Who are the writers pushing the boundaries of contemporary literature? How are they doing so? And where can they be found? No small matter this; as, unlike previous avant-gardes, today's are dispersed across the entire globe. Legendary editor John Freeman, of Granta fame, set out to answer these daunting questions. The result is the spectacular fourth edition of his journal Freeman's: The Future of New Writing. Twenty Nine authors made the cut. John shares his rationales for inclusion, and an abundance of enthusiasm, with co-hosts Medaya Ocher and Eric Newman. Author Garnette Cadogan, one of the 29, joined John in-studio to share his thoughts on today's cutting edge writing, the necessity of tricksters (to literature & life), and his contribution to the collection: With Nothing to Hide. Also, John Freeman wasn't about to leave the studio without singing the praises of Eka Kurniawan's gorgeous magical realist epic novel of modern Indonesia: Beauty is a Wound.
Author Liska Jacobs joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher to discuss her heralded first novel Catalina, narrated in vibrant prose by a young woman destined for a fall during an outing with friends to the eponymous island off the coast from LA. Echoes of Gatsby and Brett Easton Ellis abound – decadence is a blast, but can’t slay demons – but this is very much a tale of our time; as we encounter a woman stranded, her career and identity collapsing following a failed affair with a powerful boss. Liska, Eric, and Medaya reflect on the many insights Catalina provides for our post-Weinstein Crisis moment. Also, Liska recommends Chris Kraus’ Video Green, reflections on LA and the art world in the early ‘90s.
Co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher are joined by filmmaker Robin Campillo, and actors Nahuel Perez Biscayart and Arnaud Valois - the Director and the stars, respectively, of 120 BPM, which won the Grand Prix at this year's Cannes Film Festival - to discuss how they captured the spirit of the Parisian chapter of one of the most dynamic and transformative social movements in recent history, ACT UP; as well as the beautiful, tragic romance at the heart of the story. A reflection of the intensity of living constantly on the precipice of death, the show doubles as a masterclass on the rigors of creating truly excellent historical cinema. Also, Nathan Englander returns to recommend two books, both of which have special appeal to dog lovers: Pit Bull: The Battle Over an American Icon by Bronwen Dickey; and Barbara the Slut and Other People by Lauren Holmes.
Lynn Comella, author Vibrator Nation: How Feminist Sex-Toy Stores Changed the Business of Pleasure, joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Sarah Mesle, to discuss how a handful of Feminist entrepreneurs in the 1970s helped women in America and around the world take greater control of their own bodies and pleasure. The discussion couldn't be more timely in a month when our society is beginning to confront the patriarchal power relations that emboldens sexual predators. Vibrator Nation tells the history of women putting women's liberation in the hands of women! Also, author Dan Lopez drops by to recommend Katherine Heiny's new novel Standard Deviation.
Author Nathan Englander joins co-hosts Medaya Ocher and Eric Newman to discuss his ambitious new novel Dinner at the Center of the Earth, which is set inside the Israel/Palestine conflagration. In an energetic conversation, teeming with wit, Nathan also shares the despair he felt while living in Israel in 2000 at the collapse of the peace talks and beginning of the second intifada; and explains why he mixed the surreal and all-too-real in a work that strives to do nothing less than bring the two sides together to recognize their shared humanity, need for cooperation, and desire for peace. Also, Medaya recommends Rachel Cusk’s divinely drafted novel Outline.