6 questions we always ask — Cathy Wurzer, journalist and author


I have to admit, I have a bit of the fangirl aura about me this week. I’m an avid MPR listener so I’m super pumped to present this week’s interviewee.

Anyone who listens to MPR on their drive to work in the mornings is probably familiar with Cathy Wurzer (or at least her voice) the host of Morning Edition. Or you might recognize her from TPT’s Almanac. Besides being an accomplished journalist, Wurzer is also a published author. Her latest book is Tales of the Road-Highway 61 (which will be reviewed by Ben tomorrow). In the book Wurzer travels Highway 61 (which winds through a large chunk of MN) and tells stories about the people and places she visited.

What book(s) are you currently reading?
I read a lot of material but it is mainly for work to prep for interviews so I tend to plow through that first and then “snack” on a book or two at a time for pleasure. (Unless I'm on vacation when I have the time to “gorge” on several books!)

Now that I'm done with my documentary (Tales of the Road-Highway 61) I have a little more time to read for pleasure. I'm almost done with The Hearts of Horses by Molly Gloss (a fine book for any lover of horses). Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert is great. I'm just starting The Women by T.C. Boyle (I love good historic fiction) and I'm halfway through The Art of Aging by Sherwin Nuland. (For whatever reason I have a big interest in issues surrounding aging and the notion of aging “well.”)

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character? Who?
I've never had a crush on a fictional character as I really don't read much fiction at all. I tend toward biographies, autobiographies, and non-fiction. That must be the journalist in me.

If your favorite author came to Minnesota, who would it be and what bar would you take him/her to?
My favorite author is dead but if he was still alive, I think buying F. Scott Fitzgerald a drink at the classic, art deco Mirror Bar at the Commodore Hotel would be appropriate. It is a place Scott was quite familiar with having ordered many a Gin Rickey at that very bar!

What was your first favorite book?
My first favorite book was Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. I had my Mom's copy, the book she had when she was a girl and read that book over and over until it was in tatters. Several years ago, a good friend found an exact copy in a used bookstore for me and I treasure that! As a horse crazy girl, I loved reading Black Beauty.

Let’s say Fahrenheit 451 comes to life, which book would you become in order to save it from annihilation?
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a book worth saving. Its meditation on the the decaying of the American Dream in the 20s, despite the great material wealth at that time, has interesting parallels to today.

What is one book you haven’t read but want to read before you die?
I've never read the Bible. I may take a run at that someday.

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