Cover To Cover is the anchor program for GPB’s literary coverage. Cover To Cover features a collection of distinctive Southern voices interviewing Georgia writers, Southern writers, and writers dealing with the South. The GPB Southern Lit Cadre will provide you with a varied, weekly glimpse at fiction, non-fiction, history, poetry, and even the occasional ‘old school’ nod to Flannery O’Connor or William Faulkner.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

All Over the Radio

At the risk of sounding terribly conceited, I want to alert you to some of my upcoming "appearances" on a radio near you.

Fridays with Jackie
Tomorrow morning (i.e. Friday, August 10) you can hear me and Jackie Cooper in our regular segment Fridays with Jackie. Airing at 6:35 and 8:35 across the GPB network during NPR's Morning Edition, tomorrow's entertainment conversation will feature much literature-related chat, so be on the listen-out!

Fridays with Jackie is a fun thing for me. I get to work each week with Jackie Cooper, one of my favorite fellows (, and swap information with him about books and authors. Someone actually asked me this week how much we rehearse before taping the segment. She was quite surprised to find out that we don't rehearse at all; the only preparation we do before rolling the tape is to decide the three or four topics we're going to talk about. Once the tape's rolling the magic just happens.

Joyce Carol Oates on Georgia Gazette
Also tomorrow, my recent interview with Joyce Carol Oates is scheduled to air during Georgia Gazette (Friday at 3PM, repeating Sunday at 10AM). The entire conversation lasted almost 45 minutes; what you'll hear tomorrow is a much-reduced 8-minute version. I hope to have the entire interview posted on the GPB website soon.

Oates came in to discuss her recently published novel The Gravedigger's Daughter (Ecco, 2007) pictured above. This is her 36th novel and is a command performance. The book's 582 pages tell an epic story that is at times as morally dark as any Thomas Hardy novel. In protagonist Rebecca Schwart, the gravedigger's daughter, Oates has created a character as attractive and yet as cursed as Tess Durbeyfield of Tess of the D'Ubervilles. While both characters are strong in a non-assertive way, Rebecca is able to triumph against her surroundings in a way that Tess is not.

Arthur Honegger's King David
Earlier this evening, as I was driving home from the studios, I had the dubious pleasure of listening to myself on the radio.

Today's Studio GPB featured a recent recording of the oratorio King David as performed by the Piedmont Chorale, Orchestra and soloists in the Center for Worship and Music at Piedmont College in Demorest under the direction of Maestro Wallace Hinson.

Before you start laughing at the thought of me singing in front of an audience, let me tell you that I was the narrator, the non-singing narrator! My family will understand what I mean. I may have perfect face for radio...I definitely have the perfect voice for non-singing parts.

The rehearsals and performances of King David at Piedmont College were great fun. This region of Northeast Georgia has a wonderful community, most of whom seem to listen to GPB (thank you!). Habersham County is one of those "best-kept secrets"; from midtown Atlanta it takes only 75 minutes to get there (traffic willing).

I absolutely hate listening to myself on the radio or watching myself on TV, so once I got home I didn't make King David a driveway moment. I put the car in the garage and went into the house without a second thought.

If you didn't get to hear Studio GPB this evening, don't worry. It repeats Sunday evening at 10.

And, of course, there's this month's Cover to Cover Sunday, August 26 at 8PM featuring UGA English professor James Everett Kibler who'll be in the studio with me to talk and take your calls about his novel Memory's Keep (Pelican Publishing, 2006), the second in his Clay Bank County trilogy. I hope you can tune in.

As always, if you have comments or questions about this blog entry, please email me at I look forward to hearing from you.