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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: December, 2023
Dec 29, 2023

Author Ed Park joins Kate Wolf and Eric Newman to discuss his new novel, Same Bed Different Dreams. It begins with a former writer named Soon Shen, who’s given up fiction for a cozy suburban life in upstate New York, working for a tech conglomerate. At a booze-soaked literary dinner back in Manhattan one night, Soon encounters a famous Korean author named Echo and later finds himself in possession of Echo’s new book, Same Bed, Different Dreams: Being A True Account of the Korean Provisional Government. This book presents an alternate history of the peninsula, one in which the KPG (a real organization that formed to protest Japanese occupation of the country) continued their activity after WWII from far flung locations, roping in a wide variety of accomplices from both Eastern and Western cultures. Adding to the speculative history, Park also includes a third narrative of a Korean war veteran and sci-fi writer named Parker Jotter that bridges the first two stories and demonstrates the afterlife of fiction, the murkiness of identity, and underground networks running through art that connect us all.
Also, Robert Gluck, author of "About Ed," returns to recommend Camille Roy's Honey Mine.

Dec 22, 2023

Together we've travelled one more trip around the sun... and that means it's time for our favorite episode of the year!
Kate, Medaya, and Eric share their favorite books, movies, TV shows, music, magazines (a new category!) and more in this look back at the year that was 2023.

Dec 15, 2023

Kate Wolf and Medaya Ocher speak with the writer and editor Blake Butler about his latest book, a memoir called Molly. Molly is dedicated to the poet and writer Molly Brodak, Butler's wife of three years. Molly committed suicide one spring afternoon, near the house they shared outside of Atlanta. After her death, Molly comes into clearer view, as the secrets and traumas she hid during her life begin to reveal themselves. The book is an extraordinarily honest account of her death, of their relationship, and of the way people manage to survive immense loss.
Also, Andrew Chan, author of Why Mariah Carey Matters, returns to recommend Keats's Odes: A Lover's Discourse by UCLA Professor Anahid Nersessian.

Dec 8, 2023

Eric Newman and Kate Wolf are joined by the author, editor, and co-founder of the New Narrative movement Robert Glück to discuss his latest book, About Ed. The book is a non-linear memoir (of sorts), parsing the life and death of Glück's lover, the artist Ed Aulerich-Sugai. The narrative moves promiscuously back and forth between the 1970s when Bob and Ed's relationship takes shape, to the 1980s when AIDS ravages the gay community and Ed is diagnosed with HIV, to Ed's death in 1994, and Bob's wrestling with the emotional aftermath of Ed's loss. Along the way, Glück captures the peaks and valleys of the relationship— tumultuous moments conjured in elegiac reveries—as well as the everyday objects by which the world of a deeply intimate history continues into the present. About Ed forces us to confront what we know and don't know about those loved ones who indelibly shape our lives.
Also, Sasha Frere-Jones, author of Earlier, returns to recommend two books by Avi Shlaim, The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World, and Three Worlds: Memoirs of an Arab-Jew.

Dec 1, 2023

Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher are joined by writer and critic Andrew Chan to discuss his latest book, Why Mariah Carey Matters. Exploring Mariah's career as a singer, performer, and dexterous music producer, Andrew's book unpacks how the music industry of the 1980s and 1990s shaped and was reshaped by the work of the landmark whistle-tone diva. The conversation ranges across developments in R&B, cultural battles over Mariah's "authenticity" as a Black artist, and the erosion of the ballad's centrality to our contemporary musical landscape, diving into the world of a diva whose songs we love but whose life and struggle often slip out of view.
Also, Dan Sinykin, author of Big Fiction, returns to recommend Who Will Pay Reparations on My Soul?, a collection of essays by Jesse McCarthy.

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