The Legend's Daughter

Apr 17, 2013

In his new collection of short stories, the Utah-based writer David Kranes tests contemporary settlers into the crucible of Utah’s neighbor to the north. Idaho’s rugged landscape – its skies and fires and waters, its elements – forces Kranes’ characters to reexamine and reorient their lives. The West did much the same thing to Kranes when he first came here from New England decades ago. Thursday, David Kranes joins us to talk about and read from his new book. It’s called The Legend’s Daughter.


Apr 7, 2013

Monday, we’re talking about a new work by local playwright Jenifer Nii. It’s called “Suffrage,” and it looks at the complicated history between women’s right to vote and polygamy in 19th century Utah. Utah was the second territory in the US to grant suffrage, but in less than two decades, the right was stripped away as part of a national effort to eradicate plural marriage. Nii joins us, along with the director and cast of Plan B Theatre Company’s production to talk about the social and political roles of women.

Finding Oz

Apr 2, 2013

Wednesday, we're telling the story behind one of America's most enduring tales. Our guest is the journalist Evan Schwartz, author of a book about L. Frank Baum. Before publishing "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" in 1900, Baum failed at acting, selling castor oil and running a toy shop. But along the way, he was collecting ideas that would find their way into his parable of the American Dream. Schwartz joins Doug to talk about the personal turmoil and spiritual transformation that led Baum to Oz.

The Earth Is Not Flat

Mar 27, 2013

Poet Katharine Coles has pushed the boundaries of her known world since she was a child. Three years ago, she left the comfort of the Wasatch Front to journey farther than she ever had before. She spent a month living at Palmer Station in Antarctica where she hoped to explore science, life and nature. Coles joins us on Thursday to talk about her trip and the poems it inspired. They meditate on Antarctica’s bafflingly vast land- and seascapes, on the continent’s animal life, and on the people, both historic and contemporary, she encountered there.

New Yorker film critic David Denby asks a blunt question with the title of his latest book: Do the Movies Have a Future? Denby points out that some 600 movies open every year in the States, but the majority of viewers will never see the documentaries, the independent films or the oddities. What's playing at your local multiplex is shaped by the business side of movies – and Denby says it's strangling both art and entertainment. Friday, he joins us to talk about the strengths and weaknesses of the industry. (Rebroadcast)

Holger Börnsen / Deutsche Bundespost

Few stories are tied so closely with childhood as the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. But as the scholar Maria Tatar notes, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm didn’t initially intend for children to read the more than 200 German folk tales they collected and rewrote. Two centuries later, they’re still being rewritten. Tatar says fairy tales are continually adapted to embody the cultural values of their time and place, and each retelling captures the values of the teller. She joins us Tuesday to explore the evolving world of the Brothers Grimm.

Friday, we're talking about one of the most enigmatic and fascinating characters in American music. La Monte Young was a pioneer of the minimalist movement and his work influenced artists like Terry Riley, Yoko Ono, The Velvet Underground and Brian Eno. So it may surprise you to hear that he was born in a log cabin in Idaho and worked the family farm on Utah Lake. BYU Professor Jeremy Grimshaw has written a biography and joins Doug to talk about Young's music and mysticism. (Rebroadcast)

A Clockwork Orange

Mar 11, 2013

Author Anthony Burgess once said that his 1962 novella "A Clockwork Orange" should have been forgotten, but because of Stanley Kubrick's film, it seemed destined to live on. It's the story of the barbaric passions of a British teen and the state's attempt to impose a mechanistic morality over his free-will. Monday, we're talking with scholar Andrew Biswell about "A Clockwork Orange" and about why Burgess said the point of the book has been widely misunderstood. (Rebroadcast)

Deadline Artists

Feb 18, 2013

John Avlon is passionate about newspaper columns. He should be: he’s a columnist himself. But with newspapers on the wane, Avlon was worried that the best examples of his craft could be forgotten. So he and some friends have collected the best reported columns from America’s newspapers in a series of books. Deadline Artists showcases short stories that actually happened, written with the urgency of news and the precision of poetry. Avlon joins us to explore the art of great newspaper writing and where it might be headed. (Rebroadcast)


Feb 12, 2013

You hear a lot about the Provo music scene these days, and for lots of good reasons. The band Polytype is one of those reasons. You could classify them as electronic indie music—heavy on the synthesizers, heavy on the effects processors—but they also play the standard rock instruments, guitar and bass. A lot of people say Polytype’s sound reminds them of Radiohead, and it’s a sound that, until now, Provo had never produced. Polytype joins us in-studio Wednesday to explore how the Provo music scene is evolving, and, of course, to play some of their music.