July 12, 2013

Neal Conan nostalgia: Talk of the Nation author interviews


Last week, Neal Conan delivered a farewell address after 11 years on the air to the three million NPR listeners who tune in to Talk of the Nation every day. Due to a “move toward storytelling” or “being thrown under the bus,” TOTN has ended its run and will be replaced by the news broadcast Here and Now in the afternoons.

For anyone who already misses Neal Conan’s voice, his terse encouragement to callers to “go ahead please,” and conversations with all sorts of authors, politicians, and newsmakers, here’s some book related interviews with authors to assuage that Neal Conan withdrawal. From discussing “cats in the microwave” with Lemony Snicket, “ten minutes of fame for everybody” with Jaimy Gordon, and travel tips with Pico Iyer and Paul Theroux, these Talk of the Nation interviews and sometimes crazy listener calls might help heal the pain.

1.)  An interview with Daniel Handler—who writes under the pen name Lemony Snicket.

2.) Neal talks to Jaimy Gordon, author of The Lord of Misrule, which won the 2010 National Book Award.

3.) A discussion with Colum McCann about returning home to Ireland.

4)  Paul Theroux and Pico Iyer give Neal Conan travel tips.

5) A conversation about architecture with Alain de Botton is interrupted by reports of a helicopter crash.

6.) Neil Gaiman talks to the other Neal about his “Make Good Art” speech.

7.) Distant Witness author Andy Carvin talks about using social media sources to write a new form a journalism.

8.) Neal Conan talks about re-reading the classics with writer Kevin Smokler.


Claire Kelley is the Director of Library and Academic Marketing at Melville House.