Minnesota Public Radio is proud to announce the 15th season of Talking Volumes. All Talking Volumes are hosted by award-winning journalist Kerri Miller. Talking Volumes is a partnership of Minnesota Public Radio and Star Tribune, in collaboration with The Loft Literary Center.

  • October 1st: Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

  • November 5th: Azar Nafisi

  • November 11th: Karen Armstrong

  • December 1st: Richard Ford

Click for ticketing information

Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

October 1, 2014

The publisher's description of "The Iron Trial": Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial. Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail.

All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him. So he tries his best to do his worst - and fails at failing.

Cassandra Clare is the author of the Mortal Instruments trilogy which includes the bestseller, "City of Bones." Her latest series, "The Infernal Devices", topped the New York Times bestseller list.

Holly Black is the co-author of bestselling novel "The Spiderwick Chronicles" and author of "Doll Bones," a 2014 Newbury Honor book.

Azar Nafisi

November 5, 2014

The publisher's description of "The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books": Ten years ago, Azar Nafisi electrified readers with her million-copy bestseller, "Reading Lolita in Tehran", which told the story of how, against the backdrop of morality squads and executions, she taught The Great Gatsby and other classics to her eager students in Iran. In this exhilarating followup, Nafisi has written the book her fans have been waiting for: an impassioned, beguiling, and utterly original tribute to the vital importance of fiction in a democratic society. What "Reading Lolita in Tehran" was for Iran, "The Republic of Imagination" is for America.

Taking her cue from a challenge thrown to her in Seattle, where a skeptical reader told her that Americans don't care about books the way they did back in Iran, she energetically responds to those who say fiction has nothing to teach us. Blending memoir and polemic with close readings of her favorite American novels—"The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn", "Babbitt", and "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter", among others—she invites us to join her as citizens of her "Republic of Imagination," a country where the villains are conformity and orthodoxy and the only passport to entry is a free mind and a willingness to dream.

Azar Nafisi is a professor and author of the best-seller "Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books."

Karen Armstrong

November 11, 2014

The publisher's description of "Fields of Blood: Religion, and the History of Violence": From the renowned and best-selling author of A History of God, a sweeping exploration of religion's connection to violence.

For the first time in American history, religious self-identification is on the decline. Some have cited a perception that began to grow after September 11, 2001-that faith in general is a source of aggression, intolerance, and divisiveness, something bad for society. But how accurate is that view? And does it apply equally to all faiths? In these troubled times, we risk basing decisions of real and dangerous consequence on mistaken understandings of the faiths around us, in our immediate community as well as globally. And so, with her deep learning and sympathetic understanding, Karen Armstrong examines the impulse toward violence in each of the world's great religions.

Karen Armstrong is the author of "A History of God," "Through the Narrow Gate" and "The Spiral Staircase." She created the Charter for Compassion, for which she won the TED Prize.

Richard Ford

December 1, 2014

The publisher's description of "Let Me Be Frank With You - A Frank Bascombe Book": A brilliant new work that returns Richard Ford to the hallowed territory that sealed his reputation as an American master: the world of Frank Bascombe, and the landscape of his celebrated novels "The Sportswriter", the Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner winning "Independence Day", and "The Lay of the Land".

In his trio of world-acclaimed novels portraying the life of an entire American generation, Richard Ford has imagined one of the most indelible and widely discussed characters in modern literature, Frank Bascombe. Through Bascombe—protean, funny, profane, wise, often inappropriate—we've witnessed the aspirations, sorrows, longings, achievements and failings of an American life in the twilight of the twentieth century.

Now, in "Let Me Be Frank with You", Ford reinvents Bascombe in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. In four richly luminous narratives, Bascombe (and Ford) attempts to reconcile, interpret and console a world undone by calamity. It is a moving and wondrous and extremely funny odyssey through the America we live in at this moment. Ford is here again working with the maturity and brilliance of a writer at the absolute height of his powers.

Richard Ford is the author "The Sportswriter," which introduced his character Frank Bascombe. Its sequel "Independence Day" won the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award. His last novel, "Canada," won the Andrew Carnegie Medal from the American Library Association.

About Tickets

Season tickets for Talking Volumes are $80.00. Single tickets are $25.00 for the general public, and $23.00 for members of Minnesota Public Radio, Star Tribune, and The Loft Literary Center. Season tickets go on sale July 22nd, and single tickets on August 12th.

Call the Minnesota Public Radio box office at 651-290-1200 or visit us on-line at http://fitzgeraldtheater.publicradio.org for more information.

About Talking Volumes

Talking Volumes, a partnership of Minnesota Public Radio and Star Tribune, in collaboration with The Loft Literary Center, is a winner of the prestigious Gracie Allen Award. Talking Volumes was noted for its superior quality in writing, production and programming.

About the host

Kerri Miller

Kerri Miller, the host of Talking Volumes, can be heard on The Daily Circuit on Minnesota Public Radio News. She has been a radio and television news reporter since 1981. She has won numerous awards, including the Society of Professional Journalists National Achievement Award, the Associated Press Award and a Gracie award from the Association of Women in Radio and Television.

Talking Volumes Archives

Ticket Information

Tickets for Talking Volumes are available at the Fitzgerald Theater Web site or by phone at 651-290-1200. The public ticket price is $25. MPR Member tickets are $23.

About Talking Volumes

Talking Volumes is a partnership of Minnesota Public Radio and the The Star Tribune, in collaboration with The Loft Literary Center.

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