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The Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and disseminating the best that is being and has been thought and written, with an enduring commitment to the intellectual rigor, the incisiveness, and the power of the written word. LARB is a community of writers, critics, artists, filmmakers and scholars committed to advanced literacy and the cultural relevance of the book review as public institution. KCRW partners with the LA Review of Books on this series of conversations with and about the written word.

The Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and disseminating the best that is being and has been thought and written, with an enduring commitment to the intellectual rigor, the incisiveness, and the power of the written word. LARB is a community of writers, critics, artists, filmmakers and scholars committed to advanced literacy and the cultural relevance of the book review as public institution. KCRW partners with the LA Review of Books on this series of conversations with and about the written word.
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Los Angeles, CA

Description:

The Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and disseminating the best that is being and has been thought and written, with an enduring commitment to the intellectual rigor, the incisiveness, and the power of the written word. LARB is a community of writers, critics, artists, filmmakers and scholars committed to advanced literacy and the cultural relevance of the book review as public institution. KCRW partners with the LA Review of Books on this series of conversations with and about the written word.

Language:

English


Episodes

The Science of Fiction: David Naimon on Ursula K Le Guin

7/19/2018
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This week's podcast is an homage to Ursula K Le Guin from her final collaborator. David Naimon joins co-hosts Kate Wolf, Medaya Ocher, and Eric Newman and explains the backstory to his new book, Ursula K Le Guin: Conversations on Writing, a collection of dialogues with the legendary author from Naimon's literary podcast, Between the Covers. Le Guin died unexpectedly before Naimon had completed the project; thus, her mortality did not hang over the proceedings. Still, Naimon, a master...

Duration:00:32:59

Mr. Rogers' Inclusive Neighborhood vs Trump's Gated America

7/12/2018
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Hosts Eric Newman and Kate Wolf sit down with documentary filmmaker Morgan Neville to discuss his latest work, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, which tackles the work and impact of Fred Rogers and his iconic children’s show. In a conversation that moves from Rogers’ recognition of the complex emotional life of children to his sense of television as his ministry for a more loving world, Neville outlines both the example and challenge that Rogers sets for us in an era when hatred and vitriol seem...

Duration:00:37:18

Joseph O'Neill is up to "Good Trouble"

7/5/2018
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Co-hosts Kate Wolf and Medaya Ocher talk with author Joseph O'Neill about his new collection of stories, Good Trouble. This show is a gem, full of reflections on 21st century mores, literature, politics, and crises. A master of contemporary language, O'Neill begins by playfully challenging a description of his characters - and away we go - as he reflects upon his craft and the task of representing the inner lives of the "American educated bourgeoisie" which he describes as "still a...

Duration:00:37:20

Rebecca Makkai and the Burdens of History

6/28/2018
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Author Rebecca Makkai joins co-hosts Eric Newman, Medaya Ocher, and Kate Wolf to discuss her heralded new novel, The Great Believers, which tells two parallel and inter-related stories: one of the AIDS epidemic ravaging the Chicago gay community in the 1980s; the other, set in Paris in 2015, about a woman, Fiona, searching for her daughter, who has joined a cult. The connection is Fiona, who had become a caretaker for the men dying 30 years earlier in Chicago. Rebecca explains how she...

Duration:00:43:38

"Would You Have Waited for Me?" Tayari Jones' An American Marriage

6/21/2018
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Author Tayari Jones joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher to talk about her latest novel, An American Marriage, that tells the story of an African-American couple that gets separated when the husband is falsely accused of a crime and receives a twelve year sentence. Tayari relates her inspiration. How she set out to research the impact of mass incarceration on families; but, fittingly, made no progress until she overheard an exchange from a couple at a mall. She realized that the key...

Duration:00:40:55

Johanna Drucker: The Ecological Longview

6/15/2018
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Co-hosts Kate Wolf and Medaya Ocher are joined by UCLA Professor Johanna Drucker, author most recently of a novel Downdrift and a work of social philosophy, The General Theory of Social Relativity. The conversation begins with Downdrift, a tale narrated by an Archaeon, the world’s oldest surviving species, who relates how non-human species are increasingly adopting human behavior in a world dominated by the ever-more-destructive Homo Sapiens Sapiens. As Johanna explains, we happily...

Duration:00:43:15

Carmen Maria Machado and Jenny Zhang

6/7/2018
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This week’s podcast is another Doubleheader, featuring interviews with Carmen Maria Machado and Jenny Zhang recorded at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. First up, co-hosts Eric Newman, Kate Wolf, and Medaya Ocher speak with Carmen Maria Machado about her heralded collection, Her Body and Other Parties, an eclectic set of fictions that both revels in, and challenges, the standard tropes of a wide variety of genres. Carmen also drops hints about what to expect from her upcoming...

Duration:00:45:53

Morgan Jerkins’ Vulnerable Bravery

5/31/2018
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Morgan Jerkins, author of This Will Be My Undoing, talks with co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher about tackling the personal as political as a black woman author in these troubled times, nuancing what each of those terms mean. Morgan also talks about the struggle that all writers face – the voices inside our heads telling us that we can’t or shouldn’t – and how she found the balance between acknowledging vulnerability while embracing bravery. Also, Ijeoma Oluo returns to recommend...

Duration:00:31:43

Wim Wenders on Pope Francis: The Man and His Words

5/24/2018
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Wim Wenders, one of cinema's greatest living directors, drops by to tell co-hosts Medaya Ocher and Kate Wolf the astonishing story behind his new documentary Pope Francis: A Man of His Word. Given unprecedented access, Wenders witnessed the Pope walk the walk in the footsteps of his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi; his revolutionary statements on the environment and the economy flowing from his genuine love for nature and compassion for every individual. Across the interview, Wenders...

Duration:00:28:36

Talking About Race with Ijeoma Oluo

5/17/2018
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Ijeoma Oluo, author of So You Want to Talk About Race, joined co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher for a discussion on race in America at The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Ijeoma begins with the tale of how she became a social media superstar when she bravely highlighted a set of racist posts targeting her, and then exposed Facebook's shameful response (the company temporarily banned Ijeoma). The episode confirmed her status as a prominent truth-telling voice on the digital...

Duration:00:41:03

Ryan Holiday on Nick Denton, Peter Thiel, and the Conspiracy against Gawker

5/10/2018
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This week's LARB Podcast is a master class in 21st Century power relations, as Ryan Holiday discusses his sensational new book Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue with co-hosts Eric Newman and Kate Wolf. Befitting our time, this one episode has more salacious subterfuge than your favorite serial podcast: sex tapes, the blogosphere, rival visions of LGBTQ liberation, free speech wars, the crisis of journalism, and, in the end, the overwhelming force of...

Duration:00:47:32

In the Frame: Los Angeles & Sharp Women Writers

5/3/2018
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This week's show features interviews with authors Lynell George and Michelle Dean. First up, Lynell talks with LARB Radio's Janice Rhoshelle Littlejohn about After/Image: Los Angeles Outside the Frame, her new collection of essays about, and photos of, Los Angeles. The conversation, both historical and personal, celebrates LA while mourning the fraying of communities and the decline of human-scale connection as the city grows wealthier and more cosmopolitan. Then, Michelle is joined by...

Duration:00:44:24

A Deep Dive into Pop Culture with Hanif Abdurraqib

4/26/2018
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Hanif Abdurraqib may just be the most poignant raconteur of culture in the age of Donald Trump. Hanif joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher to talk about They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us, his magisterial collection of essays on the contemporary music scene; and all the pain, pleasure, promise, disappointment, pasts and presents, communities and self that he finds there. The interview, like Hanif's writing, conveys what it feels like to be awake, fully observant inside the...

Duration:00:41:12

Ayelet Waldman's Psychedelic Salvation

4/19/2018
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What if a highly illegal drug could be used, far more successfully than prescribed pharmaceuticals, to help people with depression and bi-polar disorder? Who would be willing not just to experiment on themselves, but also to spread the word? LARB Radio's Medaya Ocher talks with just such a brave soul, Ayelet Waldman, author of A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life. Recorded in front of a full house at Scripps College, it's a...

Duration:01:04:17

Junot Diaz Writes for a New Generation

4/12/2018
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What motivates a great novelist to write a children's book? Author Junot Diaz joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Kate Wolf to discuss the inspiration behind Islandborn, the story of five year-old Lola learning about her family's history and culture, beautifully illustrated by Leo Espinoza. What follows is a penetrating conversation about the severe under-representation of people of color in children's books, the long-overdue reckoning that needs to happen across society, the genius of...

Duration:00:34:15

The Science of Feelings and the Origins of Culture

4/5/2018
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How do cultural practices become established? Why do we live in the way that we do? For generations social scientists, philosophers, and even psychologists have emphasized the centrality of human rationality as the arbiter of cultural development. USC Professor of Neuroscience, Psychology and Philosophy Antonio Damasio suggests otherwise in his latest book, The Strange Order of Things: Life, Feeling, and the Making of Cultures. As Professor Damasio explains to co-hosts Tom Lutz and Eric...

Duration:00:41:44

Sean Penn Latest Role: Novelist

3/29/2018
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At the top of the show, Sean Penn reflects on how his just-released first novel, Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff, had its roots in his effort to intervene in the 2016 presidential election. So after Trump's victory, Penn continued with Bob Honey to investigate the ways in which we're all complicit in this catastrophic outcome; and what better mode to take all that on than a Pynchonesque, Foster Wallace-inspired antic tale, an absurdist/realist fiction. Co-hosts Eric Newman and Kate Wolf don't...

Duration:00:30:49

Maxine Hong Kingston: Warrior of Peace

3/22/2018
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The great author reflects on a lifetime of writing, an unorthodox career, and her current work as a teacher and healer, which couldn't be more relevant for our troubled times. Under a majestic oak in Reza Aslan and Jessica Jackley's beautiful backyard, Maxine Hong Kingston talks with LARB Radio's Tom Lutz and answers questions from an audience hanging on her every word. It was an evening rife with wisdom, charm, laughter, and confrontations with some of life's greatest challenges; a true...

Duration:00:55:49

Dispatches From The Border

3/16/2018
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In a penetrating interview, LARB Radio host Kate Wolf talks with author Francisco Cantu about his new book The Line Becomes a River, an impressionistic chronicle of his five year stint as an agent for the United States Border Patrol, his emotional fallout from the experience, and his reflections on the humanitarian crisis of the US-Mexico border. Cantu also offers his thoughts on the controversy that has surrounded this book, stemming from criticism from immigration rights activists; as...

Duration:00:42:01

Bassem Youssef's Revolutionary Comedy

3/8/2018
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Bassem Youssef, author of Revolution for Dummies: Laughing through the Arab Spring, joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher to discuss what it's like to launch an entirely new genre in the Middle East - mass media political satire (modeled upon Jon Stewart's Daily Show) - and then become Egypt's most popular TV host before having to flee the country. Youssef has lost none of his wit or political insight since his days on center stage of an actual revolution; and the conversation is...

Duration:00:32:18