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Michael Silverblatt

Michael Silverblatt (born August 6, 1952) is a literary critic and American broadcaster who has been the host of Bookworm, a nationally syndicated radio program focusing on books and literature, since 1989.

Michael Silverblatt
Born (1952-08-06) August 6, 1952 (age 67)
Queens, New York, United States
OccupationBroadcaster, radio personality

Bookworm is broadcast from Los Angeles public radio station KCRW.[1]

Early lifeEdit

A life-long voracious reader, Silverblatt was born in Queens, New York, into a Jewish family, attended SUNY Buffalo, majored in mathematics, then entered postgraduate studies at Johns Hopkins University but dropped out.

Later, he moved to Los Angeles with the intention of becoming a screenwriter.

But, after impressing the KCRW General Manager during a discussion of Russian poetry at a dinner party, he was offered his own weekly half hour radio show.

KCRW BookwormEdit

On Bookworm, Silverblatt has interviewed a variety of writers including such contemporary authors as T. C. Boyle, David Foster Wallace, William Gass, Zadie Smith, and Richard Powers. He describes his interviews as "conversations", and he does not use prompts or question sheets.

Silverblatt has been noted by both critics and interviewees as being well prepared, having if possible read in advance that author's corpus.

Underwritten by the Lannan Foundation, Bookworm is distributed free of charge to around fifty radio stations across the United States.[2] Silverblatt worked on the show unpaid for its first five years.[1]

Literary criticEdit

Silverblatt coined the term transgressive fiction.[3]

Silverblatt's Los Angeles Times review of The Tunnel by William Gass was blurbed on the cover of its paperback release: "The most beautiful, most complex, most disturbing novel to be published in my lifetime."[4]


  1. ^ a b Davis, Kristy (October 2009). "The Consummate Reader". O, The Oprah Magazine.
  2. ^ "Bookworm".
  3. ^ Word Watch — December 1996 from The Atlantic Monthly
  4. ^ March 1995 from Los Angeles Times

External linksEdit