In a wide-ranging conversation, Eric and Medaya talk with author Jordy Rosenberg about the life and times of Jack Sheppard, eighteenth century Britain’s most famous prisonbreak artist, who is at the center of Rosenberg’s Confessions of the Fox. Plumbing the archival material that remains of this mysterious figure, Rosenberg’s novel imagines Sheppard as a transgender man whose gender ambiguous “slight” body was often described as boon to his trade and to his reputation as a notorious ladies man. Throughout the conversation, we discuss how our changing understandings of gender and sexuality across history challenge how we think about identity, desire and embodiment.
Also, filmmaker Werner Herzog returns to recommend J. A. Baker's The Peregrine.
Author Jacob Tobia joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher to discuss their first book, Sissy: A coming of Gender Story. In a wide-ranging conversation, Tobia talks about coming into their non-binary gender, confronting haters, and embracing the messiness of Identity. Not only is Jacob a joy to talk with, but they also give a brilliant longview on the struggles both for queer rights and also for people to live however they feel gendered in their body.
Co-hosts Eric Newman, Medaya Ocher and Kate Wolf are granted an audience with his Holiness the King of Filth, John Waters. Speaking about his new memoir, Waters opens up about the importance of understanding the business of show business, remaining committed to your vision and believing, against all odds, that you’ll be a success. Along the way, Waters talks about sex, politics and Eric's memory of meeting him at a urinal during a Hairspray! intermission.
Authors Erica Jong and Susan Choi joins co-hosts Eric Newman, Medaya Ocher, and Kate Wolf in our third and final installment from the 2019 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on USC Campus. First, Erica Jong talks about her new collection of poems, “The World Began with Yes,” as well how she sees the present moment from the long view of her engagement with feminist and other political causes. Then, exploring the trials and tribulations of life in high school, Susan Choi’s talks about the ethics of storytelling and how her novel “Trust Exercise” emerges from questions about how we work through our ideas about power, identity and values in the turbulent years of high school and, much later, after we've become adults.