national writers series

National Writers Series: An evening with Doug Stanton

Nov 30, 2017

Author Doug Stanton says we need to start talking honestly about Vietnam. National Writers Series co-founder Doug Stanton is the author of two bestselling nonfiction books, “In Harm’s Way,” about the sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, and “Horse Soldiers,” about a U.S. Special Forces team deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11.

National Writers Series: An evening with Terry McDonell

Nov 2, 2017

Editor Terry McDonell has worked with some of the most celebrated authors of his generation, but not all of them agreed with his attempts to edit their work. For example, Jim Harrison. Terry McDonell says he was proud to be part of the New Journalism movement in the 1970s and 80s. He's been the editor of many magazines over his career, including Rolling Stone, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated and Esquire, and he was the founding editor of Outside magazine.

National Writers Series: An evening with Alice Waters

Oct 12, 2017
Tom Haxby

Author and chef Alice Waters opened her Berkeley, California restaurant Chez Panisse in 1971. Since then she’s been well-known for preparing locally-sourced, seasonal, organic food and helped inspire the slow food movement. Waters also started the Edible Schoolyard Project, a school gardening effort that now provides ten thousand meals a day. Her book, “Coming To My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook” details her culinary beginnings in the 1960s up through the present day.

National Writers Series: An evening with Julia Glass

Sep 28, 2017

Novelist Julia Glass started writing when she was in her 30s. Before that, she was a painter. Julia Glass’s novels include “Three Junes” and “The Widower’s Tale.” Her latest book is “A House Among the Trees.” She talks this hour with fellow writer David Ebershoff at the Traverse City Opera House.

National Writers Series: An evening with W. Bruce Cameron

Sep 15, 2017
Tom Haxby

Novelist W. Bruce Cameron says having his first story published at the age of sixteen was the worst thing that could have happened to him. After that first story, it took Cameron 25 more years to publish his first book, “Eight Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.” That book was made into a sitcom on ABC. Since then he’s published 15 more books, including “A Dog’s Purpose,” which was made into a feature film released in January 2017. W. Bruce Cameron talks this hour with WTCM NewsTalk 580 radio host Ron Jolly.

Scribner

Nearly 50 years ago, North Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers launched an offensive that changed the course of the Vietnam War. 

National Writers Series: An evening with Mary Roach

Aug 24, 2017

Mary Roach writes books about science that have a sense of humor. She’s written eight books, including “Stiff,” about human cadavers, and “Bonk,” about the science of sex. Roach’s latest book is “Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War.” She talks this hour with actor and fellow author Benjamin Busch. He asked Roach about her beginnings as an author, writing press releases for the San Francisco Zoo from a trailer next to the gorilla exhibit.

National Writers Series: An evening with Elizabeth Strout

Aug 3, 2017

Elizabeth Strout is a Pulitzer Prize winning author who has written five novels, including "Olive Kitteridge" and "My Name is Lucy Barton." Her latest book is "Anything is Possible." Elizabeth Strout talks this hour with actor and fellow writer Benjamin Busch. Strout told Busch she got started writing from an early age.

National Writers Series: An evening with Eric Fair

Jul 13, 2017

Eric Fair worked as a contract interrogator at Abu Ghraib prison in 2004. That year photographs depicting torture at the prison were leaked to the public. Fair was not involved in that incident, but did use interrogation techniques such as sleep deprivation and stress positions. He wrote his book "Consequence: A Memoir" in an attempt to come to terms with his actions in Iraq. Fair talks this hour with Michael Lehnert, a Marine Corps veteran who was the first commander of the Guantanamo prison. Lehnert asked Fair how he came to his current position about the use of torture.

National Writers Series: An evening with Greg Iles

Jun 29, 2017

Greg Iles' latest book is "Mississippi Blood." It's the third book in his Natchez Burning trilogy of thrillers. Greg Iles began writing the trilogy while recovering from a traffic accident that almost killed him. Doug Stanton asked Iles to tell him more about "Mississippi Blood."

In her most recent book, author Mary Roach talks about the unique ways science and war interacts on a more personalized level.
Dan Wanschura

‘Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War,’ is the newest book by author Mary Roach. And in it's pages, she doesn’t talk about what you might think of when you hear the words “science” and “war.” 


Marc Goldberg

In 1989, during her sophomore year in college, writer Andrea Petersen had her first panic attack. She was standing in the basement of an academic building at the University of Michigan waiting to sign up for classes.

National Writers Series: An evening with Beth Macy

Mar 30, 2017

"Factory Man” is Beth Macy’s first book. It’s the story of American furniture maker John Bassett the third, and his struggle to keep his furniture company in business in the face of increasing competition from abroad.Macy’s latest book is “Truevine: Two Brothers, A Kidnapping, And a Mother’s Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South.” It’s about two albino African American boys who were kidnapped in Virginia and forced to work in the circus as sideshow freaks. Beth Macy talks this hour with fellow author and journalist John U. Bacon.

National Writers Series: An evening with John Donvan

Mar 16, 2017

John Donvan wrote "In A Different Key: The Story of Autism" with co-author Caren Zucker. Donvan is a journalist who contributes to ABC News and Nightline. He's also the moderator for public radio's Intelligence Squared U.S. Donvan talks this hour with writer and mother of an autistic son Cari Noga. She asked Donvan how the story of autism begins.

National Writers Series: An evening with Daniel Bergner

Mar 3, 2017

Daniel Bergner is the author of five books, including "In the Land of Magic Soldiers" and his latest, "Sing For Your Life," about African-American opera singer Ryan Speedo Green. He's also a journalist who writes for the New York Times Magazine and other publications. Bergner talks this hour with Interlochen Public Radio music host and producer Kate Botello. She asked Bergner how he first heard about Ryan Speedo Green.

National Writers Series: An evening with Kyle Mills

Jan 12, 2017

Kyle Mills recently took over writing the Mitch Rapp series of thrillers, created by the late Vince Flynn. “Order to Kill,” his most recent book, is his second in that series. He also writes his own series of political thrillers starring FBI agent Mark Beamon. But writing wasn’t Kyle Mills’s first career. 

National Writers Series: An evening with Ann Patchett

Dec 30, 2016

Ann Patchett is the author of novels such as "Bel Canto," "State of Wonder," and "The Patron Saint of Liars." Her new novel "Commonwealth" draws heavily on the experiences of her life. The narrative shifts back and forth from past to present, and from California to Virginia--the Commonwealth of the title. Patchett talks this hour with actor and writer Benjamin Busch. He asks Patchett why her books haven't been made into movies.

National Writers Series: An evening with Jodi Picoult

Dec 15, 2016

Jodi Picoult has written ten New York Times number one bestsellers, including her latest novel, "Small Great Things." It was inspired by the real-life experience of an African American nurse working at a Flint hospital, and deals with issues of prejudice, race, and justice. Picoult talks with Detroit News columnist Neal Rubin, who asked her when she knew that writing would work out as a career.

National Writers Series: An evening with Margaret Atwood

Dec 1, 2016

Margaret Atwood is the author of many bestselling novels such as "The Handmaid's Tale" and "Cat's Eye." Her latest books include "Hag-Seed," which is a retelling of Shakespeare's play "The Tempest," and "Angel Catbird," a graphic novel featuring a cat-bird superhero. Margaret Atwood starts off telling Doug Stanton more about how she came to write "Angel Catbird."

National Writers Series: An evening with David Maraniss

Nov 3, 2016

Pulitzer-prize winning journalist David Maraniss says he was inspired to write his latest book after watching a now-iconic Chrysler commercial. David Maraniss was born in Detroit and is now an associate editor at the Washington Post. He’s written biographies of Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Vince Lombardi, Roberto Clemente, and others. His newest book, “Once in a Great City,” traces the heyday of Detroit and its decline. He talks with fellow journalist John U. Bacon. David Maraniss starts out explaining more about how he decided to write “Once in a Great City.”

Best-selling author Kyle Mills has become famous for continuing the book series' of dead writers. He'll be in Traverse City November 4, for the National Writers Series.
Kyle Mills

Kyle Mills is a best-selling author with over a dozen books to his name. But oftentimes, his name on those books is overshadowed by the names of other authors. 

Dead authors. 

“It’s kind of an interesting job, that I’ve accidentally fallen into,” says Mills. “I feel like sometimes I’m becoming the world’s foremost book forger.”

Mills has gotten a lot of attention for continuing the book series for authors Robert Ludlum and Vince Flynn, who both have passed away.

Ludlum penned many books, including the Jason Bourne trilogy. Vince Flynn was known for creating a similar thriller series, centered around the character Mitch Rapp.

 


National Writers Series: An evening with Paola Gianturco

Oct 24, 2016

Photojournalist Paola Gianturco’s work with women has taken her around the world, documenting their struggles and success stories. Her latest book, “Grandmother Power: A Global Phenomenon” profiles activist grandmothers from fifteen countries across five continents. The women in Gianturco’s books tell their stories in their own words, accompanied by her photographs. Fellow photographer Tony Demin will talk to Gianturco about her work. And we’ll hear from Jackson Kaguri, founder of the Nyaka AIDS Orphan Project.

A grandmother in Senegal, Africa. Grandmothers all over the world are highlighted in author Paola Gianturco's new book, 'Grandmother Power: A Global Phenomenon.'
Paola Gianturco

Paola Gianturco travels all over the world, writing books about women and girls. About 10 years ago, she was in Kenya interviewing women for a book she was working on. For some small talk before each interview, she asked each woman how many children she had.

The first woman told Ginaturco she had three, and 10 adopted. The second told her she had 5, and 15 adopted. The next said she had four and 12 adopted. Gianturco says all the women she spoke with answered the same way.

“And I suddenly realized that what they were telling me was that they were raising their grandchildren,” she says. “They had adopted them when their own children had died of AIDS.”

National Writers Series: An evening with Jim and Lynn Kouf

Aug 18, 2016

Jim and Lynn Kouf have helped write and produce many Hollywood films, including Con Air, National Treasure, and Money Monster. Their most recent project together is the TV series “Grimm.” Jim and Lynn Kouf talk this hour with actor, writer, and director Benjamin Busch, who asked Jim how you get started as a writer in Hollywood.

National Writers Series: An evening with Lucy Kalanithi

Aug 17, 2016

When neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with cancer, he decided to write a memoir. He didn’t live to see his book “When Breath Becomes Air” published, but it turned into a New York Times number one bestseller.

His widow, Lucy Kalanithi, helped finish the book after Paul couldn’t continue. Doug Stanton talks this hour with Lucy Kalanithi.

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