Jade Chang is the guest. Her debut novel The Wangs vs. the World is available now from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
In today's monologue, I talk about going pro.
I'm not doing a regular show this week. It's the day after the election and I'm not feeling all that great. It seems wrong to do a show. The only thing on my mind is the election. I don't want a guest of mine to appear this week. It's not fair to the guest. I'll be back with a regular episode next week.
For now, and maybe against my better judgment, I'm gonna share my thoughts on what just happened to our country and the world. A little while ago I sat down and thought out loud and talked into the microphone. I tried to think as deeply as I could about what just happened and how best to respond. And I'm sharing it with you here. I hope that's okay.
Michelle Tea is the guest. Her new novel, Black Wave, is available now from Feminist Press.
In today's monologue, I talk about Halloween.
Meredith Alling is the guest. Her debut story collection Sing the Song is available now from Future Tense Books.
In today's monologue, I talk briefly about wine.
Wendy C. Ortiz is the guest. Her new book Bruja—a "dreamoir"—is available now from Civil Coping Mechanisms.
In today's monologue, I basically just get right to the interview.
Mike Roberts is the guest. His debut novel, Cannibals in Love, is available now from FSG Originals. He also wrote the screenplay for the movie Goat, out in theaters now.
In today's monologue, I talk about finishing my novel. And the election.
Melissa Yancy is the guest. Her debut story collection, Dog Years, is available now from the University of Pittsburgh Press.
In today's monologue, I talk about the good lives and legacies of my Uncle Elmore and my friend Barb.
Rich Ferguson is the guest. His debut novel, New Jersey Me, is available now from Rare Bird Books / A Barnacle Book.
In today's monologue, I talk about the debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Today's episode is a bit unorthodox. It's just me talking for an hour. Sorry about that.
As most of you know, the podcast has been homeless since June. I've managed to have a guest each week since that time, but this week I finally hit the wall. Couldn't get my shit together. Logistically too difficult.
The good news is, I should have a recording space within the next few days. The new home studio is almost done, almost operational. I even got myself some new gear to celebrate the show's 5-year anniversary. So once I get everything set up and moved into the new space, it'll be all systems go. Thanks for bearing with me.
And thanks for supporting the show for the past 5 years.
Here's to whatever's next.
In today's monologue, I talk about my novel.
Garth Risk Hallberg is the guest. His debut novel, City on Fire, is available now in trade paperback from Vintage.
In today's monologue, I talk briefly about my weekend trip to Wisconsin.
Margaret Wappler is the guest. Her debut novel Neon Green is available now from The Unnamed Press.
This is the final conversation recorded in the old garage.
In today's monologue, I catch up on listener mail.
In today's monologue, I talk about recording in a crowded house. And I talk with my daughter, who is about to celebrate her sixth birthday.
Lesley M. M. Blume is the guest. Her new book is called Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway's Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises, available now from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
In today's monologue, I talk about Lesley's book and Ernest Hemingway.
In today's monologue, I discuss being in flux. And my dog Walter.
Dorthe Nors is the guest. Her new book, So Much For That Winter, is available now in the United States from Graywolf Press.
I had a great time talking with Dorthe. She is, I believe, the first Danish author to guest on the program.
Sloane Crosley is the guest. Her debut novel, The Clasp, is available now in trade paperback from Picador.
A great pleasure to have Sloane on the program.
Chuck Klosterman is the guest. His new book, But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past, is available now from Blue Rider Press.
So great to have Chuck on the program.
Frances Stroh is the guest. Her new memoir, Beer Money, is available now from Harper.
In today's monologue, I talk about the logistics of vacationing with my family.
Mike Edison is the guest. He is the former publisher of High Times magazine and was the editor-in-chief of Screw magazine. He is also a musician and a professional wrestler. His new memoir, You Are a Complete Disappointment, is available now from Sterling Books.
Great fun talking with Mike. Also heartbreaking. The title of his memoir also happens to be the last thing his father ever said to him. Brutal. But he has found a kind of peace with it, and he has written this fine memoir. Aside from that, Mike is a person who has really lived some lives. He's authored 28 pornographic novels. Has been a correspondent for Penthouse and Hustler. The professional wrestling. He's in a band. High Times. We talk about all of it. Fasten your seat belts.
In today's monologue, I talk about my sense of urgency and the heat of summer.
Max Porter is the guest. His debut novel, Grief is the Thing with Feathers, is the official June pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club. Winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize, it is available now from Graywolf Press.
Max and I spoke by telephone. He was at home in London. It was nighttime for him. I was here in Los Angeles, mid-morning. His publication story is a good one. He wrote a book that isn't easily classifiable. Usually such books have a hard road to publication. But Grief found a way, and thank goodness. It's short, poetic, and wonderfully surprising novel. There's a talking bird in it. It takes chances. Packs a punch. The fact that it has gone on to do so well is a testament to Max's vision and skill. Wise, witty, and very deeply felt. A real gift to the reader.
In today's monologue, I talk about compression in literature, compression of schedule, the podcast's logistical crossroads, Kickstarter, and my need to podcast in a cloistered environment.
Viet Thanh Nguyen is the guest. His debut novel, The Sympathizer, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2016. It is available now from Grove Press.
I want to say that Viet is the first Pulitzer winner ever to appear on the program. I could be wrong. (Am I forgetting someone?) I read The Sympathizer earlier this year when I was a judge for the Tournament of Books at The Morning News. (You can read my judgment here.) This was before the Pulitzer. Fortunately I had the good sense to pick it as the winner and advance it to the next round; otherwise this conversation might never have happened. Kidding aside, Viet was great. He showed up ready to talk and was everything one might expect after reading the novel: sharp, funny, opinionated, and full of stories.
In today's monologue, I talk about moving. Again. I promise this will end soon.��
Stephen Elliott is the guest. He is the founding editor of The Rumpus, the author of seven books, and the director of three films. His latest film, After Adderall, will be premiering at the Rumpus Lo-Fi Los Angeles Film Festival on July 30th.
I can't believe it's taken me this long to meet Stephen Elliott. He just moved out to Los Angeles for the summer and he came over and we sat down and talked. I admire Stephen. He does things. He gets things done. He's able to mobilize people. Build communities. He takes risks. He makes stuff. He's a writer. He's the editor of an online literary magazine. And now he's making films. He just keeps going. Great to have had the chance to meet him in person and talk to him for an hour.
In today's monologue, I discuss my brief (very brief) history with adderall.
Claire Hoffman is the guest. Her new memoir, Greetings from Utopia Park, is available now from Harper Books.
Claire is a friend of mine here in Los Angeles. She grew up in Fairfield, Iowa in an intentional community founded by the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Maharishi, for the uninitiated, was a spiritual guru and the progenitor of transcendental meditation, or TM. Claire's memoir deals in family history, her experiences growing up in Fairfield, and her struggle to come to terms with what it means to lead a spiritual life.
In today's monologue, I talk about my friendship with Claire, and about interruptions, and (again) about my impending move.
Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney is the guest. Her debut novel, The Nest, is available now from Ecco Books.
Cynthia is living the dream. Or at least one kind of dream. It's a common dream: write novel, sell novel for big advance, watch as novel becomes New York Times bestseller, do media tour for novel, feel somewhat weird and even at times guilty that novel is doing so well. And so on. Really good time talking with Cynthia. Very candid conversation. And one of the best conversations I've ever had about what it really takes to make a book a bestseller.
In today's monologue, I talk about moving, and customer service representatives, and spiritual depletion at the hands of customer service representatives. And also my dog's bleeding anus.