Marginalia

Marginalia is an on-air commentary and podcast hosted by KMUW's Beth Golay. Episodes feature author interviews, editorial commentary and other marginalia to enhance the reading experience.

Several of Beth's interviews are included each year in NPR's Book Concierge.

The Marginalia podcast is also available through Apple Podcasts and through Google Play.

If you like this podcast, please consider leaving a rating or review.

Marginalia: Lou Berney

15 hours ago
Brandon Michael Smith

November Road is a thriller set in November 1963, and it begins just before JFK’s assassination. When a mob lieutenant realizes that many of his associates are being eliminated one by one, he speculates not only that the murders are tied to the assassination, but also that he is next.

In November Road, author Lou Berney expands on mob-related conspiracy theories surrounding Kennedy’s death. I recently sat down with Lou Berney at the KMUW studios to talk about November Road and more.

Here's our conversation:

K. Dubiel

Olga Tokarczuk is the author of Flights, winner of the Man Booker International Prize, which is awarded to the best work of translated fiction from anywhere in the world. She shares the prize with the book’s translator, Jennifer Croft. And Flights was chosen from more than 100 submissions.

Tokarczuk has been labeled as one of Europe’s most imaginative writers, and with Flights, new readers in the states are beginning to understand why.

I recently visited with her about Flights and the translation process. Here's our conversation:

Marginalia: Delia Owens

Oct 5, 2018
Dawn Marie Tucker

Delia Owens has written several books, but they are primarily non-fiction, a reflection of the 23 years she spent studying wildlife in Africa. Her new book, Where the Crawdads Sing, is Owens’ first work of fiction. It also takes the reader on a deep dive into nature, but this novel is set in the marshlands of coastal North Carolina.

I recently spoke with Owens about growing up with nature, about how her research informed her fiction, about the nature of sisterhood and more. Here's our conversation:

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Marginalia: Rosie Walsh

Oct 3, 2018

In her novel Ghosted, Rosie Walsh writes the story of an extremely capable woman who meets a man, spends an incredible week with him, makes future plans with him, and then he disappears. Initially she believes something happened to him during his planned holiday, except through the marvels of social media, she can see when he is online, and when he receives her texts, and when he starts to write back, and then stops. She's been ghosted, and she doesn't know why.

I spoke with Rosie Walsh about her novel, her writing methods, and what’s next. Here's our conversation:

In her political thriller Vox, author Christina Dalcher used her work in linguistics to inform the imagined society in which a political regime silenced women with word counters. And not just grown women, baby girls as young as three months were being fitted with these bracelet word counters on their small wrists.

Each female was allotted 100 words a day. The counters reset at midnight. And each infraction was met with negative reinforcement… an electrical charge.

Marginalia: Hank Green

Sep 25, 2018
Ashe Walker

For the last 11 years, Hank Green and his brother, John, have been making videos back and forth to each other on a YouTube channel called Vlogbrothers, which has over 3 million subscribers. 

Although Fruit of the Drunken Tree is fiction, it has its roots in author Ingrid Rojas Contreras’s real life. 

Marginalia: Vanessa Hua

Aug 31, 2018
Andria Lo

In her new novel, author Vanessa Hua uses an immigrant story to explore the definition of home and belonging, but it’s her use of setting that encourages the reader to look under the surface--or up beyond ground level--to recognize that every immigrant story is unique.

A River of Stars follows a young woman on her flight from China to the US, through the birth of her child, to her own quest of achieving the American Dream.

I recently spoke with Vanessa Hua about the book as well as her work as a journalist. Here's our conversation:

Marginalia: S. K. Perry

Aug 17, 2018
Naomi Woddis

Sarah Perry was longlisted for London’s Young Poet Laureate in 2013, and her experience as a poet is evident in her debut novel, Let Me Be Like Water

Kate Christensen likes to write about what she knows. Her seventh novel, The Last Cruise, is told from three perspectives: a farmer in Maine, a violinist, and a chef. All three areas in which Christensen is knowledgeable. And that’s where the first-hand experience ends. Because in researching this book, Christensen is quick to admit, she’s never actually taken a cruise.

I spoke with Kate Christensen recently about the book and her unorthodox research methods. 

Here's our conversation:

And if you listened to the commentary on air, this is what you heard:

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