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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: May, 2021
May 28, 2021

Filmmaker Matthew Heineman joins Eric to talk about his latest documentary, THE BOY FROM MEDELLIN, which centers on reggeton superstar J Balvin (the voice and creative force behind such massive hits as MI GENTE, I LIKE IT,, AGUA, and countless other songs). Heineman's camera turns its gaze on Balvin as the pop star returns to his home city of Medellin for the last stop on his world tour. That homecoming takes a dramatic turn as the country is plunged into anti-government protests led by Colombian youth. Heineman shares what it was like to capture a superstar caught between the desire to entertain and the demands of fans on social media that he speak to the political crisis of his homeland; to witness a brilliantly talented performer with his reputation and tour all on the line. 

Also, Claire Phillips, author of A Room with a Darker View: Chronicles of My Mother and Schizophrenia drops by to talk with Kate and recommend Schizophrenia: A Brother Finds Answers in Medical Science by Ronald Chase.

May 21, 2021

Writer Sarah Schulman joins Kate and Eric to discuss her new book Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York 1987-1993. A longtime activist, Sarah was a participant in the history she writes about. Back in 1987 Sarah joined The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, known as ACT UP, in New York City.  Let the Record Show is a focused, exceedingly thorough look at ACT UP’s organizational tactics, its diverse range of members and intersecting causes, and its profound impact in fighting for access to treatment and more national attention for people with AIDS at a time when the US government was barely addressing the crisis. The book builds on over 200 oral histories Sarah and her collaborator and fellow ACT-Upper Jim Hubbard conducted with former members. In an ecstatic review, the New York Times wrote that "it’s not reverent, definitive history. This is a tactician’s bible."

Also, Helen Oyeyemi, author of Peaces, returns to recommend James Robertson's To Be Continued, or, Conversations with a Toad.

May 14, 2021

Kate and Medaya are joined by feminist critic Jacqueline Rose to discuss her new book On Violence  and On Violence Against Women.  Jacqueline's addresses the prevalence and persistence of violence through the analytical lenses of feminism, history, psychoanalysis, politics, and literature. Jacqueline argues that violence in our times thrives on a form of mental blindness; and elucidates its relationship to the rise of politicians like Bolsonaro and Trump as well as broader society's complicity in these horrors.

Also, Larissa Pham, author of the collection Pop Song: Adventures in Art and Intimacy, returns to recommend Annie Ernaux's A Girl's Story (2016), which was released last year in translation.

May 7, 2021

Brooklyn-based artist and writer Larissa Pham joins Medaya and Eric to discuss her debut collection Pop Song: Adventures in Art and Intimacy. Larissa contributed to the collection KINK (previously covered here), with a piece that deals with themes of violence and desire, which are equally reflected in the new collection - and which Larissa addresses throughout the conversation. The entries in Pop Song shift between memoir and an acute attunement to various art objects and experiences in the present, POP SONG explores what it means to want a life and to strive for it: to navigate relationships, to build and rebuild a self, and to appreciate and even desperately rely upon the encounters with art that give such a life meaning. 
Also, Nick Pinkerton, author of Goodbye to Dragon Inn, returns to recommend The Dog of the South by Charles Portis.

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