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To the Best of Our Knowledge Radio/TV Program

To the Best of Our Knowledge: Great Reads

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Publisher's Summary

In this hour, in an excerpt from a 1991 interview, Philippe Petit talks about his experience walking on a tightrope between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 1974.

Then, Colum McCann, whose novel Let the Great World Spin takes place on the day of Petit's adventure, talks with Steve Paulson. McCann was born in Dublin but lives now in New York. His father-in-law escaped from the first tower hit on 9/11. Let the Great World Spin won the National Book Award for Fiction.

Next, Jayne Anne Phillips is the author of several novels and two collections of widely anthologized short stories. Her novel Lark & Termite was also a finalist for the National Book Award. She reads an excerpt and talks with Jim Fleming about her love of children and her interest in communicating our perceptions of the many levels of reality we all live on.

After that, Hillary Mantel won Britain's prestigious Man Booker Prize for her book Wolf Hall. She tells Anne Strainchamps that Henry the Eighth needed a "fixer" to make his break from the Church of Rome and his many marriages legal in England. That man was Thomas Cromwell and Hilary Mantel tells his story in her book.

Following that, Carlos Ruiz Zafon is the author of The Shadow of the Wind and now, The Angel's Game. He tells Jim Fleming that both books are part of a sort of Chinese box set of four inter-related novels involving the same characters and his native city of Barcelona.

And finally, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie splits her time between the U.S. and her native Nigeria. She talks with Steve Paulson about her early days as a writer and her experience as an immigrant from Africa. Her latest book is called The Thing Around Your Neck. [Broadcast Date: January 13, 2010]

Listen to:

  • Let the Great World Spin (Unabridged) by Colum McCann
  • Wolf Hall (Unabridged) by Hillary Mantel
  • The Angel's Game (Unabridged) by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

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