Phillip B. Williams' "Ours'
LA Review of Books
by LA Review of Books
2d ago
Eric Newman speaks with Phillip B. Williams about his debut novel, Ours. A surrealist epic largely set in the American midwest both pre- and post-emancipation, the book tells the story of Saint, a conjure woman who uses her supernatural powers to liberate slaves and keep them safe in a magically secluded town near St. Louis. But as Saint's magic begins to falter and newcomers appear in the town, the residents chafe at her power over them, eager for a freedom, identity, and community forged on their own terms. In the interview, Williams discusses his novel's blend of diasporic traditions and sp ..read more
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Lucy Sante's "I Heard Her Call My Name: A Memoir of Transition"
LA Review of Books
by LA Review of Books
1w ago
Kate Wolf speaks to cultural critic and historian Lucy Sante about her latest book, I Heard Her Call My Name: A Memoir of Transition. It is the story of how as living as Luc for almost the entirety of her life, three years ago, she became Lucy. The book begins with the letter she sent her closest friends with the "bombshell" confession that the image of herself as a woman had been “the consuming furnace at the center” of her life, but that she had repressed it with almost equal force. Sante goes on to reflect back on that life, from her time growing up in Belgium as the only child of emotional ..read more
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Adam Shatz's "The Rebel’s Clinic: The Revolutionary Lives of Frantz Fanon"
LA Review of Books
by LA Review of Books
2w ago
Adam Shatz speaks with Kate Wolf and Eric Newman about his latest book, The Rebel’s Clinic: The Revolutionary Lives of Frantz Fanon. The book is both a biography of Fanon— one of the most important thinkers on race and colonialism of the last century— as well as an intellectual history that looks closely at his most seminal texts. Shatz uncovers the events that led to the writing of books such as Black Skin, White Masks and the Wretched of the Earth by following Fanon from his birth in Martinique (then a French colony), to his time serving in World War II, his studies in Lyon, his innovative w ..read more
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E.J. Koh's "The Liberators"
LA Review of Books
by LA Review of Books
1M ago
Medaya Ocher and Eric Newman are joined by E.J. Koh to discuss her debut novel, The Liberators, LARB Book Club's pick for Winter 2024. Widely acclaimed by critics, The Liberators tells the story of two families as they navigate love and survival from the Korean dictatorship of the early 1980s through the Sewol Ferry sinking of 2014. Between those bookending events lie a fraught terrain of marriage, birth, death, love, hope, and disappointment that unfurls itself across Korea and the United States. Moving from questions of form and diaspora to the relics that secure our belonging to places and ..read more
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Kohei Saito's "Slow Down: The Degrowth Manifesto"
LA Review of Books
by LA Review of Books
1M ago
The philosopher Kohei Saito speaks to Eric Newman and Kate Wolf about his book Slow Down: The Degrowth Manifesto. A critique of our insufficient response to the climate crisis, Slow Down aptly points to capitalism—its race for profits and endlessly expansive production— as the chief cause of our present emergency. The cure is not a green capitalism (such as what we see in proposals for a Green New Deal here in the United States) but rather degrowth: a vision for reorganizing labor, production, and consumption in ways that Saito argues are the only sustainable future. Drawing on previously unpu ..read more
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Lexi Freiman's "The Book of Ayn"
LA Review of Books
by LA Review of Books
1M ago
Medaya Ocher and Eric Newman are joined by author Lexi Freiman to discuss her latest novel, The Book of Ayn. A punchy satire of contemporary life, the story centers on Anna, a writer reeling from being cancelled after the New York Times dubs her novel classist. When Anna happens upon a group of Ayn Rand enthusiasts, she takes a shine to Rand's philosophy and biography, seeking to reorient her life around Rand's ideal of "rational selfishness." Across Anna's existential journey through Los Angeles and the Greek island of Lesbos, Freiman's by turns hilarious and poignant novel skewers and reckon ..read more
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Alicia Kennedy's "No Meat Required"
LA Review of Books
by LA Review of Books
1M ago
Eric Newman and Kate Wolf speak with writer Alicia Kennedy about No Meat Required: The Cultural History and Culinary Future of Plant-Based Eating. The book unpacks the ethical, spiritual, environmental, economic, and political dimensions of vegetarianism and veganism. It traces the emergence of meatless eating in the US, from 19th century religious groups to various subcultures—including commune-dwellers, Rastafarians, Buddhists, punks, ecofeminists and Black Nationalists—to the watershed moment of Frances Moore Lappé’s book, Diet for a Small Planet, published in 1971. Kennedy also interrogate ..read more
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Ed Park's "Same Bed Different Dreams"
LA Review of Books
by LA Review of Books
2M ago
Author Ed Park joins Kate Wolf and Eric Newman to discuss his new novel, Same Bed Different Dreams. It begins with a former writer named Soon Shen, who’s given up fiction for a cozy suburban life in upstate New York, working for a tech conglomerate. At a booze-soaked literary dinner back in Manhattan one night, Soon encounters a famous Korean author named Echo and later finds himself in possession of Echo’s new book, Same Bed, Different Dreams: Being A True Account of the Korean Provisional Government. This book presents an alternate history of the peninsula, one in which the KPG (a real organ ..read more
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The Best of 2023
LA Review of Books
by LA Review of Books
2M ago
Together we've travelled one more trip around the sun... and that means it's time for our favorite episode of the year! Kate, Medaya, and Eric share their favorite books, movies, TV shows, music, magazines (a new category!) and more in this look back at the year that was 2023 ..read more
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Blake Butler's "Molly"
LA Review of Books
by LA Review of Books
2M ago
Kate Wolf and Medaya Ocher speak with the writer and editor Blake Butler about his latest book, a memoir called Molly. Molly is dedicated to the poet and writer Molly Brodak, Butler's wife of three years. Molly committed suicide one spring afternoon, near the house they shared outside of Atlanta. After her death, Molly comes into clearer view, as the secrets and traumas she hid during her life begin to reveal themselves. The book is an extraordinarily honest account of her death, of their relationship, and of the way people manage to survive immense loss. Also, Andrew Chan, author of Why Maria ..read more
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