Talking Volumes

Talking Volumes is a literary collaboration between the Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio that brings high-profile authors to the Twin Cities for a live interview, later broadcast on MPR, accompanied by in-depth stories about the writers in the Star Tribune.

July 22
Tim O'Brien will discuss his first book in more than 10 years — a memoir, not a novel.

Talking Volumes 2019 brings 6 celebrated writers, including Minnesota's own Tim O'Brien

The literary series includes four nonfiction books and a collection by former poet laureate Tracy K. Smith.
June 12
The late Nora Ephron was a Talking Volumes guest in the 2010 season.

19 years, 103 great authors: Talking Volumes guests, 2000-18

The complete lineup from the past 15 years.
November 2, 2018
Alexander McCall Smith

Novelist Alexander McCall Smith comes to Minnesota: 'I love writing people's conversations'

The prolific author of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series doesn't need "a high body count."
Stage & Arts
October 30, 2018
Sally Field is curious to find out what attendees will be curious about at Talking Volumes. “I’m looking forward to it,” she said.

Sally Field comes to Minn. with new memoir: 'It became my confidante'

As Sally Field pieced together her storied life, a new memoir "became my confidante, my best friend, my companion."
October 5, 2018
Rebecca Traister uncovers the hidden history of female fury in “Good and Mad,” which brings her to St. Paul’s Fitzgerald Theater Oct. 17.

Feminist author Rebecca Traister talks 'female rage' ahead of St. Paul appearance

Her new book praises the revolutionary force of female anger.
October 4, 2018
Author Leif Enger at Park Point in Duluth.

'Lovely, forbidding' Lake Superior inspires Minnesota novelist Leif Enger

Leif Enger's lifelong loves gave wings to his third novel, but it almost never saw the light of day.
September 19, 2018
Dessa's debut memoir is called "My Own Devices."

Minnesota hip-hop star Dessa breaks into NYC publishing with new memoir

Known primarily as a hip-hop artist, Dessa's latest release comes from a New York City book publisher.
August 2, 2018
Sally Field has written a memoir, "In Pieces."

Sally Field & Dessa anchor an eclectic lineup of authors for Talking Volumes at Fitzgerald Theater

Oscar winner and local hip-hop star join Rebecca Traister, Leif Enger and Alexander McCall Smith.
August 2, 2018
Dan Brown, the author of “The Da Vinci Code” and “Origins,” at home in Rye Beach, N.H.

'Da Vinci Code' author Dan Brown's code for thriller novel success

In the bestselling novelist's latest thriller, "Origin," science threatens to kill off God.
August 2, 2018
Ron Chernow at his home in Brooklyn.

'Hamilton' biographer comes to St. Paul with another poignant portrait

"Hamilton" biographer sets his sights on another U.S. icon, but don't expect a Broadway musical.
October 30, 2017
Amy Tan: "My parents kept secrets."

Amy Tan on new memoir: 'I want to know why I got damaged and why I'm glad'

While writing her new memoir, the author uncovered dark family secrets. She also found the source of her need to write.
October 30, 2017
Jacqueline Woodson

Talking Volumes guest Jacqueline Woodson grew up in 'Another Brooklyn'

To fill a "yawning gap" in books about black girlhood, Jacqueline Woodson turned to the Brooklyn of her youth.
October 30, 2017
In his memoir "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me," Sherman Alexie examines his complicated relationship with his late mother, Lillian.

Writer Sherman Alexie is back on the road: 'I averted a crisis'

Haunted by his mother's memory, the author halted his book tour this summer. Now he's back on the road — still outspoken, still funny, but a little more careful.
July 17, 2017
Sherman Alexie

Talking Volumes' fall lineup includes Sherman Alexie and Amy Tan

Memoir, history, fiction and spies: There's something for everyone at this book club.
November 4, 2016
Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead on new novel: 'It's not just about slavery; it's about oppression'

Novelist Colson Whitehead aims to change our heads with "The Underground Railroad."
October 20, 2016
Author Ann Patchett will be speaking about her new book, “Commonwealth,” at a sold-out event Tuesday at the Fitzgerald Theater.

Best-selling author Ann Patchett gets up close and personal

The novelist broke a longtime vow, drawing on her own life for her latest book.
October 13, 2016
Gloria Steinem will speak to a sold-out audience at Thursday's Talking Volumes event.

Still fighting for feminism, Gloria Steinem talks about her life on the road

At 82, Gloria Steinem, the face of feminism for decades, continues to strive for equal rights.
October 13, 2016
Carl Hiaasen

For better or worse, author Carl Hiaasen feels pull of Norwegian pedigree

The writer will visit the Twin Cities this month to talk about his latest romp through the bizarre life of the Florida Keys.
October 13, 2016
Elizabeth Alexander.

How poet Elizabeth Alexander turned sorrow into a celebration of love

In her acclaimed memoir, author Elizabeth Alexander writes about the excruciating loss of her husband – but also of their joyous life together.
October 13, 2016
Elizabeth Alexander

Elizabeth Alexander, Colson Whitehead and others lined up for Talking Volumes

Funny and serious, fiction and nonfiction, the book club's 16th season has something for everyone.
Stage & Arts
October 27, 2015
John Irving, 73, sees himself as a 19th-century novelist, dedicated to plot, characters, narrative. He returns to themes about memory, faith, age and

John Irving wrestles with memory in 'Avenue of Mysteries'

For his latest book, "Avenue of Mysteries," the novelist found inspiration in dreams, religion and the vividness of childhood.
October 26, 2015
"Welcome to Night Vale" creators Jeffrey Cranor, left, and Joseph Fink pose on the street in Manhattan's East Village where they first connected.

Invasion of the pod people: 'Night Vale' writers coming to St. Paul

Night Vale, the locale of a cult-hit podcast, is one strange, intriguing little community in the desert Southwest. The spinoff book is just as engrossing.
October 26, 2015

Review: 'Welcome to Night Vale,' by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

FICTION: In this novel based on the popular "Welcome to Night Vale" podcast, two residents of a desert town are enmeshed in strange and surreal conspiracies.
October 26, 2015
“The crazy optimist in me imagines that someday consumer demand will create the technology to turn off the technology,” Franzen said.

Jonathan Franzen unfazed at being a digital-age punching bag

Our first Talking Volumes guest talks about his new novel, his animus for online culture and his tendency to attract controversy.
September 16, 2015
Franzen opens Talking Volumes season with a bang

Franzen opens Talking Volumes season with a bang

The author of "Purity" was on fire and on point, as was his interviewer, MPR's Kerri Miller.