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12 Segments




Colin Jost Of 'SNL' Knows You're Laughing At His 'Very Punchable Face'

Colin Jost's new memoir, A Very Punchable Face, describes his experiences growing up in a middle-class household on Staten Island. "Part of writing this book was being excited to talk about parts of my life and weird episodes in my life that I thought that would be entertaining for people," he says. Or, he adds, for people to "just get another chance to laugh at me."


Remembering Author Larry Brown

We remember fireman turned writer Larry Brown. He died last week. He was 53. At the age of 29, Brown decided to become an author, and taught himself fiction writing. He moved from short stories for motorcycle magazines to critically acclaimed works in literary journals to a novel, Dirty Work.


Thomas Von Essen

Former fire commissioner of New York City, Thomas Von Essen. He led the department through the Sept. 11 attacks and during rescue and early recovery efforts. During the attacks, the department lost 343 men, many of them Von Essen's friends and colleagues. Von Essen stepped down as fire commissioner on December 31, 2001. He's written a new memoir with Matt Murray, Strong of Heart: Life and Death in the Fire Department of New York.


Writer and Retired N.Y.C. Firefighter Dennis Smith

Writer and retired New York city firefighter Dennis Smith arrived at the site of the World Trade Center towers on the day of the attacks to volunteer with the rescue effort. His new book Report from Ground Zero (Viking) is composed of first-person testimony of rescuers who were there when the towers were attacked and fell, and who helped in the efforts afterwards. Smith spent 18 years with the fire department. He is the author of nine books, including the bestseller Report from Engine Co. 82 about his years in the city's most dangerous and active firehouse.


Freelance Firefighter Peter Leschak

Freelance firefighter Peter Leschak battles forest fires in the Northwoods and the West...He's not a smoke jumper he says, he’s a grunt-hiking to remote locations, putting out fires sometimes on his hands and knees-spark by spark. His memoir is called Hellroaring. (Interview by Marty Moss-Coane)


Film Actor Steve Buscemi

Buscemi's list of movie credits include "Parting Glances," "Slaves of New York," "Mystery Train," and "Reservoir Dogs." His newest film is "In The Soup," a low budget film directed Alexandre Rockwell. Before becoming an actor, Buscemi was a fire fighter.


Fireman Turned Writer Larry Brown

At 29, Brown decided to become an author, and taught himself fiction writing. He wrote five novels before one was finally published -- his debut, Dirty Work. He has a new collection of short stories, called Big Bad Love.


Firefighters "In Their Own Words"

Dennis Smith says that his own history as a firefighter helped him earn the trust of the people he interviewed for his new book. He talks about firefighter training and culture, and shares some of the personal anecdotes he learned during his research. Smith's first book was called Report from Engine Co. 82


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