Random House, $25.00
Writerscast host David Wilk interviews author Arthur Phillips, acclaimed author of Prague, The Egyptologist and Angelica. Phillips, who was born and raised in Minnesota, and educated at Harvard, now lives in Brooklyn, which is also the setting for his newest novel The Song is You. It is a beautifully written, complicated, sometimes painful, often extremely funny and very modern novel. Music is a critical underpinning of the story, and the complexity of the relationship between listener and performer is deeply entwined with the unusual love story that is at the heart of the novel. Phillips is widely considered one of the best novelists writing today – and The Song is You is solid evidence of how good he really is.
In this first segment of a lively two part interview with David Wilk, Phillips talks in detail about his new book The Song is You, what it is about, how he came to write it, what music means in the novel and for his main character, as well as what it has meant to him, how he writes, and how he sees his work in the context of his own daily life.
Penguin Group, $16.00
Writerscast host David Wilk interviews author Meg Wolitzer, whose novel The Ten Year Nap has recently been released in a paperback edition. This brilliantly written novel, set in contemporary New York City, portrays the lives of a group of women who have set aside their careers to raise children. Wolitzer paints her characters with the complexity and sympathy they deserve, but she never lets them off the hook for their foibles and failings. Women and men will recognize – sometimes painfully – much that is familiar to those who have lived through and come after the post-first wave of feminism in modern urban culture. Her humor is subtle but can make the reader laugh out loud as well.
In a wide ranging discussion Wilk and Wolitzer discuss the story line, characters and issues raised in The Ten Year Nap, as well as Ms. Wolitzer’s approach to writing and books and how she works. For any fan of Meg Wolitzer’s novels, and there are many, listening to this interview will be fun and illuminating. The Ten Year Nap is a wonderful book and highly recommended to anyone interested in contemporary American fiction.