Who is Steve Bannon? The evil mastermind of a far right global counter-revolution that's taking the world by storm; or a shallow, frumpy guy doing the bidding of his billionaire backers. Could he be both? One thing for certain, Alison Klayman's verite documentary The Brink, which follows Bannon in the months after his exit from the Trump White House, is the essential portrait of one of the central players in global politics. Klayman explains to co-hosts Eric, Kate, and Medaya how she came to have such unlimited access to Bannon, her reflections on his toxic politics and on the man himself: his character, his motivations and what he hopes to accomplish.
Also, Geoff Dyer, author of Broadsword Calling Danny Boy, returns to recommend Annie Ernaux's "impersonal autobiography" The Years, an astonishing first-hand reflection on the cultural, political, and economic changes over the 2nd half of the 20th century.
Geoff Dyer joins co-hosts Eric Newman, Medaya Ocher, and Kate Wolf to discuss his new book Broadsword Calling Danny Boy about the 1968 Richard Burton/Clint Eastwood war movie, Where Eagles Dare. In talking about a film that has held his attention since childhood, Dyer expounds on the continuities and discontinuities between the movie-going child and the adult critic as a resource for good film writing. It's not the plots that fascinate Dyer so much as a writer as the moments caught on camera that grab our critical attention: the signature expressions, the technicolorization of reality, the cacophony of sounds that transport us from our seats into the somewhere else of the film.
Also, Deborah Eisenberg, author of Your Duck is My Duck, returns to recommend a classic of Chinese Literature from the 18th Century: Cao Xueqin's five volume The Story of the Stone.
Co-hosts Medaya Ocher and Kate Wolf talk with acclaimed author and master of the short story Deborah Eisenberg about Your Duck is My Duck, her new collection and her first since 2006. The free-wheeling discussion opens with the mystery of the silly, and selfish, sounding title; winds through a set of surprising reflections on inspiration, process, and myths of creativity; and how Deborah's relation to her craft has evolved throughout her life.
Also, Chloe Ardijis, author of Sea Monsters, returns to recommend Charles Baudelaire's Prose Poems.
Inspired in part by her childhood in Mexico City, Sea Monsters charts the journey of a young girl who takes chase after both a budding romantic infatuation and in interest in, of all things, a band of Ukrainian dwarfs alleged to have defected from the USSR while on tour in Mexico. In a wide-ranging conversation, Ardijis talks with co-hosts Eric Newman, Kate Wolf, and Medaya Ocher about running away from home, the anxiety of inheritance coming from a family of noted writers and artists, goth aesthetics and teenage romance.
Also, Johanna Fateman, co-editor of Last Days at Hot Slit: the Radical Feminism of Andrea Dworkin, returns to recommend Re:Search Magazine's 1991 collection Angry Women, featuring interviews with and essays by the likes of bell hooks, Andrea Juno, Kathy Acker, Susie Bright, Wanda Coleman and many others.
Johanna Fateman and Amy Scholders, the editors of Last Days at Hot Slit: the Radical Feminism of Andrea Dworkin, join co-hosts Medaya Ocher, Kate Wolf, and Eric Newman. Fateman and Scholder talk abut the literary and political legacy of Dworkin, a controversial figure in feminist history whose critiques of patriarchy and pornography made her an icon and a pariah in the 1970s and 80s. By looking back at Dworkin beyond the frame of the so-called Sex Wars, they challenge us to see the incisiveness of her political vision balanced against an abrasive style at once thrilling and off-putting.
Also, Sam Lipsyte, the author of Hark, returns to recommend Lucy Ives' creatively titled upcoming novel Loudermilk or The Real Poet or The Origin of the World.