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Books Unbound

Un-silencing voices of writers who embody the courage of free expression.

Books Unbound – Not Somewhere Else But Here

“Not Somewhere Else But Here” is a companion piece to Books Unbound’s April 25th episode on Guantánamo Diary by Mohamedou Ould Slahi, and was originally broadcast as a prologue to a living reading of the memoir. Excerpts from classic fiction on incarceration and poems explore the theme of confinement, how it shapes identity, and the nature of escape. The program …

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Books Unbound – “Exploring with Robert McAlmon, Part Three”

Robert McAlmon was a ubiquitous presence among the “Lost Generation” of American expatriate writers during the 1920s and ’30s in Paris. Bisexual, he entered into a marriage of appearances with the heiress and lesbian writer Bryher. With her father’s great wealth, he started a press that published the early work of many of the most famous Modernists—and paid bar tabs …

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Books Unbound – Exploring with Robert McAlmon, Part Two

“Exploring with Robert McAlmon” is a three-episode series of fiction and poetry by one of the lesser-known Modernists. McAlmon has been called a leading “spokesman of the post-war nihilistic pessimism of the Lost Generation.” He was publisher and hard-drinking companion of many of the major Modernists writing in English, including James Joyce, William Carlos Williams, H.D., Gertrude Stein, and Ernest Hemingway. …

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Books Unbound – Exploring with Robert McAlmon: ‘A Vacation’s Job,’ Part One

“Exploring with Robert McAlmon” is a three-episode series of fiction and poetry by one of the lesser-known Modernists. Born in 1895, McAlmon grew up in the small towns of the Midwest as the son of an itinerant Presbyterian minister, and he never developed the habit of staying in place. He knew and offered support as a publisher to many of …

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Books Unbound – “Killing Voltaire: An Observance for Charlie Hebdo”

“Killing Voltaire: An Observance for Charlie Hebdo” is a collaborative response by the Books Unbound community to the deadly attack January 7 on the offices of the French satiric weekly. The episode was originally broadcast January 17. (Note to WFHB listeners: Guantánamo Diary by Mohamedou Ould Slahi, previously announced for this date, has been postponed to April 25.) Classic and …

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“Lost Borders” by Mary Hunter Austin, Conclusion

The interconnected story cycle “Lost Borders” by Mary Hunter Austin concludes. Austin’s character types and settings are in many ways familiar from other westerns, but her perspectives are feminist, conservationist, and anti-gun. She died in 1934, and her books soon went out of print—just as Hollywood was establishing its masculinist myths of a Wild West dominated by gun violence. Although …

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Books Unbound – “Lost Borders” by Mary Hunter Austin, Part 4

The interconnected stories of ‘’Lost Borders’’ are set in the desert landscape of southern California, where author Mary Hunter Austin moved with her mother and brothers in 1888 at the age of twenty. The ailing Austin found strength in this challenging environment, and came to regard the land as a central character in her writing. The Books Unbound podcast presents …

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Books Unbound – “Lost Borders” by Mary Hunter Austin, Part 3

“Lost Borders” by Mary Hunter Austin continues with interconnected stories about the American West from a feminist and conservationist perspective. Austin’s settings and subject matter may be familiar from Hollywood westerns, but she challenges masculinist myths of dominance and exploitation. Although she was a prolific and highly regarded writer at the time of her death in 1934, nearly all her …

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Books Unbound – “Lost Borders” by Mary Hunter Austin, Part 2

In the interconnected story cycle of “Lost Borders,” Mary Hunter Austin challenges the masculine myths of the American West through the perspective of a feminist and conservationist. Austin was an ailing transplant from the Midwest who began to thrive personally and artistically in the desert landscape among the spiritual and expressive traditions of Native peoples. Although she published thirty-one books, …

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Books Unbound – “Lost Borders” by Mary Hunter Austin, Part 1

Mary Hunter Austin was born in Illinois in 1868 and died in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1934. Her father encouraged her interest in writing, but died when she was only ten. Her mother considered fiction mere “storying” akin to lying, and found Mary too insistent about shaping her identity as an individual. Mary did attend college, and earned a …

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