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LARB Radio Hour

The Los Angeles Review of Books Radio Hour is a weekly show featuring interviews, readings and discussions about all things literary. Hosted by LARB Editors-at-Large Kate Wolf, Medaya Ocher, and Eric Newman.
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Now displaying: October, 2023
Oct 27, 2023

A LARB Radio Hour double-header Halloween horror special. In the first half, Kate Wolf is joined by the poet Dorothea Lasky to discuss her most recent poetry collection, The Shining. The book is an ekphrastic ode to Stanley Kubrick’s classic film, based on the novel by Stephen King. Its poems remix and reimagine the haunted spaces and uncanny elements of King and Kubrick’s story in a uniquely personal register, and from a feminist perspective, touching on violence, time, identity, isolation, and creative ghosts. Then filmmaker Anna Biller speaks with Kate and Medaya Ocher about her first book, Bluebeard’s Castle, a traditional romance and horror novel that pays homage to the genre while turning it inside out. The book follows a romance writer named Judith who falls in love with Gavin, a man who seems too good to be true. He’s aristocratic, rich, handsome and cultured. It is, of course, all very erotic and very misleading. The relationship is both enthralling and as we quickly begin to see, violent and abusive.

Oct 20, 2023

LARB Editor-in-Chief Michelle Chihara and Executive Director Irene Yoon speak with author Lydia Kiesling about her novel Mobility, this fall’s LARB Book Club selection. The inaugural book from Crooked Media Reads, Mobility begins in post-Soviet Azerbaijan, following the main character, Bunny, from childhood into her ultimate career transition to Big Oil. The novel is timely and urgent, a macro and micro study of climate change’s destructive impact on the Earth and our individual lives, and evokes the tension between emotional investment in and arms-length detachment from large-scale catastrophe. Lydia shares how she researched the book, the joys and dangers of storytelling, and how to navigate overwhelm in the face of unrelenting and difficult news cycles.

Oct 13, 2023

Kate Wolf speaks to author and translator Lydia Davis about her latest collection of stories, Our Strangers. The book, which is notably not available for sale on Amazon, includes well over 100 stories, with many measuring at just a few lines. The stories take a variety forms: sketches of interactions from daily life, letters of complaint, recorded anecdotes, sequential interludes, grammatical inquires, meditations on passing thoughts and fantasies, as well as more sustained looks at life in a small country town and the intimacies we share with neighbors. Davis returns to abiding themes of aging, friendship, illness, death, mutual care, melancholy, nature, and the life of women with singular insight, humor, rigor, and an ever-present curiosity. 
Also, Hilary Leichter, author of Terrace Story, returns to recommend Worry: A Novel by Alexandra Tanner.

Oct 6, 2023

Journalist and author Mary Gabriel joins Eric and Medaya to talk about her latest book, Madonna: A Rebel Life. The massive, richly researched biography follows every detail of the superstar’s life: her Michigan roots, her debut amid New York’s heady underground scene, her film career, her London era, finally catching up with Madge in 2020. The book is also a history of the culture that shaped her, and which she shaped in her wake. Mary discusses writing the book, as well as Madonna’s breakthrough performances, the AIDS crisis and its legacy, sweeping changes in the music industry, and a re-examination of the “feminist” as a pop icon.
Also, Ross Gay, author of The Book of (More) Delights, returns to recommend a trio of books: Guston in Time by Ross Feld; Come Back in September by Darryl Pinckney; and Stealing History by Gerald Stern.

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