KUCI Fund Drive

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Lionel Shriver on Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM

"Lionel Shriver’s contrarianism has made her famous, but fiction is what she believes changes minds,” said the New Yorker last year. Since her 2003 breakout novel, We Need to Talk About Kevin (later turned into the 2011 film starring Tilda Swinton), Shriver has pushed people’s political buttons. She’s a pro-Brexit, anti-woke, #MeToo-skeptical Democrat who eats one meal a day, dislikes babies, and refuses the comforts of either heat or air conditioning.


Her novels have tackled tricky American issues such as school shootings, an ongoing healthcare crisis, morbid obesity, and the widening wealth gap. Her latest novel, Should We Stay or Should We Go, confronts aging and western civilization’s obsession with immortality. Kay and Cyril, a couple not keen on facing the indignities of growing old, made a middle-aged suicide pact to occur on Kay’s 80th birthday, which happens in March of 2020. What will they decide when the day arrives? Shriver explores every last possibility.


She joins Marrie Stone to talk about the book, writing contemporaneously with the pandemic, and constructing a novel with several diverse outcomes. They have a candid discussion about aging, death, suicide, and the ethics of behind every decision along the road to the bitter end. 


Download audio.

Broadcast date: June 9, 2021

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Lisa Scottoline, author of Eternal, on Writers on Writing

Lisa Scottoline, author of the novel, Eternal, talks with Barbara DeMarco-Barrett about the art, craft, and business of writing.

(Broadcast date: June 2, 2021)

Friday, May 28, 2021

Jo Ann Beard on Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM

When essayist Jo Ann Beard came on the show in 2018, she swore she was done publishing books. While some writers knock out novels every year, Beard takes decades to assemble a small collection. But she realized these past 23 years had produced nine pieces and, together, they worked.


The consequence of taking this much time at craft are essays so distilled, the reader feels like an ant under Beard’s sun-pierced glass. Not all the pieces are pure nonfiction. Beard blends factual events with imagined inner lives to create experiences so searing, it’s difficult not to flinch. As a writer, Beard never flinches. She takes us all the way into a young woman’s final moments with Dr. Kevorkian. She forces us to jump from a burning building. We endure the agony of a beloved dog’s last hours.


Beard joins Marrie Stone to talk about Festival Days, a book the NYT calls "ferocious" by an author they call a "towering talent." She is as compassionate an interview subject as she is a writer. She takes us inside her mind, her creative decisions, and her private obsessions. Enjoy the ride.

Download audio.  

 (Broadcast date: May 26, 2021)

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Jean Hanff Korelitz, The Plot

Jean Hanff Korelitz, author of The Plot, talks with Barbara DeMarco-Barrett about the art, craft, and business of writing. 

(Broadcast date: May 19, 2021)

Music by Travis Barrett. Find him on Spotify or here.

Friday, May 14, 2021

A.J. Jacobs on Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM

A.J. Jacobs is an author, journalist, lecturer and human guinea pig. He has written several New York Times bestsellers that combine memoir, science, humor, and a dash of self-help.


A.J. read the Encyclopedia Britannica in its entirety (The Know It All), spent a year following every last biblical commandment (The Year of Living Biblically), assembled the world’s largest family tree (It’s All Relative), and got himself into superhuman shape (Drop Dead Healthy). He joins Marrie Stone to talk about his latest gratitude challenge wherein he undertook thanking every person responsible for getting his morning cup of coffee (Thanks a Thousand).

A.J. talks about the genesis of his ideas, how he keeps himself organized, and how he pushes himself into successive George Plimpton-esque feats of psychological strength. He shares mounds of writing and journalistic wisdom, as well as lots of backstories and humorous insights. 

Download audio.  

(Broadcast date: May 12, 2021)