Susan Orlean on the Lit Show

New Yorker staff writer Susan Orlean visited Iowa City to read from her new book, Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend on September 21st. Before her multimedia presentation at the Englert Theatre, she appeared on KRUI's The Lit Show to discuss the book.

In addition to discussing Rin Tin Tin's unlikely path to superstardom, Orlean discussed the origins of the German shepherd breed, the reasons why we love watching animals on screen, and the strange twists and turns in her own life as a public figure.

"Orlean’s book is not only a canine coming-of-age story—it explores the complexities of modern mythmaking," said Lit Show host Joe Fassler, in his introduction. "At first, we follow the successes and setbacks of a dog-in-real-life, Rin Tin Tin, but gradually Rin’s physical presence dissolves into his media presence, diffusing like a drop of food coloring in water. "

Orlean is the author of many books on wide-ranging topics, including Saturday Night, a cultural history of Saturday night, and Red Sox and Bluefish, an exploration of what makes New England, “New England.” Her book The Orchid Thief was adapted into the Oscar-winning movie Adaptation, written by Charlie Kaufman.

Listen to the Interview