Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thirty Minutes With Susanna Moore

Bookworm (Radio Program) 
Susanna Moore, Guest
KCRW Radio 89.9 FM/
Thursday 10.18.12 2:30 PM PT
Five Scoops of Bosco

Susanna Moore is interested in the things her characters don't know.

Her new novel, The Life of Objects (Knopf) is a story of innocence and dread set in a tense, pre-WWII Germany where people are beginning to secret away their treasures.

But can anything – objects, or even love or the imagination – shield us from the ferocity of experience?

The Life of Objects, is a slim World War II saga that reads like a cautionary fairy tale: It's packed with descriptions of ornate furniture and paintings, lavish banquets, demons and diamonds. At the center of the story is a young girl bewitched by her own desire to live a larger life, a wish that's granted with grim exactitude.

Clearly, The Life of Objects is not your standard World War II novel; although, Moore's narrative angle on the war is reminiscent of Edmund de Waal's 2010 memoir, The Hare With Amber Eyes.

In both books, the nature of war — to obliterate or overlook — is explored through the fate of an aristocratic family's collection of fine art.

Moore is the guest of Michael Silverblatt on the Bookworm Radio Program that is heard Thursdays in the Southern California area on KCRW FM 89.9 FM or worldwide on the web at

The show can also be linked from the Bosco Radio News and Information Channel in our sidebar beginning at 2:30 PM PT Thursday.

 A must for the serious reader, Bookworm showcases writers of fiction and poetry - the established, new or emerging - all interviewed with insight and precision by the show's host and guiding spirit, Michael Silverblatt.

A man who converses on an equal plane with writers of fiction and poetry, often surprising them with his insights, Michael Silverblatt has made "Bookworm" the country's premier literary talk-show.

His secret, says Norman Mailer, who has subjected himself three times to the "Bookworm's" scrutiny, is that "he's the best reader in America."

Silverblatt's formidable knowledge comes from close reading and analysis of a writer's entire oeuvre. Susan Sontag calls him "a national treasure."

As host of the half-hour radio show, Silverblatt has reinvented the art of literary conversation, introducing listeners to new and emerging authors along with writers of renown.

Joyce Carol Oates once called him the “reader writers dream about,” and his podcasts are so popular that New York’s independent bookstores describe a “Silverblatt ripple effect” on book sales.

A New York native, Silverblatt graduated from the State University of New York in Buffalo and later took advanced courses at Johns Hopkins. He moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1970s where he worked in motion picture public relations and script development.

He created "Bookworm" for KCRW-FM in 1989. As a student, he came under the influence of such cutting-edge author-teachers as Donald Barthelme and John Barth; as a radio talk-show host, he learned to appreciate a much wider range of writing-- making him, he hopes, "a person of ferocious compassion instead of ferocious intellect."

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