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Otherppl with Brad Listi

Updated 6 days ago

Arts
Society & Culture
Books
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A weekly podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today's leading authors. Hosted by Brad Listi.

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A weekly podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today's leading authors. Hosted by Brad Listi.

iTunes Ratings

292 Ratings
Average Ratings
265
9
11
2
5

WOW

By JJ69420bro - Aug 16 2018
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This podcast makes me really like brad. Listi. Brad listi! Brad dad!!!!!!

Brad is rad.

By Camaples - Oct 22 2017
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Always great conversation with new literary talent. A+

iTunes Ratings

292 Ratings
Average Ratings
265
9
11
2
5

WOW

By JJ69420bro - Aug 16 2018
Read more
This podcast makes me really like brad. Listi. Brad listi! Brad dad!!!!!!

Brad is rad.

By Camaples - Oct 22 2017
Read more
Always great conversation with new literary talent. A+

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Cover image of Otherppl with Brad Listi

Otherppl with Brad Listi

Updated 6 days ago

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A weekly podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today's leading authors. Hosted by Brad Listi.

Episode 587 — Bret Easton Ellis

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Bret Easton Ellis is the guest. His new essay collection, White, is available from Knopf.

Ellis is the author of six novels, including Less Than Zero, The Rules of Attraction, and American Psycho, and a collection of stories, which have been translated into thirty-two languages. He lives in Los Angeles and is the host of The Bret Easton Ellis Podcast, available on Patreon.

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Jul 03 2019

1hr 57mins

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Episode 322 — Celeste Ng

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Celeste Ng is the guest. Her debut novel, Everything I Never Told You, is now available from Penguin. 
The New York Times Book Review says
"If we know this story, we haven’t seen it yet in American fiction, not until now… Ng has set two tasks in this novel’s doubled heart—to be exciting, and to tell a story bigger than whatever is behind the crime. She does both by turning the nest of familial resentments into at least four smaller, prickly mysteries full of secrets the family members won’t share… What emerges is a deep, heartfelt portrait of a family struggling with its place in history, and a young woman hoping to be the fulfillment of that struggle. This is, in the end, a novel about the burden of being the first of your kind—a burden you do not always survive."
And the LA Times calls it
"[A]n accomplished debut... It's also heart-wrenching. Ng deftly pulls together the strands of this complex, multigenerational novel. Everything I Never Told You is an engaging work that casts a powerful light on the secrets that have kept an American family together — and that finally end up tearing it apart."
Monologue topics: Halloween, costume parties, ebola, comedy, missed opportunities.

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Oct 19 2014

1hr 14mins

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Episode 275 — Leslie Jamison

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Leslie Jamison is the guest. Her new collection of essays, entitled The Empathy Exams, is now available from Graywolf Press.
The New York Times Book Review calls it
"Extraordinary and exacting....This capacity for critical thinking, for a kind of cool skepticism that never gives way to the chilly blandishments of irony, is very rare. It's not surprising that Jamison is drawing comparisons to Sontag....There is a glory to this kind of writing that derives as much from its ethical generosity, the palpable sense of stretch and reach, as it does from the lovely vividness of the language itself....It's hard to imagine a stronger, more thoughtful voice emerging this year."
And Phillip Lopate, writing for The San Francisco Chronicle, says
"[Jamison] writes consistently with passion and panache; her sentences are elegantly formed, her voice on the page intimate and insistent. Always intelligent, self-questioning, willing to experiment with form, daring to engage with the weird and thrust herself into danger spots, a patient researcher and voracious processor of literature and critical theory, she is the complete package: state-of-the-art nonfiction."
Monologue topics: mail, cheering up, the struggle, expressing the subterranean.

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May 07 2014

1hr 21mins

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Episode 532 — Ottessa Moshfegh

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Brad Listi talks with Ottessa Moshfegh, author of the novel MY YEAR OF REST AND RELAXATION (Penguin Press). Moshfegh's first book, McGlue, a novella, won the Fence Modern Prize in Prose and the Believer Book Award. She is also the author of the short story collection Homesick for Another World. Eileen, her first novel, was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Man Booker Prize, and won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction. She lives in Los Angeles. 

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Jul 11 2018

1hr 13mins

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Episode 506 — Elif Batuman

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Brad Listi talks with Elif Batuman, author of the bestselling debut novel THE IDIOT, available now in trade paperback from Penguin. Batuman's first book, THE POSSESSED (2010), a collection of comic interconnected essays about the pursuit of Russian literature, was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award. She has been a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine since 2010 and holds a PhD in comparative (mostly Russian) literature from Stanford University.

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Feb 28 2018

1hr 13mins

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Episode 298 — Stuart Dybek

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Stuart Dybek is the guest. He is the award-winning author of several books of fiction and poetry, including Childhood and Other Neighborhoods, The Coast of Chicago, Streets in Their Own Ink, and I Sailed With Magellan.
George Saunders says
"[Stuart Dybek] somehow manages to conjure up beautiful, detailed imitations of real America, and then infuse them with so much surreal truth that they read like myths or fairy tales. Like the Chicago he often writes about, his work is full of genuine sentiment, and edge, and beauty. One of the most soulful writers in America, and a national treasure."
And the Chicago Tribune calls him
"A magician comparable to Eudora Welty and Joy Williams."
Monologue topics:  Episode 300, wondering if it means anything, writing in coffee shops, guilt. 

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Jul 27 2014

1hr 13mins

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Episode 564 — Brad Phillips

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Brad Phillips is the guest. His new story collection, ESSAYS AND FICTIONS, is available from Tyrant Books.

The late Anthony Bourdain calls it: "Searingly honest, brilliant and disturbing. Brad Phillips peels back the skin and bone and stares right into the human soul." 

Born in 1974, Phillips is also an accomplished visual artist  known for dark work that engages with themes of eroticism, depression, and mortality. His paintings display stylistic breadth, from text-based to photorealist, referring in many cases directly to his daily life. He lives in Toronto.

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Feb 13 2019

1hr 53mins

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Episode 299 — Dan Chaon

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Dan Chaon is the guest. He is the acclaimed author of several books, including the story collection Among the Missing, a finalist for the National Book Award, Stay Awake, and You Remind Me of Me.
The Boston Globe calls him
"The modern day John Cheever."
And the New York Times Book Review calls his work
"Superbly disquieting."
Monologue topics: complaining, Twitter, robots, simplicity, second-guessing.
 

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Jul 30 2014

1hr 16mins

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Episode 473 — Scott McClanahan

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Scott McClanahan is the guest. His new novel The Sarah Book is now available from Tyrant Books. It is the official July pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club. This is Scott's second appearance on the program. He was my guest in Episode 87 on July 15, 2012. In today's monologue, I talk about six years of Otherppl and I also talk about not talking about what I tend to talk about.

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Jul 12 2017

2hr 35mins

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Episode 462 — Lidia Yuknavitch

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Lidia Yuknavitch is the guest. Her new novel, The Book of Joan, is available now from Harper. It is the official April selection of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club. This is Lidia's third appearance on the podcast. She first appeared on August 5, 2012, in Episode 93, and again on July 15, 2015, in Episode 370. All episodes can be streamed free of charge.  In today's monologue, I read more listener mail.    

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Apr 19 2017

1hr 22mins

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Episode 608 — Steph Cha

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Steph Cha is the guest. Her new novel, Your House Will Pay, is available from Ecco.

This is Steph's second time on the program. She first appeared in Episode 319 on October 8, 2014.

Cha is also the author of the Juniper Song crime trilogy. She’s an editor and critic whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. A native of the San Fernando Valley, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two basset hounds.

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Oct 27 2019

1hr 32mins

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Episode 559 — Tommy Pico

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Tommy Pico is the guest. A poet, performer, and screenwriter, he is the author of the poetry collections IRL (Birds, LLC), NATURE POEM, JUNK, and the forthcoming FEED (Tin House Books).  A Whiting Award winner, Pico is originally from the Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay nation. He now divides his time between Los Angeles and Brooklyn, where he co-curates the reading series Poets With Attitude (PWA) with Morgan Parker at the Ace Hotel, co-hosts the podcast Food 4 Thot, and is a contributing editor at Literary Hub

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Jan 09 2019

1hr 14mins

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Episode 381 — Bill Clegg

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Bill Clegg is the guest. His debut novel, Did You Ever Have a Family?, is available now from Scout Press. It has been long-listed for both the Man Booker Award and National Book Award.
Bill and I talked on the hottest day of the year in LA, or one of the hottest days of the year. It was sweltering in the garage and it had rained the night before (odd), which made it humid, which made the heat worse. Plus, we did the interview at four in the afternoon, the hottest time of the day. So it was hot. And Bill, bless him, arrived at my door after a day of media and travel and was, despite the heat and fatigue, completely game and willing to sit there and field my questions for an hour. We had a great conversation in spite of it all.
Not much of a monologue today.  I just get to the main event.  I do, however, get more expansive than usual at the tail end of the show.  Stay tuned.

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Sep 23 2015

1hr 16mins

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Episode 302 — Steve Almond

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Steve Almond is the guest. His new book, Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto, is due out from Melville House on August 26, 2014.  (Author photo:  Sharona Jacobs)
Publishers Weekly calls it
"Powerful… Almond is drawing on his own experiences as a fan to illustrate how difficult the problem, which provides the book with an engaging personal angle that will lure readers who are mature enough to hear him out whether they agree with his conclusions… An important read, even if as Almond concedes, it offers more questions than answers."
And Kirkus Reviews says
“A provocative, thoughtful examination of an ’astonishingly brutal’ sport… Comic, compassionate and thought-provoking.”
Monologue topics: football, fandom, non-fans, football as a lens through which to view the wider culture.

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Aug 10 2014

1hr 14mins

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Episode 556 — Katya Apekina

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Katya Apekina is the guest. She is the author of the debut novel THE DEEPER THE WATER THE UGLIER THE FISH (Two Dollar Radio). Apekina's short stories have appeared in various literary magazines. She is the recipient of an Elizabeth George grant, an Olin Fellowship, the Alena Wilson prize and a 3rd Year Fiction Fellowship from Washington University in St. Louis where she did her MFA. She has done residencies at VCCA, Playa and Ucross. Her prose and poetry translations from Russian appeared in Night Wraps the Sky: Writings by and About Mayakovsky(FSG 2008), which was short-listed for the Best Translated Book Award. She co-wrote the script for the independent film New Orleans, Mon Amour (2008), directed by Michael Almereyda and starring Elisabeth Moss and Christopher Eccleston. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter. 

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Dec 19 2018

1hr 23mins

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Episode 467 — Amelia Gray

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Amelia Gray is the guest. Her new novel Isadora is available now from Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.  In today's monologue, I eulogize my dog Walter.  

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May 24 2017

1hr 53mins

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Episode 419 — Viet Thanh Nguyen

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Viet Thanh Nguyen is the guest. His debut novel, The Sympathizer, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2016. It is available now from Grove Press. I want to say that Viet is the first Pulitzer winner ever to appear on the program. I could be wrong. (Am I forgetting someone?) I read The Sympathizer earlier this year when I was a judge for the Tournament of Books at The Morning News. (You can read my judgment here.) This was before the Pulitzer. Fortunately I had the good sense to pick it as the winner and advance it to the next round; otherwise this conversation might never have happened. Kidding aside, Viet was great. He showed up ready to talk and was everything one might expect after reading the novel: sharp, funny, opinionated, and full of stories.   In today's monologue, I talk about moving. Again. I promise this will end soon.��

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Jun 22 2016

1hr 11mins

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Episode 516 — Sarah Kendzior

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Brad Listi talks with Sarah Kendzior, author of the essay collection THE VIEW FROM FLYOVER COUNTRY: DISPATCHES FROM THE FORGOTTEN AMERICA (Flatiron Books). A frequent contributor to Fast Company, NBC News, and other national outlets, she has been covering the transformation of the US under the Trump administration, writing on authoritarian tactics, kleptocracy, racism and xenophobia, media, voting rights, and the Russian interference case, among other topics. She lives in St. Louis.

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Apr 25 2018

1hr 22mins

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Episode 496 — Bud Smith

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Brad Listi talks with author Bud Smith about his new memoir WORK, available from Civil Coping Mechanisms. Smith is a writer from New Jersey who also works heavy construction. His other books include DUST BUNNY CITY (Disorder Press), F250 (Piscataway House), TOLLBOOTH (Piscataway House), EVERYTHING NEON (Marginalia), OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT (Unknown Press), and CALM FACE (House of Vlad). This is Bud's second time on the program. He first appeared in Episode 373, on July 29, 2015.

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Dec 06 2017

1hr 22mins

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Episode 519 — Melissa Broder

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Brad Listi talks with Melissa Broder, whose debut novel THE PISCES is available now from Hogarth Press. Broder is the author of four poetry collections, including LAST SEXT (Tin House, 2016), and the essay collection SO SAD TODAY (Grand Central, 2016). She writes the @sosadtoday Twitter feed, the So Sad Today column for VICE, the horoscopes for Lenny Letter, and the Beauty and Death column at Elle.com. She lives with her husband and her dog Pickle in Los Angeles.

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May 09 2018

1hr 19mins

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Episode 615 — Abigail Tarttelin

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Abigail Tarttelin is the guest. Her new novel, Dead Girls, is available from Rare Bird Books. It was the official November pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

This is Abigail's second time on the program. She first appeared in Episode 194 on July 28, 2013.

Tarttelin is also the author of Golden Boy, “a grippingly innovative” coming-of-age novel with a “radical non-binary, pro-intersex message” (Autostraddle). Golden Boy is the winner of an Alex Award from the American Library Association, a LAMBDA Literary Award Finalist for Best LGBT Debut, a Booklist Top Ten First Novel of 2013, a School Library Journal Best Book of 2013, and is published in eight languages.

Her journalism has appeared in The Guardian, The Independent, Glamour, Phoenix, Oh Comely, and The Huffington Post. Also a screenwriter, in 2016 Abigail served as a juror for the British Independent Film Awards. She is the recipient of awards from The Authors Foundation and The K Blundell Trust in Great Britain.

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Dec 04 2019

1hr 55mins

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Episode 614 — Fiona Alison Duncan

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Fiona Alison Duncan is the guest. Her debut novel, Exquisite Mariposa, is available from Soft Skull Press.

Duncan is a Canadian-American artist, writer and organizer. She is the founding host of Hard to Read, a lit series, and Pillow Talk, community organising on sex, love and communication. She lives in New York City and Los Angeles.

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Nov 27 2019

1hr 43mins

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Episode 613 — Leland Cheuk

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Leland Cheuk is the guest. His new novel, No Good Very Bad Asian, is available from C&R Press.

A MacDowell Colony and Hawthornden Castle Fellow, Cheuk is also the author of the story collection Letters from Dinosaurs (2016) and the novel The Misadventures of Sulliver Pong (2015), which was also published in translation in China (2018). His work has been covered in BuzzfeedThe Paris Review, VICESan Francisco Chronicle, and elsewhere, and has appeared in publications such as SalonCatapultJoyland MagazineLiterary Hub, among other outlets. He is the founder of the indie press 7.13 Books.

Cheuk lives in Brooklyn and teaches at the Sarah Lawrence College Writing Institute.

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Nov 20 2019

1hr 29mins

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Episode 612 — Adrienne Brodeur

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Adrienne Brodeur is the guest. Her memoir, Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me, is available from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It was the official October pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.


Brodeur has spent the past two decades of her professional life in the literary world, discovering voices, cultivating talent, and working to amplify underrepresented writers. Her publishing career began with founding the fiction magazine, Zoetrope: All-Storywith filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, where she served as editor in chief from 1996-2002. The magazine has won the prestigious National Magazine Award for best fiction four times. In 2005, she became an editor at Harcourt (later, HMH Books), where she acquired and edited literary fiction and memoir. Adrienne left publishing in 2013 to become Creative Director — and later Executive Director — of Aspen Words, a literary arts nonprofit and program of the Aspen Institute. In 2017, she launched the Aspen Words Literary Prize, a $35,000 annual award for an influential work of fiction that illuminates a vital contemporary issue and demonstrates the transformative power of literature on thought and culture.

She splits her time between Cambridge and Cape Cod, where she lives with her husband and children. 

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Nov 13 2019

1hr 27mins

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Episode 611 — Mimi Lok

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Mimi Lok is the guest. Her debut story collection, Last of Her Name, is available from Kaya Press.

Lok is the recipient of a Smithsonian Ingenuity Award and an Ylvisaker Award for Fiction, and was a finalist for the Susan Atefat Arts and Letters Prize for nonfiction. Her work can be found in McSweeney’s, Electric Literature, LitHub, Nimrod, Lucky Peach, Hyphen, the South China Morning Post, and elsewhere. She is currently working on a novel.

Lok is also the executive director and editor of Voice of Witness, an award-winning human rights/oral history nonprofit she cofounded that amplifies marginalized voices through a book series and a national education program.

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Nov 06 2019

1hr 18mins

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Episode 610 — Adam Mansbach

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Adam Mansbach is the guest. He is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Go the Fuck to Sleep, and has just published a new book called Fuck, Now There are Two of You.

Go the F*ck to Sleep has been translated into forty languages, named Time Magazine's 2011 "Thing of the Year," and sold over three million copies worldwide. The 2014 sequel, You Have to Fucking Eat, is also a New York Times bestseller.

Mansbach was recently nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and an NAACP Image Award for his screenplay Barry. The film premiered to rave reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it was acquired by Netflix and released as a Netflix Original on December 16, 2016.

Mansbach's 2013 novel, Rage is Back, was named a Best Book of the Year by National Public Radio and the San Francisco Chronicle. Adapted for television by Mansbach and Danny Hoch, it is currently in development at USA as an hour-long drama.

Mansbach's previous novels include The End of the Jews (2008) which won the California Book Award, and the cult classic Angry Black White Boy, or the Miscegenation of Macon Detornay (2005), which is taught at more than eighty schools and was adapted into a prize-winning stage play in 2008.

His work has appeared in The New Yorker, New York Times Book Review, Esquire, The BelieverThe Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, and on National Public Radio's All Things Considered, The Moth Storytelling Hour, and This American Life.

He lives in Berkeley, California, and is a frequent lecturer on college campuses.

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Nov 03 2019

1hr 41mins

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Episode 609 — Ashley Wurzbacher

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Ashley Wurzbacher is the guest. A 5 Under 35 honoree, her debut story collection, Happy Like This, won the 2019 John Simmons Short Fiction Award. It is available from the University of Iowa Press.

Wurzbacher's writing has appeared in The Iowa Review, The Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, The Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Gettysburg Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She earned her BA from Allegheny College, her MFA from Eastern Washington University, and her PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston.

Originally from Titusville, Pennsylvania, she currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama and teaches creative writing at the University of Montevallo.

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Oct 30 2019

1hr 5mins

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Episode 608 — Steph Cha

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Steph Cha is the guest. Her new novel, Your House Will Pay, is available from Ecco.

This is Steph's second time on the program. She first appeared in Episode 319 on October 8, 2014.

Cha is also the author of the Juniper Song crime trilogy. She’s an editor and critic whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. A native of the San Fernando Valley, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two basset hounds.

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Oct 27 2019

1hr 32mins

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Episode 607 — Jarett Kobek

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Jarett Kobek is the guest. His new novel, Only Americans Burn in Hell, is available from We Heard You Like Books.

This is Kobek's third time on the program. He first appeared in Episode 399 on February 3, 2016, and in Episode 476 on August 2, 2017.

Kobek is an internationally bestselling Turkish-American writer who lives in California. His work has been translated into nine languages and published in twelve countries. His previous books include ATTA, I Hate the Internet, and Do Every Thing Wrong!: XXXTentacion Against the World.

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Oct 23 2019

1hr 40mins

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Episode 606 — Madeline Stevens

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Madeline Stevens is the guest. Her debut novel, Devotion, is available from Ecco.

Stevens is from Boring, Oregon and is currently based in Los Angeles. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and her work has been published in a variety of literary magazines. She teaches creative writing to adults and children through Catapult and Writopia Lab.

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Oct 20 2019

1hr 21mins

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Episode 605 — Zulema Renee Summerfield

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Zulema Renee Summerfield is the guest. Her debut novel, Every Other Weekend, is available in trade paperback from Back Bay Books.

Summerfield holds an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, and her work has appeared in a number of literary journals. She is also the author of a book of flash fiction, Everything Faces All Ways At Once (Fourteen Hills Press).

In addition to her writing, Summerfield is an educator and creative coach and is one half of Thoughts & Feelings. She lives in Portland, Oregon, where she is at work on a collection of short stories and a new novel. 

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Oct 16 2019

1hr 22mins

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Episode 604 — Elizabeth Cantwell

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Elizabeth Cantwell is the guest. Her new poetry collection, All the Emergency-Type Structures, is available from Inlandia Institute.

Cantwell lives in Claremont, CA, where she teaches Humanities at The Webb Schools. She has a B.A. from Yale University and a Ph.D. in Literature & Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. Her poetry has appeared in a variety of journals, including DIAGRAM, The Cincinnati Review, The Los Angeles Review, Hobart, and The Missouri Review. Her first book of poems, Nights I Let The Tiger Get You (Black Lawrence Press, 2014), was a finalist for the 2012 Hudson Prize; she is also the author of a chapbook, Premonitions (Grey Book Press, 2014).  ​

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Oct 09 2019

1hr 26mins

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Episode 603 — Adam Popescu

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Adam Popescu is the guest. His debut novel, Nima, is available from Unnamed Press.

Popescu is a writer and journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Bloomberg Businessweek, Vanity Fair, National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveler, Marketplace, Playboy, Fast Company, Scientific American, Outside,The Guardian, New Scientist, Los Angeles Magazine, and others.

His journalism has focused on a wide range, from business, the internet and the arts, to vanishing cultures and wildlife, reporting from places threatened by climate change, globalism, and the march of technology. In 2013, he climbed 18,000 feet up Mount Everest, covering the impact of tourism on the land and local Nepali people for the BBC. That experience would inspire his debut novel, NIMA, published in late May, 2019, from Unnamed Press.

He's tracked mountain lions in urban LA, polar bears  in Northern Canada, covered Arctic tsunamis, glacial melt and erosion in Greenland and Alaska, and spent time in drought-plagued East Africa and Indonesia, places and people at the vanguard of this world shift. Heads of state in Mexico, politicos tasked with governing alongside narcos, Tibet's exiled leader, the Dalai Lama, founders of Instagram, Twitter, Tinder, real cyborgs, convicts, dissidents, billionaires, all have been interview subjects. He recently profiled Steven Spielberg for The New York Times.

In 2018, Popescu spent weeks in Ladakhin search of snow leopards in India's Himalayas, sailed to the edge of the globe in the Russian High Arctic and into the deceptively placid Pacific waters of the Galapagos,  on assignment for Bloomberg, the Washington Post and New York Times. A year later, he returned to Ladakh and saw a leopard with the naked eye. 

Popescu holds a master’s degree in journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, and a BA in creative writing from Pitzer College. 

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Oct 06 2019

1hr 18mins

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Episode 602 — Robin Page

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Robin Page is the guest. Her debut novel, Small Silent Things, is available from Harper Perennial.

Page was raised in Cincinnati and has degrees from UCLA and UC Irvine’s MFA program. She is married, has two daughters, and lives in Los Angeles. 

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Oct 02 2019

1hr 32mins

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Episode 601 — Belén Fernández

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Belén Fernández is the guest. Her new book, Exile: Rejecting America and Finding the World, is available from OR Books. It is the official September pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

After growing up in Washington, D.C. and Texas, and then attending Columbia University in New York, Belén Fernández ended up in a state of self-imposed exile from the United States. From trekking—through Europe, the Middle East, Morocco, and Latin America—to packing avocados in southern Spain, to close encounters with a variety of unpredictable men, to witnessing the violent aftermath of the 2009 coup in Honduras, the international travel allowed her by an American passport has, ironically, given her a direct view of the devastating consequences of U.S. machinations worldwide. For some years Fernández survived thanks to the generosity of strangers who picked her up hitchhiking, fed her, and offered accommodations; then she discovered people would pay her for her powerful, unfiltered journalism, enabling—as of the present moment—continued survival.

In just a few short years of publishing her observations on world politics and writing from places as varied as Lebanon, Italy, Uzbekistan, Syria, Mexico, Turkey, Honduras, and Iran, Belén Fernández has established herself as a one of the most trenchant observers of America’s interventions around the world, following in the footsteps of great foreign correspondents such as Martha Gellhorn and Susan Sontag.

She is a contributing editor at Jacobin and graduated from Columbia with a BA in political science. She frequently writes for Al Jazeera, Middle East Eye, and Jacobin, and is also the author of The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work.

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Sep 29 2019

1hr 11mins

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Episode 600 — Sarah M. Broom

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Sarah M. Broom is the guest. Her debut memoir, The Yellow House, is available now from Grove Press.

Broom began her writing career as a newspaper journalist working in Rhode Island, Dallas, New Orleans and Hong Kong (for TIME Asia). She also worked as an editor at O, The Oprah Magazine for several years. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, O, The Oprah Magazine and elsewhere. In 2016, she received the prestigious Whiting Award for Creative Nonfiction.

Broom has an undergraduate degree in anthropology and mass communications from the University of North Texas and a Master’s degree in Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley. 

A native New Orleanian, she is the youngest of twelve children, and now makes her home in New York City.

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Sep 25 2019

1hr 55mins

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Episode 599 — Dora Malech

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Dora Malech is the guest. Her most recent poetry collection, Stet, is available from Princeton University Press.

Malech's other collections include Say So (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2011), and Shore Ordered Ocean (Waywiser Press, 2009). Her fourth collection, Flourish, will be published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in 2020. 

Malech has been the recipient of an Amy Clampitt Residency Award from the Amy Clampitt Fund, a Mary Sawyers Baker Prize from the Baker Artist Awards, a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, and a Writing Residency Fellowship from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and she has served as Distinguished Poet-in-Residence at Saint Mary's College of California. She is a co-founder and former director of the arts engagement organization the Iowa Youth Writing Projects, and she is currently an assistant professor in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.  

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Sep 22 2019

1hr 11mins

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Episode 598 — Kimberly King Parsons

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Kimberly King Parsons is the guest. Her debut story collection, Black Light, is available now from Vintage.

Born in Lubbock, Texas, Parsons earned a BA in English and an MA in Literary Studies (emphasis on the works of William Faulkner) from the University of Texas at Dallas. She later moved to New York City, where she earned an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and served as the editor-in-chief of Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art.

A recipient of fellowships from Columbia University and the Sustainable Arts Foundation, her fiction has been published in The Paris Review, Best Small Fictions 2017, Black Warrior Review, No Tokens, Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. 

She lives with her partner and sons in Portland, OR, where she is completing a novel about Texas, motherhood, and LSD. 

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Sep 18 2019

1hr 25mins

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Episode 597 — Josh Gondelman

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Josh Gondelman is the guest. His new book, Nice Try: Stories of Best Intentions and Mixed Results, is available from Harper Perennial (Sept. 17). 

Gondelman is a writer and comedian who incubated in Boston before moving to New York City, where he currently lives and works as a writer and producer for Desus and Mero on Showtime. Previously, he spent five years at Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, first as a web producer and then as a staff writer. In 2016, he made his late night standup debut on Conan (TBS), and he recently made his network tv debut on Late Night With Seth Meyers (NBC).

He is the winner of two Peabody Awards, three Emmy awards, and two WGA Awards for his work on Last Week Tonight. He is also the co-author (along with Joe Berkowitz) of the book You Blew It, published October 2015 by Plume. His writing has also appeared in prestigious publications such as McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, New York Magazine, and The New Yorker.

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Sep 11 2019

1hr 25mins

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Episode 596 — R.O. Kwon

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R.O. Kwon is the guest. Her bestselling debut novel, The Incendiaries, is available in trade paperback from Riverhead Books.

Named a best book of the year by over forty publications, The Incendiaries was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Award for Best First Book, Los Angeles Times First Book Prize, and Northern California Independent Booksellers Association Fiction Prize. The book was also nominated for the Aspen Prize, Carnegie Medal, and the Northern California Book Award. Kwon’s next novel, as well as an essay collection, are forthcoming.

Kwon’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Paris Review, Buzzfeed, NPR, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Yaddo, MacDowell, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Born in Seoul, Kwon has lived most of her life in the United States.

In today's monologue, I respond to more mail. 

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Sep 04 2019

1hr 10mins

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