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Otherppl with Brad Listi

A weekly podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today's leading authors.
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Archives
Now displaying: 2012
Dec 30, 2012

Brian Allen Carr is today's guest. He is the award-winning author of the story collection Short Bus, and his latest collection, Vampire Conditions, is now available from Holler Presents.

Harrold Jaffe says

"Vampire Conditions melds a precise Texas regional with gothic, recalling Flannery O'Connor, who wrote out of Georgia. But Carr's intricate narrative patterns, jump cuts and unanticipated segueshave a distinctly postmodern feel. Any way you cut it, Brian Allen Carr is a potently eccentric writer."

And Robert Lopez raves

"At turns dark and brutal and wickedly funny, Brian Allen Carr's Vampire Conditions will put you in mind of Hannah, Pancake, Powell. This book will grab you by the throat and knock the wind out of you, will make you want to drive south, raise hell, hide out, call home, tell your friends."

Monologue topics:  dreams, childbirth, salad bars, fetuses, Christmas, doll houses, emasculation, 2012, passage of time.

Dec 26, 2012

Robert Kloss is the guest. His latest novel, The Alligators of Abraham, is now available from Mud Luscious Press.

David Ohle raves

"In this amazing, collapsed-time text, I’m led along dark alleys of American history by an all-seeing voice-over narrative that reports on things from a great height and in an ultra-factual way. Familiar events of war, sorrow and struggle are seen anew, as if on a slide under a microscope.”

And Adam Braver says

“In The Alligators of Abraham, Robert Kloss drops us into the darkness of the Civil War, showing a culture perpetually on the edge of extinction. Yet out of that murky world, hazed and fogged, rise the clear and distinct shapes of a people not ready to surrender to their own haunting. A novel as lyrical as it is precise in its depiction of the struggle to maintain dignity.”

Monologue topics:  burnout, empty-headedness, children's books, subversive kid poems, the power of one, ripple effects.

Dec 23, 2012

Mira Gonzalez is today's guest. Her debut poetry collection is called I Will Never Be Beautiful Enough to Make Us Beautiful Together. It is due out from Sorry House in late January 2013. 

Blake Butler says

"Mira Gonzalez’s brain spans the weird space between bodies stuffed with Ambien and food and light from porn on laptops in an anxious, calming kind of way, one concerned more with what blood tastes like than how the blood got out. It’s messed up and feels honest, open, like lying naked on the floor with your arms chopped off."

And Victor 'Kool A.D.' Vasquez says

"Mira Gonzalez is doing her thing. I fuck with these poems. I felt bad for her when she talked about how that dude said 'I’m gonna come on your stomach' like 15-20 times and then didn’t."

Monologue topics: Christmas, travel, my daughter, Best Parts / Worst Parts, sobbing fits, losing it.

Dec 19, 2012

Diana Wagman is the guest.  She is the author of four novels and a past recipient of the PEN West Award for Fiction. Her latest novel, The Care and Feeding of Exotic Pets, is now available from Ig Publishing. It is the December selection of The TNB Book Club.

Publishers Weekly raves

“Wagman’s talent for imagery is well served by the subject matter, and the story is perfectly paced, with humorous breaks in the tension. A PEN Center USA Award winner (for Spontaneous), Wagman has crafted an unusual thriller for psychological crime devotees and fans of the peculiar.”

And Book Page calls it

"...a dark, funny and sensitive thriller that might be the first of its kind: the Oedipal abduction tale.”

Monologue topics: holidays, heaviness, Sandy Hook, humanity, self-loathing, anger, depression, compassion. 

Dec 16, 2012

Ned Vizzini is today's guest. He is the award-winning author of It's Kind of a Funny Story (also a major motion picture), Be More Chill, and Teen Angst? Naaah.... In television, he has written for MTV and ABC. His essays and criticism have appeared in The New York Times, The Daily Beast, and Salon. He is the co-author, with Chris Columbus, of the fantasy-adventure series House of Secrets, due out in April 2013. And his latest novel, The Other Normals, is now availalbe from Balzer & Bray.

Lev Grossman raves

"The Other Normals is wildly imaginative, incredibly funny, and weirdly wise. I don’t know where Vizzini gets this stuff —it’s like he’s tapped into the collective unconscious of alienated adolescents everywhere."

And Kirkus says

"With a deft sense of humor and a keen ear for funny and realistic teen dialogue, Vizzini explores one teen everyman’s quest to become a hero, one roll of the six-sided die at a time …. Great geeky fun."

Monologue topics: flu, mail, doubt, self-sabotage, cannabis.

Dec 12, 2012

Zena el Khalil is the guest. She is an installation artist, curator, cultural activist, and author.  During the July 2006 attacks on Lebanon, her blog, beirutupdate.blogspot.co/uk, was published on CNN and the BCC.  In 2008, she was invited to speak at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, and earlier this year she was named a TED fellow. Her memoir, Beirut, I Love You, is now available in the United States in e-book format from NYRB Lit.

Gwyneth Paltrow raves

"Zena El Khalil brings the city and its current events to life through personal anecdotes about loss, tragedy, friendship, life as a young woman in a polarized city, and love for this conflicted, beautiful place she calls home."

And Publishers Weekly says

"Part love letter and part memoir, el Khalil’s work employs her artist’s eye and ear to depict Beirut during and after the Israeli attacks on the country’s south and the Lebanese civil war. No simple chronological narration, this is rather a highly personal, impressionistic depiction of events and emotions….  Her unflinching inside view of Beirut’s tragedy and of ‘Amreekan’ duplicity underscore why her 2006 blog beirutupdate.blogspot.com received international attention."

Monologue topics: Entertainment Capital of the World, iTunes ratings, Board, tweets.

Dec 9, 2012

Salvatore Pane is the guest. His chapbook, #KanyeWestSavedFromDrowning, was published by NAP in October, and his debut novel, Last Call in the City of Bridges, is now available from Braddock Avenue Books.

Stewart O'Nan raves

“Like his post po-mo Facebook generation, Michael Bishop, the manic narrator of Last Call in the City of Bridges, has reached the end of his irresponsible youth. Stuck and unsure, he looks back at those eight-bit Nintendo years with tender nostalgia while trying to feel his way forward.  Like The Moviegoer, Salvatore Pane’s debut novel is a romantic ironist’s plea for authenticity in a fantastic age.  It’s telling–and hilarious–that his hero’s model for male adulthood isn’t William Holden but Super Mario.”

And Tom Bissell says

“Quite obviously, Salvatore Pane’s mind has been dunked in video games, social media, comic books, the WebNet, and everything else our august literary authorities believe promote illiteracy. I’d like to hand the authorities Pane’s novel–a funny, moving, melancholy, sad, and immensely literate book about what being young and confused feels like these days–and tell them, ‘See? Things are going to be fine!’”

Monologue topics:  worldview, jackhammering, to-do lists, mental lethargy, flying dinosaurs, palm trees.

Dec 5, 2012

Lydia Millet is the guest. She is a Guggenheim fellow, a past recipient of the PEN-USA Award for Fiction, and her story collection, Love in Infant Monkeys (2009), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.  Her latest novel, Magnificence, is now available in hardcover from W.W. Norton and Company.

Jonathan Lethem raves

“[Magnificence is] elegant, darkly comic. . . with overtones variously of Muriel Spark, Edward Gorey and JG Ballard, full of contemporary wit and devilish fateful turns for her characters, and then also to knit together into a tapestry of vast implication and ethical urgency, something as large as any writer could attempt: a kind of allegorical elegy for life on a dying planet. Ours, that is.”

And Salon calls it

"Flawlessly beautiful."

Monologue topics:  chest colds, tuberculosis, the consumption, agent, manuscript, uncertainty, reading, the concept of "good" art, self-perception.

Dec 2, 2012

Eric Raymond is today's guest.  His debut novel, Confessions from a Dark Wood, is now available from Sator Press.

Sam Lipsyte raves

"The world of Eric Raymond's winning novel may be the 'post-idea economy,' but rest assured, the book is never post-smart, or post-funny. It's a rollicking and inventive corporate (and cultural) satire—get in now at the ground floor, people."

And Blake Butler says

"In a world where cash has become language, Eric Raymond's Confessions from a Dark Wood wastes no syllable in converting cultural mechanisms into a well-oiled, wise-cracking machine. Smart as Saunders, tight as Ellis, but banking waters of its own, after this one we'll no longer 'forget they built the Magic Kingdom on swamps.'"

Monologue topics:  December, The Piñatas, the waiting game, seasonal affective disorder, the holidays, gift ideas, TNB Books.

Nov 28, 2012

Erika Rae is today's guest. Her debut memoir, Devangelical, will be published by Emergency Press on December 11, 2012. 

Laurie Notaro, author of The Idiot Girl's Action-Adventure Club, raves

“I'm a believer that Erika Rae will make you cackle with heathen-like delight throughout Devangelical.”

And Frank Schaeffer, author of Crazy for God, says

"Devangelical strikes a darkly funny blow at the central nervous system of evangelical Christianity delivered by a former insider.”

Monologue topics: chest colds, worries, can you imagine me?, bad music, Jack Wagner, cultural tornados. 

Nov 25, 2012

Michael Kardos is the guest. His debut novel, The Three-Day Affair, is now available from Mysterious Press.

The New York Times says

Michael Kardos’s first novel, THE THREE-DAY AFFAIR (Mysterious Press, $24), is so disturbing it makes you wonder what he might have in mind for his second book. The plot is original, if distinctly bizarre: three friends who met at Princeton have left their wives at home and are headed for a golf club to celebrate their annual reunion when one of them — the self-made millionaire who lost his fortune in the dot-com crash — impulsively robs a convenience store and kidnaps the cashier. In a panic, Will Walker, who narrates this nightmare, drives them all to the independent recording studio where he works. What follows is a carefully calibrated study of how even the most highly evolved members of our species can become feral under pressure. (“I was an animal in the woods and I was making this other animal go away” is how one of them describes it.) Surprisingly, the violence proves less shocking than the purely vindictive acts of cruelty even the best of friends can inflict on one another.

Monologue topics:  Thanksgiving, illness, Disneyland, the Romneys, Black Friday, holiday misery, bitterness, attitude. 

Nov 21, 2012

Karen Engelmann is the guest.  Her debut novel, The Stockholm Octavo, is now available from Ecco. 

Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, says

"Neatly mixing revolutionary politics with the erotic tension and cutthroat rivalry of the female conspirators...Engelmann has crafted a magnificent, suspenseful story set against the vibrant society of Sweden’s zenith, with a cast of colorful characters balanced at a crux of history.”

And Library Journal, in a starred review, calls it

“Fantastic . . . This rollicking adventure story reads at times like a fairy tale, with Good Guys and Bad Guys and obstacles to be recognized and overcome. It’s all quite fun. As either historical novel or adventure story, this clever first novel should appeal to a broad range of readers."

Monologue topics:  mail, Sam Pink, Disneyland, Thanksgiving, exhaustion, The TNB Book Club.

Nov 18, 2012

Sam Pink is the guest.  He is the author of several books, including the novel Person.  And his latest novel, Rontel, is due out from Lazy Fascist Press in February 2013. 

Electric Literature raves

"Reading Sam Pink may make you a danger to society. The voice here in Rontel, as it was in Pink’s previous novel Person, is invasive. It will burrow its way deep into your brain and then echo through your gray matter. You will find yourself thinking the way his narrators think, and will then wonder if those fucked up thoughts tunneled in recently or if they were always there just waiting to be dug up."

Monologue topics:  email from a listener, elevator theater, reality television, Board

Nov 14, 2012

T.C. Boyle is the guest. He is the author of twenty-three books of fiction, including The Tortilla Curtain, Drop City, and World's End, for which he won the PEN/Faulkner award. His latest novel, San Miguel, is now available from Viking. 

Publishers Weekly raves

"Boyle’s epic saga of struggle, loss, and resilience tackles Pacific pioneer history with literary verve…[he] subtly interweaves the fates of Native Americans, Irish immigrants, Spanish and Italian migrant workers, and Chinese fisherman into the Waters’ and Lesters’ lives, but the novel is primarily a history of the land itself, unchanging despite its various visitors and residents, and as beautiful, imperfect, and unrelenting as Boyle’s characters."

And Terry Tempest Williams calls it

"A saga of women, three women brought to the island by men…Boyle has carved out a beautiful, damp, atmospheric novel, sharp and exacting…[his] spirited novels are a reckoning with consequence laced with humor, insight, and pathos."

Monologue topics: finishing the novel, extremely personal psycho-spiritual tweets, Board

Nov 11, 2012

Lisa Carver is the guest.  Also known as Lisa Suckdog, she is a writer and performance artist whose latest book is called Reaching Out with No Hands: Reconsidering Yoko Ono, now available from Backbeat Books.

 

Zoe Zolbrod, author of Currency, raves

"Lisa Carver can reveal surprising depths in Duran Duran lyrics, so imagine what she can do with a subject as rich as Yoko Ono. This book is a searching, brave, weird, great, historically broad, and highly personal interpretation of one of the most confounding artists of the last sixty years."

And Rachel Sherman, author of The First Hurt, says

"Lisa Carver s prose is the best kind: it reminds you of all the things you know but don t have the words for, and yet still feels completely new. This is a brave work unlike any other I have read."

Monologue topics:  insomnia, caffeine, Board excerpt.

Nov 7, 2012

Michael Kimball is the guest.  He is the author of four books, the latest of which is a novel called Big Ray, now available in hardcover from Bloomsbury. 

The Wall Street Journal calls it

"[An] astonishingly moving novel... We're left gasping for air... Danny's emotions unfold as slowly as the carefully dispensed facts of the story, and to mesmerizing effect... Big Ray is an appalling tale told with anger, dark humor and surprising tenderness."

And Sam Lipsyte raves

"Michael Kimball has been writing innovative, compelling and beautifully felt books for years, but Big Ray seems a break-through and culmination all at once. It's funny and terrifying and it's his masterpiece, at least so far.”

Monologue topics:  existential questioning, polar bears, the ocean, eating a burrito on the air, Board, fear of finishing. 

Nov 4, 2012

Julie Klam is the guest. She is the author of several books, the most recent of which is called Friendkeeping: A Field Guide to the People You Love, Hate, and Can't Live Without, now available from Riverhead.

Kirkus raves

"Klam's voice is often flat-out hilarious… [she] never fails to come up with terrific comic vignettes and sharp one-liners… highly entertaining."

And the late-great David Rakoff says

"Julie Klam is one funny writer.”

Monologue topics: salvaging the novel, creative breakthroughs, self-immolation, public freakouts involving nudity, unnecessary trips to Israel, bleak episodes of crushing creative stasis, Board.

Oct 31, 2012

J. Robert Lennon is today's guest.  He is the author of several books, and his latest novel, Familiar, is now available from Graywolf Press.

The New York Times Book Review raves

“Over the last decade, J. Robert Lennon’s literary imagination has grown increasingly morbid, convoluted and peculiar—just as his books have grown commensurately more surprising, rigorous and fun.”

And The Los Angeles Times says

"[Lennon} keeps Familiar balanced at a perfect pitch...a literary puzzle, a marvelous trick of the mind."

Monologue topics:  Hurricane Sandy, disaster guilt, socializing, exhaustion, weeping Buddha, TNB Book Club.

Oct 28, 2012

Susan Straight is the guest.  She is the author of several books and has been a finalist for the National Book Award.  Her new novel, Between Heaven and Here, is now available from McSweeney's. 

Ayelet Waldman raves

"It is only the rarest of novels that cry for a sequel, the most unusual of stories that at once satisfies and leaves the reader aching for more. Susan Straight's remarkable Take One Candle Light A Room is such a novel. And she has satisfied our desires in Between Heaven and Here, a magnificent novel, that manages to be at once unflinchingly real and transcendently beautiful. Susan Straight is one of the very best American writers. If you haven't read her, you're in for a delight and an awakening. If you have, then you're probably as thrilled as I am that she has taken us back to Rio Seco."

Kirkus, in a starred review, says

"Straight employs glorious language and a riveting eye for detail to create a fully realized, totally believable world."

Monologue topics:  letters, mall tag, Indiana, crisis, novel implosion, melodrama, complete creative collapse. 

Oct 24, 2012

Antoine Wilson is today's guest.  He's the author of two novels, the most recent of which is called Panorama City, now available from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 

Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, says

"Wilson’s second novel (after Interloper) is fresh and flawlessly crafted as well as charmingly genuine. Oppen Porter is almost 30, a guileless man who lives in a small central California town with his reclusive father in a house overtaken by nature….Oppen experiments with various roles—dedicated worker, student of religion, thinker—eventually finding his place in the world, framing a classic coming-of-age story in an unexpected way."

Monologue topics:  Board, literary collage, experimentation, exhaustive cataloging, good news, publication.

This podcast now has its own app, available (free!) for the iPhone, iPod, or iPad, and is also availalble (free!) for Android devices. To learn more about the app and how to get access to premium content, please visit http://otherpeoplepod.com/premium-access.

Also: You can subscribe to the show over at iTunes, or at Stitcher, free of charge.

Oct 21, 2012

Jami Attenberg is the guest. Her new novel, The Middlesteins, is now available from Grand Central Publishing. 

Jonathan Franzen raves

"The Middlesteins had me from its very first pages, but it wasn't until its final pages that I fully appreciated the range of Attenberg's sympathy and the artistry of her storytelling."

Kate Christensen says

"The Middlesteins is a truly original American novel, at once topical and universally timeless. Jami Attenberg has created a Midwestern Jewish family who are quintessentially familiar but fiercely, mordantly idiosyncratic. This novel will make you laugh, cry, cringe in recognition, and crave lamb-cumin noodles. This is a stunningly wonderful book."

And Kirkus, in a starred review, calls it

"Deeply satisfying. . . . A sharp-tongued, sweet-natured masterpiece of Jewish family life."

Monologue topics:  social anxiety, silent judging, dinners, paranoia, Indiana, tag, shopping malls, faux pas.

This podcast now has its own app, available (free!) for the iPhone, iPod, or iPad, and is also availalble (free!) for Android devices. To learn more about the app and how to get access to premium content, please click right here.

Also: You can subscribe to the show over at iTunes, or at Stitcher. It's free. 

Like the podcast? Please take a moment to rate and review it on iTunes. Thank you!

Oct 17, 2012

Sean Beaudoin is today's guest.  He's the author of several books, the most recent of which is a novel called The Infects, now available from Candlewick Press. 

Publishers Weekly raves

"Horror goes hand in hand with dark comedy in this wickedly unpredictable adventure, as Beaudoin simultaneously skewers the fast food industry and familiar zombie tropes."

Monologue topics:  ayahuasca, psycho-spiritual breakthroughs, frustration, the Mayan Apocalypse, confronting a mountain lion on a sand dune.

This podcast now has its own app, available (free!) for the iPhone, iPod, or iPad, and is also availalble (free!) for Android devices. To learn more about the app and how to get access to premium content, please click right here.

Also:  You can subscribe to the show over at iTunes, or at Stitcher. It's free.

Or just push PLAY below.

Like the podcast? Please take a moment to rate and review it on iTunes. Thank you!

Oct 14, 2012

Paula Bomer is today's guest. She's the author of two books, the most recent of which is a novel called Nine Months, which is available now from Soho Press.

Library Journal calls it

A raw, darkly funny, at times appalling page-turner.... Mommy lit lovers will be horrified, but Bomer’s debut novel will resonate with fans of quirky, character-driven fiction in the vein of Richard Russo, John Updike, and Tiffany Baker.

And Marcy Dermansky calls it

Deliciously, dangerously rogue.

Monologue topics:  the Other People app, the app, my feelings on the app, how the app works, what you need to know about the app. 

Speaking of which:  This podcast now has its own app, available (free!) for the iPhone, iPod, or iPad, and also availalble (free!) for Android devices.  To learn more about the app and how to get access to premium content, please click right here

Don't forget to subscribe to the show over at iTunes, or at Stitcher. It's free. Or just push PLAY below.

Like the podcast? Please take a moment to rate and review it on iTunes. Thank you!

Oct 10, 2012

Lorin Stein is the guest.  He is the editor of The Paris Review and the co-editor (with Sadie Stein) of a new anthology called Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story, now available from Picador Paperback Originals. 

From the Editors' Note:

Some chose classics. Some chose stories that were new even to us. Our hope is that this collection will be useful to young writers, and to others interested in literary technique. Most of all, it is intended for readers who are not (or are no longer) in the habit of reading short stories. We hope these object lessons will remind them how varied the form can be, how vital it remains, and how much pleasure it can give.

And Publishers Weekly says:

A selection of fiction culled from the influential journal’s archive with a twist: writers often featured in the journal’s pages—Lorrie Moore, David Means, Ann Beattie, Wells Tower, Ali Smith, among others— offer brief critical analyses of their selections, elevating this book from a greatest hits anthology to a kind of mini-M.F.A. Sam Lipsyte’s take on Mary Robison’s “Likely Lake” is as much a demonstration of the economy of powerful writing as the story itself and Ben Marcus’s tribute to Donald Barthelme’s “magician... language” in “Several Garlic Tales” illustrates how learning can occur when one writer inhabits another writer’s mind to geek out over what they both love.

Monologue topics:  certainty, uncertainty, strong thinkers, certainty about uncertainty, uncertainty about certainty, the articulation of confusion, a posture of cosmic ambivalence.

Please remember to subscribe to the show over at iTunes, or at Stitcher. It's free. Or just push PLAY below. Like the podcast? Please take a moment to rate and review it on iTunes. Thank you!

Oct 7, 2012
Kathleen Alcott is today's guest.  Her debut novel, The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets, is now available from Other Press. Bookslut raves Heartbreaking, honest, and wholly engrossing, The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets dredges the depth of love that divides us, unites us, and ... Continue reading
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