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Coming up on Connections: Wednesday, February 7, 2024

An illustration of an multi-story apartment building in blue and pink and the text, "Fourteen Days"

First hour: The authors of the new collaborative novel, "Fourteen Days," on their work and the state of the literary world

Second hour: Beatlemania and 60th anniversary of the Beatles' first live TV performance in the U.S.

When a group of some of the nation’s best-known authors embarked on a project during the pandemic, it helped launch a new literary genre: the collaborative novel. Co-edited by Margaret Atwood and Douglas Preston, “Fourteen Days” tells the story of a handful of New York City residents who gather each evening on the rooftop of their Manhattan apartment building during the first two weeks of the pandemic lockdown. Each has a tale to share. This hour, we talk with three of the 36 authors who contributed to the project – as well as two local literary experts – about the new genre and about how writers have been affected by the pandemic, school and library book bans, AI, and more. Our guests:

  • Douglas Preston, co-editor and author of “Fourteen Days” and president of the Authors Guild
  • Tess Gerritsen, co-author of “Fourteen Days”
  • Roxana Robinson, co-author of “Fourteen Days” and former president of the Authors Guild
  • Kyle Semmel, writer and literary translator
  • Chad Post, publisher for Open Letter Press

Then in our second hour, 60 years ago today, the Beatles arrived in the United States for the first time. Two days later, the group made its live American television debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” with 70 million Americans tuning in from home. This hour, we discuss how Beatlemania helped shape American music and culture. Our guests:

  • John Covach, director of the Institute for Popular Music and professor of music in the Arthur Satz Department of Music at the University of Rochester, and professor of theory at the Eastman School of Music
  • Lisa Fybush, Beatles collector and host of “The Tragical History Tour” on Rochester Free Radio
  • Dave Kane, host of “Breakfast with the Beatles” on The Route
Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.