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The Acclaimed Novelist Nathaniel Rich Offers "Odds Against Tomorrow" (Encore presentation.)

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(Note: This show originally aired earlier this year.) On this edition of ST, we speak with the celebrated young writer Nathaniel Rich (born 1980), whose essays and short stories have appeared in Harper's, McSweeney's, and elsewhere, and whose latest novel is called "Odds Against Tomorrow." Set in a New York City of the very near future, this novel tells the story of one Mitchell Zukor, a gifted young mathematician who works for a financial consulting firm called FutureWorld. Zukor's job is to calculate super-paranoid worst-case scenarios --- as elaborately and intricately as possible --- which FutureWorld then sells to various NYC-based companies to indemnify them against any future disasters. Rich's engaging book, admittedly, is all about fear and obsession and calamities of all sorts --- but's also quite funny, and very well written. As Alan Cheuse has noted, reviewing "Odds Against Tomorrow" for NPR's All Things Considered: "This brilliantly conceived and extremely well-executed novel [is actually] the opposite of a disaster, a knockout of a book by a young writer to keep your eye on from now on." And further, as was noted of Rich's book in The New York Review of Books: "Let's just, right away, recognize how prescient this charming, terrifying, comic novel of apocalyptic manners is.... Rich is a gifted caricaturist and a gifted apocalyptist. His descriptions of the vagaries of both nature and human nature are stark, fresh, and convincing, full of surprise and recognition as both good comedy and good terror must be."

Rich Fisher passed through KWGS about thirty years ago, and just never left. Today, he is the general manager of Public Radio Tulsa, and the host of KWGS’s public affairs program, StudioTulsa, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary in August 2012 . As host of StudioTulsa, Rich has conducted roughly four thousand long-form interviews with local, national, and international figures in the arts, humanities, sciences, and government. Very few interviews have gone smoothly. Despite this, he has been honored for his work by several organizations including the Governor's Arts Award for Media by the State Arts Council, a Harwelden Award from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, and was named one of the “99 Great Things About Oklahoma” in 2000 by Oklahoma Today magazine.
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