Lynn Freed – Reflections on a Life

The Mirror

The personal journal is often not meant for the eyes of anyone but the writer. When a stranger’s journal is read, the reader often becomes a voyeur to the innermost secrets of another. And whether it is a true journal or one of fiction, who cares? Often, it remains a good story. Lynn Freed, originally of Durban, South Africa, wrote the fictional journal of Agnes LaGrange, entitled “The Mirror,” which reveals the thoughts, feelings, and loves of Agnes, starting when she arrived in South Africa to work as a housekeeper, and ending 50 years later.

Lynn Freed recommends “Misfit,” by Jonathan Yardly, “Essays,” by George Orwell & “Last Days in Cloud Cukooland Dispatches,” by Graham Boynton.

Originally Broadcast: December 12, 1997

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Emily Dickinson & Wendy Norris – Hiding in Her Own House

Emily Dickinson, better known now than she was then, was known well for her phrases which sang out in a multitude of forms, meters and styles. Her words presented her innermost feelings and thoughts. A passionate and witty woman, she made a craft and an art of her words and her life. I met with Emily Dickinson, in the person of actress Wendy Norris, in the parlor of the Dickinson family home, magically carried from Amherst, MA, to the stage of the Willits Community Theater, in Willits, CA, where the belle of Amherst told her story.

Originally Broadcast: December 5, 1997

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Gregorio Luke – Mexican Culture in the United States

The governments of most countries in the world send an ambassador to other countries to talk about and promote what their country is like and carry on political affairs between the two countries. These ambassadors often have assistants that are called “cultural attaches”. They present the culture, the folklore and the history from the country where they’re from and the country where they are. In this program from the archives of Radio Curious, recorded in 1997, we visit with Gregorio Luke, who then was the counsel for cultural affairs for Mexico. He spent 8 ½ years in Washington DC, and at the time this program was recorded he had been working at the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles for eighteen months.

Gregorio Luke recommends “The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh,” by Vincent Van Gogh.

Originally Broadcast: November 7, 1997

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Nicols Fox – Watch What You Eat

Spoiled: The Dangerous Truth About a Food Chain That Has Gone Wild

In this Halloween, 1997, edition of Radio Curious, I spoke with Nicols Fox, the journalist who has written a terribly scary book called “Spoiled: The Dangerous Truth About a Food Chain That Has Gone Wild.” It’s truly disgusting; all those little microbes that will make you retch and die. The food you prepare at home can poison you; when you eat at a restaurant, the food they serve you can make you retch.

Nicols Fox recommends “Water,” by Alice Atwater.

Originally Broadcast: October 31, 1997

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Joan Jacobs Brumberg – An Intimate History of American Girls

The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls

Advertising has had a major effect on how we view our bodies and on our individual self-image. The history of how this advertising has come to affect American girls as they pass through menarche and adolescence is presented in a book called “The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls.” This book describes the historical roots of acute societal and psychological pressures that girls feel today. It shows how the female adolescent experience has changed since 1895. The author, Joan Jacobs Brumberg, is a Professor of History and Women’s Studies at Cornell University in New York. In this two-part program, I spoke Professor Brumberg in October of 1997 and asked her what drew her to write “The Body Project.”

Joan Jacobs Brumberg recommends “Learning to Bow,” by Bruce Feiler & “The Grass Link,” by May Vinchi.

Originally Broadcast: October 14, 1997 & October 21, 1997

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Jane Dymond – A Juror Speaks

The Eugene “Bear” Lincoln murder trial ended in the fall of 1997 in Ukiah, California, with an acquittal of the defendant, Mr. Lincoln, on charges of first degree and second-degree murder, and with the jury divided ten to two, on acquittal from manslaughter charges. Apart from the divisive nature of this criminal trial, it also carried a particularly extraordinary aspect. Seven of the twelve jurors chose to come forward and talk about their responses to what they heard and saw in the courtroom. Jane Dymond was a member of the Lincoln trial jury. She attended every session of the trial, and every aspect of the jury’s deliberation. She is our guest in this edition of Radio Curious.

Jane Dymond recommends “Independent People,” by Haldor Locksmith.

Originally Broadcast: October 10, 1997

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Richard Gardiner – The Mix of Psychiatry and the Psyche

This program is a two-part series with Dr. Richard Gardner, a practicing psychiatrist in Ukiah, California. We discuss what do psychiatrist do, and what don’t psychiatrist do? What is the psyche? What is crazy? What are the causes of mental dysfunction? What medicines were available to assist people with mental health problems, and other resources that were available in 1997 when this program was recorded.

Richard Gardiner recommends “How Good People Make Tough Choices,” by Rushworth M. Kidder and “The Cider House Rules,” by John Irving.

Originally Broadcast: September 30, 1997 October 3, 1997

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Blanche Boyd – Self-Styled Outlaw Lesbians

Terminal Velocity

The concept of memoir versus fiction leads many authors to transform their personal experiences and life to fiction. Blanche Boyd is a native of South Carolina and a Professor of Literature at Connecticut College. She is also the author of the book entitled, “Terminal Velocity.” This is a book about a group of self-styled lesbian outlaws in the 1970s. We discussed the relationship of memoir and fiction, and how it applies to her work.

Blanche Boyd recommends “Cathedral” & “To the Waterfall,” both by Raymond Carver.

Originally Broadcast: August 19, 1997

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Richard Dooling – Is it Safe to Say … ?

Blue Streak: Swearing, Free Speech and Sexual Harassment

Certain words, said at the wrong time or place, may get a person into a heap of trouble. The laws surrounding freedom of speech do not permit us, for example, to shout out “fire” in a theater or advocate the immediate and violent overthrow of the government. There are also limits on the time and place where a person can use swear words or language with sexual innuendos or suggestions. Richard Dooling, an attorney and writer living in Nebraska, joined us in June of 1997 to talk about his book, entitled, “Blue Streak: Swearing, Free Speech and Sexual Harassment.”

Richard Dooling recommends “Emotional Brain,” by Joseph La Due.

Originally Broadcast: June 4, 1997

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Sherwin Nuland – What Is It About Our Species That Allows Us to Learn So Much About Ourselves

The Wisdom of the Body

From developmental perspectives, both in individuals and in mankind as a whole, the brain, language, and civilization have separated our species from the rest of the animal kingdom. In May of 1997, I discussed these issues with Sherwin Nuland, a professor of Medical History at Yale University Medical School and author of many books, including Wisdom of the Body.

Sherwin Nuland recommends “The Meaning of Yiddish,” by Benjamin Harshav.

Originally Broadcast: May 21, 1997

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