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John Hockenberry

The Takeaway is a national afternoon news program that delivers the news and analysis you need to catch up on your day and prepare for what's ahead. Host John Hockenberry, along with the The New York Times and WGBH Boston, invites listeners every afternoon to learn more and be part of the American conversation.



  • Friday, December 26, 2014 12:00am

    If you're taking some time off this holiday season, we hope you get a chance to sit back and curl up with a good book. In honor of one of our favorite pastimes—reading—The Takeaway is delivering you a special hour all about books and authors.

    First we hear from two authors that have shed light on the trials of war. Writer Helen Thorpe discusses her new book that details the experiences of women in the military, "Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War." Author Hampton Sides also shares his thoughts on his latest work of non-fiction, "In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette."

    Takeaway Producer Mythili Rao sat down with three novelists at a panel discussion called Brooklyn Bound. These three authors—Yelena Akhtiorkaya, Mark Chuisano and Jason Reynolds—each turn their gaze on a different neighborhood Brighton Beach, Marine Park, Bedford-Stuyvesant.

    Los Angeles Times book critic Carolyn Kellogg reflects the works of French novelist and recipient of the 2014 Nobel Prize for Literature, Patrick Modiano. The Nobel committee selected Modiano for "the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation".

    This year, a lost story by John Steinbeck surfaced and was published for the first time in The Strand Magazine. Andrew Gulli, the publication's managing editor, found the story and reflects on this virtually unknown story by the American literary icon.

    When looking back on the life of Nobel Prize-winning novelist Nadine Gordimer, who died on in July at the age of 90, it's immediately apparent how much of a complete iconoclast she was during her lifetime. South African novelist and Ohio University creative writing professor Zakes Mda reflects on the life and legacy of Gordimer.

    This year, we teamed up with listeners from around the country for The Takeaway Book Club. The Portland Gentlemen's Club joined us to read "To Rise Again at a Decent Hour" by Joshua Ferris. It's the darkly comic tale of Paul C. O'Rourke, a New York dentist with a thriving practice, a nice apartment, plenty of money, and a deep sense of disaffection. Book club members Tim Sands, Max Wall, and John Lohuis weigh in on this novel, which was nominated for the 2014 Man Booker Prize.

    Check out the full Brooklyn Bound panel discussion below or click here.

  • Thursday, December 25, 2014 12:00am

    In September, four Brooklyn-based writers sat down to talk about the borough that inspires them most as part of a WNYC Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend event at the Brooklyn Museum. The event was called "Brooklyn Bound: Writing Kings County." 

    Featured writers included Evan Hughes, author of Literary Brooklyn: The Writers of Brooklyn and the Story of American City Life, plus three emerging writers whose work focuses on three distinct Brooklyn neighborhoods. 

    Yelena Akhtiorskaya‘s debut novel Panic in a Suitcase is set in the Brighton Beach of her immigrant childhood; Jason Reynolds writes about the pressures of life in Bed-Stuy in his young adult novel When I Was the Greatest; and Mark Chiusano (Marine Park: Stories) examines the far reaches of the borough in his new collection of stories.

    Listen here for the whole conversation, which was hosted by Takeaway producer Mythili Rao. Excerpts of the discussion are also featured in The Takeaway's end-of-year books special.

    See Also: WNYC's Brooklyn Bound: Writing Kings County

    Check out some pictures from the event below.

    A packed house for #BrooklynBound! #community #wnyc

    A photo posted by WNYC Community & Events (@wnyccommunity) on

  • Thursday, December 25, 2014 12:00am

    Happy Holidays from The Takeaway! Today, we're bringing you a Christmas Day Special—an hour packed with interviews featuring some of our favorite celebrities.

    First, we hear from French actress Marion Cotillard. She weighs in on what it means to be an artist, and her role in Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s latest film "Two Days, One Night."

    Comedian Maria Bamford discusses the pain of laughing at one's self. Bamford’s comedy plays on her complicated struggle with mental illness.

    Jonathan Katz of the beloved “Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist” is hardly a therapist outside of the TV studio, but he's reprising that character in his new album, "Dr. Katz Live." He joins The Takeaway to discuss his relationship with the TV show.

    Actor Simon Pegg released a new movie this year called "Hector and The Search for Happiness," which is based on the novel by former psychiatrist Francois Lelord. He shares his own secret to happiness. 

    Musician and actor Loudon Wainwright III reflects on his life, his family, and expressing himself through his art.

    Finally, we hear from musician Mike Doughty who released two new albums this year. The former lead singer for Soul Coughing plays some great riffs on the banjo and chats with Takeaway Host John Hockenberry about his family, his music, and his politics.

  • Wednesday, December 24, 2014 12:56pm

    Each year a new Christmas movie hits the box office. But how much do you really know about the most popular holiday flicks? Take our Christmas Movie Trivia Quiz and test yourself here. A special thanks to Takeaway Culture Producer and Movie Date Podcast co-host Kirsten Meinzer for working up this quiz.

  • Wednesday, December 24, 2014 10:28am

    Christmas Eve is the greatest movie release date of the year in terms of the numbers.  Our Movie Date Podcast co-hosts, Kristen Meinzer and Rafer Guzman, are here to review over half a dozen movies.

    Coming out on the big screen tonight are he films "Into The Woods," "Selma," "Big Eyes," "American Sniper," "Unbroken," "The Gambler," and "Two Days, One Night." Which movies are you excited for? Leave a comment below.

    Subscribe to The Movie Date Podcast here.