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15:18

The Cultural Price of Assimilation for Middle Class Blacks

Professor of African-American studies, Gerald Early. He'll talk with Terry about the dilemma of being a middle-class African American intellectual, and how that kind of life can separate a person from the black community. His new book is "Lure and Loathing: Essays on Race, Identity, and the Ambivalence of Assimilation."

Interview
03:37

White Authors on Black Africa.

Book critic John Leonard reviews two collections of essays about Africa; "African Silences" by Peter Matthiessan and "Maneaters Motel" by Denis Boyles.

Review
22:46

A Lapsed Catholic Writes about Her Former Faith

Novelist Mary Gordon has a new collection of essays, "Good Boys and Dead Girls: And Other Essays." Catholicism has been a constant theme in her novels, which include: "Final Payment," and "The Company of Women." American fiction by men, Catholicism, and abortion are some of the issues she write about in her new book

Interview
24:21

Poet Gary Snyder on "The Practice of the Wild"

Snyder was part of the beat poetry scene in 1950s San Francisco, and inspired a character in several Jack Kerouac novels. He studied Eastern philosophy and religion, and later settled in a more isolated part of the United States -- far from the urban world. He won the Pulitzer Prize, and continues to teach and write. His new collection of essays considers his relationship with the wilderness.

Interview
26:39

Susan Sontag on Disease and Metaphor

The essayist and novelist's new book, called AIDS and Its Metaphors, examines the discourse surrounding the disease. Sontag is a cancer survivor; a previous book about language and sickness is titled Illness as Metaphor. She joins Fresh Air to talk about how cancer changed her thinking and made her a more compassionate person.

Interview
28:05

William Kittredge on the Mistakes of Westward Expansion

The writer inherited his family's ranch, but later sold it when he moved to Iowa for graduate school. Kittredge critiques the belief that humans have the moral authority to develop and tame the American West. This mythology, he says, has led to ecological destruction and the genocide of American Indians. His new collection of essays about the subject is called Owning it All.

Interview
09:46

Accepting the Challenge of the Natural World

Essayist Paul Gruchow has a new collection of essays called The Necessity of Empty Places, which celebrates the American wilderness. Rejecting the macho, survivalist approach to confronting nature, Gruchow sees the wilderness as a place of meditation and discovery.

Interview
54:31

A Master of Filth on What He Loves and Loathes

Film director John Waters has cultivated a second career as a writer. His newest collection of essays is called Crackpot. He joins Fresh Air to talk about his television watching and filmgoing habits, and to discuss some of his favorite recent releases. Listeners call in with their questions.

Interview

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