Talking About Books: The First Episode of Open Book
Books and authors, which never really caught on with television (although I remain hopeful for "Inside the Writer's Studio," or some similar TV show), seem to have a shot on the internet. First came Titlepage, which features four authors in a round table discussion about their books and literary culture in general, and now Slate has launched Open Book, an interview show that focuses on a single author.
The first episode of Open Book (discussed earlier on The Millions and the Avery Anthology blog) features reigning Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz discussing The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, as well as his childhood in the Dominican Republic, and why it took him so damn long to publish Oscar Wao. I agree with Emma over at Avery when she says that Diaz seems more relaxed than the guests on Titlepage, but I found something about the set to be distracting. It might be the projection screen walls they've got going on. I don't know. I spent half the show trying to make out what was happening through the screen (I think there's a picture of one of those rooftop water tanks they have in New York, right?). Also, I don't believe I've ever seen a show where there were two interviewers and only one guest. It makes it seem like an inquisition more than an interview (That would be a great name for an interview show, huh? "The Inquisition with Patrick Brown"...maybe that's what we'll call the Vroman's Podcast from now on).
As for Diaz, he's a fun interview, and it's kind of amazing that he read and reread all those sci-fi novels so that he could drop the casual jokes that he did in Oscar Wao. And, I dig his shirt, although I'm not entirely sure I could carry it off.
Anyway, check out the interview for yourself and tell me what you think. (And if you haven't read The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, do it! It's a great book and it's fun, damn it!)