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.

Thursday, we're wrapping up our coverage on US-Latin American relations with novelist Cristina Henriquez. Her latest book, The Book of Unknown Americans, is about immigrants who have come here from various Latin-American countries and have settled in one apartment building in Delaware. It's not the typical setting for immigrants maybe, but Henriquez says immigration is a story that's everywhere ... it's an American story. (Rebroadcast)

  Wednesday, we continue our series on local music with the band Great Interstate. It’s the brainchild of 22-year-old singer-songwriter Andrew Goldring, who started Great Interstate as a solo project to help him find his own creative path. Many of the tracks on the band’s debut record, “Inversion Songs,” draw inspiration from the Wasatch Front’s periods of crappy air, when you wonder if the smog will ever lift. But it’s not downer music. Goldring says the album is ultimately a cry of hope for fresh beginnings.

The Crucible

Feb 17, 2015
Alexander Weisman

Tuesday, we're profiling Pioneer Theatre Company's latest production, which director Charles Morey says may be the great American tragedy. But when Arthur Miller premiered his play about the Salem witch trials, he didn't realize he was, as he put it, writing himself into a political wilderness. It was the Cold War, and there was a witch-hunt for communists underway. Morey will join us, along with scholar Christopher Bigsby, to talk about the history of The Crucible and why it remains relevant today.

With our next film in our documentary series Through the Lens, we’re trying something completely different. Man from Reno isn’t a documentary. It’s a feature film by former Utah filmmaker Dave Boyle. This neo-noir thriller follows a Japanese mystery author on her strange journey through San Francisco. Her story collides with that of a small-town sheriff investigating a possibly connected missing-person case. Boyle joins us Wednesday to talk about his film and his fascination with Japanese culture.

Thursday at 7:00 p.m., RadioWest is live from Kingsbury Hall with playwright Tony Kushner. Kushner won a Pulitzer prize for his play "Angels in America," and has received an Emmy Award, two Tony Awards and three Obie Awards. Doug will talk to him about his body of work and how he uses art to tackle the social issues of our day. You can join us in the audience, or listen on KUER 90.1.

Alabama Story

Jan 8, 2015
Alexander Weisman

How could a children's story about two fluffy bunnies cause uproar? In 1958, author and illustrator Garth Williams published The Rabbits' Wedding, about a black rabbit and a white rabbit who love each other. Segregationists in Alabama, championed by a state senator, demanded the book be banned. But the state library director held her ground. The battle is at the center of a new play premiering at Pioneer Theatre Company. Thursday, playwright Kenneth Jones and others join us to talk about Alabama Story.

Two years ago, tragedy struck musician Lyndsi Austin and her family when one of her older brothers passed away. Many of the lyrics she wrote for the debut album of her band Big Wild Wings express her sense of loss. She says making music helped her cope with the grief. While Big Wild Wings tackles some heavy subject matter, the trio’s big, airy sound and Austin’s “angst-y angel” vocals have landed them in the local music scene spotlight. The band joins us Tuesday to play some songs and talk about them.

Blood Will Out

Dec 31, 2014

Doug is joined in studio by the writer Walter Kirn, whose latest book is the story of his friendship with a man he knew as Clark Rockefeller. Kirn found him charming, intelligent, if a bit eccentric, and he enjoyed rubbing elbows with someone well-off and upper-class. But it was a ruse, and the man was eventually exposed as a fraud, a sociopath and a murderer.  So how was Walter Kirn so handily duped? "Rockefeller" himself explained it this way: vanity, vanity, vanity. (Rebroadcast)