FROM David Kipen
Americans and the Booker Prize The long list was announced today for one of the world’s richest and most prestigious literary awards: the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. Traditionally, only writers from the British Commonwealth were eligible for the Booker, but this year it’s open to all novels written originally in English and published in Britain. And plenty of Europeans are not happy about that.
The Passing of LA's Unofficial Poet Laureate, Wanda Coleman Wanda Coleman grew up in Watts in the 1950's. She described her own childhood as unhappy, and was outraged by racism and hatred. She went on to write 20 books, including novels and collections of other works. She won poetry prizes and was a finalist for the National Book Award. She died last Friday after a long illness at the age of 67. LA Times book critic David Ulin describes her as "a force of nature" and "the conscience of the LA literary scene." We hear an appreciation from Erin Aubry Kaplan, author of Black Talk, Blue Thoughts and Walking the Color Line : Dispatches from Black Journalist, and David Kipen, the founder of Libros Schmibros, the lending library and bookshop in Boyle Heights.
Will Budget Cuts Close Pomona Public Library? A few years ago, the City of Salinas threatened to close its libraries to save money, but it never happened. Now it might happen here in Southern California in the City of Pomona. David Kipen is former Director of Literature at the National Endowment for the Arts. He founded Libros Schmibros, a nonprofit lending library and used bookshop in downtown Los Angeles.
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?