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.

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:

Gail Honeyman is from Scotland, but she was in the states recently on a book tour for the paperback release of her debut novel, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Katie Williams has three books under her publishing belt--two books written for young adults and now one that falls into the general fiction category. But don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing "general” about it.

Tell the Machine Goodnight is slightly futuristic, but I’d hesitate to categorize it as science fiction. The characters, too, fight generalization. Their voices are unique and so are their experiences. The character development, the dialog, the writing--well… everything works. 

If you’ve been a Marginalia fan for a while, Rebecca Makkai’s is a voice you’ve heard before. She stopped by the studios in 2016 to talk about her book of short stories, Music for Wartime.

Makkai is also a novelist, and we spoke recently about her third novel, The Great Believers, which was released this past Tuesday. In The Great Believers, Makkai takes a look at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in Chicago.

theforecaster.net

When Peter Coviello was a young college professor, he fell in love, got married, and became a step parent. When that marriage fell apart, he suffered the heartbreak of that failed marriage but more profoundly--the heartbreak of potentially losing a connection with his step daughters. 

Marginalia: Jana Casale

May 25, 2018
Elena Seibert

Like the protagonist in her book, author Jana Casale doesn’t like to strike matches, like the protagonist, she moved coast-to-coast with her tech engineer husband, and like the protagonist, Casale has never read Noam Chomsky. But don’t let these details fool you into thinking the book is autobiographical.

I recently spoke with Jana Casale about her novel, The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky. Here’s our conversation:

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The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky by Jana Casale was published by Knopf.

Marginalia was produced at KMUW Wichita.

Marginalia: Meg Wolitzer

May 11, 2018

In her new novel, The Female Persuasion, Meg Wolitzer explores three questions: What does it mean to be powerful? How do people measure their impact upon the world? And does all of this look different for men than it does for women? 

I recently spoke with Wolitzer to talk about these questions and more. 

Here’s our conversation:

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The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer was published by Riverhead Books.

Marginalia was produced at KMUW Wichita.

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