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Books | Arts | NW Life | local | State of Wonder

Live At Wordstock: Chuck Klosterman | Hannah Tinti | Katie Kitamura


This week on “State of Wonder,” we bring you the second show we recorded live at Wordstock, this time with culture writer Chuck Klosterman, who pulls back the curtain on his celebrity profiles, and two ace authors, who discuss their thrilling new novels.

Want more books? Check out the first show we recorded at Wordstock this year, with the creators of the hit podcast and novels “Welcome to Night Vale” and the seriously hilarious poets Morgan Parker and Tommy Pico.


Chuck Klosterman writes about everything from Jimmy Page to Charlie Brown in his new collection, "Chuck Klosterman X: A Highly Specific, Defiantly Incomplete History of the Early 21st Century."

Chuck Klosterman writes about everything from Jimmy Page to Charlie Brown in his new collection, “Chuck Klosterman X: A Highly Specific, Defiantly Incomplete History of the Early 21st Century.”

Nick Hennessy/OPB

Chuck Klosterman Explains the 21st Century of Pop Culture - 1:26

What do Taylor Swift, Tim Tebow and the search for free will in “Breaking Bad” have in common? They are all pop culture casualties of Chuck Klosterman, one the keenest critical minds writing today. Growing up in North Dakota, Klosterman cut his teeth in the Midwest before heading to New York to write for The New York Times, GQ, Grantland and practically everyone else. His 2003 essay collection “Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low-Culture Manifesto” launched him into the culture writing stratosphere, and he’s published several collections and two novels since.

Now Klosterman is out with his tenth book: “Chuck Klosterman Ten: A Highly Specific, Defiantly Incomplete History of the Early 21st Century.” He takes us behind the scenes on his essays, plus talks about his recent move to Portland — and why he settled in the suburbs.


Katie Kitamura's new novel, "A Separation," gets inside the head of a woman searching for her missing husband.

Katie Kitamura’s new novel, “A Separation,” gets inside the head of a woman searching for her missing husband.

Nick Hennessy/OPB

Katie Kitamura’s Psychodrama About a Wife’s Search for Her Husband - 19:27

In a landscape scorched by wildfire and summer sun, a woman, frozen with grief, comes searching for her estranged husband. Death of their marriage muffles her like a thick veil; she can barely see what’s going on around her. So begins Katie Kitamura’s elegant, suspenseful novel, “A Separation.” In its praise, the New Yorker wrote: “Kitamura is a writer with a visionary, visual imagination and a bold symbolist streak.”


Hannah Tinti in conversation with Aaron Scott at a live taping of 'State of Wonder' in the Whitsell Auditorium during Wordstock.

Hannah Tinti in conversation with Aaron Scott at a live taping of ‘State of Wonder’ in the Whitsell Auditorium during Wordstock.

Nick Hennessy/OPB

Hannah Tinti’s Coming of Age Mystery Is a Master Class in Literary Suspense - 33:52

Every parent is a mystery to their child. But few bear the secrets of Samuel Hawley. His scarred body maps out a life of theft, guns and murder, but for his daughter Loo, they’re just scars. That is, until they settle into the New England hometown of her deceased mother and she begins to question her father’s past and what truly happened to her mom. Such is the central mystery for Hannah Tinti’s second novel, “The Twelve Lives of Samuel Holly.” Ann Patchett called it “one part Quentin Tarantino, one part Scheherazade, and twelve parts wild innovation.”

Tinti is one of those gloriously creative writers, whose plots sparkle with suspense and emotion. Her best-selling debut novel, “The Good Thief,” was an American tall tale of sorts, starring an orphan and a con man at odds with a mouse trap magnate. Tinti also co-founded and edits the the award-winning magazine “One Story.” 

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