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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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Feb 23, 2024

Eric Newman speaks with Phillip B. Williams about his debut novel, Ours. A surrealist epic largely set in the American midwest both pre- and post-emancipation, the book tells the story of Saint, a conjure woman who uses her supernatural powers to liberate slaves and keep them safe in a magically secluded town near St. Louis. But as Saint's magic begins to falter and newcomers appear in the town, the residents chafe at her power over them, eager for a freedom, identity, and community forged on their own terms. In the interview, Williams discusses his novel's blend of diasporic traditions and spirituality, how his characters repair themselves and each other, and what it means to read–and write–with love.
Also, Lucy Sante, author of I Heard Her Call My Name: A Memoir of Transition, returns to recommend April Ashley's Odyssey by Duncan Fallowell and April Ashley.

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