Juli Delgado Lopero, author of Fiebre Tropical, joins Eric and Daya. Juli shares how their debut novel draws on their experiences growing up in a strong, matriarchal family, moving from Colombia to the U.S. as a teen, and grappling with the unevenness of coming to queer consciousness beyond the cliche coming out narrative. As we close out the show, they share how drag has been a consistent and profound source of joy and creativity in their lives and public performances.
Also, Wayne Koestenbaum, whose latest collection of essays is Figure it Out, returns to recommend two novels by Magda Szabo, The Doorn and Katalin Street; as well as two works by Pierre Guyotat, Coma and In the Deep.
Kate and Medaya talk to the critic and writer Olivia Laing about her new collection of essays Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency. The three discuss the role of art in dark times, Olivia’s environmental activist youth and what she turns to during a crisis. Then, Lucy Ives joins the hosts to discuss the legacy of the artist, architect and writer Madeline Gins, whose work was recently collected into a comprehensive reader titled The Saddest Thing is That I Have Had to Use Words.
One surefire way to lift yourself out of the shelter-in-place doldrums is to engage with someone whose enthusiasm for life and literature is more infectious than any coronavirus. Wayne Koestenbaum joins Kate, Eric, and Daya to discuss his new collection of essays Figure it Out; what ensues is a conversation with exuberant inspirations at every turn. Share this one with your friends, it will renew their faith in living the literary life.
Also, Cathy Park Hong, author of Minor Feelings, returns to recommend two foreboding works of recent literature (as if to counterbalance Wayne's optimism): C Pam Zhang's novel How Much of These Hills is Gold; and Joyelle McSweeney's new book of poetry Toxicon and Ariadne.
Writer, editor, and poet Cathy Park Hong joins Medaya Ocher for a dialogue about her new book Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning, which is a blend of memoir, history, and cultural criticism that investigates what it means to live as an Asian American women and artist in America. Cathy and Daya learn that they shared some quirky experiences in their youth: wearing inappropriate t-shirts and how they struggled to conquer the english language. Cathy also explains her resonant eponymous concept, "Minor Feelings," which is introduced in an essay on Richard Pryor's hilarious/tortured/sublime "Live in Concert."
Also, Samantha Irby returns to give an advance recommendation for Raven Leilani's novel Luster, which is scheduled for release this summer.
This week we bring you two tales of lore from the olden days of Queer LA. First, Kate, Daya, and Eric are joined by Sharp and Durk Dehner from the Tom of Finland Foundation to tell the story of the legendary gay artist Touko Valio Laaksonen, who immigrated to Los Angeles, on the occasion of Tom's 100th birthday. Then, Rachel Mason drops by to talk about her documentary Circus of Books, which recently debuted on Netflix, about the legendary porn bookstore in Southern California that was owned and operated by Rachel's parents.
This is the tenth episode in our series on LA and Southern California writers, artists and filmmakers. This episode of the LARB Radio Hour is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency. Learn more at www.arts.ca.gov. Any findings, opinions, or conclusions contained herein are not necessarily those of the California Arts Council.