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LARB Radio Hour

Updated 3 days ago

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Books
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The Los Angeles Review of Books Radio Hour is a weekly show featuring interviews, readings and discussions about all things literary. Hosted by LARB Editor-at-Large Kate Wolf, Managing Editor Medaya Ocher, and Gender and Sexuality Editor, Eric Newman.

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The Los Angeles Review of Books Radio Hour is a weekly show featuring interviews, readings and discussions about all things literary. Hosted by LARB Editor-at-Large Kate Wolf, Managing Editor Medaya Ocher, and Gender and Sexuality Editor, Eric Newman.

iTunes Ratings

55 Ratings
Average Ratings
51
1
2
1
0

Great and Super Entertaining Lit Podcast

By Dead Father - Feb 01 2016
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Seth, Lori and Tom are a hilarious and insightful crew. And they always do a great interview.

Great Dialogue

By SEAstaff - Sep 04 2015
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This instantly became my favorite podcast! Keep up the great work!

iTunes Ratings

55 Ratings
Average Ratings
51
1
2
1
0

Great and Super Entertaining Lit Podcast

By Dead Father - Feb 01 2016
Read more
Seth, Lori and Tom are a hilarious and insightful crew. And they always do a great interview.

Great Dialogue

By SEAstaff - Sep 04 2015
Read more
This instantly became my favorite podcast! Keep up the great work!
Cover image of LARB Radio Hour

LARB Radio Hour

Latest release on Jan 19, 2020

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The Los Angeles Review of Books Radio Hour is a weekly show featuring interviews, readings and discussions about all things literary. Hosted by LARB Editor-at-Large Kate Wolf, Managing Editor Medaya Ocher, and Gender and Sexuality Editor, Eric Newman.

Rank #1: 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 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 #2: A Deep Dive into Pop Culture with Hanif Abdurraqib

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Hanif Abdurraqib may just be the most poignant raconteur of American culture in the age of Donald Trump. Hanif joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher to talk about They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us, his magisterial collection of essays on the contemporary music scene; and all the pain, pleasure, promise, disappointment, pasts and presents, communities and self that he finds there. The interview, like Hanif's writing, conveys what it feels like to be awake, fully observant inside the whirlwind of America in the late twenty-teens.  Also, Francisco Cantu, author of The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border, returns to recommend the work of a number of poets writing about the US-Mexico border, in particular Javier Zamora's collection Unaccompanied.

Apr 27 2018

41mins

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Rank #3: 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 #4: The Best of 2018: Books, TV, Movies, and More

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We end the year with a special treat as hosts Eric Newman, Medaya Ocher, and Kate Wolf reveal their Best of 2018 selections. Eric, Daya, and Kate go high and also low with their favorite books, films, TV shows, podcasts (present company excluded), art shows, and one category so scandalous it's best kept a secret (for now). So, All Hail King Paimon and the Combahee River Collective; as well as authors Azareen Van Der Vliet and Rebecca Makkai, the two previous guests who made the list! Please enjoy our look back at the year that was; and make sure to catch Eric, Daya, and Kate's sage advice for 2019 at the end of the show.

Dec 28 2018

40mins

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Rank #5: Rebecca Makkai and the Burdens of History

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Author Rebecca Makkai joins co-hosts Eric Newman, Medaya Ocher, and Kate Wolf to discuss her heralded new novel, The Great Believers, which tells two parallel and inter-related stories: one of the AIDS epidemic ravaging the Chicago gay community in the 1980s; the other, set in Paris in 2015, about a woman, Fiona, searching for her daughter, who has joined a cult. The connection is Fiona, who had become a caretaker for the men dying 30 years earlier in Chicago. Rebecca explains how she arrived at such a complex narrative structure (hint: it wasn't how the project started); as well as how she struggled with issues of cultural appropriation versus historical alliance. Also, Jenny Zhang, author of Sour Heart, returns to recommend the work of Tommy Pico, in particular his new book-length poem, Junk.

Jun 29 2018

43mins

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Rank #6: Ryan Holiday on Nick Denton, Peter Thiel, and the Conspiracy against Gawker

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This week's LARB Podcast is a master class in 21st Century power relations, as Ryan Holiday discusses his sensational new book Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue with co-hosts Eric Newman and Kate Wolf. Befitting our time, this one episode has more salacious subterfuge than your favorite serial podcast: sex tapes, the blogosphere, rival visions of LGBTQ liberation, free speech wars, the crisis of journalism, and, in the end, the overwhelming force of an oligarch's money. To top it off, Ryan didn't merely have a front row seat, he was a player in the game. Also, to celebrate Mother's Day we asked three of our favorite Moms to recommend books. Heidi Newman chose Nora Ephron's I Feel Bad About My Neck, Dr, Elena Ocher tapped Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, while Kate Wolf selected Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth.

May 10 2018

47mins

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Rank #7: The Science of Fiction: David Naimon on Ursula K Le Guin

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This week's podcast is an homage to Ursula K Le Guin from her final collaborator. David Naimon joins co-hosts Kate Wolf, Medaya Ocher, and Eric Newman and explains the backstory to his new book, Ursula K Le Guin: Conversations on Writing, a collection of dialogues with the legendary author from Naimon's literary podcast, Between the Covers. Le Guin died unexpectedly before Naimon had completed the project; thus, her mortality did not hang over the proceedings. Still, Naimon, a master interviewer, elicited reflections on the breadth of her work and thinking. In this conversation, he paints a resonant portrait of Le Guin as a generous, powerful, and fully-engaged person. Also, author Dan Lopez returns to recommend Lisa Halliday's novel, Asymmetry.

Jul 20 2018

33mins

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Rank #8: Junot Diaz Writes for a New Generation

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What motivates a great novelist to write a children's book? Author Junot Diaz joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Kate Wolf to discuss the inspiration behind Islandborn, the story of five year-old Lola learning about her family's history and culture, beautifully illustrated by Leo Espinoza. What follows is a penetrating conversation about the severe under-representation of people of color in children's books, the long-overdue reckoning that needs to happen across society, the genius of diasporic literature, and the healing potential of stories for all ages, about all peoples, that convey universal human experience.

Also, Elon Musk's SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket inspired LARB Radio's Dan Lopez to re-read, and highly recommend, Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy

Apr 12 2018

34mins

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Rank #9: Circling the Abyss: Talking to Sam Lipsyte, author of Hark

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Sam Lipsyte talks to co-hosts Kate Wolf and Medaya Ocher about his latest novel, Hark, which follows the exploits of an unlikely prophet named Hark and his acolytes, who think that they have found salvation in “mental archery”. Sam, Kate and Medaya discuss the appeal of gurus, the power of satire, and how to explain global warming to your kids. Sam Lipsyte is the author of author of Venus Drive, The Ask, Home Land, and The Fun Parts. He is also the Chair of the creative writing program at Columbia University. Also, Dan Lopez, author of The Show House, returns to recommend Stephen Hawking's Brief Answers to the Big Questions.

Feb 08 2019

40mins

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Rank #10: Jeffrey Yang and the Mystique of Marfa

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Poet Jeffrey Yang joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Kate Wolf to discuss Hey, Marfa, his heralded new collection. In poems that balance between intimacy and alienation, Hey, Marfa explores the unique history of the tiny town where art, history and culture intersect in the vastness of the Texas desert. Yang talks about his writing practice, what it means to write from and about a place, and the figures he encountered in Marfa that continue to fascinate him. Also, John Wray, author of Godsend, returns to recommend Joaquin Maria Machado de Assis' miraculous classic The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas, which John describes as a post-modern tour de force that happened to be written in Brazil in the 1880s.

Jan 25 2019

34mins

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Rank #11: The Body as Archive

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Author Julietta Singh troubles the boundaries that we imagine in and through the body, recuperating it as a porous site marked by flows betwen the internal and external, the self and others. In a wide-ranging conversation about her new book, No Archive Will Restore You, Singh and hosts Eric Newman, Medaya Ocher, and Kate Wolf touch on gender, sexuality, parenting and navigating the world in and as a body. Also, LARB's Medaya Ocher recommends her favorite short story from this past year, The Cafe by Kristen Gleason, which appeared in the Romance Issue of LARB's quarterly journal.

Dec 07 2018

42mins

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Rank #12: A Podcast About Nothing with Jenny Odell

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Jenny Odell, author of How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, joins co-hosts Medaya Ocher and Kate Wolf to asses the state of the human soul in the age of social media reproduction. The verdict is clear: we need strategies of resistance. Constantly tracked and hunted by the digital panopticon, we have no time for reverie, reflection, letting go, or just being. We desperately need Nothing, which is everything. Jenny shares details of her own liberation. Also, Susan Straight, author of In The Country of Women, returns to honor Toni Morrison by sharing how she has read her favorite book every single year since she was twelve, Morrison's luminous second novel, Sula.

Sep 20 2019

43mins

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Rank #13: Joseph O'Neill is up to "Good Trouble"

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Co-hosts Kate Wolf and Medaya Ocher talk with author Joseph O'Neill about his new collection of stories, Good Trouble. This show is a gem, full of reflections on 21st century mores, literature, politics, and crises. A master of contemporary language, O'Neill begins by playfully challenging a description of his characters - and away we go - as he reflects upon his craft and the task of representing the inner lives of the "American educated bourgeoisie" which he describes as "still a revolutionary class" busy remaking the world. Also, Johanna Drucker returns to recommend Arthur C Clarke's sci-fi tale of Alien invasion, Childhood's End, which holds up a mirror to humanity.

Jul 06 2018

37mins

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Rank #14: Darryl Pinckney: Reflections on the Present through the Prism of Our History

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Author Darryl Pinckney joins Kate and Medaya to discuss his new collection, Busted in New York and Other Essays, which includes twenty-five pieces from the past two and a half decades, which reflect and report on politics, culture, and African-American lived experience. The conversation begins with Pinckney's thoughts on Barack Obama's election and presidency, and it's unexpected tragic denouement with the victory of Donald Trump. Pinckney reflects on what remains of the great advance that Obama represented. How much was lost? Should the next act have been so surprising? Looking back further, he wonders have we lost the America we thought we knew; or is our current nightmare merely the return of the repressed? Also, Matt Wolf, director of Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project, returns to recommend Peter McGough's memoir of the 1980's New York art scene, I've Seen the Future and I'm Not Going.

Dec 14 2019

44mins

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Rank #15: Rethinking Identity with Kwame Anthony Appiah

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Philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah talks with host Eric Newman about his new book The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity. Appiah tackles questions of cultural appropriation, how we come to feel that we possess our various identities, and why it is past time that we start restructuring our relationship to identity and our relationship to others. While Appiah’s work has long engaged questions of how we relate to others through and across difference in pursuit of a more peaceful world, these questions take on a special weight in today’s perilous times as the President inflames racial and political divisions and the commentariat ponder whether we have entered a new “Cold Civil War.” Also, Dan Lopez returns to honor poet Tony Hoagland, who died last month, by reading from and recommending his Application for Release from the Dream.

Nov 16 2018

42mins

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Rank #16: 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 #17: "Would You Have Waited for Me?" Tayari Jones An American Marriage

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Author Tayari Jones joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher to talk about her latest novel, An American Marriage, that tells the story of an African-American couple that gets separated when the husband is falsely accused of a crime and receives a twelve year sentence. Tayari relates her inspiration. How she set out to research the impact of mass incarceration on families; but, fittingly, made no progress until she overheard an exchange from a couple at a mall. She realized that the key component for any novel to have a powerful political impact is having fully realized, fully human, central characters.  Also, Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties, returns to recommend Anne Rivers Siddons horror novel from the 1970s, The House Next Door.

Jun 22 2018

40mins

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Rank #18: 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 #19: Literary LA: Eve Babitz Back in Print

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Eve Babitz, our LA Woman, was one of the heavyweights of the 1970s New Journalism. Now, thanks to the New York Review of Books Classics series, Babitz's vibrant prose is collected in I Used To Be Charming: The Rest of Eve Babitz. Molly Lambert, who wrote the introduction to the edition, joins co-hosts Kate Wolf and Medaya Ocher to discuss the career of this Southern California legend and why her writing remains as captivating as ever. Indeed, the show opens with Kate revealing the tremendous importance of Eve Babitz in her own life; and why she has long felt it necessary that this author, who conveys the cultural fabric of our hometown as well as any in recent decades, be readily available to new readers. Also, Natasha Stagg, author of Sleeveless: Fashion, Image, Media New York 2011-2019, returns to recommend one of Denis Johnson's lesser known novels, The Name of the World.

This is the third episode in our series on LA and Southern California writers, artists and filmmakers. This episode of the LARB Radio Hour is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency. Learn more at www.arts.ca.gov. Any findings, opinions, or conclusions contained herein are not necessarily those of the California Arts Council.

Nov 15 2019

44mins

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Rank #20: 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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Portrait of a Feminist Filmmaker

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Celine Sciamma joins hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher to discuss her film Portrait of a Woman on Fire, which was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Golden Globes and won this year's Queer Palm at Cannes. Set in the 18th Century, the film is about the growing desire between a woman painter and her subject, a young woman about to marry a nobleman. The central action takes place on an island in which the men all-but-disappear. Claire discusses how she rejects the established ways that women, women's bodies, their desire, and their sexuality are traditionally represented in cinema; and how she seeks to develop a new feminist approach to such representation, one which lends itself to new forms of dramatic tension and groundbreaking cinematography. Celine also addresses the struggles of women directors in France and their even greater marginalization in America; and what can be done to remedy this injustice. Also, Amanda Yates Garcia, author of Initiated: Memior of a Witch, returns to recommend Ariana Reines' transcendent poetry in A Sand Book.

Jan 19 2020

40mins

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Hilton Als on His Playwrighting Debut: Robert Wilson, Race, and the Avant Garde

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Critic, photographer and artist, Hilton Als joins Kate and Medaya to discuss his debut play, Lives of the Performers, which tells the story of actress Sheryl Sutton, one of the lead actors in Robert Wilson's ground-shattering troupe in the 1970s. Als, the former theater critic at the New Yorker, also discusses his fascination with twins, writing a play, and the role race has played in the history of the avant-garde. The show also includes a spirited debate among the hosts about this year's soporific Golden Globes: are woke actors enough to keep you awake? Also, legendary film critic J Hoberman returns to explain why his favorite film of 2019, Mary Harron's Charlie Says, was a superior take on the Manson Family saga than Quintin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Jan 10 2020

41mins

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J Hoberman: Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump and the American Political Imaginary

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Legendary film critic J Hoberman joins Kate and Daya to discuss Make My Day: Movie Culture in the Age of Reagan, which is the the final installment of his film history trilogy Found Illusions. Hoberman describes how he set out to tell the story of how cinema operated as the social and political unconscious of American society throughout the Cold War and discovered along the way that Ronald Reagan was the "protagonist" of this story. The conversation traces Reagan's career in Hollywood and politics; and how the development of feel good blockbusters in the 1970s harmonized with Reagan's message as a candidate. Of course, no encounter with J Hoberman goes without delicious close readings of movies we love or loathe. You'll never see Ghostbusters the same way again! Equally poignant are J's thoughts on how our current entertainer President reflects the much coarser media environment of the 21st Century. Also, Darryl Pinckney, author of Busted in New York, returns to recommend Jonathan Crary's eloquent study of our exhausting, over-extended lives 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep - as well as James Fenton's collection of poems Yellow Tulips.

Jan 03 2020

46mins

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The Best of 2019: Books, TV, Movies, and More

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It's a LARB Holiday Season tradition! Kate, Daya, and Eric review all that they read, watched, attended, and gossiped about to select their favorites from the past year. The result is a broad, eclectic array. Indeed, the first work chosen is by an author who died in 1996. Many more surprises ensue. A few of our picks are by authors or directors that we interviewed over the past year. Most, however, were not previously discussed on the show. No matter, every selection sparks a spirited discussion. As Eric warns in the introduction, "no one chose only one thing in any category." So, get out your notepads and prepare for an avalanche of excellence.

Check out all of our recommendations here.

Dec 27 2019

1hr

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Literary LA: Witches, Wisdom, and an Oracle for Our Troubled Times

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Few would argue with the assertion that we are in the throes of a political crisis in American society; and, no doubt, many would acknowledge that the Trump presidency is more symptom than cause - that something with deep roots has taken hold of the American collective unconscious. How can this spell be broken? Is there a roll for progressive spirituality in healing our polity? What variant of mytho-poetic literature can truly speak to our times? Kate and Medaya talk with Amanda Garcia Yates, aka The Oracle of Los Angeles, author of Initiated: Memoir of a Witch about her spiritual practice, its deep historical roots, organic ties to nature, and the myriad ways it is misunderstood. What unfolds is a vibrant, inspiring exchange animated by literary theory, ecological awareness, and a tangible sense that ancient feminist wisdom can yet illuminate our dark zeitgeist. If you're looking for the perfect podcast for the winter solstice season, this is it. Also, Molly Lambert, who wrote the introduction to I Used To Be Charming: The Rest of Eve Babitz, returns to recommend Dorothy B Hughes' 1963 noir classic The Expendable Man, re-released by New York Review of Books Classics.

This is the fifth episode in our series on LA and Southern California writers, artists and filmmakers. This episode of the LARB Radio Hour is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency. Learn more at www.arts.ca.gov. Any findings, opinions, or conclusions contained herein are not necessarily those of the California Arts Council.

Dec 21 2019

46mins

Play

Darryl Pinckney: Reflections on the Present through the Prism of Our History

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Author Darryl Pinckney joins Kate and Medaya to discuss his new collection, Busted in New York and Other Essays, which includes twenty-five pieces from the past two and a half decades, which reflect and report on politics, culture, and African-American lived experience. The conversation begins with Pinckney's thoughts on Barack Obama's election and presidency, and it's unexpected tragic denouement with the victory of Donald Trump. Pinckney reflects on what remains of the great advance that Obama represented. How much was lost? Should the next act have been so surprising? Looking back further, he wonders have we lost the America we thought we knew; or is our current nightmare merely the return of the repressed? Also, Matt Wolf, director of Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project, returns to recommend Peter McGough's memoir of the 1980's New York art scene, I've Seen the Future and I'm Not Going.

Dec 14 2019

44mins

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Archive Fever: Marion Stokes' 24-Hour News Cycle

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Filmmaker Matt Wolf joins co-hosts Kate and Medaya to discuss his new documentary Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project. Marion Stokes was a former librarian, political activist, and early Apple investor who began recording the 24/7 news cycle in 1979 and continued into the early years of this decade, producing the largest archive of recorded television material. Matt discusses the potential of this archive, Marion’s vision, portraying problematic characters, and how the news reconfigures history. Also, Yogita Goyal, author of Runaway Genres: The Global Afterlives of Slavery, returns to recommend German Author Jenny Erpenbeck's 2015 novel Go, Went, Gone about a retired professor and his relationship with African Refugees staging a protest in Berlin.

Dec 06 2019

32mins

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Generosity: Frederic Tuten's Life of Art, Literature, and Solidarity

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Author Fred Tuten joins co-hosts Medaya Ocher, Kate Wolf and Eric Newman to talk about his new book, My Young Life: A Memoir. The conversation begins with Fred explaining why after five celebrated novels, he chose to write a memoir; what follows is a series of beautiful reflections on his life. Indeed! Medaya says this is perhaps her very favorite LARB Radio Hour to date. Indeed, Fred's deep compassion for the people in his life, his novel-like descriptions of time and place, and his trenchant political observations makes this a show that cannot be missed - there's a true generosity of Spirit here. Also, the irrepressible John Waters returns to recommend a book and offers four: Moby's new memoir, Then It Fell Apart; Kevin Killian's Fascination - as well as the works of Clarice Lispector and Dodie Bellamy.

Nov 29 2019

39mins

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Literary LA: Yogita Goyal on the Slave Narrative, Past and Present

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Yogita Goyal, author of Runaway Genres: The Global Afterlives of Slavery, joins Eric, Medaya, and Kate to discuss the shape of traditional slave narrative and the ways it has been transformed over the past 70 years across the world and in different genres. Goyal talks about what drew her to this subject, and about teaching the slave story in the Trump and Kanye era. She contrasts abolitionist era slave narratives with those from the past five decades, following their return to prominence in African-American literature in the 1970s, bringing together work by Paul Beatty, Colson Whitehead, and Toni Morrison. Also, Monique Truong, author of The Sweetest Fruits, returns to recommend Chia-Chia Lin's beautiful debut novel, an immigrant narrative set in Alaska, The Unpassing.

Nov 22 2019

42mins

Play

Literary LA: Eve Babitz Back in Print

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Eve Babitz, our LA Woman, was one of the heavyweights of the 1970s New Journalism. Now, thanks to the New York Review of Books Classics series, Babitz's vibrant prose is collected in I Used To Be Charming: The Rest of Eve Babitz. Molly Lambert, who wrote the introduction to the edition, joins co-hosts Kate Wolf and Medaya Ocher to discuss the career of this Southern California legend and why her writing remains as captivating as ever. Indeed, the show opens with Kate revealing the tremendous importance of Eve Babitz in her own life; and why she has long felt it necessary that this author, who conveys the cultural fabric of our hometown as well as any in recent decades, be readily available to new readers. Also, Natasha Stagg, author of Sleeveless: Fashion, Image, Media New York 2011-2019, returns to recommend one of Denis Johnson's lesser known novels, The Name of the World.

This is the third episode in our series on LA and Southern California writers, artists and filmmakers. This episode of the LARB Radio Hour is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency. Learn more at www.arts.ca.gov. Any findings, opinions, or conclusions contained herein are not necessarily those of the California Arts Council.

Nov 15 2019

44mins

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Monique Truong's 19th Century Triptych Portraiture

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Co-hosts Kate Wolf and Medaya Ocher speak with author Monique Truong about her new multi-voiced novel The Sweetest Fruits; aptly titled given its sensuality, and special attention to cuisine. Monique explains her decision to write in the voices of three women - one Greek, one African-American, and one Japanese - all of whom were central figures in the life of globetrotting 19th century author, Lafcadio Hearn, who was born in Greece and is best known for his books about Japan. Giving voice to amazing souls that history and patriarchal culture have put under erasure. Also, Stephen Van Dyck, author of People I've Met From the Internet, returns to recommend Joe Brainard's groundbreaking I Remember from the 1970s.

Nov 09 2019

38mins

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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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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

Play

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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Literary LA: Stephen Van Dyck Meets People from the Internet

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Host Eric Newman is joined by Stephen Van Dyck, author of People I Met on the Internet, a series of narrative vignettes derived from the list Van Dyck kept for over a decade of all the men he first met online. Van Dyck talks about how internet chat rooms and blogs offered him a new safe world of contact as a shy queer teen; the unique counterintuitive intimacy of online encounters, and how sex often operates as a backdrop for more interesting experiences. Also, Shelly Oria, editor of Indelible in the Hippocampus: Writings from the Me Too Movement, returns to recommend the books authored by the contributors to the collection including Blueprints for Building Better Girls by Elissa Shappell; The Bed Moved: Stories by Rebecca Schiff; See Through: Stories by Nelly Reifler; The Dark Dark by Samantha Hunt; Blue Talk and Love by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan; and Our Revolution: A Mother and Daughter at Midcentury by Honor Moore.

This is the second episode in our series on LA and Southern California writers, artists and filmmakers. This episode of the LARB Radio Hour is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency. Learn more at www.arts.ca.gov. Any findings, opinions, or conclusions contained herein are not necessarily those of the California Arts Council.

Oct 11 2019

32mins

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The Formation of the #MeToo Canon

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Co-Hosts Kate Wolf and Medaya Ocher are joined by Shelly Oria to talk about her new anthology Indelible in the Hippocampus: Writings from the #MeToo Movement. The collection includes essays, poetry, and fiction around harassment, abuse and the underlying power dynamics in our everyday lives. Oria explains how the collection came together and the need for diverse voices and styles in our fraught political moment. Also, Tea Obreht, author of Inland, returns again to recommend Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah's short story collection Friday Black.

Oct 04 2019

41mins

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Sarah M Broom's Autobiography of a House

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Co-hosts Kate Wolf and Medaya Ocher speak with Sarah M Broom about her latest work The Yellow House; a moving and beautiful book rooted in one place, which combines memoir, archival history of her family, and a story of her growing up in New Orleans East. Sarah explains how the culture of this forgotten part of the city - isolated by the industrial canal, accessible only by the High Rise bridge - came alive in and around her family's home. Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans East and destroyed The Yellow House; but through days of interviews and years of research Sarah conjures them back to life, reviving her large extended family, re-animating a lost world rife with character, tragedy, wisdom, and love.

Also, Tea Obreht, author of The Tiger's Wife and Inland, returns to recommend Salvatore Scibona's stunning second novel, The Volunteer.

Sep 28 2019

38mins

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A Podcast About Nothing with Jenny Odell

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Jenny Odell, author of How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, joins co-hosts Medaya Ocher and Kate Wolf to asses the state of the human soul in the age of social media reproduction. The verdict is clear: we need strategies of resistance. Constantly tracked and hunted by the digital panopticon, we have no time for reverie, reflection, letting go, or just being. We desperately need Nothing, which is everything. Jenny shares details of her own liberation. Also, Susan Straight, author of In The Country of Women, returns to honor Toni Morrison by sharing how she has read her favorite book every single year since she was twelve, Morrison's luminous second novel, Sula.

Sep 20 2019

43mins

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Recasting American Mythology: Tea Obreht's Western for the 21st Century

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What if that most celebrated of American genres, the Western, was stripped of its traditional tropes? Gone are the heroic lonesome gunslingers, the helpless women on the homesteads, the rampant outlaws, and cliched representations of inidigenous people. Is it possible that a such novel, rooted in greater historical accuracy, could prove equally (if not more) engaging? Tea Obreht's Inland accepts this challenge; and she joins co-hosts Medaya Ocher and Eric Newman to explain how she came to tell the story of two women, 40 years apart, on the western frontier. There's heartbreak, bravery, ghosts and camels because, when it comes to the western, reality is stranger than mythology.

Also, writer and translator Magdalena Edwards, whose article for LARB "Benjamin Moser and the Smallest Woman in the World" became a viral sensation, returns to direct folks to an astonishing filmed interview of Clarice Lispector, the only one available online: www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1zwGLBpULs

Sep 12 2019

34mins

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Literary LA: Susan Straight In the Country of Women

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The redemptive power of oral history is at the heart of Susan Straight's new memoir, In The Country Of Women; and also in this installment of the LARB Radio Hour, the first in a special series featuring Los Angeles authors. As Susan relates the amazing stories of the women in her family from across many generations to host Kate Wolf, the spirit and character of these women is conjured back to life. Our troubled times are presaged in the tragedies and violence encountered by Susan's ancestors; but the promise, not yet extinguished, of this blood-stained land shines through from these women of the past to their sisters in the present. Also, filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar, whose latest film is American Factory, return to recommend four books: Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead; The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson; and The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.

This episode of the LARB Radio Hour is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency. Learn more at www.arts.ca.gov. Any findings, opinions, or conclusions contained herein are not necessarily those of the California Arts Council.

Sep 06 2019

39mins

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Great and Super Entertaining Lit Podcast

By Dead Father - Feb 01 2016
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Seth, Lori and Tom are a hilarious and insightful crew. And they always do a great interview.

Great Dialogue

By SEAstaff - Sep 04 2015
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This instantly became my favorite podcast! Keep up the great work!