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2: Idra Novey and Esmé Wang Talk Mental Health and Writing

10/18/2018
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In this episode of the Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast, Idra Novey and Esmé Wang talk to hosts V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell about Brett Kavanaugh, Christine Blasey Ford, trauma, and mental health. Readings for the episode: · The Border of Paradise by Esmé Wang · The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Wang (forthcoming) · Esmé Wang's website · “Perdition Days: On Experiencing Psychosis,” by Esme Wang · “The Silence of Sexual Assault in Literature,” by Idra Novey · Ways to Disappear and...

Duration:01:09:23

1: MFA vs. Everything

10/4/2018
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In this episode of the Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast, fiction writers Elizabeth McCracken and Tony Tulathimutte and poets Kathryn Nuernberger and Hadara Bar-Nadav talk about graduate programs in creative writing with hosts V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell. Readings for the episode: · The Program Era by Mark McGurl· “MFA vs POC,” The New Yorker, Junot Diaz· “The Writers’ Workshop,” by Frank Conroy, from Dogs Bark but the Caravan Rolls On· POC Mentorship: Graduate Faculty Writers of...

Duration:01:15:47

26: Garrard Conley and SJ Sindu on the Mainstreaming of Queer Identity

9/20/2018
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In this episode of the Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast, fiction writers Garrard Conley and SJ Sindu discuss writing about queer identity with hosts V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell. In part one, Conley talks about having his book Boy Erased adapted for film, and writing about the evangelical community. In the show’s second half, Sindu talks about writing about the closet, and how the publishing industry imagines readers will react to content about queer people of color. Readings for the...

Duration:01:05:43

25: Nathaniel Rich and Juliana Spahr: As the World Burns, Trump Tweets

9/6/2018
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For episode 25 of the Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast, novelist and journalist Nathaniel Rich and poet and activist Juliana Spahr discuss writing about climate change and ecological destruction with hosts V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell. In part one, Rich discusses the history and craft behind his groundbreaking New York Times Magazine article “Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change.” Next, Spahr talks about her recent Harper’s poem “A Destruction Story,” Trump’s use...

Duration:01:09:07

24: All About the Green: Getting That Big, Fat Writer's Advance

8/23/2018
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In this episode of the Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast, critic and editor Oscar Villalon and novelist and screenwriter Arthur Phillips discuss book advances and the effects of finances on creativity with hosts V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell. In part one, Villalon explains how advances work, and why the publishing industry uses them. In the show’s second half, Phillips chronicles how his finances have changed over the course of his career as a bestselling fiction writer. Readings •...

Duration:01:08:40

24: All About the Green: Getting That Big, Fat Writer's Advance

8/23/2018
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In this episode of the Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast, critic and editor Oscar Villalon and novelist and screenwriter Arthur Phillips discuss book advances and the effects of finances on creativity with hosts V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell. In part one, Villalon explains how advances work, and why the publishing industry uses them. In the show’s second half, Phillips chronicles how his finances have changed over the course of his career as a bestselling fiction writer. Readings •...

Duration:01:08:40

23: James Traub and Margot Livesey on Decency vs. Moral Weakness

8/9/2018
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In this episode of the Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast, writers James Traub and Margot Livesey discuss the idea of morally weak characters with hosts V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell. In part one, Traub talks moral weakness, the concept of decency in the public sphere, and his recent Atlantic article about the Strzok hearing. Livesey explores the morally weak character in her novel Mercury, fiction and moral failings in the private sphere, and famously flawed characters in literary...

Duration:01:09:22

22: Alice Bolin and Kristen Martin on the Problem With Dead Girl Stories

7/26/2018
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In this episode of the Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast, writers Alice Bolin and Kristen Martin talk with Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan about the appeal and popularity of stories that revolve around dead girls and women. Bolin, author of Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession, discusses why we seek out stories that depict violence against women and how we can be more deliberate and reflective in our consumption of true crime. Kristen Martin, author of “Why We Love—and...

Duration:00:49:29

21: Mira Jacob and Pamela Paul Talk Reboots & Superheroes

7/12/2018
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Writers Pamela Paul and Mira Jacob talk with V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell about the literary side of reboots, comics, and superheroes. Editor of the New York Times Book Review Pamela Paul (the author of My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues) talks about the relevance and impact of literary retellings and her life as a reader. Mira Jacob, author of the novel The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing and the forthcoming graphic memoir Good Talk: Conversations...

Duration:01:09:49

20: #FamiliesBelongTogether: a Conversation

6/28/2018
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Writers Cristina Henriquez and Edwidge Danticat talk with V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell in an episode about the urgent issue of keeping immigrant families together and resisting their mass incarceration and detention. Henriquez, author of The Book of Unknown Americans, talks about the tragic real-life inspiration for her short story “Everything Is Far from Here” and the differences between Obama-era immigration policy and the policy of the current administration. Danticat, a...

Duration:01:09:42

19: Writing About Mass Incarceration Across Genres, Part II

6/14/2018
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Writers Tayari Jones and DaMaris B. Hill talk with V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell in the second of two special episodes on the effects of mass incarceration on American communities and democracy. Jones, author of the New York Times bestseller An American Marriage, discusses the collateral effects of incarceration, the disproportionate financial burden on women, and allowing characters hope. Hill, a scholar and poet, talks about the link between poverty and incarceration, inspiration...

Duration:01:08:14

18: Writing About Mass Incarceration Across Genres

5/31/2018
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Poet and memoirist Reginald Dwayne Betts and novelist Zachary Lazar join V.V Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell for the first of two special episodes on the effects of mass incarceration on American communities and democracy. Betts, a poet, memoirist and lawyer who was incarcerated as a young man, talks about writing in different genres, as well as the experience of having friends and colleagues write about his character to support his application to the bar and our collective impulse to be...

Duration:01:09:37

17: The Return of Socialism in America?

5/17/2018
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In recent years, socialism has been on the rise—or was it ever really gone? In episode 17, V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell talk to Dana Goldstein of The New York Times about what it’s like to cover teacher walkouts and strikes today, and how today’s actions compare to those she wrote about in her bestselling book, The Teacher Wars, which covers the history of teaching in America. Later in the show, Thomas Frank of Listen, Liberal fame gives us a sneak preview of the final essay in...

Duration:01:08:56

16: Fate and Fortune: What Are We Responsible For

5/3/2018
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Was this episode our destiny? In episode 16, Jess Row and Meghan O’Rourke talk fate and fortune with V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell. Jess Row speaks first about race and fate, his novel Your Face in Mine, and his upcoming essay collection, White Flights. Then Meghan O’Rourke talks about how she saw her poem “My Life as a Subject” back when she wrote it, and how she understands it now, as well as her writing about the #MeToo movement and about illness. What are we responsible for,...

Duration:01:07:43

15: So, Who's Funny in the Age of Trump?

4/19/2018
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In episode 15, V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell ask who’s funny in the age of Trump, and how they’re managing to pull it off. They talk to Sloane Crosley, author of the new essay collection, Look Alive Out There, about the humor of the everyday and the freedom and subversiveness of not writing about the president. The also speak to Alexandra Petri of The Washington Post’s ComPost column, whose column features humorous takes on political news ranging from James Comey’s book release to...

Duration:01:06:39

14: All Fiction is Crime Fiction

4/5/2018
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In episode 14, V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell examine the omnipresent American comfort narrative of mystery and crime fiction. Why do we love crime stories so much? How do they shape the way that we think about a whole host of real-world issues from the Mueller investigation to Black Lives Matter and the shootings of young black men by police? They are joined for this discussion by Mat Johnson, author of the novels Loving Day, Pym, Drop, and Hunting in Harlem, the nonfiction novella...

Duration:00:55:09

13: At the Intersection of Nationalism, Religion, and Social Media

3/22/2018
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Earlier this month, mob attacks on Sri Lanka’s minority Muslim community prompted a state of emergency in that country, and a temporary ban on Facebook and other social media applications. In Episode 13, V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell speak to Meera Srinivasan, The Hindu’s Sri Lanka correspondent, about her reporting on those incidents and the rise of Sinhala Buddhist hardliners in Sri Lanka, as well as the parallels she sees between that situation and the rise of populism in the...

Duration:01:08:00

12: #Neveragain and the Hope of Student Protest

3/8/2018
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In mid-February, seventeen students and adults were shot at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In the aftermath, surviving students have led a powerful campaign for gun control. In episode 12, V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell bring you two authors—and a pile of books—that have covered the territory of school shootings, activism, and coming of age. First, Jim Shepard discusses his 2004 novel Project X, which is told from the POV of an eighth-grader who decides...

Duration:01:08:10

11: Annihilation, Adaptation: What's It Really Like to Have Your Book Made Into a Movie

2/22/2018
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In episode 11, V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell offer a very Lit Hub take on Academy Awards season. What’s the process really like when a book becomes a movie? How does Hollywood decide which books will work best for the big screen? For answers, they talk to production and development executive Christina Sibul, who worked on the Academy Award nominated book adaptations The House of Sand and Fog (2003) and Sideways (2004). Then author Jeff VanderMeer joins the show, fresh back from the...

Duration:01:07:01

10: Anti-Semitism and the Authoritarian Playbook

2/8/2018
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Recently, the Polish Senate passed a law that would criminalize any suggestions of complicity by the Polish state in Nazi war crimes, including the Holocaust. In episode 10, V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell talk to the novelist Steve Yarbrough about the nationalist Law and Justice party, which is behind the ban—and how their authoritarian tactics mirror those of the Trump Administration. Yarbrough's new novel, The Unmade World, is set in contemporary Poland and America. Then we talk...

Duration:01:06:00