Michael Krasny in conversation with Isabel Allende
While still an undergraduate in southern Ohio, Michael Krasny hitchhiked to Chicago to interview one of his heroes, the novelist Saul Bellow. At the time, Kransy was following in the footsteps of Bellow, hoping to become a novelist himself. Instead, Krasny found his great talent for communicating, and for the last fourteen years has hosted one the most listened-to public radio programs in the country.
An estimated sixty-five thousand listeners in Northern California tune in each weekday morning to KQED-FM's award-winning Forum with Michael Krasny. The program covers a plethora of subjects, from news and public affairs to popular culture, the arts, health, politics, business and technology. As host and senior editor of Forum, Krasny has interviewed a wide range of guests, including Cesar Chavez, Robert Redford, Salman Rushdie, former President Jimmy Carter, Rosa Parks, and Susan Sontag. When not on-air, Michael Krasny is a Professor of English at San Francisco State University, where he has taught since 1970. Krasny has recently chronicled his diverse and fascinating career in Off Mike: A Memoir of Talk Radio & Literary Life- City Arts & Lectures
Isabel Allende was born in Peru, and now lives in California. She worked for many years as a journalist before writing the internationally bestselling novel The House of the Spirits. Since then she has published the equally highly-acclaimed Of Love and Shadows, Eva Luna, The Stories of Eva Luna, The Infinite Plan and Paula.
In 2004, Allende was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She received Chile's National Literature Prize in 2010.
Michael Krasny, Ph.D., is host of KQED’s award-winning Forum, a news and public affairs program that concentrates on the arts, culture, health, business, and technology. Forum is one of KQED’s most-popular shows and the nation’s most-listened-to locally produced public radio talk show. Before coming to KQED Public Radio in 1993, Dr. Krasny hosted a night-time talk program for KGO Radio and co-anchored the weekly KGO television show Nightfocus. He hosted Bay TV’s Take Issue, a nightly news analysis show, programs for KQED Public Television, KRON television, and NPR, and did news commentary for KTVU television. He has also served as host of NPR’s Talk of the Nation. Since 1970, he has been a professor of English at San Francisco State University and has taught at Stanford University and University of California, San Francisco. He is the author of Spiritual Envy: An Agnostic’s Quest and Off Mike: A Memoir of Talk Radio and Literary Life, coauthor of the textbook Sound Ideas, and creator of the DVD presentation “Masterpieces of Short Fiction.” He is a widely published scholar and literary critic, a fiction writer, and a guest and frequent interviewer on the City Arts & Lectures stage. He has worked widely as a facilitator and host in the corporate sector and as moderator for a host of major nonprofit events. Dr. Krasny has interviewed many of the leading newsmakers and cultural icons of our time, including former President Jimmy Carter, Cesar Chavez, Noam Chomsky, Hilary Rodham Clinton, Francis Ford Coppola, Don DeLillo, Newt Gingrich, Vice President Al Gore, Norman Mailer, Toni Morrison, President Barack Obama, Rosa Parks, Nancy Pelosi, Robert Redford, Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, John Updike, and countless others.