Alberto Rios Hosts New Season of Books & Co. on Arizona PBS

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Arizona PBS series Books & Co. is about to begin its 17th season of delving into a world filled with imagination, fantasy, and history, as told through the eyes of both well-known and up-and-coming authors.

Hosted by Arizona's inaugural poet laureate, Alberto Rios, an ASU Regents' Professor of English, each episode features meaningful conversations between contemporary writers and Rios. This season's first episode airs at 11:30 p.m. Friday, March 21, on Eight, Arizona PBS.

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"Talking to writers about their writing is like news-people interviewing eye witnesses to major events," says Rios in a press release. "In this sense, and as lovers of books, the moment and the conversation are irresistible."

The show has been on air since 1993, before the era of Oprah Winfrey and other celebrity book clubs. Its premise is simple: invite new and established authors to join the show's host and discuss not only his or her own work but the art of writing itself.

Over the years, guests have included Barbara Kingsolver, David Baldacci, Joyce Carol Oates, Jodi Picoult, and Anne Rice.

"Books & Co. strives to showcase interesting authors with diverse backgrounds," says coordinating producer Suzanne Guery in a press release. "While their genres and writing styles differ greatly, they are all master storytellers-both on the page and on our program."

The first episode of the new season features David Quammen, who published his first fiction novel in 1970. He will discuss his latest book, Spillover, in which he tracks what could be the next deadly virus to infect humans.

Each of the 13 new half-hour episodes will air beginning the following Friday at 6 p.m. on Eight WORLD.

For more information on Books & Co., visit its website.

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