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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: November, 2023
Nov 24, 2023

Writer, musician, and critic Sasha Frere-Jones joins Kate Wolf to discuss his first book, Earlier. A non-chronological memoir, Earlier collects fragments of Frere-Jones's life: intimate recollections, minor triumphs, path-defining moments, failures, loves, losses, and all stations in-between. An artist formation story that is too humble to declare itself as such, the book enacts the simultaneity of memory, smashing the late 1960s, when Frere-Jones is born, against the 1990s, when he arrives back home in New York, falls in love with his ex-wife, and begins to write in earnest and tour; the 1980s when he attends high school at Saint Ann's, college at Brown, and obsessively collects and listens to music, against the 1970s growing up in Brooklyn, wondering at aspects of his parents faltering finances and private lives. Like all noteworthy memoirs, it addresses both personal and collective history, pointing to a present bursting at the seams with the past.
Also, filmmaker Nicole Newnham, Director of The Disappearance of Shere Hite, returns to recommend Every Good Boy Does Fine: A Love Story, in Music Lessons by Jeremy Denk.

Nov 17, 2023

Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher are joined by award-winning director Nicole Newnham to discuss her latest film, The Disappearance of Shere Hite. The documentary explores the life and work of Shere Hite, a sexological researcher whose 1976 book The Hite Report on Female Sexuality brought the private reality of women's sexual experience into mainstream consciousness and became one of the bestselling books of all time. But the male cultural anxiety sparked by the book's findings generated a powerful backlash to Hite's work in popular media, making her a pariah and driving her into a self-imposed European exile after which she largely receded from American public consciousness. Eric, Medaya, and Nicole discuss the larger cultural frameworks of Shere Hite's story, the enduring legacy of her research, and how restoring a feminist firebrand from the past might help us navigate ongoing battles for gender and sexual liberation in the present.
Also, Justin Torres, fresh from winning the National Book Award for his novel Blackouts, returns to recommend My Body is Paper, a collection of previously unpublished writings by Gil Cuadros, as well as City of God by Cuadros.

Nov 10, 2023

Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher are joined by writer and professor, Dan Sinykin. His new book is called Big Fiction: How Conglomeration Changed the Publishing Industry, which chronicles the many changes publishing has undergone in the past 50 years, starting in 1965 when Random House was bought by an electronics company. Since then we’ve seen the radical conglomoration of publishing, as small independent houses were bought up by multinational companies, slowly forming the Big Five. Dan writes about the way these changes affected the books we read — what editors buy, what readers expect, and even, what writers write. He covers everything from the rise of mass-market paperbacks to the establishment of prestigious non-profits, hoping to protect literature from the market.
Also, Dorothea Lasky, whose new collection of poems is called The Shining, returns to recommend two books: Eileen by OIttessa Moshfegh and Hermetic Definition by H.D.

Nov 3, 2023

Medaya Ocher and Eric Newman speak with author Justin Torres about his latest novel, Blackouts. As they discuss the novel's layered revelation of both the characters' lives and the real queer history into which they are imaginatively woven, the conversation explores queerness as a literary identity, history as a particular site of queer desire, and how we tell the stories that make us intelligible to ourselves and others.
Also, Anna Biller, author of Bluebeard's Castle, returns to recommend Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys.

 

 

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