The writer Anthony Doerr’s new novel All the Light We Cannot See tells the tale of a blind French girl in possession of a possibly cursed jewel, a German boy fascinated by radios, and their intersecting fates during World War II. For Doerr, it was a chance to explore the effects of war on children and his research for the book at times haunted him. He joins us Thursday to talk about his highly anticipated novel, his approach to writing, and about the profusion of miracles we encounter every day.

Sam Javanrouh via CC/Flickr,

  The author Neil Gaiman has always wanted to be a writer. As a child, he wanted to be the author of great books, but not just any books: he wanted to be the author of The Lord of the Rings. Those books were already penned, so, as an adult, he wrote his own great works of fable and fantasy, books like Coraline, American Gods, and Sandman. Monday, we're airing a conversation we had with Neil Gaiman over the weekend. We talked with him about his passion for storytelling, about where he gets his ideas, and about beekeeping.

RadioWest Misc.

Apr 17, 2015

  As KUER wraps up its spring fund drive on Friday, we're presenting a selection of clips from RadioWest that illustrate some of the different kinds of shows we like to tackle on a regular basis. We’ve got an interview with controversial Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, a pick from our series featuring local bands, a selection from one of our favorite films at Sundance this year, and a discussion about not-so-distinct dialect of native Utahns. We hope you’ll joins us.

Esteemed painter Randall Lake traveled to Europe to hone his art and it was in France that he discovered Mormonism. He eventually settled in Utah, which has been his home since 1973. Over time, his paintings have reflected Lake's own journey -- from traditional landscapes as a dedicated Mormon to more daring works as an openly gay man. Lake has a new exhibit opening next week in Salt Lake City, so we're rebroadcasting our conversation about his life and art. (Rebroadcast)

Pilot Program

Apr 14, 2015

It was a late-night, philosophical conversation that got playwright Melissa Leilani Larson thinking about polygamy. Larson is a member of the LDS Church, where polygamy is an awkward, historic fact. And Larson is single, so it comes up sometimes when people suggest she could marry in the hereafter. Larson’s not interested, but she says “no” doesn’t make good drama. So what if polygamy were restored in Mormonism? Tuesday, Larson and others join Doug to talk about her new play Pilot Program.

In C

Apr 10, 2015

In 1964, composer Terry Riley crafted "In C" and singlehandedly changed the rules of classical music. The score is only one page long and it lays out 53 phrases for musicians to explore independently, making each performance unique. We talked about “In C” in 2010 with Salt Lake Electric Ensemble, who released a recording of the piece. They’re performing Riley’s masterpiece this weekend as part of a collaboration with a Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, so Friday we're rebroadcasting our conversation about “In C.” [Rebroadcast]

We continue our Through the Lens film series with a look at renowned director Jean-Luc Godard. Godard was part of the French New Wave movement of the 1960s. Now in his 80s, he’s still experimenting with the form. Film scholar David Sterritt says Godard’s most recent work is an astonishing audio-visual experience. There’s sort of story, but the adventure is the collage of language and images - including layers created in 3D. Sterritt joins us Tuesday to talk about Godard and Goodbye to Language.

The Arabian Nights

Mar 26, 2015

Perhaps you know the tale. In order to save her life, Sheherazade starts spinning stories for the vengeful King Shahriyar. One story leads to another that leads to another, on and on for 1,001 nights. For the scholar Robert Irwin, Sheherazade's plight is our own, for what are our lives but stories related to countless other stories, all told under the shadow of death, the terminator of all stories? Irwin joins us Thursday as we explore the world of the Arabian Nights and ask what they can offer us today.

  Wednesday, literary historian Leslie Klinger is with us to talk about an early master of science fiction and horror. H.P. Lovecraft’s writing was a departure from his gothic predecessors. He created a strange mythos in which aliens and unspeakable creatures shared our world. And that world was shaped by Lovecraft’s own troubling realities: he was terrified of going insane and he was a deeply racist man. We’ll talk about Lovecraft’s rise from obscurity and his influence on writers today.

The Bishop's Wife

Mar 4, 2015

Utah novelist Mette Ivie Harrison had already written YA novels and a memoir, but she was still trying to work through her thoughts about Mormonism, women’s roles, motherhood and grief. Her ideas eventually coalesced around a female detective in Draper, Utah. The result is a crime novel that’s been getting attention around the country. Wednesday, Harrison joins Doug to talk about the real stories that influenced the book, her faith, and her observations on Mormon culture.