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Category: Literature

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Intellectual, accessible, and provocative literary conversations.

Episode Date
Ocean Vuong: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

Ocean Vuong speaks of leaving his thumbprint within his new novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous.

Jul 18, 2019
David Trinidad, Amy Gerstler, Ruth Greenstein: Punk Rock is Cool for the End of the World: Poems and Notebooks of Ed Smith

Editor/poet David Trinidad, poet Amy Gerstler, and publisher Ruth Greenstein reflect on the dynamic mind behind Punk Rock is Cool for the End of the World: Poems and Notebooks of Ed Smith.

Jul 11, 2019
David Trinidad: Swinging on a Star
David Trinidad’s Swinging on a Star is a two-part collection of poems that put the human in pop culture.
Jun 27, 2019
Laila Lalami: The Other Americans
 Laila Lalami’s The Other Americans is a polyphonic novel about social class and identity, with a revelation in every chapter.
Jun 20, 2019
Seth: Clyde Fans

A stunning graphic novel by one of the medium’s greatest creators, Seth’s Clyde Fans is about people living in a memory fog, and the strange reverie that life takes on when one grows older.

Jun 13, 2019
Ann Beattie: A Wonderful Stroke of Luck

Ben’s life falls down around him, and he’s the protagonist, in A Wonderful Stroke of Luck, by master writer Ann Beattie.

Jun 06, 2019
Dave Eggers: The Parade

The Parade, by Dave Eggers, is a book of creeping dread, where every worst thing is possible, and rational reason leads one to expect that the worst is not over.

May 30, 2019
Richard Powers: The Overstory

About the interdependence between humans and trees, Richard Powers found a place for the non-human in literary fiction with his new book, The Overstory.

May 23, 2019
Terrance Hayes: American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin

Seventy sonnets written in the first two hundred days of Trump's presidency, American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin, by Terrance Hayes, flies out of the cages of literary, cultural, and historical forms. WarningToday's episode contains strong language that some listeners may find offensive. 

May 16, 2019
Nafissa Thompson-Spires: Heads of the Colored People

The stories in Heads of the Colored People, by Nafissa Thompson-Spires, try to capture what’s human in what otherwise may only be trends.

May 09, 2019
Tayari Jones: An American Marriage

Her fourth book, which took her six years to write, An American Marriage brought Tayari Jones to the attention of Oprah’s Book Club. 

May 02, 2019
John Lanchester: The Wall

John Lanchester’s The Wall is a wild love story with a dystopian backdrop.

Apr 25, 2019
Nathan Englander:

In Nathan Englander’s, a secular Jewish son experiments with the task of shepherding his father’s soul safely to rest.

Apr 18, 2019
Chris Cander: The Weight of a Piano

Chris Cander’s The Weight of a Piano explores characters with passionate attachments to things that have been lost. 

Apr 11, 2019
Valeria Luiselli: Lost Children Archive

Valeria Luiselli's Lost Children Archive tells the story of a family by combining the American road trip subgenre with the Latin American tradition of an inward journey. 

Apr 04, 2019
Elizabeth McCracken: Bowlaway

Her nature oppositional, Elizabeth McCracken’s Bowlaway is a sad, funny, hilarious, and melancholic novel.

Mar 28, 2019
Yiyun Li: Where Reasons End

In Yiyun Li’s Where Reasons End, a mother discovers a place where she can talk to her son who committed suicide.

Mar 21, 2019
Marlon James: Black Leopard, Red Wolf: The Dark Star Trilogy

Marlon James discusses the endlessly beautiful and brutal world of Black Leopard, Red Wolf, the first novel in The Dark Star Trilogy. 

Mar 14, 2019
Chloe Aridjis: Sea Monsters
Sea Monsters is a fascinatingly consistent and exquisitely shaped novel by Chloe Aridjis.
Mar 07, 2019
Dennis Cooper and Zac Farley: Permanent Green Light
Bookworm alumnus Dennis Cooper, and collaborator Zac Farley, discuss the creative impulses behind their film Permanent Green Light.
Feb 28, 2019
Sam Lipsyte: Hark
A novel that presents ambiguity as a constant feature of modern life, Hark is a book full of tensions, written with Sam Lipsyte’s fine grain strangeness, and absent of easy answers.
Feb 21, 2019
Amanda Sthers: Holy Lands
A writer of ten novels in French, Holy Lands is the first novel by Amanda Sthers to appear in English, translated by herself.
Feb 14, 2019
Tosh Berman: Tosh: Growing Up in Wallace Berman’s World

Tosh Berman’s memoir, Tosh: Growing Up in Wallace Berman’s World, is a depiction of culture brought into Los Angeles from the rest of the world: reinvented to be here.

Feb 07, 2019
Mary Ruefle: My Private Property
Mary Ruefle reads the entirety of her glorious and gruesome essay about shrunken heads, the title essay in her book My Private Property.
Jan 31, 2019
Diane Williams: The Collected Stories of Diane Williams
The original and indescribable writing of Diane Williams is showcased in over three hundred dazzling new and previously published shorts fictions from six releases, The Collected Stories of Diane Williams.
Jan 24, 2019