The Bob Edwards Show, January 20-24, 2014
Monday, January 20, 2014: In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday we bring back Bob’s conversation with several Memphis residents who knew King and were active during the civil rights struggle of the 1960’s. All three guests touch on the city’s sanitation workers’ strike which brought Dr. King to Memphis. Maxine Smith led the city’s chapter of the NAACP from 1962 until 1996, Frank McRae was a local white minister who supported the sanitation workers marching for their rights and dignity and Benjamin Hooks was a close friend of King’s and went on to serve as executive director of the NAACP.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014: Dave Eggers calls Ishmael Beah “arguably the most read African writer in contemporary literature.” Beah’s 2007 best-selling memoir, A Long Way Gone, was an account of his life as a boy soldier during the civil war in Sierra Leone. Now he’s written a novel that explores the war’s aftermath and the world he left behind. The core story in Radiance of Tomorrow revolves around two friends, Benjamin and Bockarie, who encounter a heap of obstacles as they try to retake their posts as teachers in their hometown after a devastating civil war. Then, best-selling crime writer and MWA Grand Master Sara Paretsky’s latest book has her famous private investigator, V.I. Warshaski, doing a favor for her closest friend. Critical Mass is Paretsky’s 17th book to feature Warshawski, a character Kirkus Review called, “a kind of grownup Nancy Drew—smart, gutsy, and able to balance thinking with acting.”
Wednesday, January 22, 2014: Daniel Menaker has been the fiction editor for The New Yorker long enough to have a book’s worth of stories to tell about the job. My Mistake is his tell-all, behind-the-scenes account of the goings-on at the fabled magazine. But more than gossip, it’s also a very personal account of Menaker’s battle with cancer and the deaths of people close to him. Then, Bob talks to best-selling novelist Gary Shteyngart about his new memoir, Little Failure. Shteyngart was born in the Soviet Union in l971, and emigrated with his parents to the U.S. when he was seven. He says it was like going from a monochromatic world to blinding Technicolor. And it wasn’t an easy transition. Shteyngart says he was the second most hated kid at his American elementary school, and earned the nickname “the red hamster.”
Thursday, January 23, 2014: John Wooden was by far the most successful college basketball coach ever. “The Wizard of Westwood” led his UCLA Bruins to ten NCAA Basketball Division 1 championships, more than twice as many as any other coach. In addition to his unquestionable on-court success, he also imbued his players, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton, with indelible life lessons for success. Seth Davis, senior writer for Sports Illustrated and analyst for CBS Sports, is the author of Wooden: A Coach’s Life. Then, we hear a new commentary from children’s book writer and illustrator Daniel Pinkwater.
Friday, January 24, 2014: Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news. Then, the first time Sue Monk Kidd heard about Sarah Grimke she was intrigued. In an act of rebellion against her wealthy, slave-owning family, Sarah traveled the country speaking out against slavery in the years before the Civil War. A fictionalized Sarah is at the heart of Kidd’s new novel, The Invention of Wings. Her first-person narrative is weaved together with that of Hetty “Handful” Grimke’, an enslaved girl given to Sarah for her 11th birthday. This is Susan Monk Kidd’s third book. Her first novel, The Secret Life of Bees, was a huge best-seller and, like this new one, an Oprah Book Club pick. Finally, the latest installment of our ongoing series This I Believe.