Interviews By Topic

roller coaster

Writer B.J. Novak imagines a roller coaster that's modeled after real life, and designed by the artist Christo.More

A false bull

Mark Sundeen tells Anne he accepted an advance to write a travel book about bull-fighting in Spain. What he wrote instead was an over-the-top fake documentary.More

Ferris wheel

At one point there were more than 1,500 amusement parks across America. Historian Lauren Rabinovitz says they helped ease the country into a period of rapid technological change.More

Ghostly image

Kelly Link writes what she calls slipstream fiction — magical realist with a strong dose of weird.More

Walt Disney

Cultural anthropologist Scott A. Lukas describes the history and cultural significance of theme parks such as Disney World.More

A scene from the last phase of Ragnarök

Writer Neil Gaiman retells the ancient Norse myth of the Twilight of the Gods and apocalyptic end of the world in his stunning new collection, “Norse Mythology.”  We added some dark radio magic.More

girl reading

New York Times Book Review Editor Pamela Paul on why reading — and more importantly, a deep connection to when, why, where and how of what we read — is so important at every age. More

Author Susan Orlean on how the worst library fire in American history brought an entire city together to save 700,000 books.More

chimpanzee

In 1960, a young primatologist stared deeply into the eyes of a wild chimpanzee. She was Jane Goodall. He was David Greybeard. Their mutual gaze changed animal science forever.More

"Birds Watching." Printed reflective film mounted on aluminum on steel frame.

In Chicago, writer Gavin Van Horn and environmental artist Jenny Kendler visit her new art installation, which confronts viewers with the gaze of 100 giant bird eyes. It's meant to provoke curiosity, wonder, and awareness of how many non-human eyes are always watching us.More

Gavin on the 606.

Eye-to-eye epiphanies are experiences of kinship with the more-than-human world. Gavin Van Horn says kinship is also something to practice. He shares a few thoughts about how.More

osprey

Locking eyes with another creature in the wild can be a profound experience. For physicist and writer Alan Lightman, half a second of eye contact with a pair of ospreys felt like an epiphany.More

owl

Dogs, cats, birds, frogs, even insects watch us. Each with a different kind of eye. What, and how, do they see? Ivan Schwab is an ophthalmologist who’s been fascinated by that question for a long time.More

Barred owl

Heather Swan is a writer with a gift for listening to the natural world. Still, she didn't know what to make of the barred owl who came to visit her every day for three weeks. And then she realized, with a jolt, the owl had a message for her.More

A hospital staffer

Rafael Campo is a doctor who's also a prize-winning poet. He sees medicine and writing as two different modes of healing. And during the pandemic, writing poetry has been his way to bear witness to the many people who lost their voices to COVID-19.More

Charles' tattoo in memory of his brother, Joe Kane.

An estimated 20-30% of inked skin consists of memorial tattoos. Charles Monroe-Kane has a lot of ink, but he just got his first memorial tattoo. He reflects on his beloved brother Joe Kane— a hard-living, Harley-Davidson biker who died too young.More

Doo Lough, Co Mayo

The Irish know how to talk about death — and also celebrate it. Even in difficult times. Gillian O'Brien is an Irish historian who went on a dark tour of her country's historic sites and memorials of death, going back to the Irish Potato Famine.More

ipad reading

Are we losing the ability to read difficult books? Cognitive scientist Maryanne Wolf says we need to develop a "bi-literate reading brain" so that we can switch back and forth between the deep reading of print and the skimming of electronic texts.More

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