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A Few Seconds Of Radiant Filmstrip


On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with Little Rock novelist, short story writer, prodigious list maker, and former 7th grader Kevin Brockmeier. He is the author of several national bestselling books of fiction including, A Brief History of the Dead, The View from the Seventh Layer, and The Illumination

His latest effort recounts a character named Kevin Brockmeier and his present tense misadventures throughout his 7th grade year growing up in Little Rock. 

Writer Karen Russell calls A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip "a truly stunning hybrid--a memoir told with the imaginative vibrancy and the uncanny precision of the best fiction."

The memoir begins on the last weekend of summer 1985--the last weekend before 7th grade for Kenneth, Thad, Bateman, and Kevin Brockmeier, who we find hanging from a cliff "bracing his sneakers against chunks of stone and the whip handles of baby trees, twenty-five feet above the parking lot." 

So let's lace up our Reeboks, pull on our izod polos, don jelly bracelets and Swatch Watches, zip up our bomber jackets, take a deep breath, hold it, and return to middle school in 1985 in order to become a part of it all.


Brockmeier discusses his list-writing prowess.
Brockmeier describes an enlightening moment at the state fair.
Brockmeier talks about his former 7th grade classmates' reactions to the book.



We humbly thank Brian Nahlen, Jeh-sea Wells and Max Gomez for their musical contributions.

Credit Brian Nahlen Twitter
Brian Nahlen

Brian Nahlen performing "Don't Lose Sight" at KUAR's studios.

Credit Jeh-seh Wells Soundcloud
Jeh-sea Wells
Jeh-sea Wells performs "And If the Sun Is Real."

Max Gomez
Max Gomez performs "Rule the World."

If you'd care to write us a comment about this show or any other, please email us at

Support for this program comes from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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