AND FOUND BOOKS
To The Best of Our Knowledge
from Wisconsin Public Radio
Who would have guessed that number two on the Best
Seller List this summer would be an intellectual thriller starring
four brainy Princeton seniors and a 15th century manuscript written
in code? In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, meet
the authors of The Rule of Four. Lost and Found books is our subject.
Invisible ink! Secret Codes! Ghosts in the library!
Nicholas Basbanes is the author of "A
Splendor of Letters: The Permanence of Books in an Impermanent
World." It's his third book about books and the people who
love them. Basbanes tells Steve Paulson that people destroy books
to annihilate the culture of their enemies and remembers some
of the heroes who fought to save books from the Nazis and in Bosnia.
Also, novelist Nicholson Baker exposed what he called libraries'
assault on paper in a book called "Double Fold." And
he leased warehouse space in New Hampshire to serve as a repository
for old newspapers. Baker tells Steve Paulson about the treasures
of his collection and why he thinks they should be saved. He says
they don't take up that much space and microfilm just isn't good
Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason wrote
"The Rule of Four" just after college. It's about four
brainy Princeton students and a 15th century manuscript written
in code and it's a runaway hit. It's based on a real document.
The authors tell Jim Fleming about the real-life mysteries and
how this book came about. Also, Lev Grosman is the book
critic for Time Magazine and author of "Codex." It's
a thriller about a missing medieval manuscript. Grossman tells
Anne Strainchmps about his experiences working at one of the great
repositories of rare books.
Walter Hamady is the proprietor of the Perishable
Press Limited, and among the most celebrated American printers
of fine, limited edition books. He taught for years in the Art
Department at the University of Wisconsin and has worked with
such major American poets as Alan Ginsburg and Denise Levertov.
Anne Strainchamps prepared this profile.
Cassette copies are available
at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 04-07-11-A.
- Nicholson Baker, Double Fold (Knopf)
- Ian Caldwell & Dustin Thomason,
The Rule of Four (Dial)
- Lev Grossman, Codex (Harcourt)
- Andrea Hoag, "Dewey's Blues."
On her CD "Fire and Water" (Azalea
- Joe Jackson, "Sunday Papers." On his
CD "Look Sharp!" (A & M Records)
- Combustible Edison, several tracks from the CD
"I, Swinger." (Sub Pop Records)
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