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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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Location:

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

Queer Memoir Part Two: Feeling Mean with Myriam Gurba

1/19/2018
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Author and artist Myriam Gurba joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Kate Wolf for a conversation about her new book Mean, which is receiving effusive praise across the literary, art, and mainstream presses - including a glowing review from last week's guest, Jonathan Alexander, in the LA Review of Books. Billed as part True Crime Tale, part Ghost Story, part Queer coming-of-age Memoir; with all parts deformed by an epidemic of sexual assault and violence in Myriam's hometown - it sounds a...

Duration: 00:33:51


Queer Memoir Part One: Feeling Creepy with Jonathan Alexander

1/11/2018
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Memoirist, composition theorist, and educator Jonathan Alexander joins hosts Eric Newman and Kate Wolf to talk about his new critical memoir "Creep: a Life, a Theory, an Apology." With wit and sharpness, Alexander walks us through the definitional morass that informs our cultural accounts of the "creep" in a wide ranging discussion that shuttles from the Deep South to Hollywood to the White House. Also, author Janet Fitch return to recommend Sergei Dovlatov's The Suitcase: A Novel.

Duration: 00:36:19


Russia, Romance, Revolution! Janet Fitch’s The Revolution of Marina M

1/4/2018
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Janet Fitch, author of the legendary novel White Oleander, joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher to talk about her new work, The Revolutions of Marina M, which tells the story of a young woman poet coming of age in the heady, early days of the October Revolution. Fitch talks about her approach to writing such a sweeping novel, her visits to Russia before and after the collapse of the Soviet Union, how she's able to represent sex so well on the page, and the importance of balancing...

Duration: 00:37:41


Masha Gessen on Russia's Evolution from Soviet Socialism to Putinism

12/29/2017
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Wasn't the collapse of the Soviet Union supposed to herald the dawn of a new era of unfettered freedom, liberal democracy, and the end of history? Instead Russia moved rapidly from Autocratic Socialism to Autocratic Oligarchy. Masha Gessen talks with co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher about why she chose to investigate this world-historical disappointment by talking to young people who witnessed this calamitous transition first-hand. The result is Gessen's National Book Award-nominated...

Duration: 00:34:23


Ragnaroket Science: Clifford Johnson's Comic Book Explains the Universe

12/21/2017
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USC Professor of Physics Clifford Johnson joins LARB's Eric Newman to discuss his new work of natural philosophy The Dialogues: Conversations About the Nature of the Universe, which also happens to be a comic book (from MIT Press no less, move over Marvel!). Sure, the popular form is a strategy to engage a larger audience with ideas that Johnson affirms are already widely considered, just not as dull/intimidating science; but that doesn't diminish the Johnson's achievement, as a presenter...

Duration: 00:37:18


Errol Morris Investigates the Death of Truth in America

12/15/2017
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It's the question on everyone's mind: how the hell did we get here, Donald Trump's America? Where did it all go wrong? LARB's Tom Lutz talks with Errol Morris about his brilliant new film Wormword, which debuts this week on Netflix, and how it relates to this mystery. As Morris explains, a society that builds powerful, secretive, violent institutions cannot also be an honest democracy with citizens who demand to know the truth - and what better way to deliver this message than an uncanny,...

Duration: 00:33:04


Controversial Jews

12/7/2017
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This week's LARB Radio Hour features two full length interviews, both all about conspicuous, yet mysterious, New York Jews. In the first, the celebrated documentary team of Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady talk about what inspired them to focus their lens on a few brave souls who decided to leave the tight knit Hasidic community in their new film One of Us, which recently debuted on Netflix. Heidi and Rachel felt these tales would reveal much about the human spirit, the vulnerability of those...

Duration: 01:13:55


Freeman’s Bright Future for New Writing Across the Globe; plus Kurniawan’s Beauty is a Wound

11/30/2017
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Who are the writers pushing the boundaries of contemporary literature? How are they doing so? And where can they be found? No small matter this; especially since, unlike previous avanty-gardes, they’re now found all across the globe. Legendary editor John Freeman, of Granta fame, accepted this challenge and his answer is the fourth edition of his journal Freeman's: The Future of New Writing. Twenty Nine authors made the cut. John shares his rationales for inclusion, and an abundance of...

Duration: 00:37:34


Liska Jacobs’ Catalina: A Crash & Burn Tale for Our Times; plus Chris Kraus’ Video Green

11/22/2017
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Author Liska Jacobs joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher to discuss her heralded first novel Catalina, narrated in vibrant prose by a young woman destined for a fall during an outing with friends to the eponymous island off the coast from LA. Echoes of Gatsby and Brett Easton Ellis abound – decadence is a blast, but can’t slay demons – but this is very much a tale of our time; as we encounter a woman stranded, her career and identity collapsing following a failed affair with a...

Duration: 00:31:19


Robin Campillo's BPM Captures the Vitality & Tragedy of ACT UP Paris in the 90s; plus Canine Lit

11/16/2017
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Co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher are joined by filmmaker Robin Campillo, and actors Nahuel Perez Biscayart and Arnaud Valois - the Director and the stars, respectively, of 120 BPM, which won the Grand Prix at this year's Cannes Film Fstival - to discuss how they captured the spirit of the Parisian chapter of one of the most dynamic and transformative social movements in recent history, ACT UP; as well as the beautiful, tragic romance at the heart of the story. A reflection of the...

Duration: 00:40:35


Lynn Comella on the Feminst Sexual Revolution that Shook the Nation; + Katherine Heiny

11/9/2017
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Lynn Comella, author Vibrator Nation: How Feminist Sex-Toy Stores Changed the Business of Pleasure, joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Sarah Mesle, to discuss how a handful of Feminist entrepreneurs in the 1970s helped women in America and around the world take greater control of their own bodies and pleasure. The discussion couldn't be more timely in a month when our society is beginning to confront the patriarchal power relations that emboldens sexual predators. Vibrator Nation tells the...

Duration: 00:46:23


An Israeli & Palestinian Dinner at the Center of the Earth with Nathan Englander; & Rachel Cusk

11/2/2017
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Author Nathan Englander joins co-hosts Medaya Ocher and Eric Newman to discuss his ambitious new novel Dinner at the Center of the Earth, which is set inside the Israel/Palestine conflagration. In an energetic conversation, teeming with wit, Nathan also shares the despair he felt while living in Israel in 2000 at the collapse of the peace talks and beginning of the second intifada; and explains why he mixed the surreal and all-too-real in a work that strives to do nothing less than bring...

Duration: 00:41:42


Literary & Artistic Connections: Manchester to Oaxaca to LA; plus, Pankaj Mishra's Histories

10/26/2017
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This week’s show is a doubleheader. In game one, Award-winning poet & Mancunian Adam O’Riordan joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Boris Dralyuk, as well as author David Shook, to discuss the Manchester writing school, it’s partnership with LARB, the tradition of English letters in Southern California – and how to strengthen Los Angeles’ literary ties across the pond. In the nightcap, Eric, Boris, and David are joined by Amanda de la Garza, curator of an exhibit of contemporary Oaxacan murals...

Duration: 00:44:29


Ai Weiwei on Human Flow: Refugees, Art, History, Spirit & Nature

10/19/2017
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Artist, architect, and activist Ai Weiwei joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher to discuss his new feature-length film Human Flow; and the on-going global refugee crisis that it documents. The conversation weaves through matters central to 21st Century humanity: digital technology, globalization, national identity, economic inequality, climate catastrophes, and refugees - as well as more eternal themes like beauty, human vulnerability, and how we bear witness to the mystery of...

Duration: 00:34:41


Karen Tei Yamashita's Letters to Memory; plus Sylvia by Leonard Michaels

10/12/2017
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Karen Tei Yamashita, one of the most celebrated American novelists of her generation, turns historian/archeologist with Letters to Memory, an investigation into the lived experience of the World War Two Japanese Internment Camps, as revealed by the words and images from her family's archive. Karen joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher to discuss how this striking new work came to be, her political motivations, and the importance of bringing forward the tremendous impact this horrible...

Duration: 00:33:31


Orange County: A Literary Field Guide; plus Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow's Age of the Walkman

10/5/2017
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A LARB Radio Double-Header! First, Author, Academic, and OC resident Andrew Tonkovich joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher to talk about the all-but-unknown, but surprisingly excellent, literary tradition of Orange County. Andrew and his wife, poet Lisa Alvarez, have compiled a collection of stories, essays, and memoirs about (or reflective of) LA County's more right-wing neighbor - and the list of contributors is as impressive as the content itself. Andrew talks about some of his...

Duration: 00:43:11


Chiara Barzini's Los Angeles Before the Earthquake; plus, Play Dead by Francine Harris

9/28/2017
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Award-winning Italian screenwriter and English Language Novelist Chiara Barzini joins co-hosts Medaya Ocher and Eric Newman to talk about Things that Happened Before the Earthquake, which tells the story of an adolescent girl who moves with her family from Rome to LA in the early '90s. The conversation centers on the experience of moving to a massive, mythical city without a center; the turmoil of the Rodney King era; and the nuances of a coming-of-age immigrant tale. Also, Natalie Graham...

Duration: 00:29:07


Natalie J Graham Begin with a Failed Body; plus Russian Emigre Short Stories after October 1917

9/21/2017
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Cave Canem award winning poet Natalie J Graham talks with hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher about her collection Begin with a Failed Body. The discussion opens about failure, imperfect bodies, and fallible memories; detours through hip-hop and black culinary traditions; and weaves through history to hope and pleasure. Also, LARB's Boris Dralyuk drops to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution by recommending a collection of stories written in the wake of 1917: Russian...

Duration: 00:36:59


Dolores Huerta & Peter Bratt La Lucha Continua at 87; plus, David Plante's Difficult Women

9/14/2017
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Director Peter Bratt and the subject of his new Documentary, Dolores Huerta, talk with co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher about the making of the film Dolores; but in the hands of Dolores Huerta, every moment is an organizing moment - and the conversation flows across the central political issues of our time, much as the film tackles those from the past half-century and beyond. The message remains the same: everyone can take action to improve our lives and society, here's how you do it!...

Duration: 00:39:39


Trump’s “Empire of Disorientation”: Philosopher Hans Sluga on Donald Trump

9/8/2017
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Who is Donald Trump, and what does he stand for? Do we know? Does he himself know? Or is he caught in that precarious state of disorientation that characterizes our current political predicament. The public discourse is heated, the language inflammatory. Philosopher Hans Sluga of the University of California, Berkeley, brings a cool head and rational thinking to his interview about our 45th president, Donald Trump, with Entitled Opinions host Robert Harrison. Trump has been a real estate...

Duration: 01:06:28

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