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A Six Pack of Bookish COLBERT REPORT Interviews

Josh Corman

Staff Writer

Josh Corman is a writer and English teacher in Central Kentucky and a Contributing Editor at Panels. He also writes for Kentucky Sports Radio’s pop culture blog, Funkhouser. If he’s not reading, he’s hanging out with his wife and two young children or cheering on his beloved Kentucky Wildcats.   Twitter: @JoshACorman

Nation, I watch a whole lot of The Colbert Report, and though I adore Stephen’s brand of satire, I enjoy his author interviews more than anything else about the show. I’d bet that Colbert offers more coverage to authors than maybe any other member of the mainstream television media (his closest competition is probably Charlie Rose or his Comedy Central mate Jon Stewart). It’s a bummer that authors (especially authors of fiction) don’t get more screen time because, as you’ll see, many of them give excellent interviews. I’ve limited this six-pack to fiction writers because, frankly, the prospect of winnowing down all the non-fiction authors Colbert has interviewed felt a touch too Herculean. Enjoy.

Maurice Sendak – Stephen seeks advice from a master on writing his children’s book, I Am a Pole (And So Can You)!

“There’s something in this country that’s so opposed to understanding the complexity of children.” – Maurice Sendak

Sendak Colbert Interview

Watch the interview: Part 1 and Part 2

Ann Patchett – Bel Canto and State of Wonder author Ann Patchett talks with Stephen about her support of independent bookstores, including her shop, Parnassus Books in Nashville.

“…and now we’ve cycled all the way back. Suddenly people are waking up and going, ‘But, I wanna  have some place to take my kids for story hour on Saturday. I wanna have some place to go to book club and see an author read. So, the book store is gone, but they miss it. This is a tale of redemption.” – Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett Stephen Colbert

Watch the interview here.

Junot Diaz – MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipient (as he’s legally obligated to be known for the rest of his life) Junot Diaz talks about his role in Freedom University, which serves undocumented students in Georgia.

“Every generation of Americans has to answer what I call the Superman Question. Superman comes, lands in America. He’s illegal, he’s one of these kids, wrapped up in a red bullfighter’s cape, and you’ve gotta decide what we’re gonna do with Superman. Are we gonna give him the boot and say, ‘you know what, you’re an illegal, you’re not an American?'” – Junot Diaz

Colbert Junot Diaz

Watch the interview here.

Richard Ford – The PEN/Faulkner Award and Pulitzer Prize winning novelist discusses his book Canada and the reasons that good reviews make him just as angry as bad ones.

“Novels are much better than lies, actually. Lies you have to finally fess up to at the end, get caught at. With novels you don’t have to do that. Novels can actually aspire to be the truth, even.” – Richard Ford

Richard Ford Colbert

Watch the interview here.

George Saunders – In maybe the most analogy-filled six minutes ever broadcast on television, Tenth of December author George Saunders offers Stephen some insight into the powerful pull of a good short story.

“The clock is always ticking, so you see a friend, you wanna say something consoling, you wanna give some advice, you wanna tell somebody you care about them, but in real life, time goes fast. And the reader feels that she’s in there with you. The clock is ticking. You’re trying desperately to say something important, and it’s not easy. You could blow it.”                             – George Saunders


Watch the interview here.

Anne Rice – Best-selling novelist Anne Rice discusses her book, The Wolf Gift, and ponders whether or not the current trends in vampire fiction have perverted the genre.

“I don’t know if it is a deal with the devil. I think vampires are kind of a metaphor for all of us, the outsider… they’re a metaphor for us. We’re outsiders, we’re predators at heart, and we’re outcasts, and the werewolf is a good metaphor for that just like the vampire was a good metaphor for that.” – Anne Rice

Anne Rice Stephen Colbert

Watch the interview here.

Hope you enjoyed them, nation!


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