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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: February, 2023
Feb 24, 2023

Medaya Ocher and Eric Newman speak to Laura Poitras about her latest documentary, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, recently nominated for an Academy Award. The film explores the efforts of celebrated photographer Nan Goldin and a group of activists to compel arts institutions to refuse donations from the Sackler pharmaceutical family and remove their names from the walls of the many exhibits and museums they fund in recognition of the damage their highly lucrative opioid OxyContin has wreaked in communities across America.
Blending an intimate and revealing look at Goldin's with footage of the group's actions against the Sacklers, this moving documentary offers a powerful account of art, activism, and the struggle to be heard above the clamor of wealth and the cultural and political power it concentrates.
Also, Ann Goldstein, translator of Alba de Cespedes' Forbidden Notebook, returns to recommend The Cazalet Chronicles, a five book series, by Elizabeth Jane Howard.

Feb 17, 2023

Medaya Ocher and Kate Wolf speak with the celebrated translator Ann Goldstein, whose most recent translated work is a novel called Forbidden Notebook by Alba de Céspedes. Ann Goldstein is a former editor at the New Yorker, where she worked from 1974 to 2017. She began translating Italian literature in the ’90s and in 2005 she translated Elena Ferrante’s Days of Abandonment. She went on to translate Ferrante’s entire Neapolitan trilogy, starting with My Brilliant Friend. Goldstein’s latest translation, Forbidden Notebook, is a novel written by the Cuban-Italian writer Alba de Céspedes. First published in Italy in the 1950s, the novel centers around a woman who buys a notebook on a whim, and begins to furtively write in it, hiding it and herself from her husband and her children. Through the notebook, she begins to learn more about her desire, her guilt, and the sacrifices she has made for her family, her past, and her future.

Also, Maggie Millner, author of Couplets, returns to recommend The Call-Out: A Novel in Rhyme by Cat Fitzpatrick.

Feb 10, 2023

Maggie Millner joins Medaya Ocher and Kate Wolf to discuss her debut book, Couplets, a love story in verse, written in alternating chapters of couplets and prose poems. It’s about a woman whose life is good: she has a loving partner, caring friends, organic vegetables, plenty of tote bags. Everything changes when she meets a woman at a bar and falls deeply in love, beginning an intense, consuming affair. What follows is an exploration of selfhood — a body and heart turned inside out. Millner writes about the ways in which we discover ourselves, the power other people have over us, about being both subject and object. Couplets is about relationships, queerness, sex and desire, as well as the very act of writing all of that down and turning it into poetry.
Also, De'Shawn Charles Winslow, author of Decent People, returns to recommend What Napolean Could Not Do by DK Nnuro.

Feb 3, 2023

Kate Wolf and Eric Newman are joined by author De'Shawn Charles Winslow to speak about his novel, Decent People. The book is set in the fictional small town of West Mills, North Carolina, and takes place in 1976, when West Mill is still segregated. It focuses on a crime: the calculated murder of three siblings in their home. Marian, Marva, and Lazarus Harmon have been found dead, and there are plenty of people to suspect of having wanted to kill them, including their half-brother Lymp, whose fiancé Jo is determined to prove his innocence; Eunice, an acquaintance from church whose teenage son Marian has wronged; Savannah, who was close friends with Marva and shared a drug habit with her; and Savannah’s father, Ted, who served as the landlord of the siblings’ pediatric practice in town. Alternating perspectives between many of these characters, the novel untangles the tightly knit and interrelated stories of people in a community who know each other intimately—sometimes too intimately for comfort—and considers the ways in which the need for privacy and autonomy can corrode into secrecy, even conspiracy, as well as the harmful effects of racism and homophobia across decades.
Also, Kathryn Ma, author of The Chinese Groove, returns to recommend Gish Jen's short story collection Thank You, Mr. Nixon.

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