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LARB Radio Hour

Updated 2 months 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

61 Ratings
Average Ratings
57
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

61 Ratings
Average Ratings
57
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 Aug 08, 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: 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 #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 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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Rank #5: Wow, it's Samantha Irby

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Feeling nostalgic for social anxiety? Go public vicariously with Samantha Irby! You may not conquer your fears, but you'll laugh so much you'll be happy about them. Samantha joins Kate, Eric, and Medaya to talk about her new collection of comic essays Wow, No Thank You, her experience writing for Hulu's hit series Shrill, TV writer's rooms in general, and Hollywood's one constant: fake kindness. The wit is accompanied by wisdom throughout; and, in a plague year, there's added resonance to Samantha's themes of making peace with the body and how not to feel alone. Also, Rufi Thorpe, author of The Knockout Queen, returns to recommend Lynn Strong's Want, fever dream of a novel about contemporary American economic anxieties, which will be released this summer.

Apr 26 2020

47mins

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Rank #6: Ariana Reines' Quest for 21st Century Epic Verse

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Poet Ariana Reines joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Kate Wolf to discuss A Sand Book, her most ambitious work to date. The show opens with a powerful extended passage from the poem A Partial History. If listeners are not yet aware of Reines as one this century's great new voices, they will be within five minutes: a rhythmic cascade of language rife with resonant images of social conflict, dissipation, recurring glimmers of self-awareness lost in a flood of unrelenting distraction, but our drive to quest never extinguished - epic verse for our lost society. What follows then is a series of reflections on the promise of 21st century language; and the new territories where Reines is searching for, and finding, inspiration. Also, Erica Jong returns to recommend Horizon by Barry Lopez, the National Book Award-winner's new work of non-fiction.

Jul 19 2019

36mins

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Rank #7: 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 #8: 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 #9: 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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Rank #10: John McPhee's Magisterial Patchwork

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Legendary essayist John McPhee joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher to discuss his latest collection The Patch. Reflecting on his long career in creative non-fiction and journalism, McPhee talks about the duty of the writer to get out of the way of the story and bemoans the rise of the branded writer in the age of social media. In place of speed, McPhee extolls the virtue of slowness, the time it takes for a writer to develop his voice, to collect material and to divine the associations and structures through which it might breathe itself into a story.  Also, author Julietta Singh returns to recommend Bhanu Kapil's Humanimal: A Project for Future Children.

Jan 11 2019

38mins

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Rank #11: 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 #12: 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 #13: Coronavirus Quarantine Encore: A Podcast About Nothing with Jenny Odell

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From their disclosed locations, Kate, Eric, and Daya report on the new normal: cooking, enclosure, and a changed perspective on doing nothing. One thing they all agree on, it's a good time to give Jenny Odell another listen, so... 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.

Mar 28 2020

43mins

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Rank #14: Identity Theft

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This week, co-hosts Kate Wolf and Medaya Ocher talk to Dani Shapiro, author of the memoir Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love. They discuss how Dani Shapiro discovered her real parentage and how that discovery shaped her understanding of herself, her relationship to her family, her body and her career. Also, Sam Lipsyte returns to recommend Mark Doten's new novel Trump Sky Alpha.

Feb 22 2019

38mins

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Rank #15: Literary LA: Our Meteoric Quarantine with Harry Dodge

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What better way to break out of the stay-in-place doldrums, and reflect on this transformational moment, than to consider the role of the random in the creation of the new with one of our most brilliant shape-shifters, artist Harry Dodge. Kate, Medaya, and Eric speak with Harry from four different locations across Southern California on the occasion of the publication of his first, already-heralded, book, My Meteorite. Harry talks about what motivated him to write, how he arrived at a form that interweaves memoir-like accounts with extended philosophical reflections - and, of course, the content of those reflections. The imagination of Harry Dodge is an exciting place; and your random encounter with this podcast just might inspire new approaches to our new reality.

Also, Garth Greenwell, author of Cleanness, calls in to recommend The Gift by Barbara Browning.

This is the eighth 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.

Apr 04 2020

39mins

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Rank #16: 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 #17: Viet Thanh Nguyen in Conversation with Tom Lutz

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LARB Editor-in-Chief Tom Lutz is joined by author and USC Professor Viet Thanh Nguyen, winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel The Sympathizer, at a recent LARB Luminary Dinner. Viet begins by talking about about his family's experience as refugees, and how that informs his writing; as well as his understanding of globalization, American politics and contemporary Vietnam. They then discuss the breadth of Viet's writing, how he approaches his fiction vs his non-fiction vs his academic writing; and his latest work too, Chicken of Sea, a children's book - with powerful detours along the way on the importance of both Paul Ricoeur's concept of "enlightened forgetting," and the absent presence of ghosts, for our fraught times.

Jan 25 2020

45mins

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Rank #18: William Cooper, Conspiracy Theories, and The Decline of the American Mind

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Journalist and Author Mark Jacobson joins co-hosts Medaya Ocher and Eric Newman to discuss his timely new book, Pale Horse Rider: William Cooper, the Rise of Conspiracy, and the Fall of Trust in America. The result is a Trump-era gem: equally depressing and hilarious, with as much sociological and political insight as can be packed into one show. Jacobson addresses the phenomenal rise of conspiracy theory culture through the underground history of its most influential text, Behold a Pale Horse by William Cooper; who emerges as a sincere and at-least-somewhat redeemable character, the tragedy to Alex Jones' farce. The detour the conversation takes through Hip-Hop culture is worth the price of admission itself! Also, philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah returns once more to recommend a text he never tires of teaching, John Stuart Mill's On Liberty.

Nov 30 2018

42mins

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Talking Tomboys with Melissa Faliveno

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Eric and Melissa Faliveno, author of Tomboyland, parse the history of the tomboy, its queer geographic and temporal character, as part of a broader discussion about how gender remains a wonderfully incoherent experience for so many of us, yet one that social and cultural norms is forever trying to fit into neat, rigid boxes. As she reflects on her debut collection of essays, Faliveno talks about bisexual erasure, not feeling “queer enough,” her love of roller derby, and the essay as a beautifully flexible genre. Also, Ann Friedman, co-author of Big Friendship, returns to recommend Kathryn Scanlan's touchingly human and poetic Aug 9 - Fog.

Aug 08 2020

44mins

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Aminatou and Ann's Big Friendship

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Authors Aminatou Sow and Ann Friendman join co-hosts Kate and Medaya to discuss their exploration of their friend, and close adult friendships in general, Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close. The discussion opens up with Aminatou and Ann telling the story of their friendship, how they met, bonded, grew inseparable, and have remained emotionally-so through trials, tribulations, and major life changes. The conversation then addresses how close non-romantic adult friendships, particularly among women, remain a difficult fit in contemporary America - even as bonding among women is given lip service throughout much of mass culture - and, as Aminatou and Ann testify, the upside to Big Friendship is immeasurable. Also, Frank B Wilderson III, author of Afropessimism, returns to recommend USC Assistant Professor Zakiyyah Iman Jackson's new book Becoming Human: Matter and Meaning in an Antiblack World.

Aug 01 2020

46mins

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Talking “Breasts and Eggs” with Japan’s Rising Literary Star, Mieko Kawakami

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Mieko Kawakami, whose poignant and pointed debut novel Breasts and Eggs is this season’s LARB’s Book Club selection, joins Medaya Ocher and Boris Dralyuk to discuss her career as a musician, poet, blogger, and author, the challenges facing women around the world, the state of Japanese literature, and the wonders of translation. Also, Eric Cervani, author of The Deviant's War: The Homosexual Vs. the United States of America, returns to recommend James Baldwin's classic Giovanni's Room.

Jul 23 2020

47mins

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When Reform Isn't Enough: Afropessimism's Argument for a New Society

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This week, co-hosts Eric and Medaya talk to professor, writer, and revolutionary, Frank B. Wilderson III, whose latest book, Afropessimism, is a work of memoir and theory. Wilderson defines Afropessism, the ways it has been misrepresented and how it can shape our understanding of contemporary justice. Wilderson also recounts his childhood and how he became an Afropessimist. Also, writer and translator Joyce Zonana returns to recommends Betty Smith's classic from the 1940s, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Jul 18 2020

44mins

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French Connections: Hirokazu Kore-eda on The Truth; Joyce Zonana on Henri Bosco’s Malicroix

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This week, Medaya speaks with acclaimed filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda about his new film, The Truth (La Vérité), starring French film screen legends Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche. Kore-eda discusses complicated family dynamics, the relationship between art and truth-telling and what brought him to France. In our second interview, Kate and Medaya are joined by scholar and translator Joyce Zonana, who discusses her translation of Henri Bosco’s 1946 novel Malicroix. This is the first time the French novel has been translated into English.

Jul 11 2020

40mins

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From Pride Month to Independence Day: the story of Frank Kameny, an LBGBTQ+ Trailblazer

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Author Eric Cervini Cervini explains Frank Kameny's legacy as a complex figure in the history of the LGBTQ struggle, as he discusses his new book The Deviant's War with Daya, Kate , and Eric. Kameny was a trailblazer for civil rights yet also a person deeply committed to an assimilationist vision of queer equality, one that often sidelined people of color as well as trans and gender-nonconforming members of the community. In the wake of Bostock vs. Clayton County, the landmark Supreme Court case that firmed up protections against employment discrimination for LGBTQ workers under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Cervini discusses how Kameny would have seen this moment in history and how his early work demonstrates at once the decades of struggle that have brought the freedoms of our moment as well as the road we still must travel. Also, our own Eric Newman explains how he came to read Robert K Massie's magisterial biography of Catherine the Great; and why he'd recommend it to anyone.

Jul 04 2020

36mins

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Changing the Conversation: Laverne Cox and Sam Feder on Trans Representation

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The new documentary Disclosure captures the history of trans representation in Hollywood and mainstream media, with particular attention to the ways in which racism and misogyny influence the portrayal of those who transgress society’s gender norms in order to live their truth. In a wide-ranging discussion, Director Sam Feder and Laverne Cox, star of Orange is the New Black, talk with Medaya and Eric about what has been gained in recent years as well as the challenges ahead as transgender stories, writers, directors, and performers take center stage. Also, Percival Everett, author of Telephone, returns to recommend Laurence Sterne's classic Tristam Shandy, as well as Michael Winterbottom's recent film adaptation: Tristam Shady: A Cock and Bull Story.

Jun 26 2020

39mins

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On the Line with Percival Everett

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Co-hosts Kate and Daya join acclaimed writer Percival Everett to discuss his new novel, Telephone, which was published in three different version simultaneously. Kate, Daya and Percival discuss playing with the novel form, his greatest fears and our current political moment.

Jun 22 2020

31mins

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Death in her Hands: Talking to Otessa Moshfegh

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Ottessa Moshfegh, one of America's most celebrated young writers, joins Kate and Daya to discuss her third novel, Death in Her Hands. Ottessa completed the book before the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has an uncanny resonance with this unique historic moment as it grapples throughout with issues of isolation. When, in the interview, Ottessa declares "being in isolation and not going crazy is a lot of work," she is speaking about her book's protagonist; but she could just as well be talking about anyone in the world during these days of Shelter in Place. Throw in a deftly crafted murder mystery, a central character reckoning with her own mortality and disappointing life as she begins to find clues and piece together the puzzle, and a dog in the lead supporting role - and it's pretty clear that Ms. Moshfegh has written a psychological thriller for our times. Also, Juli Delgado Lopera, author of Fiebre Tropical, returns to recommend House of Impossible Beauties, Joseph Cassara's vibrant debut novel set in Harlem's gay ball scene in the 1980s.

Jun 14 2020

39mins

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In Conversation with Patrisse Cullors, co-founder #BlackLivesMatter

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In light of the nation-wide public uprising that followed the murder of George Floyd, we return to Patrisse Cullors, author of When They Call You a Terrorist: a Black Lives Matter Memoir. At the 2018 Lambda LitFest, Patrisse spoke with host Eric Newman about her activism, the philosophy that undergirds #BlackLivesMatter and how queer writers and activists from the 1960s and 1970s continue to shape her political vision and practice. While Cullors celebrates recent victories against police brutality and the prison system in Los Angeles, she also gives the audience inspiration for fighting back on what was then the eve of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.

Jun 07 2020

54mins

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Juli Delgado Lopera Comes Alive

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Juli Delgado Lopero, author of Fiebre Tropical, joins Eric and Daya. Juli shares how their debut novel draws on their experiences growing up in a strong, matriarchal family, moving from Colombia to the U.S. as a teen, and grappling with the unevenness of coming to queer consciousness beyond the cliche coming out narrative. As we close out the show, they share how drag has been a consistent and profound source of joy and creativity in their lives and public performances. Also, Wayne Koestenbaum, whose latest collection of essays is Figure it Out, returns to recommend two novels by Magda Szabo, The Doorn and Katalin Street; as well as two works by Pierre Guyotat, Coma and In the Deep.

May 31 2020

47mins

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Art in an Emergency: Talking to Olivia Laing and Lucy Ives

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Kate and Medaya talk to the critic and writer Olivia Laing about her new collection of essays Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency. The three discuss the role of art in dark times, Olivia’s environmental activist youth and what she turns to during a crisis. Then, Lucy Ives joins the hosts to discuss the legacy of the artist, architect and writer Madeline Gins, whose work was recently collected into a comprehensive reader titled The Saddest Thing is That I Have Had to Use Words.

May 24 2020

54mins

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Wayne Koestenbaum's Whirlwind of Wit & Wisdom

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One surefire way to lift yourself out of the shelter-in-place doldrums is to engage with someone whose enthusiasm for life and literature is more infectious than any coronavirus. Wayne Koestenbaum joins Kate, Eric, and Daya to discuss his new collection of essays Figure it Out; what ensues is a conversation with exuberant inspirations at every turn. Share this one with your friends, it will renew their faith in living the literary life. Also, Cathy Park Hong, author of Minor Feelings, returns to recommend two foreboding works of recent literature (as if to counterbalance Wayne's optimism): C Pam Zhang's novel How Much of These Hills is Gold; and Joyelle McSweeney's new book of poetry Toxicon and Ariadne.

May 17 2020

45mins

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Cathy Park Hong Reckons with Minor Feelings

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Writer, editor, and poet Cathy Park Hong joins Medaya Ocher for a dialogue about her new book Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning, which is a blend of memoir, history, and cultural criticism that investigates what it means to live as an Asian American women and artist in America. Cathy and Daya learn that they shared some quirky experiences in their youth: wearing inappropriate t-shirts and how they struggled to conquer the english language. Cathy also explains her resonant eponymous concept, "Minor Feelings," which is introduced in an essay on Richard Pryor's hilarious/tortured/sublime "Live in Concert." Also, Samantha Irby returns to give an advance recommendation for Raven Leilani's novel Luster, which is scheduled for release this summer.

May 10 2020

44mins

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A Time Capsule of Queer LA: Tom of Finland & Circus of Books

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This week we bring you two tales of lore from the olden days of Queer LA. First, Kate, Daya, and Eric are joined by Sharp and Durk Dehner from the Tom of Finland Foundation to tell the story of the legendary gay artist Touko Valio Laaksonen, who immigrated to Los Angeles, on the occasion of Tom's 100th birthday. Then, Rachel Mason drops by to talk about her documentary Circus of Books, which recently debuted on Netflix, about the legendary porn bookstore in Southern California that was owned and operated by Rachel's parents.

This is the tenth 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.

May 03 2020

42mins

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Wow, it's Samantha Irby

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Feeling nostalgic for social anxiety? Go public vicariously with Samantha Irby! You may not conquer your fears, but you'll laugh so much you'll be happy about them. Samantha joins Kate, Eric, and Medaya to talk about her new collection of comic essays Wow, No Thank You, her experience writing for Hulu's hit series Shrill, TV writer's rooms in general, and Hollywood's one constant: fake kindness. The wit is accompanied by wisdom throughout; and, in a plague year, there's added resonance to Samantha's themes of making peace with the body and how not to feel alone. Also, Rufi Thorpe, author of The Knockout Queen, returns to recommend Lynn Strong's Want, fever dream of a novel about contemporary American economic anxieties, which will be released this summer.

Apr 26 2020

47mins

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Crime & Punishment & RuPaul’s Drag Race: Talking to Rufi Thorpe, author of The Knockout Queen

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This week, writer Rufi Thorpe joins Eric and Medaya to discuss her latest novel, The Knockout Queen. Rufi, Eric, and Medaya talk about love and violence in American culture, as well as our failed systems of justice. They also discuss RuPaul’s Drag Race, and the beauty of friendships, which brings one of our hosts to tears. Also, Felicia Angeja Viator, author of To Live and Defy in LA, returns to recommend Hari Kunzru's novel White Tears.

Apr 19 2020

46mins

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It Was A Good Day: Talking the Rise of Gangsta Rap with Felicia Angeja Viator

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This week, we're joined by Felicia Angeja Viator, author of To Live and Defy in LA: How Gangsta Rap Changed America. Eric, Kate and Medaya talk with Felicia about the rise of gangsta rap in Los Angeles, the sounds and culture that defined the era, the artists and performers who rose to stardom, and how we still see the effects of that sound in music today. Also, artist Harry Dodge, author of My Meteorite, returns to recommend Crudo A Novel by Olivia Laing.

This is the ninth 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.

Apr 11 2020

47mins

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Literary LA: Our Meteoric Quarantine with Harry Dodge

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What better way to break out of the stay-in-place doldrums, and reflect on this transformational moment, than to consider the role of the random in the creation of the new with one of our most brilliant shape-shifters, artist Harry Dodge. Kate, Medaya, and Eric speak with Harry from four different locations across Southern California on the occasion of the publication of his first, already-heralded, book, My Meteorite. Harry talks about what motivated him to write, how he arrived at a form that interweaves memoir-like accounts with extended philosophical reflections - and, of course, the content of those reflections. The imagination of Harry Dodge is an exciting place; and your random encounter with this podcast just might inspire new approaches to our new reality.

Also, Garth Greenwell, author of Cleanness, calls in to recommend The Gift by Barbara Browning.

This is the eighth 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.

Apr 04 2020

39mins

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Coronavirus Quarantine Encore: A Podcast About Nothing with Jenny Odell

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From their disclosed locations, Kate, Eric, and Daya report on the new normal: cooking, enclosure, and a changed perspective on doing nothing. One thing they all agree on, it's a good time to give Jenny Odell another listen, so... 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.

Mar 28 2020

43mins

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iTunes Ratings

61 Ratings
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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!