Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lullabies for Little Criminals

I've become addicted to This American Life in the last year. TAL is the long-running radio program from Chicago Public Radio that is broadcast on NPR in the States, but for awhile now has been available as weekly podcasts (free! but consider pledging). Hosted by Ira Glass, TAL is usually a documentary or two, a personal essay, a bit of humour, held together by the week's theme. TAL has a stable of excellent writer/performers and contributors, some of whom have gone on to fame and fortune, like David Sedaris, others well-known amongst, well, public radio listeners / Volvo drivers / latte drinkers shall we say (Sarah Vowell, David Rakoff, Anne Lamott). The Library has a 2006 CD of some of TAL's greatest hits and a DVD of the TAL TV show from 2007.
Recently I was surprised to hear a piece by Jonathan Goldstein on TAL. As a CBC Radio listener I have heard his Wiretap program for years. But apparently Goldstein was a TAL producer in 2000-2002, and continues contributing to TAL. And even more suprising, in googling Goldstein I discovered his long-time partner is writer Heather O'Neill, author of the 2007 CBC Canada Reads winning novel, Lullabies for Little Criminals. And apparently she is a TAL contributer as well.

Okay, perhaps only surprising to me. But maybe you can ask Heather if Jonathan is really as neurotic as his on-air personality when the Q & A session happens after her reading tonight in Edmonton. Lullabies for Little Criminals is this year's "College Book of the Year" at Grant MacEwan College, where the whole campus is encouraged to read the same book. The author spends a few days on campus and does a public reading. Tonight is Heather O'Neill's public reading: Thursday, January 29th @ 7:00pm, Conference Theatre (5-142), GMCC downtown campus.


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