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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: January, 2024
Jan 26, 2024

Medaya Ocher and Eric Newman are joined by E.J. Koh to discuss her debut novel, The Liberators, LARB Book Club's pick for Winter 2024. Widely acclaimed by critics, The Liberators tells the story of two families as they navigate love and survival from the Korean dictatorship of the early 1980s through the Sewol Ferry sinking of 2014. Between those bookending events lie a fraught terrain of marriage, birth, death, love, hope, and disappointment that unfurls itself across Korea and the United States. Moving from questions of form and diaspora to the relics that secure our belonging to places and people, the discussion explores how history both makes and unmakes us.
Also, Lexi Freiman, author of The Book of Ayn, returns to recommend To The Friend Who Did Not Save My Life by Herve Guibert.

The Liberators is the Winter 2024 selection for the LARB Book Club. The Book Club is one of many perks offered to our wonderful supporting members. To learn more about our membership program, check out lareviewofbooks.org/membership/

Jan 19, 2024

The philosopher Kohei Saito speaks to Eric Newman and Kate Wolf about his book Slow Down: The Degrowth Manifesto. A critique of our insufficient response to the climate crisis, Slow Down aptly points to capitalism—its race for profits and endlessly expansive production— as the chief cause of our present emergency. The cure is not a green capitalism (such as what we see in proposals for a Green New Deal here in the United States) but rather degrowth: a vision for reorganizing labor, production, and consumption in ways that Saito argues are the only sustainable future. Drawing on previously unpublished work by Karl Marx, Saito argues that degrowth may help thread the needle between the horrors of Soviet-style socialism and the insufficiency of green Keynesianism, or techno-optimism, to help foster a world and community in which we can all thrive.
Also, Alicia Kennedy, author of No Meat Required, returns to recommend two books: Feeding Fascism: The Politics of Women's Food Work by Diana Garvin; and National Dish: Around the World in Search of Food, History, and the Meaning of Home by Anya con Bremzen.

Jan 12, 2024

Medaya Ocher and Eric Newman are joined by author Lexi Freiman to discuss her latest novel, The Book of Ayn. A punchy satire of contemporary life, the story centers on Anna, a writer reeling from being cancelled after the New York Times dubs her novel classist. When Anna happens upon a group of Ayn Rand enthusiasts, she takes a shine to Rand's philosophy and biography, seeking to reorient her life around Rand's ideal of "rational selfishness." Across Anna's existential journey through Los Angeles and the Greek island of Lesbos, Freiman's by turns hilarious and poignant novel skewers and reckons with the politics and cultural currents that shape contemporary life.
Also, Ed Park, author of Same Bed Different Dreams, returns to recommend two books: The Stories of John Cheever by John Cheever, and I Heard Her Call My Name: A Memoir of Transition by Lucy Sante.

Jan 5, 2024

Eric Newman and Kate Wolf speak with writer Alicia Kennedy about No Meat Required: The Cultural History and Culinary Future of Plant-Based Eating. The book unpacks the ethical, spiritual, environmental, economic, and political dimensions of vegetarianism and veganism. It traces the emergence of meatless eating in the US, from 19th century religious groups to various subcultures—including commune-dwellers, Rastafarians, Buddhists, punks, ecofeminists and Black Nationalists—to the watershed moment of Frances Moore Lappé’s book, Diet for a Small Planet, published in 1971. Kennedy also interrogates more recent trends like wellness culture and meatless Big Macs, considering how the radical origins of not eating meat are becoming obscured as veganism hits the mainstream. A rejoinder to questions about the efficacy of personal choices in the fight against climate change and social injustice, No Meat Required argues for the critical importance of biodiversity, local agriculture, and local economies, and offers a holistic vision of food consumption and production for both the present and future.
Also, Blake Butler, author of Molly, returns to recommend Last Words from Montmartre by Qiu Miaojin.

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