Samson, Don — The Creative Imagination of Playwright Don Samson

The creative imagination of playwright Don Samson is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.  In May 2015, I had the good fortune of seeing a ten minute play entitled “Blind Date,” written by my long time friend, who lives in nearby Willits, California.  For many years prior to becoming a playwright, Don Samson researched and wrote legal briefs for criminal defense attorneys, an experience we also discuss in this program.

After seeing the local production of “Blind Date,” I was curious about the circumstances that came to Don Samson’s mind when he created this play, so I invited him to visit the Radio Curious studios.  We met on May 22, 2015 and began our conversation with his description of those circumstances. 

Don Samson recommends the book, which is also a play, “Antigone,” by Sophocles.

Click here to listen to the program or on the media player below.

Nawa, Fariba — Child Brides & Drug Lords

Imagine Darya, a twelve year old girl in a remote village of Afghanistan. Her father forces her to marry a drug lord as part payment for an opium drug trade. Her father is not home and she is about to be taken from her family. Desperately, her hands trembling, she implores you, a complete stranger: “Please don’t let him take me.”

In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with Fariba Nawa, author of “Opium Nation: Child Brides, Drug Lords and One Woman’s Journey Through Afghanistan.” Fariba Nawa was ten years old when her family fled Afghanistan shortly before the Soviet invasion in 1979. Eighteen years later Fariba Nawa met twelve year old Darya when she returned to her native Afghanistan as an Afghan-American investigative journalist. Her book tells Darya’s story, and reveals what the Afghan opium drug trade is doing to her native land in the midst of war.

Fariba Nawa and I visited by phone from her home near San Francisco, California on January 23, 2012. We began with her description of coming to the United States and flight from Afghanistan.

The book Fariba Nawa recommends is “Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love and War,” by Annia Ciezaldo.

Click here to listen to the program or on the media player below.

Hollenbeck, Holly — Sex Lives of Wives

How to ignite sexual passion from a woman’s perspective is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious, as we talk with Holly Hollenbeck, a former attorney from Omaha, Nebraska, and author of, “Sex Lives of Wives, Reigniting the Passion, True Confessions and Provocative Advice from Real Women.” Holly Hollenbeck says her book is not so much directed at how to please your mate, but how to please yourself by pleasing your mate. Her website is devoted to helping women find passion and inspiration in their long-term relationships. I spoke with Holly Hollenbeck from her home in Nebraska, in mid September 2006, and asked her to describe what motivated her to write, “Sex Lives of Wives.”

The book Holly Hollenbeck recommends is “Adults Only Travel: The Ultimate Guide to Romantic and Erotic Destination,” by David West and Louis James.

Originally Broadcast: September 20, 2006.

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Hong Fincher, Leta Ph.D. — Gender Inequality in China: Part One Leftover Women

The erosion of gender equality in China is the topic of this two part series with Leta Hong Fincher, the author of “Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China.” This book is based in part on her research for the Ph.D. in sociology she received in 2014 from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China.

In our first conversation we discuss governmental, social and family pressures on women to marry by age 27. Those who don’t are characterized in cartoons and posters as “leftover women.” We also discuss the why home ownership deeds are most often only recorded in the name of the husband, regardless of the fact the wife has made a significant if not great financial contribution.

In the second conversation, we discuss issues of domestic violence in China and treatment of women in the workplace.

When Leta Hong Fincher and I visited by phone on August 9, 2014 we began our conversation with her description of the term “leftover women.”

The book Leta Hong Fincher recommends is “The Birth of Chinese Feminism: Essential Texts in Transnational Theory,” by Lydia H. Liu, Rebecca E. Karl and Dorothy Ko.

Click here to listen to the program or on the media player below.

Erlick, Eli & Longchamp, Dr. Carla — Transgender Youth: One Family’s Experience Part One

This edition of Radio Curious is the first of two conversations with Eli Erlick, a woman, who was born a male, and her mother Dr. Carla Longchamp.  

Eli Erlick is the Founder and Executive Director of Trans Student Equality Resource, based in San Francisco, California and a student at Pitzer College in Claremont, California.  Dr. Carla Longchamp is a family physician in a rural northern California community.

Together they share their family’s experience when Eli realized that she was female, and her parent’s subsequent acceptance of who she is.  Our conversation, recorded on January 15, 2014, at Radio Curious, began when I asked Eli, when she knew she was a girl. 

Click here to listen to part one or on the media player below.

Click here  to listen to part two.

 

 

Freed, Lynn — Reflections on a Life

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

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Click here to download the podcast.

Freedman, Estelle B. — The History of Feminism

The place of women in the world and in the American society has changed in many aspects in the recent past.  Many people say this is due to the politics of feminism, and some inquire where it will lead.

Our guest in this archive edition of Radio Curious is Estelle B. Freedman, a professor of history at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, who has a specialty in feminism.  She is the author of “No Turning Back—The History of Feminism and the Future of Women.”

Originally Broadcast: April 2002.

Click here to visit and listen to our archived program or click on the media player below.

Berkowitz, Eric — Sex and Punishment Part Two

We continue our conversation about sexuality with Eric Berkowitz, author, journalist and lawyer.  His book, “Sex and Punishment: Four Thousand Years of Judging Desire” is a story of the struggle to regulate the most powerful engine of human behavior. This engine that drives the human species is substantially different in us than in other mammals. In our million years of evolution, physically and socially we have developed the ability to communicate ideas and the expected, if not “required” behaviors of women and men and children regarding sexual thought, expression and procreation. The history of these ever changing definitions and controls of this fundamental aspect of our lives are visited in this two part series of conversations with Eric Berkowitz, recorded in the Radio Curious studios on December 29, 2012.

Part One discusses the effect the topic of sex has on other people; the development of laws dealing with adultery and women as property; enjoyment of sex; and the way humans dress compared to other animals.

Part Two discusses the issues of young women having sexual relationships with considerably older men; the intention and effect of religion in relationship to sex; prostitution; and same sex intimacy.

The books Eric Berkowitz recommends are “Nemisis,” by Philip Roth, “Love and Exile: An Autobiographical Trilogy,” by Issac Bashevis Singer, and “Jerusalem: The Biography,” by Simon Sebag-Montefiore.

Click here to listen to part two or on the media player below.

Click here to download the podcast.

Berkowitz, Eric — Sex and Punishment Part One

“Sex and Punishment: Four Thousand Years of Judging Desire” is a story of the struggle to regulate the most powerful engine of human behavior. This engine that drives the human species is substantially different in us than in other mammals. In our million years of evolution, physically and socially we have developed the ability to communicate ideas and the expected, if not “required” behaviors of women and men and children regarding sexual thought, expression and procreation. The history of these ever changing definitions and controls of this fundamental aspect of our lives are visited in this two part series of conversations with Eric Berkowitz, recorded in the Radio Curious studios on December 29, 2012.

Part One discusses the effect the topic of sex has on other people; the development of laws dealing with adultery and women as property; enjoyment of sex; and the way humans dress compared to other animals.

Part Two discusses the issues of young women having sexual relationships with considerably older men; the intention and effect of religion in relationship to sex; prostitution; and same sex intimacy.

The books Eric Berkowitz recommends are “Nemisis,” by Philip Roth, and “Love and Exile: An Autobiographical Trilogy,” by Issac Bashevis Singer.

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Click here to download the podcast.

Ebershoff, David — How Many Wives are Enough?

Radio Curious brings you an archived conversation with David Ebershoff, author of “The 19th Wife,” a book about the life of Ann Eliza Young, the 19th wife of Brigham Young, a critic of polygamy, and early leader in the struggle for women’s rights.

Click here to visit and listen to our archived program or click on the media player below.