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Category: Literature

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Intellectual, accessible, and provocative literary conversations.

Episode Date
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
Deborah Eisenberg: Your Duck Is My Duck: Stories

Again Deborah Eisenberg demonstrates herself as a masterful and electric writer, in her new collection of seven stories, Your Duck Is My Duck.

Jan 17, 2019
John Wray: Godsend

John Wray discusses writing about the extremes of subjectivity, and breaking the reader of expectations in his new novel, Godsend.

Jan 10, 2019
Jeff Jackson: Destroy All Monsters: The Last Rock Novel

Jeff Jackson’s Destroy All Monsters: The Last Rock Novel comes at the same story from radically different angles that echo and rewrite each other.

Jan 03, 2019
Edward M. Burns and Jim Gauer: Questioning Minds: The Letters of Guy Davenport and Hugh Kenner

A voluminous correspondence of an intellectual friendship between two literary geniuses,  Questioning Minds: The Letters of Guy Davenport and Hugh Kenner, edited by Edward M. Burns.

Dec 20, 2018
Katharine Weber: Still Life with Monkey

Dramatic, emotional, and philosophical, Katherine Weber’s, Still Life with Monkey, is a profound book written in the old style, with depths orchestrated by the author.

Dec 13, 2018
Barbara Kingsolver: Unsheltered

In Barbara Kingsolver’s Unsheltered, characters feel as if they did what was right in life, but get a bad deal at the end of their lives.

Dec 06, 2018
Leland de la Durantaye: Hannah Versus the Tree

Mythical and lyrical, written in love, Leland de la Durantaye’s debut novel Hannah Versus the Tree is original work that speaks to our moment.

Nov 29, 2018