A podcast posted every Sunday featuring extended interviews and discussions from Bookwaves, Art-Waves, and Bookwaves Artwaves Hour programs on KPFA, and newly digitized and edited archive interviews from the pre-digital Probabilities series dating back to 1977. Literature, theater, film, the visual arts: in-depth interviews from a progressive and artistic viewpoint, with long-time KPFA/Pacifica host Richard Wolinsky.
Umberto Eco, who died on February 19, 2016 at the age of 84, was one of the world’s leading semiologists, studying the relationship of signs and symbols to meaning and language. He was also a well-known and well respected novelist. The Name of the Rose, a detective novel set in the middle ages, became a surprise best-seller, and he followed it up with Foucault’s Pendulum, which dealt with world conspiracies, and five later novels. In 2005, Richard Wolinsky sat down with Umberto Eco in the KPFA studios while the Italian writer was on tour for his most recent novel, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana.
Paul Kantner, who died on January 28, 2016 at the age of 74, was one of the founding members of the great San Francisco band, Jefferson Airplane, and later one of the founders of Jefferson Starship. A legendary vocalist and songwriter, Kantner was known for his melding of rock and roll and science fiction in his lyrics. On February 9th, 1984, Richard A. Lupoff and Richard Wolinsky spoke with Paul Kantner in an interview never meant to be aired.
Armistead Maupin is the author of the legendary “Tales of the City Series.” The final book in the series, “The Days of Anna Madrigal” was published in 2014. In this interview, Maupin talks about the entire Tales series, about the musical version that played in San Francisco, about the TV series, and about the various characters.
Miranda July is a multi-talented artist, working in film, fiction, monologue, digital media presentations, and live performance art. This extended version of an interview while on tour for that novel and recorded in January, 2015 runs fifteen minutes longer than the show that originally aired.
Richard Wolinsky talks with Jill Leovy, author of Ghettoside. Leovy, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, spent many years embedded with police and community members in the part of the city known as South Central. In this book, she focuses on the ongoing issue of homicide involving African American men, and the results of both under-policing and over-policing. This interview was aired in two parts on KPFA, and is heard here in its entirety.
Gore Vidal (1925-2012) was the author of such novels as Burr, 1976, Julian and Myra Breckinridge, as well as one of America’s greatest essayists. On June 30, 1990, he sat down with Richard Wolinsky for an illuminating interview about his career as both writer and social critic. The interview was transcribed and published in the San Francisco Bay Guardian on July 11, 1990. It has not been heard for over twenty years.
Bill English is the Artistic Director of San Francisco Playhouse, one of the mid-sized regional theaters in the Bay Area, on Post Street in Union Square. This is a wide-ranging discussion recorded July 28, 2015 about various issues in the theater world, including the past and current seasons of San Francisco Playhouse. A shorter version aired on KPFA’s Arts-Waves program. Hosted by Richard Wolinsky and recorded in the studios of KPFA.