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.

Ross Gay

Writer Ross Gay's new book is about finding joy in the face of loss

The poet and essayist will discuss his works in St. Paul at the Fitzgerald Theater Nov. 2.
Dani Shapiro

For author and Talking Volumes guest Dani Shapiro, it's the small things that count

October 21, 2022
Her new novel owes its existence to a chance decision — which is also a major theme of the book.

Four writers, including Celeste Ng and Dani Shapiro, coming for Talking Volumes

July 17, 2022
New season opens Sept. 14 with Karen Armstrong, concludes in November with poet Ross Gay.

Bestselling St. Paul author William Kent Krueger doesn't claim to be a writer: 'I'm a storyteller'

October 29, 2021
The latest in his Cork O'Connor mystery series brings him to the Fitzgerald Theater Wednesday.

How Twin Cities-bound bestselling author Amor Towles built 'The Lincoln Highway'

October 8, 2021
The author of "A Gentleman in Moscow" talks about how he set the stage for his new 1950s-set adventure.

22 years, 120 great authors: The complete list of Talking Volumes guests, 2000-21

September 17, 2020
From Atwood to Wilkerson, the Star Tribune-MPR series has spotlighted some of the finest writers of the past two decades.

Long-lost manuscript sparked a new book by famed Minneapolis author Kate DiCamillo

September 16, 2021
Her new book "The Beatryce Prophecy" sprang from a draft she started and then abandoned after the death of her beloved mother.

Craving 'a world without men,' author Lauren Groff found one in 12th-century England

September 3, 2021
Talking Volumes guest Lauren Groff explores the lives of medieval nuns in "Matrix."

Talking Volumes returns to St. Paul's Fitzgerald with Kate DiCamillo leading an all-star lineup

July 30, 2021
Authors Lauren Groff, Amor Towles and William Kent Krueger also will appear in person after a year of virtual events.

Race and identity fuel Naima Coster's extraordinary stories of everyday lives

March 26, 2021
"Writing is the thing that gives my life the greatest joy," says Talking Volumes guest.

Chang-rae Lee made big changes — then created a character who does, too

March 18, 2021
Chang-rae Lee talks about how he found the story he needed to tell.

Attuned to the Earth's moods, revered Native writer N. Scott Momaday sounds an alarm

March 12, 2021
"The Earth is getting angry with us," says the Pulitzer winner, part of a special Talking Volumes series on race in America.

In his journey from jail to Yale Law, felon-turned-poet writes 'to remember who I am'

March 6, 2021
Felon-turned-lawyer/poet Reginald Dwayne Betts kicks off a Talking Volumes series about race.

Special spring Talking Volumes series to focus on race

February 12, 2021
Four writers of color will discuss their work in the context of race in America.

Americans shouldn't be afraid to inspect our collective 'basement,' says famed author Isabel Wilkerson

October 18, 2020
She discusses her new book about the structural roots of racism for a Talking Volumes audience.

Pandemic affected how author Sarah M. Broom feels about home

October 12, 2020
The bestselling writer of "The Yellow House" discusses her "obsession" in a Talking Volumes interview.

Isabel Wilkerson says her new book 'Caste' is 'an X-ray of our country,' exposing what divides us

October 12, 2020
Author says her book reveals the "bones" underlying our nation's divisions.

Author Sarah M. Broom made childhood home into something much bigger in 'The Yellow House'

October 3, 2020
Talking Volumes guest rebuilt "The Yellow House" as a metaphor of America.

Meet beloved nature writer Helen Macdonald – and her pet parrot

October 2, 2020
Interviewed via Zoom from her English cottage, the author introduced Talking Volumes guests to her housemate.

British nature writer Helen Macdonald soars with followup to 'H Is for Hawk'

October 2, 2020
As species disappear, "H Is for Hawk" author Helen Macdonald takes a bolder stance in her new book.

Famed author Claudia Rankine brings her conversation about race to Minnesotans via Zoom

October 2, 2020
Watch the writer's appearance as she opened our Talking Volumes book series.

In her new book 'Just Us,' Claudia Rankine invites us all to talk about white privilege

September 19, 2020
Silence on the issue equals "the constant death of Black people," says the first guest in this year's virtual Talking Volumes series,

Pulitzer-winning writer Isabel Wilkerson joins Talking Volumes lineup

September 17, 2020
The author of "Caste" will close out the virtual series of literary conversations Oct. 13.

With an all-woman lineup, this year's Talking Volumes book series goes virtual

September 17, 2020
The annual series will deliver authors Yaa Gyasi, Helen Macdonald, Claudia Rankine and Sarah Broom via Zoom.

Former poet laureate Tracy K. Smith rediscovered poetry's power while crisscrossing rural America

November 16, 2019
Smith, who might be poetry's most generous ambassador, will discuss that love Nov. 21 in St. Paul as the final guest of this year's Talking Volumes series.

Writer Lindy West tackles everything from abortion to Donald Trump

November 5, 2019
Fierce and funny writer Lindy West fights misogyny in the media, arguing that bad pop culture breeds bad politics.

Author and ex-nun Karen Armstrong on scripture: 'Religion ... is an art form'

October 26, 2019
Sacred writings lose their purpose when reduced to an arbiter to resolve feuds, exclude or oppress, argues Talking Volumes guest Karen Armstrong.

Minnesota novelist who thought he'd die in Vietnam wrestles with mortality once more

October 12, 2019
Tim O'Brien's memoir, "Dad's Maybe Book," is filled with advice and stories for his young sons to savor when he's gone.
October 4, 2019
Saeed Jones

Saeed Jones on coming-out memoir: 'I'm living a dream come true, but at what cost?'

In a new memoir, poet Saeed Jones relates his struggles as a young black gay man in Texas.
September 21, 2019
Novelist Alice Hoffman is part of Talking Volumes, with her WWII-set “The World That We Knew.” She opens the series Sept. 25 at the Fitzgerald The

'Write my life': A stranger's plea inspired Alice Hoffman's new novel

An encounter years ago led to Alice Hoffman's new Holocaust-inspired novel.
July 22, 2019
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.
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."