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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: March, 2021
Mar 26, 2021
Medaya talks with renowned essayist and fiction writer Jo Ann Beard, whose latest collection is called Festival Days. Near the beginning of the book, Jo Ann writes that there’s an element of fiction in her essays and essays in her fiction - an idea she elaborates on during the conversation. Jo Ann shares much about her own life and development as a writer, while addressing many of the central themes of the work: death, illness, childhood, memory and of course, her renowned and professed love for animals. 
 
Also, Chanda Prescod-Weinstein returns to recommend one of Jane Austen's later novels, Mansfield Park.
Mar 19, 2021

Eric Newman is joined by Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein to discuss her book The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred, which opens up with some very heavy science, explaining quarks, dark matter and other phenomena that point to the limits of our knowledge about the how the universe, and everything in it, functions. But at the heart of the book is a series of questions about how the social construction of science both foments a toxic culture and might help us to understand not only how to do science better, but how to do better science.

Also, Brian Dillon, author of Suppose a Sentence, returns to recommend Inventory of a Life Mislaid by Marina Warner.

 

Mar 12, 2021

Kate and Medaya speak with two heralded debut novelists. First up is Christine Smallwood, author of The Life of the Mind, about Dorothy, a failing adjunct professor in New York City, who suffers a miscarriage, and struggles to maintain her resilience in an unwelcoming world. Christine explains how the novel came to be and reflects on why Dorothy’s travails so successfully capture the texture of our time. Then Sara Davis joins Kate and Daya to talk about her novel The Scapegoat, which also centers around an academic in crisis. The narrator, N, disrupts his routine life to investigate the circumstances of his estranged father’s death, which is clouded in uncertainties of history, identity, and reality. Sara shares how she approached writing such a challenging and rewarding work.

Mar 5, 2021

Kate and Medaya welcome essayist Brian Dillon, author of Suppose a Sentence which offers sharp analysis (along with intriguing discursus) of 27 sentences, both celebrated and obscure, from the likes of William Shakespeare, James Baldwin, John Ruskin, and Joan Didion. Brian opens the show with a passage from his introduction, a paean to the work of the writers he loves and the expansive possibilities of a single line. The conversation focuses on the joys and perils of close reading and reverie.

Also, Claudio Lomnitz, author of Nuestra America: My Family in the Vertigo of Translation, returns to recommend On Kings by anthropologists David Graeber and Marshall Sahlins - and relate its lessons to the reign of Donald Trump.

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