Thursday, October 6, 2011

James Lee Burke chats to Radio NZ's Kim Hill

"James Lee Burke has been hailed as one of America's greatest contemporary novelists" ... Renowned New Zealand broadcaster and interviewer Kim Hill began a lengthy interview with Burke, broadcast on Radio New Zealand last weekend, with a pithy statement that I think truly sums up Burke's status. He is one of America's finest novelists, regardless of genre. His books are swirling gumbos packed with philosophy, allegory, imagery, literary references (subtle and obvious) and more, all entwined with violent plots and vivid, multi-layered characters evoked with great depth.

Burke is apparently talking to Hill about his thirtieth and latest book, FEAST DAY OF FOOLS (which he thinks is his best yet, touching on many issues surrounding neo-colonialism and the use of religion by fanatics and evil men to justify their actions, etc), but like my interview with Burke last year for the New Zealand Herald (read 9mm interview here, read Herald feature here), Hill ends up talking to Burke predominantly about much broader, universal issues than just his writing. I've listened to about half of the 40-mins plus interview so far, and it's an excellent discussion about a number of topics, ranging from religion to politics (and the corruption of both by extremists), history, and much more.

When you have time, it's well worth a listen. Hill is a good interviewer, and Burkes gives a great interview. You can listen to it online by clicking HERE.

Comments welcome.


  1. Craig - Thanks for this. Burke always has interesting things to say....

  2. James Lee Burke has once again told a great story. He's created a relatable character in Hack Holland and a great nemesis in hitman/serial killer Jack Collins. Burke's elegiac prose are almost poetic. I've always been a fan of his Dave Robecheaux novels and I'm now a fan of Hack Holland. Hope he writes another one real soon.
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