A Love Note to St. Paul
Novelist Patricia Hampl recalls Fitzgerald's notorious, black-sheep reputation in their shared home town, St. Paul. She thinks the critics underestimated him: when it comes to modern life, other novelists -- even Hemingway ?- were ?slow on the uptake.?
Gatsby in the Burbs
It may be the first great novel set in a suburb. Andrew Lauren, son of designer Ralph, explains why he wrote a movie about a hip-hop Gatsby in real-life East Hampton. Scholar Ruth Prigozy drives us out to Great Neck, the model for Fitzgerald's ?West Egg,? to see the view of the bay. We get lost on the way.
Gatsby Gets Schooled
Students in Garth Wolkoff's English class in Brooklyn admire Gatsby, and find Daisy suspiciously ?chillax.? Azar Nafisi, who taught the book in Tehran, recounts the time her university students put the book on trial. The decadent capitalist Jay Gatsby, she says, should be a warning for radical Islamists.
You're a Complicated Man, Charlie Brown
At its peak, over 350 million people around the world read "Peanuts" every day. Its creator, Charles Schulz, led a much darker life than anyone realized, and he put his troubles into the funny pages. Kurt talks with biographer David Michaelis about how America's most beloved comic strip made "depressed" a household word.
Sadiq in Berlin
Just like Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Gertrude Stein holed up in postwar Paris, Berlin has become the place to be for creative internationals in the years since the Wall fell. Sadiq Bey is a poet and musician from Detroit who moved to Berlin when he was 53 years old.
Techno, raves, cabaret, punk, poetry, erotica ... it's all happening in Berlin. We sent cultural correspondent Fiona Chutney to sample some of the city's famed nightlife. (Chutney is a character of the writer and performer Iris Bahr.)
Alison Krauss and Robert Plant
The reigning queen of bluegrass teams up with the 1960s rock legend for an album of cover songs called Raising Sand. Krauss and Plant tell Kurt about their unlikely collaboration.
What is Stephen Harper Reading?
Yann Martel is the author of the bestselling novel Life of Pi. Stephen Harper is the Prime Minister of Canada. For the last six months, Martel has been sending works of literature to Harper, one every two weeks. Kurt called Martel to ask him about it.