LA Review of Books-logo

LA Review of Books

Books & Literature

The Los Angeles Review of Books is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and disseminating rigorous, incisive, and engaging writing on every aspect of literature, culture, and the arts. The Los Angeles Review of Books magazine was created in part as a response to the disappearance of the traditional newspaper book review supplement, and, with it, the art of lively, intelligent long-form writing on recent publications in every genre, ranging from fiction to politics. The Los Angeles Review of Books seeks to revive and reinvent the book review for the internet age, and remains committed to covering and representing today’s diverse literary and cultural landscape.

The Los Angeles Review of Books is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and disseminating rigorous, incisive, and engaging writing on every aspect of literature, culture, and the arts. The Los Angeles Review of Books magazine was created in part as a response to the disappearance of the traditional newspaper book review supplement, and, with it, the art of lively, intelligent long-form writing on recent publications in every genre, ranging from fiction to politics. The Los Angeles Review of Books seeks to revive and reinvent the book review for the internet age, and remains committed to covering and representing today’s diverse literary and cultural landscape.

Location:

Los Angeles, CA

Description:

The Los Angeles Review of Books is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and disseminating rigorous, incisive, and engaging writing on every aspect of literature, culture, and the arts. The Los Angeles Review of Books magazine was created in part as a response to the disappearance of the traditional newspaper book review supplement, and, with it, the art of lively, intelligent long-form writing on recent publications in every genre, ranging from fiction to politics. The Los Angeles Review of Books seeks to revive and reinvent the book review for the internet age, and remains committed to covering and representing today’s diverse literary and cultural landscape.

Language:

English


Episodes

Art in an Emergency: Talking to Olivia Laing and Lucy Ives

5/23/2020
Kate and Medaya talk to the critic and writer Olivia Laing about her new collection of essays Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency. The three discuss the role of art in dark times, Olivia’s environmental activist youth and what she turns to during a crisis. Then, Lucy Ives joins the hosts to discuss the legacy of the artist, architect and writer Madeline Gins, whose work was recently collected into a comprehensive reader titled The Saddest Thing is That I Have Had to Use Words.

Duration:00:54:34

Wayne Koestenbaum's Whirlwind of Wit & Wisdom

5/16/2020
One surefire way to lift yourself out of the shelter-in-place doldrums is to engage with someone whose enthusiasm for life and literature is more infectious than any coronavirus. Wayne Koestenbaum joins Kate, Eric, and Daya to discuss his new collection of essays Figure it Out; what ensues is a conversation with exuberant inspirations at every turn. Share this one with your friends, it will renew their faith in living the literary life. Also, Cathy Park Hong, author of Minor Feelings,...

Duration:00:44:59

Cathy Park Hong Reckons with Minor Feelings

5/9/2020
Writer, editor, and poet Cathy Park Hong joins Medaya Ocher for a dialogue about her new book Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning, which is a blend of memoir, history, and cultural criticism that investigates what it means to live as an Asian American women and artist in America. Cathy and Daya learn that they shared some quirky experiences in their youth: wearing inappropriate t-shirts and how they struggled to conquer the english language. Cathy also explains her resonant eponymous...

Duration:00:44:35

A Time Capsule of Queer LA: Tom of Finland & Circus of Books

5/2/2020
This week we bring you two tales of lore from the olden days of Queer LA. First, Kate, Daya, and Eric are joined by Sharp and Durk Dehner from the Tom of Finland Foundation to tell the story of the legendary gay artist Touko Valio Laaksonen, who immigrated to Los Angeles, on the occasion of Tom's 100th birthday. Then, Rachel Mason drops by to talk about her documentary Circus of Books, which recently debuted on Netflix, about the legendary porn bookstore in Southern California that was owned...

Duration:00:42:42

Wow, it's Samantha Irby

4/25/2020
Feeling nostalgic for social anxiety? Go public vicariously with Samantha Irby! You may not conquer your fears, but you'll laugh so much you'll be happy about them. Samantha joins Kate, Eric, and Medaya to talk about her new collection of comic essays Wow, No Thank You, her experience writing for Hulu's hit series Shrill, TV writer's rooms in general, and Hollywood's one constant: fake kindness. The wit is accompanied by wisdom throughout; and, in a plague year, there's added resonance to...

Duration:00:47:52

Crime & Punishment & RuPaul’s Drag Race: Talking to Rufi Thorpe, author of The Knockout Queen

4/19/2020
This week, writer Rufi Thorpe joins Eric and Medaya to discuss her latest novel, The Knockout Queen. Rufi, Eric, and Medaya talk about love and violence in American culture, as well as our failed systems of justice. They also discuss RuPaul’s Drag Race, and the beauty of friendships, which brings one of our hosts to tears. Also, Felicia Angeja Viator, author of To Live and Defy in LA, returns to recommend Hari Kunzru's novel White Tears.

Duration:00:46:47

It Was A Good Day: Talking the Rise of Gangsta Rap with Felicia Angeja Viator

4/11/2020
This week, we're joined by Felicia Angeja Viator, author of To Live and Defy in LA: How Gangsta Rap Changed America. Eric, Kate and Medaya talk with Felicia about the rise of gangsta rap in Los Angeles, the sounds and culture that defined the era, the artists and performers who rose to stardom, and how we still see the effects of that sound in music today. Also, artist Harry Dodge, author of My Meteorite, returns to recommend Crudo A Novel by Olivia Laing

Duration:00:47:37

Literary LA: Our Meteoric Quarantine with Harry Dodge

4/4/2020
What better way to break out of the stay-in-place doldrums, and reflect on this transformational moment, than to consider the role of the random in the creation of the new with one of our most brilliant shape-shifters, artist Harry Dodge. Kate, Medaya, and Eric speak with Harry from four different locations across Southern California on the occasion of the publication of his first, already-heralded, book, My Meteorite. Harry talks about what motivated him to write, how he arrived at a form...

Duration:00:39:42

Coronavirus Quarantine Encore: A Podcast About Nothing with Jenny Odell

3/28/2020
From their disclosed locations, Kate, Eric, and Daya report on the new normal: cooking, enclosure, and a changed perspective on doing nothing. One thing they all agree on, it's a good time to give Jenny Odell another listen, so... Jenny Odell, author of How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, joins co-hosts Medaya Ocher and Kate Wolf to asses the state of the human soul in the age of social media reproduction. The verdict is clear: we need strategies of resistance. Constantly...

Duration:00:43:12

The Roots of California's Modernist Utopia: Tuberculosis and Teutonic Nudism

3/20/2020
"There's so much there, and it's so fascinating" observes co-host Kate Wolf after Lyra Kilston opens this week's podcast with a summary of her new book Sun Seekers: The Cure of California. Kate might as well be talking about the entire history, brief yet spectacular, of Southern California. This week's show unveils another of the spectacular paradoxes that define the rise of the Golden State Paradise/Dystopia - the relationship between California Modernism to European Sanatorium culture. If...

Duration:00:34:52

The Mystery of the Empty Nest: Journalist Joshua Hammer on Wildlife Crime

3/15/2020
Kate and Medaya talk to longtime journalist Joshua Hammer about his most recent book, The Falcon Thief: A True Tale of Adventure, Treachery, and the Hunt for the Perfect Bird. Joshua discusses the strange story of notorious egg smuggler, Jeffery Lendrum, and the wildlife detective who pursued him, as well as the larger repercussions of wildlife poaching, climate change and the global animal trade. Also, writer and producer Samantha Culp drops by to recommend a timely book, A Journal of the...

Duration:00:44:19

Best of Difficult Women

3/8/2020
...and now for something completely difficult. We are inaugurating a new project, the "Best of..." series. Inspired by our annual holiday season "Best of..." special, in which Eric, Kate, and Daya pick their faves from the previous year; the new series differs in one significant way, each episode is organized around one theme - today's is Difficult Women. So, expect to be challenged and meta-challenged! The show opens with a brief discussion about the new series; then Kate explains what...

Duration:00:37:02

The Wild Tales of Walter Mosley

2/29/2020
Tom Lutz sits down with legendary Los Angeles author Walter Mosley, recipient of LARB/UC Riverside Lifetime Achievement Award. Mosley, a master of contemporary noir, has written over 50 books, most famously Devil in a Blue Dress. In late 2019, Mosely published Elements of Fiction; and his most recent novel, Trouble Is What I Do, hit the bookstores this week. In his dialogue with Tom, Mosley spins tales about his childhood, his years as a young writer, and his experiences most recently in the...

Duration:00:50:22

Literary LA: Janet Fitch on Kate Braverman; and Tom Lutz's Slippy Debut

2/22/2020
Janet Fitch, author of the classic White Oleander, joins Kate and Medaya to discuss the life and work of Kate Braverman, a Los Angeles literary legend who passed in late 2019. Braverman was Janet's teacher, mentor, and later friend; and Janet reflects on the person she knew, tells tales of her in the classroom, and, of course, on the power of her work on the written page. Then, LARB's own Founder and Editor-in-Chief Tom Lutz joins Kate and Medaya for an extended conversation about his just...

Duration:00:54:58

Isabella Rossellini & the Links Between Us

2/14/2020
This week the legendary actress, model and filmmaker Isabella Rossellini joins co-hosts Kate and Medaya to discuss her new theatrical production, Link Link Circus, her studies into animal behavior, and her long career in film and TV. Isabella also discusses her most recent book, My Chickens and I; as well as her previous one, Green Porno, a hugely successful multi-media project that helped revive interest in one of Isabella's other loves, the short film form. Also, Charles Yu, author of...

Duration:00:34:16

Garth Greenwell's Cleanness

2/8/2020
Kate and Medaya talk with Garth Greenwell about his new book of fiction, Cleanness, the follow-up to his heralded debut What Belongs to You. Set in Bulgaria, where Greenwell taught in the wake of the global financial crisis of 2008 and the social crises that followed; the book's distinct nine chapters/stories focus on the narrator's life as a teacher as well as his romantic and sexual experiences. Also, Director Celine Sciamma, who's latest film is Portrait of a Lady on Fire, returns to...

Duration:00:46:05

Literary LA: Satire, Metafiction, Anti-Racist Critique in Charles Yu's Interior Chinatown

1/31/2020
Kate and Medaya talk with award-winning screenwriter and novelist Charles Yu about his new book, Interior Chinatown; an experimental, yet eminently enjoyable, novel-in-the-form-of-a-screenplay. Charles discusses how he came to write such a formally challenging book, in which the central character's world is defined by, and limited to, the horizons available to Asian and Asian-American characters in popular film and television. Also, J Hoberman, author of Make My Day: Movie Culture in the Age...

Duration:00:40:32

Viet Thanh Nguyen in Conversation with Tom Lutz

1/25/2020
LARB Editor-in-Chief Tom Lutz is joined by author and USC Professor Viet Thanh Nguyen, winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel The Sympathizer, at a recent LARB Luminary Dinner. Viet begins by talking about about his family's experience as refugees, and how that informs his writing; as well as his understanding of globalization, American politics and contemporary Vietnam. They then discuss the breadth of Viet's writing, how he approaches his fiction vs his non-fiction vs...

Duration:00:45:23

Portrait of a Feminist Filmmaker

1/19/2020
Celine Sciamma joins hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher to discuss her film Portrait of a Woman on Fire, which was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Golden Globes and won this year's Queer Palm at Cannes. Set in the 18th Century, the film is about the growing desire between a woman painter and her subject, a young woman about to marry a nobleman. The central action takes place on an island in which the men all-but-disappear. Claire discusses how she rejects the established ways that...

Duration:00:40:03

Hilton Als on His Playwrighting Debut: Robert Wilson, Race, and the Avant Garde

1/10/2020
Critic, photographer and artist, Hilton Als joins Kate and Medaya to discuss his debut play, Lives of the Performers, which tells the story of actress Sheryl Sutton, one of the lead actors in Robert Wilson's ground-shattering troupe in the 1970s. Als, the former theater critic at the New Yorker, also discusses his fascination with twins, writing a play, and the role race has played in the history of the avant-garde. The show also includes a spirited debate among the hosts about this year's...

Duration:00:41:20