Episode 94 — Karl Taro Greenfeld


Karl Taro Greenfeld is the guest.  He’s a journalist who has written for The Nation, Time magazine, and Sports Illustrated.  And he’s the author of six books, the most recent of which is a novel called Triburbia, now available from Harper.

Booklist, in a starred review, raves:

Compelling. . . . Greenfeld brilliantly illuminates the pecking order and power plays behind the smug façade of this fashionable urban fortress . . . A surprising, involving, and strikingly perceptive tale of social and personal metamorphoses.

And Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, calls it

An absorbing first novel. . . . Greenfeld wields his critiques, humor, and observations to create a compelling little universe.

Topics of conversation include:  journalism, Tokyo, Japan, China, Asia, Time magazine, fiction, Stephen Glass, issues of state, the internet, Tom Wolfe, Joan Didion, chronology, manipulation, blogosphere, standards of veracity, James Frey, memoir, autism, memory, truth, newspapers, Tokyo Journal, youth culture, criminals, pop culture, motorcycle gangs, porn stars, pitching, faxing, Yakuza, Goodfellas, embellishment, British magazines, MTV, profiles, ideas pieces, Hunter Thompson, Ryszard Kapuscinski, Bruce Chatwin, William Vollman, drugs, pharmacies, opiates, meth, rehab, Standard Deviations, priorities, subconscious, getting people to read, luck, obligation, guilt, New York City, Tribeca, networking, exposition, efficiency, entertaining, informing, pacing, showing vs. telling, independent presses, MFAs, The Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, New York Tyrant, Hobart, writer’s block, failure of will, HTML Giant, and the culture of literary writing in America.

Monologue topics:  suspicious moles, dread, low-level panic, Googling disease, skin cancer, death.