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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


This summer, in small bits of time as permitted by crazy, hectic, house-buying and selling schedule, I've been reading Eleanor Wachtel's collection of interviews with the title of "Original Minds." Actually the cover blurb calls it "a collection of conversations" as it indeed is, lovely conversations to listen in on.

I love Eleanor Wachtel's interviews. Most often I hear her interviews with contemporary authors on Writers and Company but will stop short if I recognize her familiar voice on the radio no matter who she's talking to. She is one amazing interviewer, and can pull out the essence of the personality she's talking with.

This book is the print record of a set of interviews done as a millenium project for a radio series about influential people, people who've had extraordinary impact in their varied fields of study, or interest, or activism. What an amazing group!

I've so enjoyed meeting these particular people, or at least getting to know them more deeply as real people. For of course, I'd heard of the exploits and accomplishments of such as Oliver Sacks and Desmond Tutu. I've even read writings of Jane Goodall and Gloria Steinem. I've wished to explore more about Jane Jacobs and Susan Sontag. I've listened to other interviewers speak with Noam Chomsky and Johathan Miller.

But nobody has enabled these amazing people to lay out their ideas, their motivation, their childhood and formative influences like Wachtel does. For example, Jane Jacobs is introduced as having been part of New York magazine's list of Irritating Women, a list that includes Hildegard of Bingen and Mary Wollstonecroft. In a few pages of conversation with Eleanor Wachtel I am intrigued and enlightened about what the connections are and look forward to digging deeper into those lives, that list and Jacobs' writings myself.

I'll leave it to you to do your own Googling into these names, or this this book. Watch for it in your favourite used book store or find it on line. It's worth the hunt.

Posted by Marion

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