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About the Show
Note: Bookworm is on indefinite hiatus as of May 12, 2022
“Michael Silverblatt is the best reader in America.” —Norman Mailer. The Bookworm: a man who converses on an intellectual plane with writers, who reads not only everything they’ve ever written but everything by everyone who’s ever influenced them. Bookworm introduces literary contexts, controversies, and interpretations and lets the guest place him- or herself in the larger framework of contemporary literature. Bookworm is not a show that sells a particular book or that stands as a substitute for the experience of reading; this is not, as Gore Vidal puts it, “bookchat,” filled with anecdotes and biographical pleasantries. Bookworm’s focus is writing. And in five continuous years of weekly programming on KCRW, it has established a national reputation for being “a writer’s show.” Bookworm explores and presents literary fiction, poetry, criticism, and literary biography. It introduces listeners to new presses and interesting literary magazines. While many book interviews stress the ways in which writers are like everyone else, Bookworm’s goal is to stress the things that make a writer a writer, to make listeners aware of the dimensions of literary culture.