The History of Literature #160 – Ray Bradbury (with Carolyn Cohagan)

Special guest Carolyn Cohagan, author of the Time Zero trilogy and founder of the creative writing workshop Girls with Pens, joins Jacke for a discussion of her writing process, her origins in standup comedy and theater, and her early love for the fiction of Ray Bradbury (and her special appreciation for his short story “All Summer in a Day”).

For another look at a twentieth-century giant who broke down genre barriers, try Episode 141 Kurt Vonnegut (with Mike Palindrome).

Love pulp fiction? Hear about the efforts of a contemporary editor to bring back the heyday of the genre, including classic twentieth-century prose and beautiful painted covers, in Episode 140 Pulp Fiction and the Hardboiled Crime Novel (with Charles Ardai).

Writing a little yourself? Hear the interview that made Carolyn run out to buy the book that passes along the secrets of fiction in Episode 133 – The Hidden Machinery (with Margot Livesey).

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Writers Laughing: A Jacke Wilson Gallery

Peace on earth, good will to all…and a photo gallery of great writers caught in the act of laughing.  Happy holidays!

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Writers Laughing: Ray Bradbury

Okay, we’ll start with the one I like the most. Ray Bradbury, sci-fi legend, just looking like a classic fifties dad. Full of warmth, full of mirth.



Fast forward a couple of decades. The hair’s longer, the face a little older. But it’s still the same laugh. You get the sense he laughed like this many times in his life – always the same, always the same.


There’s something steady about this, right? Something reassuring. Maybe even something a little bland – as if he reached his limits as a laugher and could go no further. But that’s okay! He’s a successful author now! Why wouldn’t he be somewhat guarded? Be happy, be polite, give a nice chuckle, with a genuine twinkle in the eye. It’s enough! He’s giving all he can!

Except… this!


Wow. We all have it in us, people! Let it out sometimes!

Image Credits: Fantastical Andrew Fox; Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images (ht; Kimberly Butler