Jenny Offill is the author of the novels Last Things, Dept. of Speculation, and, most recently, Weather. One of the pleasures of reading Offill’s books is hearing the emotional struggles and ambivalent attitudes of very honest narrators. In Weather, the concerns of daily life and parenting combine with the looming apocalypse of climate change. Both hilarious and heartbreaking, the novel asks readers to think about the mundane ways we live and grapple with our rapidly deteriorating environment. Offill lives in upstate New York and teaches at Syracuse University and Queens University. On March 18, 2021, Jenny Offill talked via videoconference with Brit Marling, an actor and writer who has focused on creating projects that offer counter-narratives to the more common ones diminishing women’s worth.
Kendra chats with Jenny Offill, the author of Weather, which is out now in paperback from Vintage.Check out our Patreon page to learn more about our book club and other Patreon-exclusive goodies. Follow along over on Instagram, join the discussion in our Goodreads group, and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for more new books and extra book reviews!Books MentionedWeather by Jenny OffillJenny Recommends Picnic Grounds by Oz Shelach The Last Wolf by László Krasznahorkai Bluets by Maggie Nelson Jenny Offill is the author of the novels Last Things (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a finalist for the L.A. Times First Book Award); Dept. of Speculation, which was shortlisted for the Folio Prize, the Pen Faulkner Award and the International Dublin Award; and most recently Weather, an instant New York Times Bestseller. She lives in upstate New York and teaches at Syracuse University and in the low residency program at Queens University.Website Buy the BookCONTACTQuestions? Comments? Email us firstname.lastname@example.org. SOCIAL MEDIATwitter | Facebook | Instagram | WebsiteMusic by Miki Saito with Isaac Greene Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
S4 Ep. 8: Our Lies: Jenny Offill and James Plath on Conspiracy Theories in History and Literature
In this week’s episode of Fiction/Non/Fiction, co-hosts Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan are joined by author Jenny Offill and literary and film critic James Plath. First Offill shares her reaction to the insurrection and attempted coup at the Capitol last week, and discusses her latest novel, Weather, out in paperback next week. Then, Plath explores the origins of conspiracy theories in history and literature and how right-wing extremists have weaponized them under Trump, and talks about editing Critical Insights: Conspiracies. To hear the full episode, subscribe to the Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast through iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app (include the forward slashes when searching). You can also listen by streaming from the player below. And check out video excerpts from our interviews at LitHub’s Virtual Book Channel and Fiction/Non/Fiction’s YouTube Channel.This podcast is produced by Andrea Tudhope.Selected readings:Jenny Offill Weather Last Things Dept. of Speculation James Plath Critical Insights: Conspiracies “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Conspiracy” Others: “The American Abyss,” by Timothy Snyder, The New York Times Magazine On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder Hannah Arendt The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood Three Days of the Condor (film) by Sydney Pollack Utopia (TV series) by Gillian Flynn “Stop Making Sense, or How to Write in the Age of Trump” by Aleksandar Hemon, The Village Voice “Jenny Offill: 'I don't miss the world as much as, perhaps, I should'” by Alex Preston, The Guardian JFK (film) by Oliver Stone Libra by Don DeLillo Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon V (TV series) Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison “The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories” by Brielle A. Marino, Psychology Today Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison “The Hull Case” by Peter Ho Davies “Teen Names Family Who Harassed A Black Woman On Video,” Buzzfeed Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
On this edition of the Book Show: a possible culture clash as teachers in Kerry question Paul Howard about Ross O’Carroll Kelly, Stefanie Preissner has tips to finally tackle that ever increasing pile of books marked ‘to be read’ and writer Jenny Offill talks about trying to be funny about climate crisis...and life in the US in general.
Jenny Offill, author of Dept. of Speculation, talks to editor Josie Mitchell about her new novel, Weather. They discuss pre-apocalypse warnings, the doomers among us and the draws of prepper culture in a world gone mad. You can read an interview between Jenny and Mark O’Connell, author of Notes from an Apocalypse, on our website: https://granta.com/in-conversation-oconnell-offill/
Lovecraft Country, Prison Radio Drama, Women's Prize For Fiction Shortlisted Jenny Offill
Lovecraft Country is a new 10-episode HBO series, based on the 2016 novel by Matt Ruff, set in 1950s Jim Crow America. The story is about a young African American man whose search for his missing father begins a struggle to survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and also terrifying monsters that could be pulled from the pages of horror fiction writer H.P Lovecraft’s weird tales. Writer and broadcaster Ekow Eshun reviews the series. We continue our interviews with the writers shortlisted for the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction. American author Jenny Offill discusses her acclaimed novel, Weather, about a female librarian struggling to cope with a domestic life haunted by the growing awareness of catastrophic climate change.National Prison Radio is run by a British prison-based charity, broadcasting programmes made by and for prisoners in over 100 prisons in the UK, and is the world's first national radio station of its kind. Next week they broadcast an ambitious radio drama – a 29 minute sci–fi adventure called Project Zed, conceived and produced by artist Ruth Beale, working with prisoners at HMP Lincoln. It was commissioned by Mansions of the Future - an arts and cultural hub in Lincoln City Centre. Samira is joined by Ruth and facilitator Sonia Rossington, who worked together with the prisoners to put the drama together. On Monday’s Front Row we heard from Natalia Kaliada, co-founder of the Belarus Free Theatre - the only company in Europe to be banned by their country’s government – who told us three of their members have been arrested in Minsk following the election. Their whereabouts and condition were unknown. Natalia returns to Front Row with an update.Main image: Jonathan majors as Atticus Freeman in Sky Atlantic's series Lovecraft CountryImage credit: (c) Elizabeth Morris/2020 Home Box Office IncPresenter: Samira AhmedProducer: Emma Wallace
Weather by Jenny Offill and Untamed by Glennon Doyle
May I Recommend?
Claire and Linda talk about two books that have made a major impact since we received them in store, one an experimental novel and one a memoir, both posing questions we can’t stop thinking about. Weather by Jenny Offill asks if you can still just tend your own garden once you know about the fire (read: climate crisis) outside its walls while Doyle’s memoir wonders if we can be both “held and free” as she relays her journey from a conservative christian background to writing entering into a queer relationship on a world stage. For more suggestions like these, peruse H&H’s online store here.
Literary Friction - Obligatory Note Of Hope With Jenny Offill
How do you hold onto hope in the dark? This question feels more pertinent than ever right now, and we couldn't think of anyone we'd rather ask than author Jenny Offill, who we spoke to from our various quarantine locations this month. Her new novel Weather is a sharp, insightful meditation on how regular humans process catastrophe, and while it's particularly about the climate crisis, as you might imagine it’s become weirdly relevant in our current situation too. But listen, rather than bring you a show about catastrophe, we also wanted to make a show about hope. ‘Obligatory note of hope’ is an expression a character uses in Weather, and it’s also a website that Jenny set up with resources she found during her research (https://www.obligatorynoteofhope.com/). So, as well as talking to Jenny and giving all the usual recommendations, we’ll be thinking about what it means for a book to be hopeful, and talking about which books and authors have personally given us hope over the years. So, Pandora: shut that box just in time, and join us for the next hour on Literary Friction.List of books mentioned that give us hope:Octavia: The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson; Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid; Just Kids by Patti Smith; Octavia Butler and Ursula K Le Guin's writing; The Examined Life by Stephen GroszCarrie: Middlemarch by George Eliot; Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf; Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson; When I Was a Child I Read Books by Marilynne Robinson; Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout; Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo; The People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn; Ways of Seeing by John BergerGeneral Recommendations:Octavia: Wrechedness by Andrzej Tichý https://www.andotherstories.org/wretchedness/Jenny: Fever Dream by Samantha Schweblin https://oneworld-publications.com/fever-dream.html Carrie: Bad Behaviour by Mary Gaitskill https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/312/312616/bad-behavior/9780241383100.htmlEmail us: email@example.comTweet us & find us on Instagram: @litfriction This episode is sponsored by Picador https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador
American novelist Jenny Offill talks to James Naughtie and readers about her novel Dept. of Speculation.The novel is the story of a relationship between two people whose names we never know. They meet by chance - she’s a writer and he's an artist working with sound. They write to each other and the return address on their envelopes is always Dept of Speculation. Egged on by a friend she calls the Philosopher they end up living together in a bug-infested apartment and have a daughter. But eventually this curiously-triggered relationship starts to falter; he has an affair and in the end The Protagonist, who now calls herself The Wife, realises she has to make the best of what life has thrown at her.Jenny talks about the structure and form of the novel, why the characters have no names - and what makes her happy.To take part in future Bookclubs apply at firstname.lastname@example.orgMay's Bookclub choice : The Faraway Nearby by Rebecca Solnit (2016)Presenter: James NaughtieProducer : Dymphna Flynn
Today’s guest is a leading light in the vanguard of experimental fiction - announcing her credentials with her 2014 novel Dept. of Speculation, this year Jenny Offill followed up with a marvellously rich and comic tour de force. Her new novel Weather etches with droll precision the thinking, breathing mind of its central character, Lizzie.