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.
Join LARB editors Kate Wolf, Medaya Ocher and Eric Newman for a special Valentine’s Day episode. In the first half of the show, we speak with Laurie Essig, author of Love Inc., an investigation into the ways in which the wedding, romance and dating industry have affected our lives and made us believe in happy endings, despite the world crumbling (or rather, melting) around our shoulders. Our second guest is long-time LARB veteran, Briallen Hopper, who talks to us about her new collection of essays, Hard to Love. We talk to Briallen about spinsters, singledom and how to throw the perfect Galentine’s party.
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.
Mitchell S Jackson, author of 2013's widely acclaimed The Residue, joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher to talk about his new, soon to be released, book Survival Math: Notes on an American Family. An eclectic text - part reportage, part memoir, with cento poems, an epistilary opening, and powerful narrative passages throughout - Survival Math seamlessly testifies to a life and a consciousness born from difficult environments, devastating experiences, and an insatiable appetite for understanding and insight. Mitchell talks about what inspired him to write in such a challenging form; how the book's stories capture the complex ways in which adult mentors and friends become "family;" and the relationship of African-American history to the production of spectacular African-American art and literature.
Also, Wayetu Moore returns to recommend The Lazarus Effect, a thriller, by Liberian author H. J. Golakai.