Sunday, June 3, 2012

Anna Quindlen: In Depth on C-Span

Anna Quindlen

I spent three hours with author Anna Quindlen this afternoon. She was the guest on C-Span's Book TV In Depth program. What an intelligent, well-spoken woman. I wanted to invite her to lunch.

She spoke of abortion, why she left the Catholic Church, the feminist movement, books, writing, alcoholism and aging. If those topics sound a bit depressing, believe me she was not gloom and doom. She is very personal, honest, and engaging.

Quindlen has written ten non-fiction books and six novels. She was a columnist with the New York Times and also Newsweek magazine. She now writes full time from her home in New York City. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1992.

If you are not familiar with In Depth, here is the format: The first Sunday of the month the interviewer, it used to be Brian Lamb who has now retired, spends three hours with the guest author and takes calls and emails from the viewers. I find it to be very relaxing as the interviewer is not abrasive nor does he interrupt. He doesn't ask and answer his question in the same breath.

Quindlen's most recent book is a memoir titled Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake. I am now the 72nd person in the reserve line for the book at the library. I have read her Imagined London in which she serves up a portrait of this literary city that she fell in love with through books before she ever set foot in Piccadilly.

When I had a television I used to watch Book TV religiously. But the one-eyed monster was unceremoniously banished from my home years ago. In connection with the Grand Southern Literary Tour I discovered an In Depth interview online with Shelby Foote. I had seen it in 2001 and just rewatched it this past week.

That is when I also discovered that I can now watch Book TV, and indeed other C-Span channels, live on my computer. So here I was today carrying my laptop with me to the kitchen and the bathroom so I wouldn't miss a minute of Anna's interview.

Another book of hers that interests me is How Reading Changed My Life. I don't know how I have missed this one that was published in 1998. It is also on my reserve list at the library.

You can watch this program and others like it at Happy hunting. I have already picked out a few more that I want to see.


  1. I agree that three hours of inDEPTH by cspan is a gem...every time I spend the time of listening, I end up reading at least one book by the author. Why was Anna's marvelous three hours not repeated the following Saturday morning as cspan usually does? When will show be repeated, do you know? Martha cspan fan, especially weekend BookTV!

  2. Hi Martha,
    Glad to hear from another BookTV fan.

    I searched C-Span's website and found the link to Anna's interview if you want to watch it on your computer:

    I don't know if the show will be repeated on air. I am looking forward to watching coverage of some of the book festivals this summer.

    I just finished her book 'How Reading Changed My Life'. It is very short (about 70 pages) and in the back are all the book lists that were shown and talked about on In Depth.

    Since this post I have moved up four spots on the library reserve list for her latest 'Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake'. I am now number 68!

    Happy reading.