Alan Cheuse

Alan Cheuse has been reviewing books on All Things Considered since the 1980s.

Formally trained as a literary scholar, Cheuse also writes fiction and novels and publishes short stories. He is the author of four novels, two collections of short fiction, and the memoir Fall out of Heaven. His most recent novel, To Catch the Lightning, is an exploration of the intertwined plights of real-life frontier photographer Edward Curtis and the American Indian. With Caroline Marshall, he has edited two volumes of short stories. Cheuse's short fiction has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, The Antioch Review, Ploughshares, and Another Chicago Magazine. His most recent collection of his short fiction was published in September 1998 and his essay collection, Listening to the Page, appeared in 2001.

Cheuse splits his time between the two coasts, spending nine months of the year in Washington, D.C., where he teaches writing at George Mason University. His summers are spent in Santa Cruz, Calif., teaching writing at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Cheuse earned his Ph.D. in comparative literature with a focus on Latin American literature from Rutgers University in 1974.

"The greatest challenge of this work [at NPR]," he says, "is to make each two-minute review as fresh and interesting as you can while trying to focus on the essence of the book itself."

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2:30pm

Fri June 27, 2014
Book Reviews

'Warburg' Struggles For Love And Justice In Wartime Rome

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 2:04 pm

St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
AP

James Carroll, who served as a Catholic priest before his literary ambitions led him to go secular, has gathered together his knowledge of church history and his mature powers as a novelist to create Warburg in Rome, his most splendid work of fiction to date.

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2:18pm

Wed June 11, 2014
Book Reviews

Summer Reading: Three Books To Take You To New Frontiers

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 4:24 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. You don't need a ticket to travel this summer. Our reviewer, Alan Cheuse, has packed a small bag of books that he says will send you to Alaska, Siberia and Tasmania. Here's Alan on three debut works.

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2:08pm

Tue June 3, 2014
Book Reviews

Book Review: 'The Director' and 'Night Heron'

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 6:03 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Now, two new spy novels, both written by journalists - one by an old hand of the genre, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius - the other by a first-time novelist, Adam Brookes at the BBC. Alan Cheuse has our reviews.

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3:05pm

Tue May 27, 2014
Book Reviews

McMurtry Takes Aim At A Legend In 'Last Kind Words Saloon'

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 7:04 pm

In a prefatory note to The Last Kind Words Saloon, his first novel in five years, Western writer supreme Larry McMurtry states that he wants to create a "ballad in prose." And he borrows a line from great moviemaker John Ford: "When legend becomes fact, print the legend."

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2:00pm

Wed May 14, 2014
Book Reviews

Everyday Life Is a Rich Mine Of Absurdity In 'American Innovations'

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 5:59 pm

Richard Ford talks about understanding voice in fiction as "the music of the story's intelligence." It's been a long while since I've read short fiction by a new writer who makes that idea seem so definitive. But here is American Innovations, the first collection by Rivka Galchen. She lives in New York City, attended medical school, writes for the New Yorker, and has already published one novel. And now, she's brought out these stories that seem like the smartest around.

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