Jul 16, 2012
Mr. Media is recorded live before a studio audience of short-fingered vulgarians, Martha Stewart wannabes, Walter Monheit, the publisher of Vanity Fair, two guys who insist they were not Separated at Birth™, and people who can no longer squint hard enough to read the fine print… in the NEW new media capital of the world… St. Petersburg, Florida!
Kurt Andersen has one of those careers that makes him the envy of a lot of folks in media. The guy has had a fairly golden touch, starting with the birth of the late great humor magazine, Spy, which he co-founded with Graydon Carter and Tom Phillips. He’s also been a columnist for The New Yorker and editor in chief of New York. And he currently hosts public radio’s popular “Studio 360,” which has won a Peabody Award.
KURT ANDERSEN audio excerpt: "Graydon Carter and I are exactly the kind of people Spy reveled in taking down a peg."
All that and he tells a pretty fair story on the fictional side, too, first as the author of Heyday and Turn of the Century and most recently with the just released True Believers.
I wanted to hate True Believers just because Andersen does too many things too well. But it just wasn’t possible. It’s a really cool read on multiple levels; for starters, the narrator is a sixty-ish woman once under serious consideration for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. That, by itself, is a neat trick for Andersen; he’s telling his story – her story – in Karen Hollander’s voice.
Kurt Andersen, host, "Studio 360"KURT ANDERSEN audio excerpt: "Dave Eggers and I are friendly. We got to talking about putting out a one-shot, printed magazine that would pretend as if Spy had never gone out of business, that Might had never gone out of business. Then at some point they had merged into a magazine called 'Spite.' I love the idea."
And then there is all the bouncing back and forth between the current day – actually, a time sightly into the future – and back to 1968, a time in which Karen was quite a different person. One with a pretty big secret. It’s an easy book to recommend, and it’s a pleasure to welcome its author to our world for the next half hour.
Kurt Andersen Website • Facebook • Twitter • Studio 360 • Spy magazine archive on Google • Order True Believers from Amazon.com • Order Spy: The Funny Years • Listen to Studio 360 on your iPhone or Android mobile device with the Stitcher app