This week’s show is a doubleheader. In game one, Award-winning poet & Mancunian Adam O’Riordan joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Boris Dralyuk, as well as author David Shook, to discuss the Manchester writing school, it’s partnership with LARB, the tradition of English letters in Southern California – and how to strengthen Los Angeles’ literary ties across the pond. In the nightcap, Eric, Boris, and David are joined by Amanda de la Garza, curator of an exhibit of contemporary Oaxacan murals at the Downtown LA Library entitled “Visualizing Language: Oaxaca in LA” to discuss the powerful resonance of indigenous language, art, and tradition in an era of mass migration from Oaxaca to Los Angeles. Also, author Karen Tei Yamashita returns to recommend Pankaj Mishra’s From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia; as well as his most recent book, Age of Anger: A History of the Present.
Artist, architect, and activist Ai Weiwei joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher to discuss his new feature-length film Human Flow; and the on-going global refugee crisis that it documents. The conversation weaves through matters central to 21st Century humanity: digital technology, globalization, national identity, economic inequality, climate catastrophes, demagogues, and threats to liberty - as well as more eternal themes like war, beauty, human vulnerability, and how we bear witness to the mystery of existence.
Karen Tei Yamashita, one of the most celebrated American novelists of her generation, turns historian/archeologist with Letters to Memory, an investigation into the lived experience of the World War Two Japanese Internment Camps, as revealed by the words and images from her family's archive. Karen joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher to discuss how this striking new work came to be, her political motivations, and the importance of bringing forward the tremendous impact this horrible episode in American history had on people, families, and communities. Also, author Chiara Barzini returns to recommend Leonard Michaels' Slyvia, a tragic tale of a sexually charged romance in early '60s Manhattan.
A LARB Radio Double-Header! First, Author, Academic, and OC resident Andrew Tonkovich joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher to talk about the all-but-unknown, but surprisingly excellent, literary tradition of Orange County. Andrew and his wife, poet Lisa Alvarez, have compiled a collection of stories, essays, and memoirs about (or reflective of) LA County's more right-wing neighbor - and the list of contributors is as impressive as the content itself. Andrew talks about some of his favorite entries; as well as the promising political evolution of a longtime GOP bastion that voted against Trump. Then, in the 2nd half of the show, author Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow joins Eric and Medaya to reminisce about the glory days of the Sony Walkman from the late 70s through to the 90s. Rebecca has written a short history/memoir entitled Personal Stereo, as part of Bloomsbury's charming Object Lesson series, about the device that revolutionized our listening habits.