Episode 4: Inside Out with Elizabeth Strout, Edward Hirsch, Meg Wolitzer and Mark Sarvas

About this episode

Three novelists and a poet talk about the rich, expertly written inner lives of their latest characters -- men and women grappling with hard decisions, stalled careers, uncontainable grief, and redemptive love.

Featured books by authors in this episode

Olive Kitteridge
Elizabeth Strout
» Buy
Special Orders
Edward Hirsch
» Buy
The Ten-Year Nap
Meg Wolitzer
» Buy
Harry, Revised
Mark Sarvas
» Buy

Comments on this episode

NessaH's picture

And I will be eternally

And I will be eternally grateful to Meg Wolitzer for "Mrs Bridge." It is a revelation. I understand why it is her favorite novel.

Thank you.

Kevin Longrie's picture

I was at a great used book

I was at a great used book store yesterday (The Book Den in Santa Barbara, if anyone is interested) and picked up a copy of Edward Hirsch's Earthly Measures. I was so inspired by his conversation, his grasp of language, and especially his poetry after the Titlepage episode that I decided it was well worth the cash. The book is phenomenal. I recommend it. I should be getting Special Orders soon as well.

Dan's picture

Thanks to everyone who has

Thanks to everyone who has watched the program and posted here about it. We're getting ready to shoot the final two episodes of this "season" tomorrow, May 3rd, for posting later in May, and the guests include Carl Hiaasen, Simon Winchester, and Aleksandar Hemon. The more response we receive, the more encouraged we are, of course, and the easier it becomes for us to pick up soon where we left off.

NessaH's picture

This was my favorite episode

This was my favorite episode so far. Edward Hirsch rocks. I've also ordered his books. I'd like to marry him.

And just when the show gets going and a discussion is flowing, it's time to go. Frustrating because I think Titlepage is a gift. But it could be even better. Fewer writers, more time. Imagine what Mr. Hirsch could have offered. (Aside from his hand in marriage) Insights and great compassion. He certainly seemed to inspire the other writers on the panel.

I quibble. I know. I do love Titlepage and I am grateful for it.

KeiraSoleore's picture

As I watched this episode of

As I watched this episode of Titlepage, I found myself hanging onto each and every word Edward Hirsch spoke. I have "Special Orders" on special order from Amazon. I want to understand what an "aggressively personal" voice of a poet is.

Here are some of Edward's quotes that I have saved:
"Poetry is that which contains the uncontainable"
"Poetry is about uncontainable/overwhelming feelings that are so swamping, you don't know what to do with them"
"I'm halfway to the grave, but I'm not halfway to the man I was meant to become"
"I live between my head and my heart like a married couple who don't get along."
"Poetry is a vocation, not a career."
"Poems lack social information, but have the intensity of feeling because [the format] is so compressed."

I also enjoyed listening to Meg Wolitzer talk about the focus on women that's the theme of her book "The Ten-Year Nap." Since the 1970s till today, women have this constant confllict between children/family and career. They seek out frienships with other women to help make sense of their world that's peppered with questions, such as What to do? and How do I not feel guilty no matter what I choose? Meg's spot on in saying that "Men never have the choice whether to stay at home or to work. They're schleppers--they have to go out and work." It's a truism, but it's rarely ever baldly stated in print to be mulled over.

Other quotes by Meg:
"In women's fiction, we're supposed to like everyone; as in life, we don't like some, friendships wane, and so it is in my book."
"Randomness or happenstance in the lives of the characters is compelling to write about."

Meg also pointed out that the discussion in this episode makes an excellent case for the question we get from non-book-lovers: "Why read?" Read to live. Read to experience, to understand, to have faith. Daniel rightly pointed out, "Readers aren't bookworms. You go in to open out." As a summation and tie-in to the episode title, this quote was most excellent.

Daniel, I completely agree with you. "Pride and Prejudice" is the most perfect book, and as relevant today as it was 200-odd years ago.

Edward, I, too, think John Donne's poetry is incomparable.

WmAnthony's picture

This *is* a fantastic

This *is* a fantastic episode, and probably Titlepage's best to date. Bravo to Daniel and the crew.

Kevin Longrie's picture

More poets, I say, more

More poets, I say, more poets. I'm loving every minute of titlepage, and this most recent episode shows that it's still got room to grow and mature.

Phil's picture

I was refered to this web

I was refered to this web site by a friend and have been pleasantly surprised. I really enjoy the engaging conversion about the books in such an intimate setting. I like the fact that several authors are involved. I am incited to read these books esp.the poetry for which I rarely read. Keep up the great work.

Gail's picture

It's 4:00 a.m. in Maine and

It's 4:00 a.m. in Maine and I'm recovering from some serious jet lag with Episode 4, probably my favorite so far. My kids, our dogs and my husband are all asleep and here I sit in my den with these four wonderful writers and Dan feeling so delighted with my cup of tea and their intelligent yet down-to-earth conversation around writing poetry and novels about some of our shared interiors. This particular episode shrank the distance between me, a late blooming unpublished writer/poet and lifelong reader, and these published literary rock stars. Loved the inclusion of a poet. The chemistry on this one produced something quite special. I'm thinking I'll go four for four on these books, either from my local library or my local indie book store. Congratulations Titlepage. You're certainly a hit with me.

Charles's picture

Brilliant conversations and

Brilliant conversations and what a pleasure to view Titlepage weekly ! Eagerly awaiting the next episode and thanks for an intelligent and entertaining show !

January O'Neil's picture

I'm looking forward to

I'm looking forward to listening to the podcast of this episode with Ed Hirsch. I am a poet and writer and am always interested to hear authors discuss their works.

My only suggestion is that future shows feature a more diverse lineup of writers. As an African American, it's nice to hear from voices that reflect a multicultural perspective.

Jean P.'s picture

Hi: I love this new book

Hi: I love this new book discussion show and format. I am a librarian who purchases fiction for 27 libraries and I have telling all my staff and library patrons and friends about titlepage.tv. Dan, you are very balanced in your questioning and listening, not letting one or two authors do all the talking. I used to have a book talk show on TV in Portland, OR called The Bibliomaniacs, and I know this is a fine art. Keep up the great work! Jean aka The Fiction Librarian

Anonymous's picture

Thank you for another very

Thank you for another very good show. This one was hands down my favorite so far, given the freedom of the authors to engage each other and the natural flow of the conversation -- plus Mr. Menaker didn't put as much pressure on himself to make clever transitions. But perhaps the best part was the inclusion of Mr. Hirsch, a poet, which allowed the conversation to wrestle with deeper themes about how, and why, these authors express themselves through their chosen media. Well done!

Anonymous's picture

I love Titlepage. Honestly,

I love Titlepage. Honestly, it just gets better and better. This was a fantastic episode. Thank you!

Anonymous's picture

Hearing Edward Hirsch read

Hearing Edward Hirsch read his very moving poem sent me right to my local independent bookstore, where I picked up two copies of "Special Orders," one for myself and one as a gift for a friend (who has just lost her father). Thank you for bringing these wonderful writers directly to my desktop each month. I look forward to each new episode with the utmost anticipation. I applaud Titlepage.tv for helping keep literature alive.