James Lee Burke

Ep. 5

Best known for his David Robicheaux series of novels, James Lee Burke is a New York Times best selling author many times over, who has been awarded two Edgar Awards for best novel, as well as the Grand Master Master Award, by the Mystery Writers of America. His novels have been translated into almost every language in the world and his stories of the Deep South and American West make him on the essential American novelist of the last half century. 

His newest book came out this fall and its called ANOTHER KIND OF EDEN. It’s described as a captivating tale of justice, love, brutality, and mysticism set in the turbulent 1960s. And for my money, it’s well worth a read this fall. It’s rollicking and weird in exactly the right sort of ways, while also featuring the precise prose that led to one publication calling him “America’s best novelist.” 

Burke joined the show recently to discuss the books that inspire him, his favorite of his own books, the life of the writer, and much more.

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Jess Walter

Ep. 6
Walter is the author of sevennovels, one book of short stories and one nonfiction book. His work has been selected three times for Best American Short Stories as well as the Pushcart Prize and Best American Nonrequired Reading. He’s been published in, Harper's, Esquire,McSweeney's, Tin House, Ploughshares, the New York Times, the Washington Post and many others.He began his writing career in 1987 as a reporter for his hometown newspaper, The Spokesman-Review where he was a finalist for the 1992 Pulitzer Prize as part of a team covering the shootout and standoff at Ruby Ridge, in Northern Idaho. Eventually he wrote about this in hisfirst book, Every Knee Shall Bow, in 1995. He has also worked as a screenwriter and has taught graduate creative writing at the University of Iowa, Pacific University, Eastern Washington and Pacific Lutheran.Walter has twice won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award (for The Zero and We Live in Water), the Washington State Book Award (The Cold Millions) and was a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize (The Zero) and the PEN/USA Award in both fiction (The Zero) and nonfiction (Every Knee Shall Bow). His novel Beautiful Ruins was a #1 New York Times bestseller and spent more than a year on the bestseller list. It was also Esquire's Book of the Year and NPR Fresh Air's Novel of the Year. The Financial Lives of the Poets was Time Magazine's#2 novel of the year and Walter's story collection, We Live in Water, was longlisted for the Story Prize and the Frank O'Connor Short Story Award. Walter's latest novel is the national bestseller, The Cold Millions, A BOOK OF HISTROICAL FICTION “Featuring an unforgettable cast of cops and tramps, suffragists and socialists, madams and murderers, The Cold Millions is a tour de force from a “writer who has planted himself firmlyin the first rank of American authors” (Boston Globe).