on his concerns and hopes for the planet.

Lopez also talks about one of his next projects, and shares an experience that dramatically affected his life. The interview was recorded at the 2019 Sun Valley Writers’ Conference.

The author of more than 15 books of fiction and non-fiction, Lopez won the National Book Award in 1986 for Arctic Dreams. Of Wolves and Men, his seminal work on the complicated relationship between humans and wolves, was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1980.

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In this episode of Dialogue, host Marcia Franklin talks with author and Indiana University Bloomington associate professor Brando Skyhorse. Skyhorse grew up believing he was the son of an activist in the American Indian movement. As a teenager, he learned that his biological father had been born in Mexico. Until he was a young adult, though, he continued to “pass” as Native American.

Skyhorse finally wrote an essay “coming clean” about his background, and then a memoir called Take This Man, in which he tries to understand why his mother pretended that the two of them were Native American. The author also delves into the personalities of the five men he called “father,” and tells readers about a discovery that changed his life forever.

Franklin talks with Skyhorse about his memoir, his writing style, the phenomenon of “passing,” and the subject of his next novel, “Wall.”

The conversation was recorded at the 2019 Sun Valley Writers’ Conference.

Related Links:
Brando Skyhorse website

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On this week’s “Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference, Dialogue host Marcia Franklin talks with historian Joanne Freeman about her latest book, “The Field of Blood.” In the book, Freeman, a professor of history at Yale University, shows how the U.S. Congress before the Civil War was a more violent body than originally thought.

Freeman talks with Franklin about how she researched the book and whether her findings are applicable to the current political climate. She also discusses the value of the studying history, and the focus of her next book on Alexander Hamilton. Freeman edited the Hamilton papers for a previous book, and was also featured in the PBS documentary, “Hamilton’s America.”

Related Links:
Historian Joanne Freeman
“Backstory” podcast

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On this edition of “Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference,” Dialogue host Marcia Franklin talks with award-winning novelist Emily Ruskovich. Ruskovich, an assistant professor in the Department of Theatre, Film and Creative Writing at Boise State University, is the author of the novel, Idaho. In 2019, it garnered the International Dublin Literary Award, which carries with it more than $100,000.

Franklin talks with Ruskovich about what it was like to win the award and how it has changed her life. The two also discuss the plot of Idaho, whose setting is based on the landscape of Ruskovich’s childhood on remote Hoodoo Mountain in northern Idaho. The story involves a mysterious murder of a young girl by her own mother, and the efforts of the father’s new wife to try and untangle what may have happened. Ruskovich also reflects on the process of writing the book.

The Dublin Literary Award judging panel called Idaho “a masterpiece on the redeeming and regenerative potential of music, poetry, literature and art.”

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Can we all just get along better? Idaho native Keith Allred answers a resounding "yes" to that question, and now has a national platform to try and make that happen. In this Dialogue episode, Allred, the new executive director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD), talks with host Marcia Franklin about his vision.

Allred, the Democratic nominee for the Idaho governorship in 2010, is a mediator who founded The Common Interest, a multi-party citizens' group that studied Idaho legislative issues and came to a consensus on positions. He is taking that model to a national level with a new initiative at NICD called "CommonSense American."

Although political rancor is high right now, Allred just sees that as an opportunity for positive change. "I have never been more optimistic than I am today," he tells Franklin.

Mr. Allred graduated from Twin Falls High School, and received an undergraduate degree from Stanford University and a Ph.D. from UCLA.

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On this episode of Dialogue, host Marcia Franklin talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. Kristof was in Boise in October, 2018 to address the fall conference of the Idaho Women’s Charitable Foundation.

The two discuss Kristof’s views on current social issues in America. His next book will look at those concerns, focusing on his hometown of Yamhill, Oregon. Kristof talks about programs he believes would help ameliorate the problems, and they also discuss the role of private philanthropy.

Franklin also asks Kristof about international topics, as he spends much of his time reporting from foreign countries, and he shares his thoughts on which of his stories he’s most proud.

Nicholas Kristof started his career at the New York Times as a reporter in 1984, becoming a columnist in 2001. During his tenure there, he has traveled to more than 150 countries and every state in the U.S. With his wife, Cheryl WuDunn, Kristof won a Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting in 1990 for their joint coverage of China during the Tiananmen Square uprising. He went on to win another Pulitzer in 2006 for commentary, and has been nominated seven times for the prestigious award.

Also with WuDunn, he has written several books, including “A Path Appears” and “Half the Sky.” Both were turned into documentaries that aired on PBS.

Related Links:
The New York Times
Independent Lens "A Path Appears"
Independent Lens "Half the Sky"
Idaho Women’s Charitable Foundation

2018

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Host Marcia Franklin talks with bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Anna Quindlen. The two discuss the political and cultural landscape of today, including the "Me Too" movement. The author of How Reading Changed My Life, Quindlen also talks about the power of reading to bridge gaps between people.

Quindlen has written 17 books of fiction and non-fiction, including Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, Still Life with Bread Crumbs, A Short Guide to a Happy Life, Miller's Valley, and her most recent book, Alternate Side.

A longtime reporter and columnist, Quindlen worked for the New York Times for many years. In 1992 she won a Pulitzer Prize for a series of columns she wrote for the paper, including some about the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. She was also a columnist for Newsweek.

Quindlen was in Boise as the keynote speaker for the annual Idaho Humanities Council Distinguished Lecture.

Related Links:
Anna Quindlen's website
Idaho Humanities

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On this episode of Dialogue, Marcia Franklin talks with journalist Steve Coll about his latest book, Directorate S: the C.I.A. and America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The exhaustively researched book is a follow-up to Coll’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001.

In his new book, Coll takes a look at the complex relationship the United States has with Pakistan, particularly with that country’s intelligence agency, the ISI. The U.S. has funded the agency in the past, only to find that it was supporting terrorism.

Franklin asks Coll about what he learned during his investigation, and what he thinks of the Trump’s administration’s policies towards Pakistan. The two also discuss what Coll says is new information he gleaned about the negotiations over Idahoan Bowe Bergdahl, who was held hostage by the Haqqani network of the Taliban for five years.

Coll, a longtime reporter and editor for The Washington Post who won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting there, is currently the dean of the School of Journalism at Columbia University. In addition to his conversation with Franklin about his book, he shares his thoughts on the journalistic landscape today.

Related Links:
Steve Coll's Columbia University faculty page
Steve Coll's New Yorker contributors page

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On this episode of Dialogue, Marcia Franklin talks with journalist Eliza Griswold about her latest book, Amity and Prosperity. It chronicles the effects of “fracking” on some residents of a western Pennsylvania community. Fracking is a method of getting natural gas out of rock, and is controversial for several reasons.

Griswold spent seven years researching and writing the book. During the conversation, recorded at the 2018 Sun Valley Writers’ Conference, she talks about what motivated her to cover the story, which she calls one of the most difficult she has ever reported, the results of her investigation, and the deep rural/urban divide she observed.

A former Guggenheim Fellow and a regular contributor to The New Yorker magazine, Griswold is also the author of The Tenth Parallel: Dispatched from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam, which won the J. Anthony Lukas Prize. She also penned a collection of poems, Wideawake Field. She talks with Franklin about her forthcoming book of poetry.

Related Links:
Eliza Griswold's New Yorker contributors page

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Producer and host Marcia Franklin talks with author Adam Johnson about his works and writing philosophy. Johnson, a professor of creative writing at Stanford University, is the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for his novel, The Orphan Master's Son, and the National Book Award for his short story collection, Fortune Smiles. He is also the author of another novel, Parasites Like Us, and a short story collection, Emporium.

During the interview, which was conducted at the 2018 Sun Valley Writers' Conference, Franklin talks with Johnson about North Korea, which he has visited and which provides the backdrop for The Orphan Master's Son. They also discuss some of the stories in Fortune Smiles, and Johnson's research techniques for them. He also talks about his next novel, which will revolve around the theme of climate change.

Related Links:
Adam Johnson's Penguin Radom House author page

2017

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It's one of his most beloved tales, but was written in a hurry and under duress.

On this holiday episode of Dialogue, Marcia Franklin talks with Boise writer Samantha Silva about "A Christmas Carol," penned by Charles Dickens in 1843. In her debut novel, "Mr. Dickens and His Carol," Silva melds fact with fiction to imagine how Dickens came up with the plot for his now-classic story.

Of Silva's work, Pulitzer Prize-winner and Boise resident Anthony Doerr says, "It's as foggy and haunted and redemptive as the original; it's all heart, and I read it in a couple of ebullient, Christmassy gulps."

Silva talks with Franklin about what drew her to Dickens, how she researched her book, why she thinks "A Christmas Carol" crystallizes Dickens' ethos, and why the story is still relevant.

A graduate of Boise State University and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Silva is a screenwriter who has sold projects to Paramount, Universal, New Line Cinema, and TNT. A film version of her short story, "The Big Burn," won the One Potato Short Screenplay Competition at the 2017 Sun Valley Film Festival and will be released in 2018. Silva will also be writing another novel.

Related Links:
Samantha Silva's website

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Professor and author Andrew Solomon relates how he went from being a bullied child suffering from depression to an award-winning journalist traveling the world.

The conversation was taped at the 2017 Sun Valley Writers' Conference as part of Dialogue's ongoing series from the renowned event.

"I would not have chosen to be depressed," says Solomon. "And if I could redo my life without any depression, I would choose not to have depression.

"But given that I didn't have any choice, and that I was stuck with this paralyzing, awful, painful experience, the only way I could think to get through it is to insist on finding some form of meaning in it."

Solomon's 2001 book, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, looks at how the medical establishment and society have viewed and treated depression over the centuries. It won the National Book Award for Nonfiction and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His most recent book, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, tells the stories of families raising exceptional children who not only learn to deal with their challenges, but also find profound meaning in doing so.

Franklin talks with Solomon -- who is a professor of clinical psychology at Columbia University Medical School -- about those books, as well as Far and Away, his memoir about his travels as a journalist around the world. Solomon believes that many of the tensions in the world could be ameliorated if more people traveled.

"I think that if we could get a program in place which would cause everyone before the age of 30 to spend at least two weeks in a foreign country, that half of the world's diplomatic problems would disappear," says Solomon.

"I think there's so much lack of understanding simply of what it means to be elsewhere or what it feels like to live elsewhere."

Related Links:
Andrew Solomon’s TED Talks
Andrew Solomon’s website

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Host Marcia Franklin talks with British falconer and award-winning writer Helen Macdonald. Her 2014 bestselling memoir, H is for Hawk, describes how she rose above grief and loss with the help of a goshawk.

Macdonald is featured in a PBS Nature documentary called "H is for Hawk: A New Chapter."

The interview was taped at the 2017 Sun Valley Writers' Conference and is part of Dialogue's ongoing series from the renowned event.

When Macdonald's father died suddenly, she was bereft. To get her mind off her sadness, she turned to what she knew, training birds. She decided to train a goshawk, a species known for its irascibility, and a kind of bird she had never trained before.

"I didn't want to train one," Macdonald tells Franklin. "They were kind of a macho murderous creature, like kind of feathered shotguns.

"And then my dad died, and I think all that rage and wildness inside myself, the wildness of grief was really filling me up. And I realized that training a goshawk would be a distraction, but also I was just drawn towards this creature of death and difficulty."

Training a bird is a solitary enterprise in the best of circumstances, but in her book, Macdonald chronicles how she became intensely close to Mabel, her goshawk, and increasingly isolated from family, friends, and her own feelings. She finally realized she needed to seek help.

"I'd taken it way too far," she says. "I'd got completely lost."

At the same time, the beauty and isolation of training the hawk helped her begin her life anew. The book struck a chord with readers who had faced similar losses, and won high awards in Macdonald's native Britain, including the Samuel Johnson Prize and the Costa Book of the Year.

The PBS documentary follows Macdonald as she trains a new goshawk, Lupin.

"I think it might be the first time that the actual real moment-to-moment training of a hawk… has been captured like this," she tells Franklin. "And it's an astonishing thing. It's a beautiful film, you know, and I'm really proud of it."

Helen Macdonald is the author of two books in addition to "H is for Hawk:" "Shaler's Fish," a collection of poetry, and "Falcon," a cultural and natural history of that species.

Related Links:
Nature: “H is for Hawk: A New Chapter”
Penguin Books page on Helen Macdonald

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Host Marcia Franklin talks with investigative journalist Jane Mayer, the author of Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right.

The interview was taped at the 2017 Sun Valley Writers' Conference and is part of Dialogue's ongoing series from the renowned event.

Mayer, a staff writer for The New Yorker, worked for more than three years on the book, an expansion of an article she wrote on Charles and David Koch for The New Yorker in 2010. The two brothers, the scions of Koch Industries, have spent decades funding conservative candidates and causes. In her book, Mayer traces the history of the family and its political strategies, and examines the rise of untraceable "dark" money in the political system.

"They've built up something that hasn't really existed before in the country's politics, which is a huge, multi-state, private political machine," says Mayer about the Kochs.

"They operate in 35 states. They have a bigger budget and payroll than the Republican National Committee, yet they're private citizens."

Franklin and Mayer discuss the philosophy of the Kochs, their relationship to the Trump administration, how dark money works, and the potential effects of having so much of it in the system.

"You know, people say, 'Why doesn't the government work? Why doesn't Washington work?' says Mayer. "And the truth is it does work very well for a few people."

In two "Extras" available On Demand, Mayer talks about what it was like to be investigated herself by people working for the Koch brothers, and explains why the 2010 statehouse elections were so critical for the success of the Kochs' vision.

Mayer is the author or co-author of four books, including Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas and The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals. Both were finalists for the National Book Award.

Mayer, who started her career writing for newspapers in Vermont, was a reporter for the Washington Star and then for the Wall Street Journal for 12 years, where she was that paper's first female White House correspondent. She joined The New Yorker in 1995.

She is the recipient of numerous honors, including the John Chancellor Award, the J. Anthony Lukas Prize, the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, the Toner Prize for Political Reporting, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence.

Related Links:
Jane Mayer's website
The New Yorker page on Jane Mayer

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Host Marcia Franklin talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar about his trajectory from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Broadway. The two also discuss the often controversial themes of his works.

The conversation was taped at the 2017 Sun Valley Writers' Conference and is part of Dialogue's ongoing series from the renowned event.

Akhtar won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 for his play "Disgraced," which depicts a casual dinner party that goes awry after banter between friends becomes heated. The play not only takes on hot-button issues surrounding 9/11 and Islam, but also reveals what Akhtar called the "secret tribal identities" of all humans. The play also won an Obie Award and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play.

A secular Muslim whose parents are from Pakistan, Akhtar talks with Franklin about how he was more religious until his life was transformed by a high-school English teacher who introduced him to certain works of literature.

"It made me understand there were vistas of reflection and experience in human life that had to do with the life of the mind," says Akhtar. "I could see that asking questions could be thrilling and was the only thing I wanted to do from that point forward."

A similar transition is depicted in Akhtar's semi-autobiographical novel American Dervish.

Akhtar doesn't shy away from challenging some of the precepts of Islam in his other plays, which include "The Who and the What" and "The Invisible Hand," as well as the movie he co-wrote and starred in, "The War Within." Akhtar talks with Franklin about his philosophy of writing and how he responds to negative reactions from some in the Muslim community.

His latest play, which opens on Broadway in October 2017, is "Junk." With 30 characters and 68 scenes, it takes aim at capitalism, debt financing and "the philosophical transformation of moving from a world where we make things to a world where money makes money," says Akhtar.

When Franklin asks the prolific author what drives him, Akhtar responds, "It's outrage. And I think that outrage is human. And I think it's the job of the artist to give it form, give it shape, give it voice."

Related Links:
Ayad Akhtar's website

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Host Marcia Franklin interviews journalist Louisa Thomas about her book "Louisa: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs. Adams." It looks at the life and times of First Lady Louisa Catherine Adams, the wife of President John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States. The conversation took place at the 2017 Sun Valley Writers' Conference and is part of Dialogue's ongoing series there, which began in 2005.

Thomas, the daughter of journalist and author Evan Thomas, is a former writer for Grantland whose writing has appeared in many other publications as well. She came across the letters of Louisa Adams while researching Andrew Jackson, and was captivated. "I was just completely struck by this voice," says Thomas. "It was so different than any of the other letters I was reading. It was very vivid, and it was very funny, which was unusual and a pleasure. And it was very acerbic sometimes and irreverent.

And so I thought to myself, 'Who is this other Louisa?' And so I wanted to know more about her. And, you know, the more I learned, the more I wanted to know."

In her biography, Thomas uses Adams' own letters and memoirs -- including some letters she discovered for the first time -- to draw an intimate portrait of a woman whom historians had previously overlooked. She found that although Adams was both extremely self-deprecating and ill much of her life, she also had great fortitude, traveling by herself in Europe during dangerous times. She also helped her husband greatly with his campaigns.

The book also looks at the complex relationship between Louisa and John Quincy -- and the friendship she developed with Abigail and John Adams, his parents.

"She had an amazing life," says Thomas. "You know, she had adventures, she was somebody, she journeyed, she traveled; she grew."

This is Thomas' second book. Her first book was "Conscience: Two Soldiers, Two Pacifists, One Family-a Test of Will and Faith in World War I." It centers on the life and views of the famous pacifist and Socialist presidential candidate Norman Thomas, who was Thomas' great-grandfather.

Related Links:
Louisa Thomas' website
National Park Service/Adams Historical Park page on Louisa Adams

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Director, writer and performance artist Miranda July talks with host Marcia Franklin about her life and work. The conversation was filmed at the Church of the Big Wood in Ketchum, as part of an event sponsored by the Sun Valley Center for the Arts.

July discusses the inspirations for her work, her creative process, and how becoming a mother has changed her.

Miranda July wrote, directed and starred in the film, Me and You and Everyone We Know, which won a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the Caméra d’Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Her most recent film is The Future. July’s novel, The First Bad Man, was a New York Times bestseller, and her collection of short stories, No One Belongs Here More Than You, won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. July is also known for her performance pieces.

Related Links:
MirandaJuly.com

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On this edition of Dialogue, Marcia Franklin talks with Idahoan Esther Emery, who wrote a book about her year off the internet called “What Falls From the Sky.”

Emery talks about the crisis in her life that made her decide to unplug from the web, the challenges she encountered, and how the experience grounded and connected her in new ways to herself and her family.

The two also talk about Emery’s current life living off the electric grid with her husband and three children in the mountains above Robie Creek, about 30 miles from Boise. Emery homeschools her children, and the family raises goats and chickens, along with growing some of their food. Her mother, Carla Emery, was a leader in the back-to-the-land movement of the 1970s, and the author of the popular “Encyclopedia of Country Living.”

Related Links:
Esther Emery’s website
Esther Emery’s TEDx Boise Talk

2016

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On this week's Dialogue, Marcia Franklin talks with author Jamaica Kincaid. Kincaid, born Elaine Potter Richardson, grew up on the island of Antigua. She came to the United States as a teenager to be a nanny. After becoming interested in writing, she changed her name, and eventually became a staff writer for The New Yorker for 20 years. She is currently a professor of African and African-American Studies at Harvard University.

Known for her biting commentary on society and her own family, Kincaid is the author of many books of fiction and non-fiction, including The Autobiography of My Mother, Lucy, My Brother, A Small Place, Annie John and My Garden Book. My Brother was a finalist for the National Book Award.

In their far-ranging conversation, Franklin and Kincaid talk about her career, her philosophy of writing, race relations in America, Brexit and gardening.

Related Links:
Jamaica Kincaid at the New Yorker

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This Dialogue features an interview with Claire Vaye Watkins, an award-winning novelist and short story writer. Watkins, 32, won the Story Prize and the Dylan Thomas Prize for her collection of short stories, Battleborn, and is also the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her most recent work is the novel Gold Fame Citrus. Watkins is currently an assistant professor in the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan.

Host Marcia Franklin talks with Watkins about the themes of her works, many of which are set in the arid West, and the nexus between her life and her stories. Watkins’ father, Paul Watkins, who died when she was six, was an associate of convicted murder Charles Manson, and the two talk about how his life has figured in some of her writing.

In an Extra available online, Watkins discusses her interest in writing more about class and inequality, as well as the young writers' camp she and her husband started in Nevada called the Mojave School. Another Extra features Watkins discussing her controversial essay about writing, “On Pandering.”

Related Links:
clairevayewatkins.com
The Mojave School

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On this edition of Dialogue, author Susan Casey talks with Marcia Franklin about her newest bestselling book, Voices in the Ocean: A Journey into the Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins. Franklin talks with Casey about her fascination with dolphins, their unique abilities, the threats against them, and the people trying to protect them.

Casey, a former competitive swimmer, has written several books about the ocean. They include The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean, and The Devil's Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America's Great White Sharks. She has a long history as a magazine editor as well, including serving as development editor for Time, Inc, creative director for Outside Magazine, editor-in-chief of Sports Illustrated Women and editor-in-chief of O, The Oprah Magazine.

Related Links:
Susan Casey's Website
Ninth Circuit Court ruling on Low Frequency Active sonar

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In this edition of Dialogue, host Marcia Franklin talks with Walter Robinson, the editor of the Spotlight team at the Boston Globe that won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service for its investigation of sexual abuse by clergy in the Boston Archdiocese. A movie about the team’s efforts, Spotlight, won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2016.

Robinson, who is now editor-in-large at the Boston Globe, discusses the stresses involved in the investigation, why he believes it was so important, and what he thought of the film. The interview was taped at the 2016 Sun Valley Writers’ Conference.

Related Links:
Boston Globe page on its investigation of the Boston Archdiocese

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David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, In this continuation of an interview with David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the showrunners for the HBO series “Game of Thrones,” host Marcia Franklin talks with the two about the effect of the multimillion dollar program on the countries in which they film, the technological breakthroughs it has achieved, what they’d like the legacy of the series to be, and their next project. And…dragons!

HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” about to start its seventh season, has won more Primetime Emmys than any other scripted series on television. It’s based on the fantasy novels of George R.R. Martin.

Related Links:
Game of Thrones on HBO

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In the first part of her conversation with David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the co-creators, lead writers and showrunners of “Game of Thrones,” host Marcia Franklin talks with the duo about why they were inspired to create the series, what they think of criticism that the shows are too violent, how they work together, and how they’ve dealt with the fear of the unknown on such a complex project.

HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” about to start its seventh season, has won more Primetime Emmys than any other scripted series on television. It’s based on the fantasy novels of George R.R. Martin.

Related Links:
Game of Thrones on HBO

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In the lead-up to the November 2016 elections, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham joined Dialogue host Marcia Franklin to talk about presidential character.

Meacham’s most recent book is Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 2009 for his book American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House. He’s also the author of Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship, and American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers and the Making of a Nation.

Meacham talks with Franklin about the qualities he believes are essential to being a successful president, and the unique nature of the 2016 presidential race.

An executive editor at Random House, Meacham is well-known for his appearances on political discussion programs. He started his journalistic career at the Chattanooga Times and rose to become the editor of Newsweek. Meacham was the speaker at the Idaho Humanities Council’s 2016 Distinguished Humanities Lecture in Boise.

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As part of the events in 2016 surrounding the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, Dialogue host Marcia Franklin talks with Professor Eric Rasmussen of the University of Nevada, Reno. Rasmussen, the chair of the English department at UNR, is a pre-eminent Shakespeare scholar and an expert on the First Folio, which was published in 1623 and includes almost all of the Bard of Avon’s plays.

Rasmussen, also the author of a 1000-page catalog called The Shakespeare First Folio, worked with a team to locate 232 surviving copies of the First Folio, 72 more than were originally thought to exist. An estimated 800 were originally printed. There are now 235 known copies. The group went on to painstakingly document the condition of every page of as many copies as it could examine.

Rasmussen is also the author of The Shakespeare Thefts: In Search of the First Folios, in which he includes some of the more colorful stories surrounding the various copies of the 900-plus page book, both ones that have been found and those that are still missing.

Franklin talks with the professor about his interest in the First Folio, how he authenticates the new copies he finds, some of the unique aspects of the books, what he’s learned studying them, and what he thinks about the various authorship theories regarding Shakespeare’s works.

The interview took place at the Humanities Institute at Boise State University, one of 52 locations in the United States chosen by the Folger Shakespeare Library to display the First Folio in 2016. It includes video of the First Folio itself, which was on display from August 20th – September 21st at Boise State.

Related Links:
Folger Shakespeare Library’s First Folio Tour
First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare at Boise State

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As the United States heads for what portends to be a raucous convention season, Dialogue host Marcia Franklin talks with Eric Liu, the founder of Citizen University in Seattle, about whether it’s even possible in a seemingly fractured society to have a civil discussion about politics. Liu, also the executive director of the Citizenship and American Identity Program at the Aspen Institute, is trying to reclaim civic education from the doldrums and encourage Americans to act on their rights. His TED Talk on the subject has more than a million and a half views.

Franklin and Liu discuss the “tectonic” demographic shift in the country and what it potentially means for governing, how Americans from diverse backgrounds are still bound together by a common creed, and what he describes as a “third Reconstruction Period” in the United States. Liu, an attorney, is the author of more than a half-dozen books, including “Gardens of Democracy,” “Guiding Lights,” “The True Patriot,” and “The Accidental Asian.”

Related Links:
Citizen University
Eric Liu's Ted Talk
Aspen Institute’s Citizenship and American Identity Program

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Marcia Franklin talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and Idaho native Laurel Thatcher Ulrich.

Ulrich, the 300th Anniversary University Professor at Harvard University, grew up in Sugar City, Idaho. A scholar of women's history, she won a Pulitzer in 1991 for her book, 'A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard,' which was also adapted into a PBS 'American Experience' documentary. Ulrich was also a MacArthur "Genius" Fellow from 1992 to 1997, and is the past president of the American Historical Association.

Ulrich is perhaps best known in non-academic circles as the person who coined the phrase “Well-behaved women seldom make history.”

The author of seven books, her latest work, due out in January, 2017, is titled 'A House Full of Females: Mormon Diaries, 1835-1870.'

Franklin talks to Professor Ulrich about why she wanted to write the book, which chronicles the lives of women in polygamous marriages and their roles, and what she learned. The two also discuss her experience as a Mormon feminist, and her family’s history in Idaho. She last spoke with Ulrich in 2009.

Related Links:
Harvard University page for Professor Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
2009 Dialogue interview with Professor Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
Boise Weekly article on Professor Laurel Thatcher Ulrich by Marcia Franklin

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Marcia Franklin talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author Fredrik Logevall, Ph.D. about the antecedents to the Vietnam War.

Logevall, the Laurence D. Belfer Professor of International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School and a professor of history at Harvard College, won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in History for his book, "Embers of War." It examined France's colonial involvement in Vietnam, and how and why U.S. support of the French led to the Vietnam War.

In its citation, the Pulitzer committee called the work a "balanced, deeply researched history of how, as French colonial rule faltered, a succession of American leaders moved step by step down a road toward full-blown war." The book also won the Francis Parkman Prize from the Society of American Historians.

Franklin talks with Logevall about why he felt it was important for people to know about the pre-history of the Vietnam War, whether the war could have been avoided, and how the decisions made before and during the Vietnam War have affected our country's foreign policy since then.

The author or editor of nine books, Professor Logevall previously taught at Cornell, where he was the director of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, and at the University of California Santa Barbara, where he co-founded the Center for Cold War Studies. He is the past president of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.

Franklin spoke with him in Idaho Falls, where he gave the keynote speech at the Idaho Humanities Council's 2016 Eastern Idaho Distinguished Humanities Lecture.

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Host Marcia Franklin interviews a lawyer who believes America's legal system is strangling what's best about our country.

Philip Howard is an attorney based in New York City and the author of books about legal reform, includin "The Rule of Nobody,""The Death of Common Sense" and "Life Without Lawyers." Franklin talks with Howard about his philosophy and the changes he'd like to see in the country's legislative, executive and judicial branches.

In 2002, Howard formed a coalition called The Common Good, whose mission is to "overhaul governmental and legal systems to allow people to make sensible choices." Mr. Howard's TED Talk on the subject has been viewed more than half a million times. His opinion pieces have been published in major newspapers, including the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

Howard was in Boise in October, 2015 to address the Bench-Bar Conference organized by the federal court system in Idaho.

Related Links:
Common Good
"Four Ways to Fix a Broken Legal System" (TED Talk by Philip Howard)

2015

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Idaho Public Television viewers know him as a longtime correspondent and anchor for the PBS NewsHour. But Jeffrey Brown has developed another voice - as a poet.

Host Marcia Franklin talks with Brown about his first book of poetry, "The News: Poems." The 45 poems in the book reflect Brown's thoughts and emotions about his profession, including some of the stories he's covered. Several are also about his personal life.

Franklin talks with Brown about why he wanted to write a book of poetry. He also reads several of the poems and explains their background.

In an EXTRA Brown and Franklin talk more about Brown's job as chief arts correspondent for the NewsHour, and his mentor, the iconic news producer Fred Friendly.

Related Links:
PBS NewsHour page on Jeffrey Brown

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Host Marcia Franklin talks with writer Dinaw Mengestu, whose novels often explore the dreams and challenges of immigrants to the United States.

Mengestu, who came to the U.S. from Ethiopia with his family when he was two, was a 2012 recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship. His first novel, "The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears"(2008), was translated into 12 languages, and won the Guardian First Book Award. His most recent novel, "All Our Names"(2015), was named a best book of the year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and NPR.

Mengestu talks with Franklin about why he loves to write, the themes of his books, civil rights issues in America, and writers of the black African diaspora.

Related Links:
MacArthur Foundation page on Dinaw Mengestu

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After spending more than 30 years behind the scenes as a query proofreader at The New Yorker magazine, Mary Norris decided to come out from behind the desk with a book that is part grammar tips, part memoir, called "Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen."

Host Marcia Franklin talks with Norris about the book, which has been described by critics as "laugh-out-loud funny," "tender" and "wise." The two discuss why she wanted write it, some of her grammar advice, how she and other editors have upheld the 'New Yorker standard,' and where she thinks the English language is heading.

Related Links:
Mary Norris' website
The New Yorker's Mary Norris page
'Comma Queen' video series

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Host Marcia Franklin interviews one of the most esteemed writers of the Vietnam War era, Tim O'Brien.

O'Brien, who served as an infantryman from 1969 to 1970, wrote a memoir in 1972 calle "If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home." It received excellent reviews, and in 1978, O'Brien won the National Book Award for "Going After Cacciato," a novel about a soldier who goes AWOL and the squad that tries to find him.

O'Brien's most well-known book is "The Things They Carried," a work of linked stories about soldiers in the Vietnam War, published in 1990. It was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award, and is required reading in many high school and college classes.

Franklin talks with O'Brien about his style of writing, which often blurs fact with fiction, and about his new life as a first-time father later in life. The two also talk extensively about war in our culture, and O'Brien shares his thoughts on how he thinks Veterans Day and Memorial Day would be best observed.

In a video extra, O'Brien discusses the writers he admires who have chronicled the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as a Vietnamese author he respects.

O'Brien was in Boise as the keynote speaker for the Idaho Humanities Council's 2015 Distinguished Humanities Lecture.

Related Links:
Tim O'Brien website
NEA Big Read: The Things They Carried
Idaho Humanities Council

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Marcia Franklin interviews author Richard Ford about the latest addition to his Frank Bascombe series, "Let Me Be Frank With You." The book was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2015 (won by Anthony Doerr of Boise). Ford won a Pulitzer for another book in the series, "Independence Day," along with the PEN/Faulkner Award.

Franklin asks Ford why he decided to write another book in the series, after previously saying he wouldn't. The two also discuss the themes in his works, Ford's use of language, how his dyslexia influences his creative process, and his thoughts on race relations in America.

Ford, 71, was born in Jackson, MS. He graduated from Michigan State University and started law school, but dropped out. Instead, he received an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California, Irvine. Ford's writing career has included the novels "The Sportwriter,""Wildlife,""The Lay of the Land" and "Canada," as well as the short story collection, "Rock Springs."

Related Links:
Richard Ford’s Facebook page

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On this week's Dialogue, Marcia Franklin interviews Pulitzer Prize-winning author Stacy Schiff about her 2015 work, "The Witches," which delves into the history and psychology of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. During the trials, as many as 185 witches and wizards were accused in 25 towns and villages. Authorities killed 20 people who were found guilty, as well as two dogs.

Schiff, who won a Pulitzer in 2000 for her book, "Vera," about the wife of Vladimir Nabokov, talks with Franklin about what drew her to the topic of the trials, the challenges she encountered writing the book, and the parallels she sees between the hysteria of the time and contemporary events.

The conversation was recorded at the 2015 Sun Valley Writers' Conference. Franklin has been conducting interviews there since 2005.

Schiff was a finalist for the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for her biography of Antoine de Saint Exupery. She's also written "A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America," and "Cleopatra: A Life," which was a New York Times Bestseller. Her work is frequently published in magazines and newspapers, including The New Yorker and The New York Times Book Review.

Related Links:
Stacy Schiff’s website
PBS Secrets of the Dead episode on the Salem Witch Trials

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Host Marcia Franklin continues her conversation with Idaho-born playwright Samuel Hunter, focusing on the craft of playwriting, some of the actors he admires, and a new project he's working on that's not for the stage.

Hunter, a Moscow, ID native, is the recipient of a 2014 MacArthur Fellowship, known colloquially as the "Genius Grant." He also won an Obie Award in 2011.

Related Links:
MacArthur Fellows Program page on Samuel Hunter
Samuel Hunter on Dialogue in 2012
Samuel Hunter Extra on Dialogue in 2012

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He's only 34, but has already won some of the most prestigious awards for creativity in the country. On this episode of Dialogue, Marcia Franklin interviews playwright and Moscow, ID native Samuel Hunter. Hunter is the recipient of a 2014 MacArthur Fellowship, known colloquially as the "Genius Grant." He also won an Obie Award in 2011.

Hunter talks about what it was like to win the MacArthur, and what he plans to do with the time and money it affords him to dedicate to his craft. He also discusses the evolution of his works, which have been performed all over the country, and the role of Idaho in his plays.

Related Links:
MacArthur Fellows Program page on Samuel Hunter
Samuel Hunter on Dialogue in 2012
Samuel Hunter Extra on Dialogue in 2012

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Host Marcia Franklin talks with Lawrence Wright, a journalist who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for his book, The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. The work is an investigation into the causes of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and the life of Osama bin Laden. The two discuss Wright’s thoughts on the death of bin Laden and the growing power of the terrorist group ISIS.

Franklin, who spoke with Wright at the 2015 Sun Valley Writers’ Conference, also talks with him about his newest book, 13 Days in September. It chronicles the tensions surrounding the Camp David Accords of 1978, as well as their legacy.

Wright, a staff writer for the New Yorker since 1992, is the author of seven other books, including Going Clear, about the Church of Scientology, and a memoir, In the New World: Growing up in America. He’s also written five plays and three movies.

Related Links:
Lawrence Wright’s website

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Marcia Franklin continues her conversation with Boise-based outdoor writer Michael Lanza, focusing on tips for hiking and camping, including some of the best gear and small essentials to pack. The two also talk about ways to keep safe in the backcountry.

Lanza, the former Northwest editor for Backpacker magazine, has written three books about hiking, as well as many articles chronicling his worldwide adventures hiking, climbing, skiing and paddling.

"Before They're Gone," his book about his family's adventures hiking through some of the national parks in America most threatened by climate change, won an honorable mention in the National Outdoor Book Awards.

Lanza also runs the website thebigoutside.com, which was chosen by USA Today readers as one of the top 10 hiking and outdoors blogs.

Related Links:
The Big Outside

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Marcia Franklin talks with Idaho outdoor writer and photographer Michael Lanza about some of the best backcountry trips in our region. Lanza, the former Northwest editor for Backpacker magazine, has written three books about hiking, as well as many articles chronicling his worldwide adventures backpacking, climbing, skiing and paddling.

Before They’re Gone, his book about his family’s adventures hiking through some of the national parks in America most threatened by climate change, won an honorable mention in the National Outdoor Book Awards. Franklin talks with him about why he wanted to write the book, and what it was like to backpack with his young children.

Lanza also runs the website thebigoutside.com, which was chosen by USA Today readers as one of the top 10 hiking and outdoors blogs.

In a Dialogue Extra, Lanza gives some hiking tips, as well as advice on how to choose the proper gear.

Related Links:
The Big Outside

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Host Marcia Franklin interviews Phil Klay, an author and veteran of the war in Iraq. Klay’s first work, Redeployment, won the National Book Award for Fiction in 2014. The 12 short stories in Redeployment draw on Klay’s experiences as a U.S. Marine Corps Public Affairs Officer in the Anbar province of Iraq from 2007 to 2008.

Franklin talks with Klay about why he wanted to write the book and how he developed the different voices in in his stories, which include a Mortuary Affairs Officer and a chaplain. Klay also reads from his book, and shares some of his thoughts on the war.

In a special Extra available at video.idahoptv.org, the two discuss Klay’s writing methods. He also recommends other books about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In addition to his book, Klay’s writing has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Granta and Tin House. He was a finalist for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and received the National Book Critics’ Circle John Leonard Award for the best debut in any genre of writing.

  • Green on Blue: A Novel by Elliot Ackerman
  • We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People (American Empire Project) by Peter Van Buren
  • The Diary of a Country Priest: A Novel by Georges Bernanos
  • The Good Soldiers by David Finkel
  • The Forever War by Dexter Filkins
  • Hard Lessons: The Iraq Reconstruction Experience by The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Report (SIGIRR)
  • Billy Lynns’ Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
  • Eleven Days by Lea Carpenter
  • Sparta by Roxana Robins
  • The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
  • Fobbit by David Abrams
  • Fire and Forget (Short Stories) by Matt Gallagher (forward by Colum McCann)
  • War of the Encyclopaedists: A Novel by Christopher Robinson / Gavin Kovite
  • Love My Rifle More Than You by Kayla Williams
  • Shade It Black by Jess Godell
  • Here, Bullet by Brian Turner
  • Phantom Noise by Brian Turner
  • My Life as a Foreign Country by Brian Turner
  • The Corpse Exhibition: And Other Stories by Hassan Blasim
  • Voices from Iraq by Mark Kukis
  • Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi
  • Holding it Down (Audio CD) by Vijay Iyer and Mike Ladd
  • Warrior Writers: Maurice Decaul

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In conjunction with both Black History Month and Valentine’s Day, Marcia Franklin interviews historical novelist Lois Leveen, Ph.D. Leveen, who lives in Portland, Oregon, is the author of The Secrets of Mary Bowser, a fictionalized account of Mary Bowser, a house slave in Richmond before the Civil War.

Bowser was freed by her mistress, Elizabeth Van Lew, to receive an education in the North. She subsequently returned to Richmond and was installed as a spy in the Confederate White House of Jefferson Davis. Information provided by Bowser was passed to General Ulysses S. Grant, who credited it with helping the North win the war.

Juliet’s Nurse, another of Leveen’s novels, imagines the life of the nurse in Romeo and Juliet and her pivotal role in the iconic Shakespeare play.

Franklin talks with Leveen about how she comes up with her ideas, how she researches them, and what she hopes readers will learn from the books.

Leveen, who received her Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles, has also written articles for the New York Times, the LA Review of Books, the Chicago Tribune, the Huffington Post, and The Atlantic, as well as many literary and scholarly journals.

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Three guests share their recommendation for good winter reading with Marcia Franklin. Guests include: Jamaica Ritcher, events coordinator for BookPeople of Moscow; Bruce DeLaney, co-owner of Rediscovered Books in Boise; and Diane Rice, a librarian and program coordinator at the Victory Branch of the Ada Community Library.

In addition to recommending books, the group also discusses the changing role of independent bookstores and libraries. In an Extra taped after the program, the guests expand on those themes, discussing ways they have each branched out into their respective communities to make connections.

Jamaica Ritcher's Picks

Fiction

  • We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
  • The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher by Hillary Mantel (short stories)
  • The First Bad Man by Miranda July
  • The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards by Kristopher Jansma

Nonfiction

  • Leaving Before the Rains Come by Alexandra Fuller
  • The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (graphic novel)
  • When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams

Young Adult

  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Bruce DeLaney's Picks

Fiction

  • The Intern's Handbook by Shane Kuhn
  • Naked Me by Christian Winn (short stories)
  • Here by Richard McGuire (graphic novel)
  • The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft, edited by Leslie Klinger

Nonfiction

  • Astoria by Peter Stark
  • What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe
  • Idaho Beer: from Grain to Glass in the Gem State by Steven Koonce

Young Adult

  • The Glass Sentence by by S. E. Grove

Diane Rice's Picks

Fiction

  • The Daughters of Mars by Thomas Keneally
  • One Soul by Ray Fawkes (graphic novel)
  • The Sound and the Furry by Spencer Quinn
  • Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen

Nonfiction

  • The Blue Doorknob: The Artistic Life of Cornelia Hart Farrer by Rita Branham Rodriguez
  • Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope & Repair by Anne Lamott
  • The Little Red Guard: A Family Memoir by Wenguang Huang

Young Adult

  • The Mall Fairies series by Conda Douglas

Related Links:
BookPeople of Moscow
Rediscovered Books
Ada Community Library, Victory Branch

2014

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Andrew Aydin, a staffer for Rep. John Lewis. Aydin and Lewis are co-writing a trilogy of comic books about Lewis’ life in the civil rights movement called ‘March.’ The first book hit #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers List. The two discuss why he wanted to document Lewis’ life, what he’s learned, and his own passion for civil rights.

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In a special one-hour Dialogue, Marcia Franklin interviews Boise singer/songwriter Eilen Jewell. Jewell, known colloquially as the 'Queen of the Minor Key,' has attracted international kudos and fans for her Americana-style music.

She talks with Franklin about why she moved back to Idaho; where she grew up; how she defines and crafts her music; and what's next for her and The Eilen Jewell Band, which also includes her husband, drummer Jason Beek.

The couple just welcomed baby daughter Mavis, named after the gospel singer Mavis Staples. Eilen and Jason are also in a gospel band, The Sacred Shakers. Jewell talks with Franklin about why she's attracted to gospel music and performs a song she wrote for her new daughter.

This program was taped at AudioLab Recording Studios in Garden City and includes footage of Jewell and her band performing at the Sapphire Room at the Riverside Hotel, also in Garden City. One of the songs, "My Hometown," is about Boise.

Related Links:
Eilen Jewell Band
The Sacred Shakers

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Wyoming resident Gretel Ehrlich is perhaps best known for her writing about the intermountain West, including her memoirs, The Solace of Open Spaces and A Match to the Heart. But the prolific writer has also made numerous trips to Greenland and the Arctic, documenting the changes in both the landscapes and cultures there due to climate change. Her books about that region include This Cold Heaven, The Future of Ice and In the Empire of Ice.

Ehrlich's most recent book, an outgrowth of her love of Japan and Buddhism, is Facing the Wave: A Journey in the Wake of the Tsunami. In the book, she chronicles stories of survival and spirit in the devastation following the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan. Nearly 16,000 people died in the events.

Marcia Franklin talks with Ehrlich about why she was compelled to write the book, as well as her concerns about global climate change. The two also discuss her writing style, which combines personal observations with scientific knowledge, and her love of the American West.

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Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist Dave Barry hams it up with Marcia Franklin, as the two talk about Barry's various misadventures in the Gem State — including tree-climbing, snowmobiling and trout fishing — and what he thinks the new motto for Idaho should be.

The two also discuss Barry's wildly successful writing partnership with Ridley Pearson on the Peter and the Starcatchers series. And Barry even serenades Franklin and the crew with an original tune.

Related Links:
Dave Barry's website

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Marcia Franklin talks with Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), the last of the so-called "Big Six" leaders of the African-American civil rights movement. Lewis was the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) from 1963 to 1966, and played a seminal role in some of the most important activities of the movement, including the Freedom Rides, the march from Selma to Montgomery and the March on Washington (at which he was the youngest speaker). He became a United States Representative in 1986.

During their conversation, Lewis and Franklin discussed his emotions on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act, the election of President Obama, what Lewis sees as current civil rights challenges, and his advice to the next generation.

The two also discuss a trilogy of graphic novels called March that he and a staffer, Andrew Aydin, are writing. The series illustrates the congressman's life in the civil rights movement. The first book hit #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers List.

In a Dialogue Extra, Franklin interviews staffer Aydin.

Related Links:
Rep. Lewis' US House of Representatives website
March book site

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In honor of Veterans Day, Marcia Franklin interviews author Kevin Powers, a veteran of the war in Iraq. His first work, The Yellow Birds, was a finalist for the National Book Award. The novel depicts the friendship between two American soldiers in Iraq trying to keep each other alive, and the emotional journey of one of them as he returns home.

Powers, who was a speaker at the University of Idaho's annual Hemingway conference, talks about the influence of Hemingway on him, why he wanted to write The Yellow Birds, the themes in it, and the reaction to the book. Franklin also asks him about his views on the war in Iraq.

Related Links:
Kevin Powers' website
University of Idaho & Hemingway Connection

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Marcia Franklin talks with award-winning Chinese-American author Yiyun Li about her works, the most recent of which is Kinder Than Solitude. The novel follows three former friends whose lives are forever entangled by a fatal poisoning one of them may have committed.

Li is also the author of another novel, The Vagrants, and two collections of short stories: Gold Boy, Emerald Girl, and A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, which won a PEN/Hemingway Award, the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, and the Guardian First Book Award. Two of the stories in A Thousand Years of Good Prayers were adapted into films directed by Wayne Wang.

Li, who came to the U.S. in 1996, was originally studying to be an immunologist, but fell in love with creative writing when she was getting her Ph.D. at the University of Iowa. She went on to receive an MFA in creative nonfiction from that institution, and an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Her spare, beautiful and often dark prose has earned her the nickname of "the Chinese Chekhov." In addition to numerous awards for her short stories and fiction, she's the recipient of a MacArthur "Genius" grant. Her stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker and the Paris Review. Li is also a contributing editor of A Public Space, a literary magazine. She teaches at the University of California, Davis.

Franklin talks with Li about why she decided to change her career path, the themes in her books, why she only writes in English, and the influence of author and Idaho native Marilynne Robinson on her work.

Related Links:
Yiyun Li's website

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Marcia Franklin talks with David Epstein, an award-winning sports journalist who wrote a bestselling book called The Sports Gene. The book delves into the often controversial research on what role genetics plays in the development of athletic talent. It also debunks the ways the so-called "10,000 hour rule" — a claim about the relation between hours of practice in a task and mastery of it — has been applied, particularly to sport.

Franklin and Epstein discuss why he wanted to write the book, the controversies surrounding genetic research, and some of his favorite case studies. Epstein, who was previously a senior writer at Sports Illustrated, now works for ProPublica, a nonprofit journalism center. Franklin asks him about why he wanted to make that career change.

Related Links:
The Sports Gene book site
Author page at ProPublica

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Marcia Franklin interviews Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson. Wilkerson devoted 15 years to researching and writing The Warmth of Other Suns, a book about the Great Migration of African-Americans from the South to other parts of the country. The book was named one of the 10 Best Books of the Year by The New York Times, and won the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, as well as many other awards.

In 1994, while Chicago bureau chief of The New York Times, Wilkerson became the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in journalism, winning the feature writing award for her coverage of the 1993 Midwestern floods and her profile of a 10-year-old boy who was responsible for his four siblings.

While reporting throughout the Midwest, Wilkerson became intrigued by the number of people she met who had migrated from the South. She decided to write a book about what has come to be known as the Great Migration, when an estimated six million African-Americans left the South. After talking with at least 1,200 people, Wilkerson narrowed her characters down to three people, whose lives she chronicled from birth to death in the context of their migration.

Franklin talks with Wilkerson about the reasons for the Great Migration, its effect on the country, how she researched the book, and how its success has affected her own life.

Franklin interviewed Wilkerson in April, 2014, when she was the keynote speaker for the annual Idaho Humanities Council Distinguished Humanities Lecture in Idaho Falls.

Related Links:
Isabel Wilkerson's website
Idaho Humanities Council

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In conjunction with World Mental Health Day (October 10), Marcia Franklin interviews Pete Earley, a former Washington Post reporter who has also become a mental health advocate. Earley, who has penned numerous "true crime" books, found one of his most difficult books to write to be Crazy. The book is a memoir about his son, who has a mental illness.

Crazy, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2007, describes Earley's harrowing attempts to get help for his son, as well as major problems in mental health systems around the country.

Franklin and Earley discuss why he wanted to write the book, how he researched it, and what he views as solutions for the current gaps in mental health policy in America.

Earley was in Boise to speak to the Idaho chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Related Links:
Pete Earley's website
Mental Health Day (World Health Organization)
NAMI Idaho
Video by Pete Earley’s son about his mental illness (YouTube)

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Marcia Franklin talks with Boise resident Kurt Koontz about his book, 'A Million Steps,' which chronicles his journey along the Camino de Santiago trail in northern Spain.

The 500-mile route, known colloquially as 'The Way,' was originally a trek made by Catholic pilgrims to the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, believed to be the burial place of St. James, an apostle of Jesus. Today, 200,000 seekers a year from all backgrounds traverse the path.

Franklin talks with Koontz about why he decided to take the journey, what he learned along the way, and why he wanted to write a book about his experiences. In an Extra, Koontz shares tips for walking the Camino, and describes the process of writing and publishing his book.

Related Links:
Kurt Koontz website
"Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago" documentary

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Looking for some fascinating summer reading? Look no further than Idaho author Anthony Doerr, whose latest book, All the Light We Cannot See, debuted at #10 on the New York Times' Best Sellers list in May and has received glowing reviews around the country.

Marcia Franklin talks with Doerr, who lives in Boise, about his novel, which took ten years to research and write. The story depicts the lives of two European children in World War II, children whose lives ultimately intersect in war-torn Saint Malo, France. The town was nearly destroyed by Allied forces at the end of the war.

Doerr discusses the book's themes, which include the power of radio during that time period, and the moral choices faced by civilians during wartime. Doerr also talks about what kept him motivated during the decade-long writing process.

Doerr has appeared on Dialogue three times over the years to discuss his other works: The Shell Collector, About Grace, Four Seasons in Rome, and Memory Wall.

Related Links:
Anthony Doerr's website

2013

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Marcia Franklin talks with Liza Long, the Boise author of "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother," a blog post that was eventually read by millions of people around the world. Long wrote the piece hours after the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., on December 14, 2013.

In it, she expressed her fears about her teenage son "Michael," who has a mental illness and has physically threatened her. The essay was a plea for help for him and for Long, who had struggled to get him services.

Originally titled "Thinking the Unthinkable," the post was picked up by The Blue Review , a journal published by the College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs at Boise State University, and renamed "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother," a phrase Long used in her piece. The Huffington Post then re-published it.

Thousands of people have now commented on the piece - some identifying with Long's fear of her son and her frustrations seeking treatment for him, and others berating her for discussing his personal life so openly.

Franklin talks with Long about the reaction to the piece and about the past year, during which she testified before a Congressional committee, appeared on numerous television programs (including a PBS NOVA documentary), gave a TedX talk in San Antonio and wrote a book tentatively titled The Price of Silence, which will be published in 2014. The book describes the latest research into the causes and treatments of mental illness, as well as the stigma surrounding the subject.

The two also discuss the current needs for children's mental health services in Idaho. Long sits on the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare's Region 4 Subcommittee on Children's Mental Health.

Related Links:
"Thinking the Unthinkable"
"I Am Adam Lanza's Mother"
Liza Long's talk for the One in Five Minds campaign
Liza Long's StoryCorps interview with her son
NOVA: "Mind of a Rampage Killer"
Idaho Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health
Idaho Parents Unlimited

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To coincide with the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Marcia Franklin talks with historian Douglas Brinkley, Ph.D., about his 2012 biography of iconic CBS newsman Walter Cronkite, who famously announced Kennedy's death to a national TV audience on November 22, 1963.

In Cronkite, his most recent book, Brinkley (no relation to newscaster David Brinkley) drew on his access to Cronkite's private papers at the University of Texas and interviews with more than 150 of Cronkite's friends and family members to write the first major biography of the "the most trusted man in America."

Franklin and Brinkley discuss the highlights of Cronkite's career and what distinguished him from other broadcasters, as well as some of the eccentricities of Cronkite's personality that Brinkley discovered while researching the book.

Brinkley, a professor of history at Rice University, was in Coeur d'Alene to speak at the Idaho Humanities Council's annual Northern Idaho Distinguished Humanities Lecture.

Franklin and Brinkley last spoke in the fall of 2010 (see links below), when they talked about his book, Wilderness Warrior, which chronicled President Theodore Roosevelt's work to preserve large tracts of land in the United States for forests, parks and preserves. Brinkley's next book will look at the preservation legacy of President Franklin Roosevelt.

In addition to teaching at Rice, Douglas Brinkley is a fellow at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy. His writing covers a broad range of topics, including presidents, military campaigns, American leaders, Catholicism and Hurricane Katrina. He is the history commentator for CBS News as well as a contributing editor for Vanity Fair, Los Angeles Times Book Review and American Heritage. The New York Times has selected five of Brinkley's award-winning books as Notable Books of the Year.

Related Links:
American Masters: "Walter Cronkite: Witness to History"

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Marcia Franklin talks with Michael Kirk, an Idahoan and producer/director for Frontline on PBS, the network's premier documentary series. Kirk, who began his broadcast career at KUID, Idaho Public Television's station in Moscow, Idaho, has been with Frontline since its inception in 1983. He's produced over 200 national television programs and is the recipient of every major award in journalism. In December, 2013, Kirk will receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Idaho, his alma mater.

Franklin talks with Kirk about his most recent documentary for Frontline, "League of Denial," which examines an alleged cover-up by the NFL about the numbers and severity of concussion-related injuries in professional football. The program garnered national attention when ESPN, an original partner in the documentary, pulled out of the collaboration.

Kirk talks about why he wanted to make the documentary, what he learned, whether he would want his children playing the sport, and what he thinks will happen to football in the future. Franklin also plays a clip of one of Kirk's documentaries from KUID and asks him how his time there influenced his creative work.

In a web extra available online at video.idahoptv.org, Kirk and Franklin continue their conversation, focusing on how he researches and produces his programs, and discussing his next documentary for Frontline, "The United States of Secrets."

Related Links:
FRONTLINE: League of Denial (PBS)
About Michael Kirk

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Marcia Franklin continues her conversation with Ken and Betty Rodgers about their documentary, "Bravo! Common Men, Uncommon Valor," which chronicles the experiences of the member of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Marines in the Siege of Khe Sanh in Vietnam. She focuses on how the couple produced the film. She also talks with Steve Wiese, a veteran of Khe Sanh who is in the documentary.

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To coincide with Memorial Day, Marcia Franklin talks with Ken and Betty Rodgers, residents of Eagle, ID, who have produced a documentary called Bravo! Common Men, Uncommon Valor, about the 1968 siege of Khe Sanh in Vietnam.

Ken Rodgers is a former Marine Lance Corporal and a veteran of Khe Sanh. He and his wife Betty are joined by Steve Wiese, a former Marine Corporal who is also a veteran of Khe Sanh and lives in California.

Both Rodgers and Wiese were members of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Marine Regiment, which fought at Khe Sanh in what would become the longest siege of the Vietnam War, and which would end in a stalemate. In the film Bravo!, Rodgers, Wiese and 13 other former Marines describe their experiences in combat and how those experiences have continued to affect their lives.

Franklin asks the Rodgers' about why they wanted to produce the documentary and what they hope viewers will learn from it. Franklin also talks with Wiese about his experiences at Khe Sanh, and what has helped him overcome the traumas he experienced.

Related Links:
Bravo the Project
The Battle of Khe Sanh (Wikipedia)

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Marcia Franklin talks with Brent Glass, Ph.D., director emeritus of the Smithsonian's Museum of American History, about the ways in which museums, historic sites and memorials are increasingly involving the public in their exhibits, and the importance of preserving public memory.

Glass, a member of the Flight 93 Advisory Commission, also talks about the development of a memorial to the passengers on United Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2011 after the plane was hijacked.

During his tenure as director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History from 2002-2012, Glass oversaw the largest renovation of the museum in its history. He is currently writing a book on 50 historical landmarks in the United States that illustrate important themes in American history.

In a web extra, Franklin and Glass continue their discussion, focusing on the exhibits he helped curate at the Smithsonian.

Related Links:
National Museum of American History (Smithsonian Institute)
Flight 93 National Memorial
Preservation Idaho

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Marcia Franklin talks with maritime writer and historian Nathaniel Philbrick, the speaker at this year's Idaho Humanities Council Distinguished Humanities Lecture. Philbrick is the author of numerous books, including most recently Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution, which looks at the deadliest battle of the American Revolution and how it influenced the birth of our country.

A sailor, Philbrick is also known for his book, In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex, which introduced readers to the true story behind Herman Melville's Moby-Dick. It won the National Book Award in 2001, and was the basis for an American Experience documentary on PBS in 2011.

Related Links:
Nathaniel Philbrick's website
American Experience: Into the Deep: America, Whaling and the World (PBS)

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Marcia Franklin talks with Holocaust survivor Marion Blumenthal Lazan about her life, including her work educating millions of people about the Holocaust. Lazan, the co-author of a young adult book about her experiences called Four Perfect Pebbles, was imprisoned for more than six years in four camps, including the notorious Bergen-Belsen camp, where Anne Frank died. She was only 35 pounds when she was liberated with her mother, father and brother, but her father perished shortly after being freed.

For the past several decades, Lazan has been speaking about her experiences, mostly to schoolchildren, in the hopes of not only educating them about the Holocaust, but also urging peaceful resolutions to today's human rights challenges. She was in Boise to speak to students and adults and to fulfill a dream of Eagle High student Meléa Bates, who started corresponding with Lazan when she was in junior high school. A film about Lazan's life, Marion's Triumph, was shown on PBS stations.

  • Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter
  • The Legend's Daughter, by David Kranes
  • Wolfer, by Carter Niemeyer
  • Forest House, by Joelle Fraser
  • Reality Hunger, by David Shields
  • Red Pony, by John Steinbeck
  • Battleborn, by Clare Vaye Watkins
  • Ordinary Wolves, by Seth Kantner
  • Listening to Whales, by Alexandra Morton
  • Room, by Emma Donoghue
  • The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, by Tom Spanbauer
  • Young Men and Fire, by Norman Maclean
  • Diamond In The Rough, by Shaun Colvin
  • Godforsaken Idaho, by Shawn Vestal
  • Divergent and Insurgent, by Veronica Roth
  • The Fault in our Stars, by John Green

Related Links:
Marion Blumenthal Lazan's website

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Marcia Franklin talks with regional authors about their works and gets their recommendations for great winter reading. Guests include Shawn Vestal, the author of Godforsaken Idaho, a collection of short stories, and Judith McConnell Steele, author of the novel, The Angel of Esperanca.

Vestal, a columnist at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, WA, also teaches in the MFA program at Eastern Washington University. His short stories have been published in many journals, including Tin House, McSweeney's and the Southern Review. Godforsaken Idaho draws in part on his experiences growing up in Gooding, ID.

Steele was a reporter and columnist at the Idaho Statesman. Her novel, The Angel of Esperanca, is set in a fictional village in Brazil, the country in which she served as a Peace Corps volunteer.

Franklin talks with the two about why they wanted to write fiction, how their journalism background helped them as they wrote their books, how they developed their stories, and what their next projects are.

  • Runaway, Alice Munro
  • Winter in the Blood, James Welch
  • Train Dreams, Denis Johnson
  • Boneland, Nance Van Winckel
  • Three Scenarios in Which Hana Sasaki Grows a Tail, Kelly Luce
  • Glaciers, Alexis Smith
  • The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje
  • The Falling Boy, David Long
  • Traplines, John Rember
  • Evidence of Things Unseen, Marianne Wiggins
  • The Love of Impermanent Things, Mary Rose O'Reilley
  • A Field Guide to Getting Lost, Rebecca Solnit

Related Links:
Shawn Vestal's website
Judith McConnell Steele's website

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A perennial favorite, this edition of "Good Summer Reading" focuses on the work of authors Mike Medberry of Boise and Jo Deurbrouck of Idaho Falls. Marcia Franklin talks with the authors about their books, and gets their picks for good summer reads.

Medberry has penned a memoir called On the Dark Side of the Moon: A Journey to Recovery, about his 2000 stroke while at the Craters of the Moon National Monument. Medberry, who lay dying for several hours before he was rescued, interweaves the story of his recovery with his love for the brutal yet beautiful area, and his longstanding efforts to help secure an expansion of the monument designation, which happened later in 2000.

Deurbrouck's book, Anything Worth Doing, is an ode to Idaho whitewater raft guides Clancy Reece and Jon Barker. Reece died in 1996 during an attempt to set a speed record in a dory on the Salmon River, and Deurbrouck, a river rafter herself, was drawn to his story of both freedom and risk. The book won a National Outdoor Book Award in 2012 in the History/Biography category.

Related Links:
Jo Deurbrouck's website

2012

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Idaho native and author Alyssa Harad talks with Marcia Franklin about her first book, Coming to My Senses, which chronicles her surprise at discovering how the power of perfume helped her grow personally as both a writer and feminist. She also recommends books for good winter reading.

Harad, who grew up in Boise, had been working in a series of unfulfilling jobs in Austin, TX after receiving her Ph.D. One day she started reading about perfume. Her academic interest in the language and history of scent turned personal when she began ordering perfume for herself and others. She found that all of her senses became more acute, making her a better writer, and that enjoying perfume also broadened her ideas about what it meant to be a strong woman.

Related Links:
Alyssa Harad website and blog

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Marcia Franklin talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo. Russo, known for illuminating the interior life of small-town America, has written 10 books, including Nobody's Fool (1993), Straight Man (1997), Bridge Of Sighs (2007), and Empire Falls (2001), which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2002.

Franklin focuses her interview on Russo's latest book, Elsewhere: A Memoir, the story of his complicated relationship with his mother and her influence on his personal life and writing.

The two also discuss the themes of his novels, what it's like to write screenplays, and a special cause of his, promoting hospice care and an understanding of end-of-life issues.

In a special web extra, Russo talks about what it was like to win the Pulitzer and how the changing landscape of traditional book publishing is affecting new authors. He also shares his tips for aspiring writers.

Mr. Russo was in Boise as the keynote speaker for the Idaho Humanities Council's Distinguished Humanities Lecture.

Related Links:
Richard Russo (Wikipedia)

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In conjunction with the airing of Ken Burns' new PBS documentary on the Dust Bowl, Dialogue reprises an interview Marcia Franklin conducted with author Tim Egan in 2008. Egan, a New York Times columnist, wrote a book about the dust storms of the 1930s entitled The Worst Hard Time, in which he interviewed survivors of the era. The book won the National Book Award in 2006. Egan is also featured in the Burns documentary.

In addition to discussing the research he conducted for his book, Egan and Franklin also talk about the changing demographics of the American West, a region he covers for the New York Times.

Related Links:
Tim Egan columns (NY Times)
Ken Burns' Dust Bowl documentary

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Marcia Franklin talks with attorney Kenneth Feinberg, the special master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and the administrator of the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Trust and the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund at Virginia Tech.

Mr. Feinberg also has served as special master in the Agent Orange, TARP executive compensation, asbestos personal injury, Dalkon shield, and DES (pregnancy medication) cases.

The two discuss how Feinberg found himself developing the field of mass tort compensation, what factors he took into account when designing the programs he administered, how the nature of his assignments has affected him, whether there is a role for government in compensating victims of disasters and whether he thinks the funds he's administered are appropriate models for the future.

Feinberg has written two books about his experiences, "What is Life Worth?" and "Who Gets What," and has served as adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University, the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, New York University, and the University of Virginia.

Related Links:
Feinberg Rozen, LLP
Times Topics: Kenneth Feinberg (NY Times)
September 11 Victim Compensation Fund

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Naomi Shihab Nye is a Palestinian-American poet living in San Antonio, TX. The author or editor of more than 30 works of poetry, fiction and essays, Nye is known for elevating the "ordinary" with her keen observations of daily life, including life in Latino and Arab communities.

Her books include: Words Under the Words, Red Suitcase, Fuel, You and Yours, Never in a Hurry, Habibi, A-maze Me, Honeybee and 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East, which was nominated for the National Book Award.

Nye, whose father was a journalist, gleans many of the subjects for her poems from the news, including writing about both the tensions and close relationships between Palestinians and Israelis. The promotion of cross-cultural understanding and peace is an important component of her work, as is teaching poetry to children, publishing their poems and writing children's books.

Marcia Franklin talks with Nye about her beginnings as a poet, the influences on her work, her tips for writing, the role of poetry in society and her thoughts on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Nye has received many accolades for her work, including the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award, the Jane Addams Children's Book award and four Pushcart Prizes. In 2010, members of the Academy of American Poets elected her a chancellor of that organization for a six-year term.

The interview is part of Dialogue's ongoing "Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers' Conference" and was taped at the 2012 conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together authors to discuss literature and life. Marcia Franklin has interviewed speakers there since 2005.

Related Links:
Naomi Shihab Nye (Poetry Foundation)
Naomi Shihab Nye (Academy of American Poets)

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S.C. (Sam) Gwynne is the author of Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History. The book, which spent four months on the New York Times' Top 10 Best Seller's List, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2011, a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist and the winner of both the Texas and Oklahoma Book Awards.

It paints the epic story of the Comanches, who at one time ranged over an estimated 250,000 square miles of the American Plains, an area now part of five states. It also draws the more intimate story of Cynthia Ann Parker, a nine-year old girl who was kidnapped by Comanches during a raid on the family's Texas homestead. Parker subsequently spent 24 years with the tribe and had three children, including Quanah, who would become one of the Comanche's most skilled warriors. But the two were ultimately separated.

Marcia Franklin talks with Gwynne about why he was drawn to the stories of the Comanches, the Parkers and Quanah, why their history is not more broadly known, and why he thinks the Comanches were the most powerful tribe in America.

Gwynne is a special correspondent for the Texas Monthly, where he was the executive editor for nearly a decade. He has also held several positions at Time magazine, including correspondent, bureau chief and senior editor. His work there was honored with the National Headliners Award, the Gerald Loeb Award for business writing and the Jack Anderson Award for investigative reporting.

He is the author of two other books, Selling Money and The Outlaw Bank. His next book will be about Stonewall Jackson.

The interview is part of Dialogue's ongoing "Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers' Conference" and was taped at the 2012 conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together authors to discuss literature and life. Marcia Franklin has interviewed speakers there since 2005.

Related Links:
S. C. Gwynne's website

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When Amy Waldman, a former reporter for The New York Times, had a brainstorm for a novel about a Muslim architect who wins a competition to design the 9/11 memorial at Ground Zero, she shelved it.

But the thought kept coming back, and eight years later, coinciding with the 10th anniversary of 9/11, she published The Submission, the product of that original idea.

The bestselling novel tells the tale of Mohammad "Mo" Khan, a secular Muslim who wins a blind competition to design a memorial honoring victims of a bombing similar to 9/11. When the jury members discover who've they've selected, some try to change the result. But the decision is leaked to the press, resulting in outrage not over the selection of Khan, but over his entry, which includes a garden some think is an Islamic design to honor martyrs.

The outcry is reminiscent of the 2010 controversy over Park51, a planned Islamic community center in New York City near the former Twin Towers. But Waldman had finished the first draft of her book before that story erupted.

Marcia Franklin talks with Waldman about the development of her story line and characters, and why the author never mentions 9/11. The two also discuss the role of memorial design in American discourse and how Waldman modified the book when the Park51 controversy occurred.

The Submission was a finalist for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN First Fiction Award and was a New York Times Notable Book for 2011, one of National Public Radio's Ten Best Novels; Esquire's Book of the Year; Entertainment Weekly's #1 Novel for the Year and one of Amazon's top ten debut fiction books of 2011.

Waldman was a reporter for The New York Times for eight years, three of which were as co-chief of the New Delhi bureau. She was also a national correspondent for The Atlantic. Her next book is a novel about Afghanistan, where she once worked as a reporter.

The interview is part of Dialogue's ongoing "Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers' Conference" and was taped at the 2012 conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together authors to discuss literature and life. Marcia Franklin has interviewed speakers there since 2005.

Related Links:
The Submission (book site)

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Marcia Franklin talks with author Alexandra Fuller about her works, her life and her writing philosophy.

Fuller was raised in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Malawi and Zambia. Her reminiscences of growing up in war-torn Africa with her hardscrabble parents form the basis of two memoirs, Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood (2002) and Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness (2011).

In the books, she details her growing awareness not only of the manic depression and alcoholism of her mother, who lost three children to disease and accident, but also of the unequal treatment of whites and blacks in Africa and her parents' own racism.

Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight was a New York Times Notable Book, a Booksense best non-fiction book and a finalist for the Guardian's First Book Award.

Another memoir set in Africa, Scribbling the Cat: Travels with an African Soldier (2004), chronicles a trip Fuller took through parts of Africa with "K," a former Rhodesian fighter who travels back to the locations of his rebel activity and confesses to some of his brutal acts, including the torture of a young woman. The book won the Ulysses Prize for the Art of Reportage.

In The Legend of Colton H. Bryant (2008), Fuller pieces together the life of a young oil rig worker in Wyoming who died in a fall from a rig in 2006, and investigates what could have been done to prevent the death. The book won Best Non-Fiction Book of 2008 from the Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper.

Fuller has also written for numerous magazines and newspapers. She lives in Jackson Hole, WY.

The interview is part of Dialogue's ongoing "Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers' Conference" and was taped at the 2012 conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together authors to discuss literature and life. Marcia Franklin has interviewed speakers there since 2005.

Related Links:
Alexandra Fuller's website

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America spends over 2.6 trillion dollars on health care each year, yet we rank 37th in the world for health care outcomes. 50 million Americans have no health insurance, and 80 million are underinsured. Even if the Affordable Health Care Act is fully implemented, the American health care system will still in need a dramatic overhaul. How can we fix a system designed to treat disease into one that promotes wellness?

Idaho physician Dr. Ted Epperly addresses these issues in his new book, Fractured: America's Broken Health Care System and What We Must Do To Heal It. Joan Cartan-Hansen talks with Epperly about the book and his strategy to create an integrated, accessible and patient-centered approach to medicine.

In addition to his writings, Epperly directs the Family Medicine Residency of Idaho and is the chair of the board of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Related Links:
American Academy of Family Physicians
Family Medicine Residency of Idaho
U.S. Supreme Court opinion on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PDF)

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Marcia Franklin talks with playwright Samuel Hunter, a native of Moscow, ID. Hunter, 30, was the recipient of an Obie Award, the equivalent of a Tony Award for off-Broadway works, for his play "A Bright New Boise."

Hunter was in Boise to work with actors at the Boise Contemporary Theater who were premiering his play, "A Permanent Image." He talks with Franklin about the themes of his works, his style of writing and the influence of Idaho in his plays.

In a special web extra, Hunter gives advice to aspiring playwrights, discusses what it was like to work in the Palestinian territory of the West Bank and talks about the health and future of regional theaters in the United States.

Related Links:
His Own Private Idaho: Samuel D. Hunter

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The Times of London calls Robert Wittman "the most famous art detective in the world." During his 20-year career with the FBI, Wittman recovered more than 225 million dollars in stolen art and antiquities.

Joan Cartan-Hansen talks with Robert Wittman about what it is like to go undercover to reclaim a stolen Rembrandt or a priceless piece of American history. Wittman discusses founding the FBI's Art Crime Team and recounts stories from his memoir, Priceless: How I went Undercover to Rescue the World's Stolen Treasures.

Related Links:
Robert Wittman
His Heart Is in the Art of Sleuthing (New York Times)
Missing 'Priceless' Artwork? Call Robert Wittman (NPR)
Boise Art Museum

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Marcia Franklin talks with two writers about their works and gets their recommendations for good summer reading.

Franklin's guests are authors Kim Barnes and Tim Cahill. Barnes, a professor of English at the University of Idaho, is the author of five books, including her latest, In the Kingdom of Men, a coming-of-age story about a young American woman who moves to Saudi Arabia in the 1960s. Barnes' first book, a memoir titled In the Wilderness, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1997.

Cahill, a founding editor of OUTSIDE Magazine, is the author of 10 books, most about adventure travel, including: A Wolverine is Eating my Leg, Jaguars Ripped my Flesh, and Pecked to Death by Ducks.

The two were in Boise to speak at the Idaho Writers and Readers Rendezvous, presented by the Idaho Writers Guild and the BSU Story Initiative.

The two discuss the themes of their works and their styles of writing, and recommend some of their favorite books. In a special web extra, Cahill discusses the future of travel writing and weighs in on the controversy surrounding fellow Montanan Greg Mortenson, the author of Three Cups of Tea.

  • Wild, by Cheryl Strayed
  • A Rumor of War, by Philip Caputo
  • The Orphan Master's Son, by Adam Johnson
  • Blood, Bones & Butter, by Gabrielle Hamilton
  • Binocular Vision: New & Selected Stories, by Edith Pearlman
  • The Mountain and the Fathers: Growing Up on the Big Dry, by Joe Wilkins
  • When I Was a Child I Read Books, by Marilynne Robinson
  • A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, by Bill Bryson
  • A Thousand Lives, by Julia Scheers
  • Blood Meridian, by Cormac McCarthy
  • Jubilee Hitchhiker, by William Hjortsberg
  • Raylan, by Elmore Leonard
  • Into Thin Air, by Jon Krakauer
  • Ines of My Soul, by Isabel Allende
  • God is Not Great, by Christopher Hitchens
  • The Real Romney, by Michael Kranish and Scott Helman
  • From Scratch: Inside the Lightning Launch of the College of Western Idaho , by Dennis Griffin
  • Swamplandia!, by Karen Russell
  • America's Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates and Heroines, by Gail Collins
  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, by Katherine Boo
  • The Last Letter from Your Lover, by Jojo Moyes
  • Night Soldiers, by Alan Furst
  • Kindred, by Octavia Butler
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
  • Parzival, by Wolfram Eschenbach
  • Perceval, The Story of the Grail, by Chretien de Troyes

Related Links:
Kim Barnes' website
Kim Barnes (University of Idaho)
A Travel Writer Comes Home (The Wall Street Journal)
Wild Life: An Interview With Tim Cahill (Mother Jones)

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Marcia Franklin talks with three Idaho writers about their works. In addition, the authors share their recommendations for good winter reading, and viewers offer their picks as well.

Guests include: Daniel Orozco, Kelly Jones and Tim Woodward. Orozco, an associate professor of English at the University of Idaho, is the author of Orientation and Other Stories. Jones is the author of several novels, most recently The Woman who Heard Color. Woodward retired in 2011 after nearly 40 years as a journalist at the Idaho Statesman. He is the author of several books, including the recently published Destination Idaho.

  • The Lost Wife, by Alyson Richman
  • Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You: 13 stories, by Alice Munro
  • A Moveable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway
  • The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain
  • Clara and Mr. Tiffany, by Susan Vreeland
  • Every Thing on It, by Shel Silverstein
  • The Pugilist at Rest, by Thom Jones
  • The End of the Novel of Love, by Vivian Gornick
  • A Good Man Is Hard to Find, by Flannery O'Connor
  • Scars of Sweet Paradise: The Life and Times of Janis Joplin, by Alice Echols
  • Deus Ex Machina, by Andrew Foster Altschul
  • A Book of Ages: An Eccentric Miscellany of Great and Offbeat Moments in the Lives of the Famous and Infamous, Ages 1 to 100, by Eric Hanson
  • Up in the Old Hotel, by Joseph Mitchell
  • Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand
  • Five Skies, by Ron Carlson
  • Guernica, by Dave Boling
  • Miss O'Dell: My Hard Days and Long Nights with the Beatles, the Stone, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and the Women they Loved, by Chris O'Dell
  • Trust Me, by George Kennedy
  • The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green
  • Hark! A Vagrant, by Kate Beaton
  • Shadow of the Silk Road, by Colin Thubron
  • Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter, by Adeline Yen Mah

Related Links:
Kelly Jones website
Daniel Orozco website (University of Idaho)

2011

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Marcia Franklin talks with Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin. The book, which has been called the "first great 9/11 novel," won the 2009 National Book Award for fiction, and was Amazon.com's 2009 Book of the Year.

The novel weaves together the stories of fictional characters all living in New York City in 1974 during the week Philippe Petit made his famous tightrope walk between the Twin Towers. Although the book barely mentions the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, it is considered an homage to that day and its effect on the country.

Franklin talks with the Irish-born McCann about what prompted him to write the work, as well as the themes behind his other books, which include This Side of Brightness, about dwellers in the subway tunnels of New York City; Zoli, about a Roma woman in Europe; and Dancer, based on the life of Rudolf Nureyev. McCann has also written several collections of short stories.

The interview is part of Dialogue's ongoing "Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers' Conference" and was taped at the 2011 conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together authors to discuss literature and life. Marcia Franklin has interviewed speakers there since 2005.

Related Links:
Colum McCann website

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Women around the world face overwhelming problems of violence, inequality and poverty. But some women have found creative ways to overcome these ills, and one woman has documented their stories.

Host Joan Cartan-Hansen talks with international photojournalist Paola Gianturco about her book Women Who Light the Dark. Gianturco spent months documenting the lives of women in 15 countries on five continents, meshing their stories with her stunning photographs. She learned how women tackle the problems in their lives - domestic violence, sex trafficking, poverty, illiteracy, discrimination - with creativity and imagination.

Gianturco's images have been exhibited at the United Nations, the U.S. Senate, numerous museums, and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington D.C. She has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN and NPR. Her pictures have been published in Harpers Bazaar, the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Related Links:
Idaho Women's Charitable Foundation
Global Fund for Women
Interview: Paola Gianturco (Boise Weekly)

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Marcia Franklin talks with author and former journalist Kati Marton. Marton, who has written seven books, is a former correspondent for NPR and ABC News.

Franklin talks with Marton about her experience researching her most recent work, Enemies of the People. The book chronicles Marton's search to learn more about her parents, who were imprisoned by the Hungarian government during the Cold War for their work as reporters for American news outlets.

Released after nearly two years, her parents fled to the United States, where they lived out their lives and never discussed their ordeal. Years after their death, Marton had the unique opportunity to look at the once-secret files compiled on her family. She discovered not only who had betrayed her parents, but more about their past lives than she had ever imagined.

Franklin also asks Marton about the themes of her other works, which include The Great Escape: Nine Jews who Fled Hitler and Changed the World; Wallenberg: Missing Hero; and The Polk Conspiracy. The two also discuss the legacy of Marton's late husband, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke. Holbrooke died on December 13, 2010 of complications from a torn aorta.

In a separate web extra, the two talk about Marton's work in human rights, and about her next book.

The interview is part of Dialogue's ongoing "Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers' Conference" and was taped at the 2011 conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together authors to discuss literature and life. Marcia Franklin has interviewed speakers there since 2005.

Related Links:
website

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James McPherson is one of America's greatest Civil War historians. McPherson's Pulitzer Prize winning writing captures the drama of this era, and his latest book, Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief, gives new insight into Abraham Lincoln's remarkable skill as a military leader.

Host Joan Cartan-Hansen talks with McPherson about Lincoln and why we are still fighting over some of the same issues we thrashed out in the Civil War 150 years ago.

Related Links:
James McPherson (Stanford Presidential Lectures)

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As the President and Founder of the D.C. Central Kitchen, Robert Egger knows nonprofit organizations cannot operate in isolation. His D.C. Central Kitchen, the country's first community kitchen, uses food donated by hospitality businesses and farms to fuel a nationally-recognized culinary arts job training program.

Egger expanded his efforts to bring nonprofit organizations together in 2006 when he became the co-convener of the first Nonprofit Congress. As the author of the book "Begging for Change: The Dollars and Sense of Making Nonprofits Responsive, Efficient and Rewarding for All," Egger challenges other nonprofit groups to find audacious, courageous and compassionate ways to work together.

Joan Cartan-Hansen talks with Egger about his work on hunger, sustainability, nonprofit political engagement, and social enterprise. Egger came to Idaho as the keynote speaker for the Idaho Nonprofit Centers 2011 Nonprofit Conference.

Related Links:
D.C. Central Kitchen
Robert Egger's Piece of Mind (blog)
Idaho Nonprofit Center

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Marcia Franklin talks with four-term Idaho Governor Cecil D. Andrus and one of his former press secretaries, Chris Carlson. Carlson has written a book about his experiences working for the governor entitled Idaho's Greatest Governor.

The two discuss Andrus' personal and political philosophies, as well as what they consider the highlights of his career. The governor also weighs in on current political issues, such as the partisanship in Congress, President Obama's performance, the Occupy movement, wilderness designation and salmon recovery.

Cecil Andrus, a Democrat, began his political career in 1960 as a state senator from Orofino, ID. After three terms in the statehouse, he lost his first election for governor in 1966, but won an unprecedented four terms in 1970, 1974, 1986 and 1990, a record which still stands.

From 1977 to 1981, Andrus served as Secretary of the Interior under President Jimmy Carter, the first Idahoan to serve in a presidential cabinet. In that position, he was known for helping pass the Alaska Lands Act, which set aside more than 100 million acres of land in that state as wilderness, including the Arctic national Wildlife Refuge. In 1995, Andrus founded the Andrus Center for Public Policy at Boise State University. He is also of counsel to Gallatin Public Affairs, a research and lobbying group.

A Kellogg native and former reporter, Chris Carlson served as Andrus' press secretary for more than eight years, from 1972 to the end of Andrus' tenure at the Department of Interior. He served on the Northwest Power and Conservation Council and as government affairs director for Kaiser Aluminum. Andrus and Carlson also worked together at Gallatin, of which Carlson is a co-founder. He is retired and lives in north Idaho.

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In 2003, former Boise State All-American defensive end and Montana State University football coach Joe O'Brien experienced a stunning downfall. He was arrested for his part in an illegal drug distribution scheme and sentenced to federal prison. How did this charismatic leader and NFL hopeful hide years of addiction? And after more than two years in prison, how did he turn his life around?

Joan Cartan-Hansen talks with O'Brien and Boise writer Bob Evancho, co-author of O'Brien's life story, Busted Bronco: From Addiction to Redemption. The book goes into painful detail about O'Brien's personal struggles, but it also recounts O'Brien's story of redemption and renewal.

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When a Tunisian street vendor set himself on fire in December, 2010 to protest treatment by a police officer, he set off an unlikely chain of uprisings throughout the region, now dubbed as the "Arab Spring." Both Tunisia and Egypt's revolutions resulted in a change of government, and later in 2011, Libya's government also fell to rebels.

Marcia Franklin talks with Suzanne Maloney, a scholar at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, about the reasons why the uprisings are occurring, and their potential effects on the United States. The two also discuss U.S.-Iranian relations. Maloney is an expert on Iran.

Before she took her current position, Maloney worked as the Middle East advisor for ExxonMobil Corporation, was a member of the U.S. State Department's Policy Planning Staff, and directed the 2004 Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on US Policy toward Iran.

She is the author of Iran's Long Reach: Iran as a Pivotal State in the Muslim World.

The interview is part of >Dialogue's ongoing "Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers' Conference" and was taped at the 2011 conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together authors to discuss literature and life. Marcia Franklin has interviewed speakers there since 2005.

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In 2003, former Boise State All-American defensive end and Montana State University football coach Joe O'Brien experienced a stunning downfall. He was arrested for his part in an illegal drug distribution scheme and sentenced to federal prison. How did this charismatic leader and NFL hopeful hide years of addiction? And after more than two years in prison, how did he turn his life around?

Joan Cartan-Hansen talks with O'Brien and Boise writer Bob Evancho, co-author of O'Brien's life story, Busted Bronco: From Addiction to Redemption. The book goes into painful detail about O'Brien's personal struggles, but it also recounts O'Brien's story of redemption and renewal.

Related Links:
Busted Bronco book site (Far Country Press)

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Journalist Jere Van Dyk talks with Marcia Franklin about the 45 days he spent as a captive of the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2008. An experienced international reporter who had traveled to Afghanistan many times since the 1970s, Van Dyk was captured trying to find some of his original Mujahideen contacts from the 1980s. His account of his experience and eventual release is detailed in his book, Captive: My Time as a Prisoner of the Taliban.

Franklin and Van Dyk talk about the conditions of his captivity, his views on the differences between the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, his thoughts on our military presence in Afghanistan, and what has drawn him to that country for so many years, despite the danger.

In the web extra, Van Dyk discusses his thoughts on the captivity of Idahoan Bowe Bergdahl.

Related Links:
Jere Van Dyk, A Taliban 'Captive' For 45 Days (NPR)

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Idaho authors Alan Heathcock and Carter Niemeyer and independent bookstore owner Laura Delaney join Marcia Franklin for her annual Good Summer Reading show.

Heathcock's fiction has been published in many of America's top magazines and journals. His stories have won the National Magazine Award in fiction, and his recent book of short stories, VOLT, has received numerous favorable reviews. Heathcock, who teaches writing at Boise State University, is currently an Artist-in-Residence for the city of Boise and a Literature Fellow for the state of Idaho.

Boise resident Niemeyer is the author of Wolfer, a memoir of his career working with predators. He retired in 2006 as U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wolf recovery coordinator for Idaho and was a key member of the federal wolf reintroduction team in the mid-1990s.

Delaney, co-owner of Rediscovered Books in Boise, has recently expanded her store and will talk about the challenges and joys of operating an independent bookstore.

Guests and viewers alike share what they're reading and tell us why their favorites would make good summer reading.

  • Writing Life Stories, by Bill Roorbach
  • Yellow Wolf: His Own Story, by L. V. McWhorter
  • Animal Investigators, by Laurel A Neme
  • Ghost Soldiers, by Hampton Sides
  • Flags of Our Fathers, by James Bradley, Ron Powers
  • The Loop, by Nicholas Evans
  • Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout
  • Butcher's Crossing, by John Williams
  • Touch, by Alexi Zentner
  • The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brain, by Nicholas Carr
  • You Know When The Men Are Gone, by Siobhan Fallon
  • Far Bright Star, by Robert Olmstead
  • Doc, by Mary Doria Russell
  • Tiger's Wife, by Tea Obreht
  • The Disappearing Spoon, by Sam Keene
  • Matched), by Ally Condie (Young Adult
  • Murder One, by Robert Dugoni
  • The Lonely Polygamist, by Brady Udall
  • All About the Bike, by Robert Penn
  • Predictably Irrational, by Dan Ariely
  • The Actor and the Housewife, by Shannon Hale
  • Brooklyn, by Colm Toibin
  • Border Songs, by Jim Lynch
  • The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
  • An Abundance of Katherines, by John Green (Young Adult)
  • Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand
  • The Worst Hard Time, by Tim Egan
  • The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
  • Life on the Line, by Greg Achatz
  • Where's The Birth Certificate?, by Jerome Corsi
  • A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan
  • Wild at Heart, by John Eldredge
  • God's Dogs, by Mitch Wieland
  • Memory Wall, by Anthony Doerr

Related Links:
Alan Heathcock
Carter Niemeyer
Rediscovered Book Store

2010

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The account of one East Dutch Indies family's survival during World War II and the Indonesian Revolution is the subject of this edition of Dialogue.

Joan Cartan-Hansen interviews sisters Ilse Evelijn Veere Smit and Edith Evelijn Veere, who survived the two atrocities, as well as author Dorothy Read, who helps Ilse tell her family's story in the new book End the Silence.

The sisters lived through the Japanese invasion of the Dutch East Indies in 1942 and the revolution in the war's aftermath and talk about their lives during those turbulent times.

After the Japanese invasion of the Dutch East Indies in 1942, 9-year-old Ilse, her mother and siblings were sent to a concentration camp. Tortured by her captors, Ilse survived the war only to see her family become targets of Indonesian revolutionaries determined to wipe out Dutch colonialists. How Ilse survived a war and a revolution became a family secret, not to be discussed until now as Read documents the story in their book.

The story told in End the Silence is a little known yet relevant piece of World War II, an addition to the tragic sagas of Europe's concentration camps and the interment of Japanese Americans in the U.S. It is a piece of history that belongs to a world audience, as it exposes the iniquity and indignities suffered by people interned in the Dutch East Indies, now known as Indonesia.

Related Links:
Dorothy Read's website
The Dutch East Indies Heritage Project
Ports of the World: Indonesia
The Defining Years of the Dutch East Indies, 1942-1949 (Jan A. Krancher)
The Indo Project

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The account of one East Dutch Indies family's survival during World War II and the Indonesian Revolution is the subject of this edition of Dialogue.

Joan Cartan-Hansen interviews sisters Ilse Evelijn Veere Smit and Edith Evelijn Veere, who survived the two atrocities, as well as author Dorothy Read, who helps Ilse tell her family's story in the new book End the Silence.

The sisters lived through the Japanese invasion of the Dutch East Indies in 1942 and the revolution in the war's aftermath and talk about their lives during those turbulent times.

After the Japanese invasion of the Dutch East Indies in 1942, 9-year-old Ilse, her mother and siblings were sent to a concentration camp. Tortured by her captors, Ilse survived the war only to see her family become targets of Indonesian revolutionaries determined to wipe out Dutch colonialists. How Ilse survived a war and a revolution became a family secret, not to be discussed until now as Read documents the story in their book.

The story told in End the Silence is a little known yet relevant piece of World War II, an addition to the tragic sagas of Europe's concentration camps and the interment of Japanese Americans in the U.S. It is a piece of history that belongs to a world audience, as it exposes the iniquity and indignities suffered by people interned in the Dutch East Indies, now known as Indonesia.

Related Links:
Dorothy Read's website
The Dutch East Indies Heritage Project
Ports of the World: Indonesia
The Defining Years of the Dutch East Indies, 1942-1949 (Jan A. Krancher)
The Indo Project

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Host Marcia Franklin talks with historian David Kennedy about Depression-era policies and whether they have parallels to today's financial crisis.

Kennedy, professor emeritus at Stanford University, is known for integrating both economic and cultural analyses in his works about particular historical eras, as he did in Freedom from Fear, a book about the Great Depression in the United States. That book won the Pulitzer Prize in 2000.

Kennedy is also the author of several other books, including Over Here: The First World War and American Society, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1981.

He and Franklin discuss the differences between the financial crises in the Great Depression and today, as well as current issues that concern him, including the growing gap he sees between civilian and military society. Kennedy also talks about the priorities for the Bill Lane Center for the American West, of which he is a co-director.

Franklin spoke with Kennedy at the Sun Valley Writers' Conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together authors to discuss literature and life. Franklin has interviewed speakers there since 2005.

Related Links:
Bill Lane Center for the American West
Freedom from Fear (The 2000 Pulitzer Prize Winners: History)

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Marcia Franklin talks with author and historian Douglas Brinkley about Wilderness Warrior, his book about President Theodore Roosevelt's passion and strategies for protecting huge tracts of land for national forests, parks and wildlife refuges. Roosevelt created nearly 20 national forests in Idaho.

Dr. Brinkley is a professor at Rice University who has authored or edited more than 20 works, including biographies on Presidents Reagan, Ford and Carter. He was in Boise to speak at the annual Distinguished Humanities Lecture at the Idaho Humanities Council.

Brinkley talks about why he wanted to write the book, which is part of a series he is penning on wilderness issues. He also discusses the effect Idaho had on Roosevelt when he visited here, and the president's legacy in the conservation movement.

The two also discuss Brinkley's desire to bring history alive for his students, including taking trips with students across the country in his "Majic Bus." They also talk about Brinkley's book, The Great Deluge, which examines the effects of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans, a city in which Brinkley lived for many years.

Brinkley also discusses one of his upcoming books, a biography of journalist Walter Cronkite.

In a special web extra, he talks about why he writes articles on popular culture, and what it was like to interview Bob Dylan for Rolling Stone magazine.

Related Links:
Douglas Brinkley (Wikipedia)
Douglas Brinkley (James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy)

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Host Joan Cartan-Hansen speaks with former Idaho Secretary of State Pete Cenarrusa about his life in Idaho politics and his work to support the Basque community in the state. Two other guests will join the discussion: political analyst Jim Weatherby and Cenarrusa family friend Roy Eiguren.

Related Links:
The Basque Museum & Cultural Center
The Cenarrusa Foundation for Basque Culture

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Host Marcia Franklin talks with author and world traveler Pico Iyer, whose books and essays about the far corners of the world explore not only the dynamics of those cultures, but also examine travel itself and its effect on an "outsider."

Iyer's many books include: Video Night in Kathmandu, The Lady and the Monk, Falling off the Map and The Global Soul.

His most recent book, The Open Road, is about the life and philosophy of the Dalai Lama, who was a friend of Iyer's father.

Franklin and Iyer talk about why he enjoys journeying so much, what tips he has for others who want to travel, and why he's concerned that so few Americans have passports.

They also discuss the politics of Tibet, and what Iyer learned about the personality of the Dalai Lama in the years of researching his book on him.

A former reporter for Time magazine, Iyer also writes many articles for periodicals and newspapers, including The New York Times and the New York Review of Books.

Franklin spoke with Iyer at the Sun Valley Writers' Conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together authors to discuss literature and life. Franklin has interviewed speakers there since 2005.

Related Links:
Online Commentaries (New York Times)
Pico Iyer (Random House Author Spotlight)

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Host Marcia Franklin talks with Strobe Talbott, a former journalist and diplomat who is currently the president of the Brookings Institution.

Talbott, who wrote for Time magazine for more than 20 years, has also penned a dozen books. His latest work focuses on what he sees as the greatest crisis the world has faced: climate change. The book, Fast Forward: Ethics and Politics in the Age of Global Warming, suggests political and societal solutions for reversing climate change.

Franklin and Talbott talk about his passion for the subject of global warming, and whether the issue is still on the political radar for both politicians and the public.

The two also discuss his views on global governance, about which he writes in The Great Experiment: The Story of Ancient Empires, Modern States, and the Quest for a Global Nation. Talbott also sits on North American Executive Committee of the Trilateral Commission. The two discuss fears that some Americans have of "One World government."

Talbott, who was Deputy Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton, specialized in working with the new independent states of the Soviet Union. He talks with Franklin about the recent scandal in which Russian spies were found to have been living in the United States for many years.

The two also discuss Brookings Mountain West, an offshoot of the Brookings Institution in Las Vegas, which examines public policy issues pertaining to the Intermountain West.

Franklin spoke with Talbott at the Sun Valley Writers' Conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together authors to discuss literature and life. Franklin has interviewed speakers there since 2005.

Related Links:
Brookings Mountain West
Fast Forward (Book site)

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Marcia Franklin talks with Idaho filmmaker Michael Hoffman, whose latest movie, The Last Station, has been nominated for two Academy Awards. The Oscars air on Sunday, March 7th on ABC.

Based on a novel by Jay Parini of the same name, The Last Station chronicles the final year in the life of Russian writer and philosopher Leo Tolstoy, who was locked in a battle with his wife Sophia about the rights to his works. Tolstoy is surrounded by acolytes who want him to leave the copyrights to his major novels such as War and Peace and Anna Karenina to the Russian people, while Sophia wants the Tolstoy family to keep the rights.

Hoffman, who wrote and directed the script, shuttled for years between Boise and Germany, where the film was financed and made. He talks with Franklin about why he was attracted to the story, the process of making the film, and what it was like to direct Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer, who play the Tolstoys. Both are nominated for Academy Awards.

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Award-winning author Anthony Doerr joins host Marcia Franklin for her annual "Good Summer Reading" show this week.

The Boise-based writer has a new book of short stories that will be released in July entitled Memory Wall. Doerr, who is just finishing a two-year appointment as Idaho's Writer-in-Residence, will talk about his book, as well as recommend good summer reading.

Doerr is author of a collection of short stories, The Shell Collector; a novel, About Grace; and a memoir, Four Seasons in Rome. He recently received a Guggenheim Fellowship and is a past recipient of an NEA Fellowship and the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He writes a regular column on science books for the Boston Globe.

  • The Lonely Polygamist, by Brady Udall
  • Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel, by Gary Shteyngart
  • The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, by Aimee Bender
  • State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America, edited by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey
  • Every Man Dies Alone, by Hans Fallada
  • Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life, by Steve Almond
  • Insectopedia, by Hugh Raffles
  • The Summer Book, by Tove Jansson
  • For young adults: The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick
  • Marcia: A Single Square Picture, by Katy Robinson
  • Joan: The Brain that Changes Itself, by Norman Doidge
  • Ron: The Big Burn, by Tim Egan
  • Kevin: Lies My Teacher Told Me, by James Loewen
  • Cassandra: Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card
  • Melanie: Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • Rick: Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Marilyn: Millennium Trilogy: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, by Stieg Larsson
  • Margaret: Portrait of a Lady, by Henry James
  • Kim: Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man, by Fannie Flagg
  • Kelsey: Everything I Want to Do is Illegal: War Stories From the Local Food Front, by Joel Salatin
  • Monica: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Sue: Half of a Yellow Sun, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Cec: Little Bee, by Chris Cleave
  • Jeff: The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
  • Fran: Within Our Reach: Ending the Mental Health Crisis, by Rosalynn Carter
  • Sarah: Ornament of the World, Maria Rosa Menocal
  • Georgia: Lake Overturn, by Vestal McIntyre
  • Janna: Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry
  • Diane: A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson
  • Scott: The Black Minutes, by Martin Solares

Related Links:
Anthony Doerr's website

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Dialogue presents one of its popular programs, "Good Winter Reading," with two accomplished Idaho authors, Kim Barnes and Mitch Wieland. Both will not only discuss their works with host Marcia Franklin, but also recommend books for viewers to read.

Barnes, a writer and professor at the University of Idaho, is the author of two memoirs, including In the Wilderness, which was nominated for the 1997 Pulitzer Prize. She has also published two novels, the most recent of which is entitled A Country Called Home. It is the winner of the 2009 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Fiction and was named a Best Book of 2008 by The Washington Post, The Kansas City Star and the Oregonian. Barnes is also the recipient of the PEN/Jerard Award for an emerging woman writer of non-fiction. Her next novel, American Mecca, will explore the lives of Americans living in Saudi Arabia in the 1960s.

Mitch Wieland is an author and professor at Boise State University. A story from his most recent book, God's Dogs, was one of 18 selected for the anthology Best of the West 2009, which also included works from authors Annie Proulx, Joyce Carol Oates, and Louise Erdrich. In December, the website NewWest.net picked God's Dogs as one of the "Best Books in the West" for 2009. Wieland's first novel, Willy Slater’s Lane, received starred reviews in Publisher's Weekly and Booklist, and was optioned for a film. He is the founding editor of the award-winning literary journal, The Idaho Review, and the recipient of a Christopher Isherwood Fellowship.

  • Books by Edwidge Danticat (Haitian writer)
  • The Ticking is the Bomb by Nick Flynn
  • The Enders Hotel by Brandon Schrand
  • Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
  • Guests of the Sheik by Elizabeth Warnock Fernea
  • In the Land of Invisible Women by Qanta A. Ahmed, MD
  • Nine Parts of Desire by Geraldine Brooks
  • All Souls' Rising by Madison Smartt Bell (about Haiti)
  • Ghosts of Wyoming by Alyson Hagy
  • Then Came the Evening by Brian Hart
  • All Things, All at Once by Lee K. Abbott
  • Tehano by Allen Wier
  • Girl in a Library: On Women Writers and the Writing Life by Kelly Cherry
  • Chad from Facebook: The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  • Courtney from Facebook: Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus by Rick Perlstein
  • Amy from Facebook: My Sweet, Wild Dance by Mikaya Heart
  • Marlene from Facebook: The Law of Dreams by Peter Behrens
  • Cecelia from Facebook: Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Carlene in Boise: Year of the Horse by Justin Allen
  • Robert in Boise: Lonestar Rising by Elmer Kelton and The Big Sky, by A.B. Guthrie
  • L.D. in Meridian: Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters, by Alan Miller and Satoshi Kanazawa
  • Patricia in Boise: We Sagebrush Folks by Annie Pike Greenwood
  • Marlene in Firth: Summer's Run: An American Boyhood by James Cotton

Books about Haiti:
Haiti in Ink and Tears: A Literary Sampler (The New York Times)
Earthquake in Haiti: A Reading (and Listening) List by Edwidge Danticat (WSJ.com)

Related Links:
Kim Barnes (University of Idaho)
River and Vision: Kim Barnes and the story of loss (High Country News)
Word Perfect: Mitch Wieland's literary milestones (Boise Weekly)

2009

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Host Marcia Franklin explores the complex bonds between President Thomas Jefferson and one of his slave families, the Hemingses. Franklin talks with Annette Gordon-Reed, a professor at Rutgers University and the New York College of Law, about her book, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family. The book won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

Using primary source documents, as well as second-hand accounts, Gordon-Reed tries to piece together the relationship between Jefferson and Sally Hemings, with whom most historians now believe he had as many as seven children. Hemings, a slave at Monticello, was also the half-sister of Jefferson's wife, Martha, who died when Jefferson was 39.

Franklin and Gordon-Reed talk about how the controversy over Sally Hemings has been viewed over the centuries, and also about the relationship between Jefferson and the larger Hemings family.

Franklin also asks Gordon-Reed what Jefferson might have thought about the election of President Barack Obama, America's first African-American president.

The interview was conducted at the Sun Valley Writers' Conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together authors to talk about literature and life. Franklin has conducted interviews at the event since 2005

Related Links:
Pulitzer Prize citation for Gordon-Reed

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Host Marcia Franklin talks with Dr. Abraham Verghese, a professor at the Stanford School of Medicine and an author of both fiction and non-fiction works.

Franklin and Verghese not only talk about the themes of his work, but also his thoughts on health care reform and ways for doctors to establish better working relationships with their patients.

Verghese's first book, My Own Country, was a poignant chronicle of how his life was changed by working with AIDS patients in rural Tennessee. It was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

He went on to pen another non-fiction work called The Tennis Partner, about a doctor's struggle with mental illness and drug addiction. He is also a frequent contributor to magazines and journals, writing articles about medical ethics.

Most recently, Verghese turned his focus to a work of fiction, Cutting for Stone. The expansive book follows the saga of two Indian brothers as they learn more about their past. With medicine as its backdrop, it also allows Verghese to explore some of what he views as the best and worst aspects of his profession. It is set in Ethopia, where he grew up.

The interview was taped at the Sun Valley Writers' Conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together bestselling authors for discussions about literature and life. Franklin has been conducting interviews there since 2005.

Related Links:
Abraham Verghese's website
Dr. Verghese's Stanford profile

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Author of 34 books and numerous articles on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War, Holzer talks with host Joan Cartan-Hansen about his work and about the myths and realities concerning Lincoln. Co-chair of the United States Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and Senior Vice President for External Affairs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Holzer was in Idaho to speak at the Idaho Humanities Council dinner in October.

Related Links:
Harold Holzer website

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Host Marcia Franklin talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gretchen Morgenson. Morgenson, a financial editor and columnist at the New York Times, has been covering the country's financial crisis since its inception.

She and Franklin talk about what Morgenson sees as the underpinning of the collapse - the federal government's push to increase home ownership. The two also discuss various taxpayer-funded bailouts of companies such as AIG, and whether Morgenson sees any light at the end of the tunnel for the slumping economy.

Morgenson has been assistant business and financial editor at the New York Times since May 1998. Prior to that she was assistant managing editor at Forbes magazine. She was also the press secretary for the Forbes for President campaign. In 2002, she won a Pulitzer Prize for her coverage of Wall Street.

Related Links:
Gretchen Morgenson (New York Times)

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Host Marcia Franklin talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and Idaho native Laurel Thatcher Ulrich about her latest book, Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History. Ulrich, a professor at Harvard University, coined the phrase in a scholarly paper she wrote in the 1970s.

Franklin and her guest discuss how growing up in Idaho influenced Professor Ulrich to become a historian. She also explains why she calls herself "a Mormon feminist" and why she believes "good history is almost always dangerous." Franklin recorded this interview after Ulrich's Distinguished Humanities Lecture in Idaho Falls for the Idaho Humanities Council.

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Host Marcia Franklin talks with author and New Yorker magazine writer Philip Gourevitch about the stories he's covered, including the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, and the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison.

The two discuss what lessons Gourevitch thinks can be learned from the events, and why he is often drawn to subjects that make others look away.

Gourevitch authored We Wish to Inform You That Today We Will Be Killed With Our Families, an account of the 1994 mass killing of at least 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus by other Hutus. The book was the recipient of numerous awards. Gourevitch is now working on a book about what has happened in Rwanda since then, which he discusses with Franklin.

In The Ballad of Abu Ghraib, Gourevitch pieced together transcripts of interviews filmmaker Errol Morris conducted with soldiers who were accused of torturing inmates at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Those interviews were also part of a documentary, "Standard Operating Procedure." Gourevitch talks with Franklin about why he thinks some of the soldiers engaged in abusive acts.

Franklin spoke with Gourevitch at the Sun Valley Writers' Conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together authors to discuss literature and life. Franklin has interviewed speakers there since 2005.

Related Links:
FRONTLINE interview with Philip Gourevitch

2008

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Writer Ethan Watters joins Marcia Franklin for a discussion of the themes in his book, Urban Tribes, which looks at the ways in which young, unmarried Americans create their own sense of family.

Ethan Watters has been a freelance writer for 20 years. He has taught non-fiction writing at Berkeley and Stanford, and is currently an adjunct professor in the masters writing program at California College of the Arts. In addition to his three books, he's written about social trends for publications from Esquire to the New York Times Magazine, among other national and regional publications. He has also created pieces for Public Radio International's This American Life. In 1994 he co-founded the San Francisco Writers' Grotto.

Related Links:
The San Francisco Writers' Grotto

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Marcia Franklin talks with former U.N. Under-Secretary-General, diplomat and author Dr. Shashi Tharoor. They discuss his revealing look at India's role in the global economy, The Elephant, The Tiger, and The Cell Phone: The Transformation of India in the 21st CenturyThe Elephant, The Tiger, and The Cell Phone: The Transformation of India in the 21st Century.

Since talking with Franklin in August, 2008, Tharoor was elected to the Indian Parliament to represent the Trivandrum constituency in Kerala.

Related Links:
Keep up the spirit to fight (Op-Ed, The Times of India, 30 Nov 2008)
Mumbai Stands Out From Other Terrorist Attacks (Interview with Shashi Tharoor, NPR, 3 Dec 2008)

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Marcia Franklin talks with John Hockenberry, a longtime journalist who is also the program director for the Sun Valley Writers conference. They discuss his goals for the event, as well as changes in the media world. They also talk about advances in adaptive technology for the disabled. Hockenberry became a paraplegic in an auto accident, but that didn't keep him from reporting all over the world. He recorded those wheelchair-piloted adventures in his 1995 book, Moving Violations - War Zones, Wheelchairs and Declarations of Independence.

Related Links:
John Hockenberry (Wikipedia)

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Host Marcia Franklin talks with New Yorker writer George Packer. Packer, who has been to Iraq six times, discusses his book on the subject, The Assassin's Gate, which the New York Times named one of the ten best books of 2005. He also talks with Franklin about the current political landscape. The conversation was held at this year's Sun Valley Writers' Conference.

Related Links:
George Packer's Blog: "Interesting Times"

2007

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When Jim McClure stepped in to run for Congress in 1966 after the Republican nominee was killed in a plane crash, no one knew he would become one of Idaho's best known political figures of the 20th century. McClure served for three terms in the House of Representatives and for 18 years in the U.S. Senate. He worked with six presidents and helped shape Idaho and American history.

McClure and biographer William Smallwood join Joan Cartan-Hansen for a conversation about McClure's life and political career.

Related Links:
Review: McClure of Idaho (Randy Stapilus)
McCLURE, James Albertus (from: Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress)
McClure papers at the University of Idaho

2006

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Marcia Franklin talks with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer about his judicial philosophy and his book, Active Liberty.

The interview is part of Dialogue's ongoing "Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers' Conference" and was taped at the 2006 conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together authors to discuss literature and life. Marcia Franklin has interviewed speakers there since 2005.

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Marcia Franklin interviews Pulitzer-prize winning reporter Haynes Johnson about the parallels he sees between the McCarthy era and today's political climate.

The interview is part of Dialogue's ongoing "Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers' Conference" and was taped at the 2006 conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together authors to discuss literature and life. Marcia Franklin has interviewed speakers there since 2005.

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Pulitzer-prize winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin talks with Marcia Franklin about the lessons we can learn from Abraham Lincoln.

The interview is part of Dialogue's ongoing "Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers' Conference" and was taped at the 2006 conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together authors to discuss literature and life. Marcia Franklin has interviewed speakers there since 2005.

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Dialogue presents a discussion with the anchor for PBS's The Newshour With Jim Lehrer. Marcia Franklin sat down with Lehrer when he visited Boise as the featured speaker for the Idaho Humanities Council's 10th Annual Distinguished Humanities Lecture and Dinner.

In his conversation with Franklin, the NewsHour anchor and executive editor talks about the influences that have helped shape him as a journalist and his passion for writing. Lehrer is the author of 16 novels, an award-winning journalist, moderator for 10 nationally televised presidential debates, and winner of the 1999 Presidential Humanities Medal.

Mr. Lehrer's Journalistic Guidelines

  • Do nothing I cannot defend.
  • Cover, write and present every story with the care I would want if the story were about me.
  • Assume there is at least one other side or version to every story.
  • Assume the viewer is as smart and as caring and as good a person as I am.
  • Assume the same about all people on whom I report.
  • Assume personal lives are a private matter until a legitimate turn in the story absolutely mandates otherwise.
  • Carefully separate opinion and analysis from straight news stories and clearly label everything.
  • Do not use anonymous sources or blind quotes except on rare and monumental occasions. No one should ever be allowed to attack another anonymously.
  • I am not in the entertainment business.

Related Links:
The Online NewsHour
Wikipedia entry on the NewsHour
Wikipedia entry on Jim Lehrer

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Marcia Franklin talks with Juliette Kayyem, anti-terrorism expert, about the recommendations included in her report, "Preserving Security and Democratic Freedoms on the War in Terrorism."

2005

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Marcia Franklin talks with the author of Schindler's Ark, the basis for the Oscar-winning movie, Schindler's List.

The interview is part of Dialogue's "Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers' Conference" and was taped at the 2005 conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together authors to discuss literature and life.

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Marcia Franklin talks with the Iranian-born humorist and author of Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America.

The interview is part of Dialogue's new "Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers' Conference" and was taped at the 2005 conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together authors to discuss literature and life.

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Marcia Franklin talks with the former director of religious publishing at Doubleday and author of a prospective seven-volume series entitled The Hinges of History.

The interview is part of Dialogue's new "Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers' Conference" and was taped at the 2005 conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together authors to discuss literature and life.

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Marcia Franklin talks with the creator of books that explain how architectural wonders such as pyramids and cathedrals were built.

The interview is part of Dialogue's new "Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers' Conference" and was taped at the 2005 conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together authors to discuss literature and life.

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Host Marcia Franklin talks with Robert MacNeil, veteran journalist, author, and former co-host of the NewsHour on PBS about how the news profession has changed, and about his love for the English language.

2002

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Director Michael Hoffman and author Ethan Canin join Marcia Franklin for a conversation about Hoffman's film "The Emperor’s Club." The movie is based on Canin's short story, "The Palace Thief."

Hoffman, an Idaho native, shares the reasons he wanted to direct "The Emperor's Club," his thoughts on the film's themes, and his experiences working with Canin.

Hoffman won Academy Awards for best costume design and best art direction for his 1996 film "Restoration." Canin is an author who teaches at the prestigious Iowa Writer's Workshop.

Related Links:
The Emperor's Club (2002 film)

1999

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Ernest Hemingway, who would have been 100 this year, spent the last years of his life in Ketchum, where he died in 1961. To commemorate his life and writing, the Idaho Humanities Council invited several noted Hemingway scholars to Sun Valley to work with Idaho teachers. Marcia Franklin talks with four scholars about Hemingway; the discussion includes his style, his personal life and the influence of Idaho on his work.

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Marcia Franklin talks with Idaho filmmaker Michael Hoffman about the inspiration for his movies, including Promised Land, One Fine Day, A Midsummer's Night Dream, and Restoration, which won two Academy Awards. The two also discuss his work with the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, which he co-founded, and how growing up in Idaho and going to Boise State University influenced his work.

Related Links:
A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999 film)

1998

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Former Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus talks with Joan Cartan-Hansen about his newly released book, "Politics Western Style." Andrus served a record four terms as governor of Idaho.

1996

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Marcia Franklin talks with Pulitzer Prize winning author N. Scott Momaday about his role in commentating on Native American culture in the recently released Ken Burns documentary 'The West.' Momaday also talks about how to find your voice as an author and the relationship between Native Americans and American society.