Michael Silverblatt (born August 6, 1952) is a broadcaster who has been the host of Bookworm, a nationally syndicated radio program focusing on books and literature, since 1989. He broadcasts from Los Angeles public radio station KCRW.
Born in Queens, New York, into a Jewish family, he attended SUNY Buffalo, where he majored in mathematics. He entered postgraduate studies at Johns Hopkins University but dropped out. He moved to Los Angeles with the intention of becoming a screenwriter. After impressing a KCRW executive during a discussion of Russian poetry at a dinner party, he was offered his own show.
Silverblatt describes his interviews as "conversations", and he does not use prompts or question sheets. Underwritten by the Lannan Foundation, Bookworm is distributed for free to around fifty radio stations across the United States. Silverblatt worked on the show unpaid for its first five years.
With over 17 years of shows aired 52 weeks a year, Bookworm has built up a sizable archive that have included some of the most important writers in the United States and the world. This is just a small sampling of the many interviews Silverblatt has conducted with the players in the world of literature.
Michael has a small bit part in the 2013 film "Bob's New Suit." Michael plays, in an "art imitating life" role, a used bookstore owner.
- John Barth Air date: March 9, 2006
- David Foster Wallace Air date: March 2, 2006
- Salman Rushdie Air date: November 10, 2005
- Joyce Carol Oates Air date: October 13, 2005
- Umberto Eco Air date: August 25, 2005
- Susan Sontag Air date: February 3, 2004
- W. G. Sebald Air date: December 6, 2001
- KCRW Bookworm webpage and audio archive
- Silverblatt's Lannan Foundation audio/video archive
- An interview with Michael Silverblatt on The Marketplace of Ideas
- Michael Silverblatt interviewed by Sarah Fay , The Believer (magazine), June 2010
- The Consummate Reader, Kristy Davis, Oprah.com
- Interview with Bookworm's Michael Silverblatt on LARB's Radio Hour: Part One, June 2015
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