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LA Review of Books

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Books
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The Los Angeles Review of Books is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and disseminating rigorous, incisive, and engaging writing on every aspect of literature, culture, and the arts.The Los Angeles Review of Books magazine was created in part as a response to the disappearance of the traditional newspaper book review supplement, and, with it, the art of lively, intelligent long-form writing on recent publications in every genre, ranging from fiction to politics. The Los Angeles Review of Books seeks to revive and reinvent the book review for the internet age, and remains committed to covering and representing today’s diverse literary and cultural landscape.

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The Los Angeles Review of Books is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and disseminating rigorous, incisive, and engaging writing on every aspect of literature, culture, and the arts.The Los Angeles Review of Books magazine was created in part as a response to the disappearance of the traditional newspaper book review supplement, and, with it, the art of lively, intelligent long-form writing on recent publications in every genre, ranging from fiction to politics. The Los Angeles Review of Books seeks to revive and reinvent the book review for the internet age, and remains committed to covering and representing today’s diverse literary and cultural landscape.

iTunes Ratings

26 Ratings
Average Ratings
23
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0
2
1

Best LIT podcast around

By MoreenQ - Oct 27 2015
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Believe it!

Tough to read on an iPhone

By Egomet Bonmot - Apr 21 2013
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On episode titles could you write names first, LARB second?

iTunes Ratings

26 Ratings
Average Ratings
23
0
0
2
1

Best LIT podcast around

By MoreenQ - Oct 27 2015
Read more
Believe it!

Tough to read on an iPhone

By Egomet Bonmot - Apr 21 2013
Read more
On episode titles could you write names first, LARB second?

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Cover image of LA Review of Books

LA Review of Books

Updated 2 days ago

Read more

The Los Angeles Review of Books is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and disseminating rigorous, incisive, and engaging writing on every aspect of literature, culture, and the arts.The Los Angeles Review of Books magazine was created in part as a response to the disappearance of the traditional newspaper book review supplement, and, with it, the art of lively, intelligent long-form writing on recent publications in every genre, ranging from fiction to politics. The Los Angeles Review of Books seeks to revive and reinvent the book review for the internet age, and remains committed to covering and representing today’s diverse literary and cultural landscape.

Rank #1: Radio Hour: Lesley MM Blume on Ernest Hemingway, Laura Albert recommends, and Janet Fitch reads

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This week Tom and Laurie talk with Lesley MM Blume about her new book 'Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway’s Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises.' Laura Albert is back on the show after last week's brilliant interview to recommend Annie Proulx’s 'Barkskins.' Plus, Janet Fitch’s reading from her novel 'Paint it Black.'

Sep 15 2016

34mins

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Rank #2: Best Foreign Films of 2016; Awards Season; Tom Lutz on TC Boyle & DH Lawrence

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LARB's resident film critic Anna Shechtman joins fellow cinephiles Medaya Ocher & Kate Wolf to talk about their favorite foreign films of 2016; focusing on Pedro Almodovar's change of pace, Julieta; Paul Veerhoeven's Elle starring fiercely sublime Isabelle Huppert; and The Handmaiden, a genre-bending and visually stunning tale of Victorian Korea by Park Chan-Wook. Also, Tom Lutz recommends TC Boyle's The Terranauts (with its surprising Trump Administration tie-in); and praises DH Lawrence's Terra Incognita.

Jan 27 2017

37mins

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Rank #3: Natasha Stagg's Fashionworld Phantasmagoria

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Kate Wolf talks with "It Girl" Natasha Stagg about her new essay collection from Semiotexte: Sleeveless: Fashion, Image, Media 2011-19. Natasha explains overcoming her reluctance to move to NYC, how she landed in the fashion world - simultaneously at its center and on the periphery - and what she discovered there. This most-priveleged sphere in the capital of the world is just part of the scenery: where the old is new again until the moment of re-interpretation passes; the thrill of creativity is tangible, yet nothing to get excited about; and it's most definitely post-Post-Modern yet pastiche, nostalgia, and appropriation remain the order of day. Telling tales of Late Capitalism in its interminable phase. The conversation also inspires Medaya Ocher, LARB's Managing Editor, to reveal details of her previous life as a Parisian fashion photographer.
Also, Ariana Reines, author of the A Sand Book, returns to recommend two exceptional works of poetry, one old, one new: James Merrill's National Book Award winning epic from the late 70s, The Changing Light at Sandover; and Edgar Garcia's Skins of Columbus: A Dream Ethnography.

Nov 02 2019

48mins

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Rank #4: Sally Rooney: Great Expectations

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Co-hosts Medaya Ocher and Kate Wolf speak with Sally Rooney about her two novels Conversations with Friends and Normal People. Dubbed the "Jane Austin of the Precariat" and called "the first great millennial novelist" Sally addresses the acclaim she’s received; and how she’s grown into the person and writer she is today.
Also, William E. Jones returns to recommend The Imposter byJavier Cercas, which tells the story of Spaniard Enric Marco, who was a national hero until he was exposed as a fraud in 2005.

May 03 2019

39mins

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Rank #5: The Delightful Rage of Fran Lebowitz

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Eric Newman, Medaya Ocher and Kate Wolf speak with legendary public speaker Fran Lebowitz. In a wide-ranging conversation, the gang flits from the Kavanaugh hearings to how the uber-rich have blighted the landscape of New York, from the escapism of literature (Lebowitz maintains that books are always better than real life) to the changes that have rocked the media environment in which Lebowitz has been a central figure for decades. In her iconic unvarnished style, Fran proves — as if there were ever any need for such a thing — that she’s still one of the most fascinating people to chat with about the lofty and mundane.
Also, Eric recommends classicist Madeline Miller's novel, The Song of Achilles, that brings to life the love affair between Patroclus and Homeric Greece's greatest warrior.

Sep 28 2018

46mins

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Rank #6: Leo Braudy Haunted in Trump's America; plus Michael Morpurgo, and Dorothy Parker's Love Song

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Leo Braudy talks with host Laurie Winer about his new book Haunted: On Ghosts, Witches, Vampires, Zombies, and Other Monsters of the Natural and Supernatural Worlds; and its relevance for understanding our terrifying new post-election world. Impresario Paul Crewes drops by to recommend Michael Morpurgo's WWII yarn The Amazing Story of Adopho Tips; and we listen to Dorothy Parker's Love Song.

Dec 01 2016

33mins

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Rank #7: LARB Radio: Simon Reynolds' Glam Rock History Shock and Awe + Denise Levertov & Hortense Powdermaker

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Host Evan Kindley talks with Simon Reynolds about his new book "Shock and Awe: Glam Rock and Its Legacy, from the Seventies to the Twenty-first Century." David Bowie may be Glam's greatest superstar, but figures as diverse as Roxy Music, Alice Cooper, and LA's own Sparks are also central to this most colorful and still-influential 1970's pop movement. The LA Times Jill Leovy drops by to recommend anthropologist Hortense Powdermaker's After Freedom, a study of 1920'as Mississippi; and which remains a stunning reminder of the severe oppression suffered by Black Americans under Jim Crow. This week's poetry reading is of Denise Levertov's Psalm Concerning the Castle.

Nov 10 2016

35mins

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Rank #8: Laura Albert on the Documentary "Author: The JT Leroy Story"

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Hosts Laurie Winer and Tom Lutz talk with Laura Albert on the eve of the cinematic debut of the documentary film about her, "Author: The JT Leroy Story." The conversation covers the story of the Albert's bestselling books, which she wrote under the pseudonym - or rather, through her avatar - "JT Leroy." It's one of the most fascinating, and controversial, tales in recent American letters.

Sep 08 2016

50mins

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Rank #9: Director Bong Joon Ho Talks Parasite

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Co-hosts Kate Wolf and Medaya Ocher are joined by filmmaker, Bong Joon Ho, whose latest film is Parasite. Parasite has already gathered a wide range of acclaim, winning the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and breaking specialty box office records. Bong joins us to discuss how he grew up, how he came up with the idea for the movie, and how he understands the relationship between the rich and the poor. Bong’s previous films include Mother (2009), Snowpiercer (2013) and Okja (2017).
Also, Sarah M Broom, author of The Yellow House, returns to recommend The Emigrants by W.G. Sebald.

Oct 18 2019

33mins

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Rank #10: Taschen's Dian Hanson on Bob Mizer; plus The Seventh Fire Documents Gangland on the Reservation

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Director Jack Pettibone and Producer Shane Slattery-Quintanilla join LARB's Gustavo Turner to discuss their exceptional new documentary The Seventh Fire. Six years in the making, the film takes an unflinching look at the lives of gang members on an Ojibwe Reservation in Minnesota; and discovers men of profound intelligence, acutely aware of the tragic history of their people. Then Dian Hanson, legendary editor of Taschen's sexy books series, drops by to tell the story of trail-blazing gay pornographer, Bob Mizer; and celebrate the publication of The Bob Mizer AMG 1000 Model Directory.

Jan 06 2017

46mins

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Rank #11: Among the Believers: Ammon Bundy and America's Armed Libertarian Right-Wing

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One of the most pressing issues facing American society is the rise of a radical anti-government right wing movement over the past few decades; and now, in particular, its relationship to President Trump. Author Anthony McCann goes right to heart of this movement in his new book Shadowlands: Fear and Freedom at the Oregon Standoff, the product of his first hand experience covering the Ammon Bundy-led occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon in early 2016. In this illuminating conversation with co-hosts Kate Wolf, Eric Newman, and Medaya Ocher, McCann's observations about the array of characters at the heart of this dramatic stand off in isolated rural America both confirm and dramatically deny expectations. What is clear is that this movement, for worse not for better, now has deep roots in our country. Yet McCann's unflinching reporting points a way forward: nothing is to be gained by further isolation and vilification versus direct engagement with people, including with this troubled-but-fascinating lot.
Also, Lyra Kilston returns to recommend Laila Lalami's heralded 2014 novel, The Moor's Account.

Aug 16 2019

41mins

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Rank #12: Leslie Jamison on Everything

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Tom Lutz opens the show with a spirited introduction of co-hosts Kate Wolf and Medaya Ocher and author Leslie Jamison, who has a new collection of essays: Make It Scream, Make it Burn. Jamison describes her empathic approach to her eclectic subjects, her relationship to the body and how she thinks about writing and authorship.
Also, Jenny Odell returns to recommend Robin Wall Kimmerer's Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses.

Oct 25 2019

50mins

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Rank #13: Lovers and Liars

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Authors Ivy Pochoda and Galt Niederhoffer join co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher to talk about their new noir novels. Pochoda’s heralded Wonder Valley weaves a tale of striving, wayward Los Angelenos, from Skid Row through gentrifying neighborhoods and out to a New Age Desert commune; a 21st Century update of the gloom beneath LA’s glamour. Niederhoffer’s intimate Poison, a harrowing portrait of betrayal, is drawn from the author’s own experience (she accused her ex-partner of trying to murder her); which inspires a discussion about “gaslighting,” MeToo, and the need to challenge the underlying logic of patriarchy that informs these treacherous times. Also, author and avid reader Dan Lopez returns to recommend Sadness is a White Bird by Moriel Rothman-Zecher.

Jan 26 2018

37mins

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Rank #14: Carmen Maria Machado and Jenny Zhang

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This week’s podcast is another Doubleheader, featuring interviews with Carmen Maria Machado and Jenny Zhang recorded at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. First up, co-hosts Eric Newman, Kate Wolf, and Medaya Ocher speak with Carmen Maria Machado about her heralded collection, Her Body and Other Parties, an eclectic set of fictions that both revels in, and challenges, the standard tropes of a wide variety of genres. Carmen also drops hints about what to expect from her upcoming memoir. Then poet, essayist, and storyteller Jenny Zhang stops by to talk about her approach to writing Sour Heart, a collection of coming-of-age stories about the children of recent Chinese immigrants, which also won numerous prestigious awards this past year.

Jun 08 2018

45mins

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Rank #15: La Resistance Holiday Gift Show with the ACLU, EFF, and Earth Justice

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Hosts Medaya Ocher and Kate Wolf decide that in a year unlike any other, it's time for a different approach to holiday gift giving. How can we give the gift of resistance against the anti-democratic forces empowered on November 8th? Medaya and Kate raise this question with guests Adrienna Wong from the ACLU of Southern California, Adrian Martinez from Earthjustice, and Shahid Buttar of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Dec 22 2016

47mins

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Rank #16: Our Homes, Ourselves: Reading Interiors with Lydia Millet

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Co-hosts Eric Newman, Medaya Ocher and Kate Wolf talk with Lydia Millet about her new short story collection, Fight No More, which covers the wide swathe of LA life through intimate, quiet stories in homes magnificent and modest. In a wide-ranging conversation, Millet talks about the simultaneously private and public nature of homes, delighting in the moments that blur the distinction between what a host wants you to see and what they want to hide from view. Millet and the co-hosts also lament the pornified nature of contemporary culture, one in which abjection and nakedness are not only daily fare but also the center of performed social identities.
Also, author Jervey Tervalon pays tribute to his friend, legendary food critic and Los Angeleno Jonathan Gold, with some epic verse: Adventures in Life and Food with J Gold.

Aug 03 2018

52mins

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Rank #17: At the Movies with Geoff Dyer

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Geoff Dyer joins co-hosts Eric Newman, Medaya Ocher, and Kate Wolf to discuss his new book Broadsword Calling Danny Boy about the 1968 Richard Burton/Clint Eastwood war movie, Where Eagles Dare. In talking about a film that has held his attention since childhood, Dyer expounds on the continuities and discontinuities between the movie-going child and the adult critic as a resource for good film writing. It's not the plots that fascinate Dyer so much as a writer as the moments caught on camera that grab our critical attention: the signature expressions, the technicolorization of reality, the cacophony of sounds that transport us from our seats into the somewhere else of the film.
Also, Deborah Eisenberg, author of Your Duck is My Duck, returns to recommend a classic of Chinese Literature from the 18th Century: Cao Xueqin's five volume The Story of the Stone.

Mar 22 2019

39mins

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Rank #18: Chiara Barzini's Los Angeles Before the Earthquake; plus, Play Dead by Francine Harris

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Award-winning Italian screenwriter and English Language Novelist Chiara Barzini joins co-hosts Medaya Ocher and Eric Newman to talk about Things that Happened Before the Earthquake, which tells the story of an adolescent girl who moves with her family from Rome to LA in the early '90s. The conversation centers on the experience of moving to a massive, mythical city without a center; the turmoil of the Rodney King era; and the nuances of a coming-of-age immigrant tale. Also, Natalie Graham returns to recommend Play Dead, a collection of poems by Francine Harris.

Sep 28 2017

29mins

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Rank #19: John Waters: Holding Court with the King of Filth

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Co-hosts Eric Newman, Medaya Ocher and Kate Wolf are granted an audience with his Holiness the King of Filth, John Waters. Speaking about his new memoir, Waters opens up about the importance of understanding the business of show business, remaining committed to your vision and believing, against all odds, that you’ll be a success. Along the way, Waters talks about sex, politics and Eric's memory of meeting him at a urinal during a Hairspray! intermission.

Jun 14 2019

38mins

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Rank #20: Trump’s “Empire of Disorientation”: Philosopher Hans Sluga on Donald Trump

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Who is Donald Trump, and what does he stand for? Do we know? Does he himself know? Or is he caught in that precarious state of disorientation that characterizes our current political predicament.

The public discourse is heated, the language inflammatory. Philosopher Hans Sluga of the University of California, Berkeley, brings a cool head and rational thinking to his interview about our 45th president, Donald Trump, with Entitled Opinions host Robert Harrison.

Trump has been a real estate developer, a reality TV star, a prolific tweeter, a politician, and has changed his party affiliation seven or eight times. Is he a fascist? Sluga, author of Wittgenstein and Heidegger’s Crisis, warns against easy tags: “We’ve drained this word of much of its specific meaning.” Fascism, he says, “is a form of statism quite different from what we have in America today.”
Is he a populist? That’s not clear, either.

“Plutocrat,” the term Aristotle used to describe the rule of the rich, might be a more precise characterization. Sluga says we might turn to the world of real estate to understand Trump’s worldview.

Sep 08 2017

1hr 6mins

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