First, James Lasdun’s "A Woman at the Window," is a cautionary tale for men who want to rescue damsels in distress. The reader is Leenya Rideout. Next, the late Ukranian-born writer Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky has invented a substance that expands apartments, and wreaks havoc on the life of his main character. "This American Life" commentator David Rakoff provides the nicely melancholy reading. Finally, Leenya Rideout returns for "Flight," in which a scatter-brained, lonely woman "borrows" her addled neighbor.
Writer and humorist David Rakoff, who died Thursday at the age of 47, wrote with a perfect balance of wit and gravity about the cancer that would ultimately take his life. Fresh Air remembers Rakoff with excerpts from two interviews in 2001 and 2010.
Jonathan Lethem has created an alternate NY City circa 2004, with astronauts lost in space, aging child stars and a tiger stalking the Upper East Side. Chuck Klosterman reexamines the Unabomber’s Manifesto and thinks there are some interesting ideas in his writing. V. Vale is republishing author J. G. Ballard, considered a science fiction writer, but self-described as "picturing the psychology of the future." Brent Silby describes a view that suggests that our ‘reality’ is a simulation being run in a massive computer.
Junot Diaz burst onto the literary scene with "Drown," a collection of short stories voiced by Yunior, a tough-talking Latino struggling to make his way on the streets of New Jersey. Diaz has revived Yunior for his latest book, "This Is How You Lose Her." Only this time, Yunior is juggling multiple women, and figuring out how to be faithful to his fiancee. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author joins us to talk about the book, and what it takes to be faithful.