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"The Auburn Conference: A Novel"

Aired on Thursday, May 11th.
Aired on Thursday, May 11th.

From Tom Piazza -- whose books include the novels "A Free State" and "City of Refuge" -- comes a new work of fiction set at a writer's conference attended by Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mark Twain, and others.

Our guest is Tom Piazza, the popular and prolific New Orleans writer whose books include the novels "A Free State" and "City of Refuge," the story collection "Blues and Trouble," and the nonfiction work "Why New Orleans Matters." His newest novel, which he tells us about, takes place a writer's conference in Upstate New York in 1883. Several of the leading literary lights of 19th-century America are in attendance -- and the questions they address, as set forth in this entertaining book, include the future of this nation, the fate of democracy itself, and various issues related to race, class, and gender. In other words, pretty much the questions of right now.... Per Booklist, in a starred review: "Lauded novelist and music writer Piazza's bravura satire and fluent literary ventriloquism are razor sharp and hilarious, while the feuds he orchestrates over freedom, the Constitution, race, women's rights, democracy, art, and the predominance of lies over truth are all too timely." Please note that Piazza will appear at a ticketed reading-and-signing event at the Bob Dylan Center here in Tulsa next week, on the 18th; more information on that event is posted here.

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