Amina Cain is the guest. Her latest story collection, Creature, is available now from Dorothy Books.
I was unusually tired on the day that Amina came over to do the show. I'm almost always tired these days because of the newborn, but on this particular day it was especially so. The comparison I often make is drunk driving. It can feel like you're driving drunk, talking into a microphone on three hours of sleep. That's probably not the best comparison but you know what I mean. Anyway, my point is that, as tired as I was, talking to Amina was easy and it gave me energy and made me feel better. She has that kind of effect. I imagine I'm not the only person who feels this way. Just a very thoughtful, kind, sincere person, and a very good writer. Hers is a point of view that feels valuable to me, and I'm glad she's writing books and making art.
In today's monologue, I read some mail and then talk about money and class anxiety and having low-level panic attacks at parties and try to make sense of what seems to be a growing caste system in America. And so on.
Andrea Kleine is the guest. Her debut novel, Calf, is available now from Counterpoint Press.
This is a novel rooted in history, both personal and cultural. I lived through the cultural part of it. Anyone alive and aware in 1981 can say that. Andrea, however, lived through both parts of it, and now has a book to show for it, a book that grapples with these darknesses head on. She was in town on book tour and stopped by and sat down and gave very thoughtful responses to my questions, sometimes pausing to think things over before speaking. This is not the easiest subject matter to talk about, but she was game, and I appreciate that.
Speaking of subject matter that's not easy to talk about, in today's monologue I talk about Paris and Beirut and the Russian airliner that got bombed, and terrorism, and the sorry state of the world, and so on. I try to stay coherent. I think I was mostly coherent.
Myriam Gurba is the guest. Her new story collection is called Painting Their Portraits in Winter, available now from Manic D Press.
Myriam showed up in a pair of new shoes. She went shopping before the podcast. Bought some shoes. Wore them out of the store. I found that charming. It reminded me of being a kid and getting new shoes and insisting on wearing them out of the store because I felt like they would make me run faster or something. Another thing about Myriam: she's an easy talker. I love it when I get a guest like this. Makes it easy on me. Good sense of humor. Opinions. Plenty to say. Also very direct about not wanting to talk about certain things, which is always fine. She's a California girl, born and raised. Grew up in Santa Maria, not far from Santa Barbara. Land of the saints. Wine country, farmland, ocean air, strawberries. We talk about it all.
In today's monologue, I discuss my recent crisis of confidence regarding monologues and read from a Twitter exchange I had with listeners regarding the continued existence of the monologue at the top of the show.
Eileen Myles is the guest. She has two books out from Ecco, the first of which is a collection of poetry called I Must Be Living Twice: New and Selected Poems 1975-2014, and the second of which is a reissue of her novel Chelsea Girls.
Such a pleasure to have Eileen on the show. I've been wanting to talk with her for a long time and finally it all worked out. I should add that the interview almost didn't happen, because my computer died. But I managed to get that rectified just in the nick of time. You'll hear me talk about this in the monologue. And if you follow me on Twitter, then you know that in the aftermath of my computer's death I had what can only be described as an epic customer service experience with Apple.
So anyway. Eileen Myles was here at my house. She sat down across from me, and we talked. She's having a moment, as they say. And it's the kind of moment that feels rare and very well-deserved. I feel lucky to have had the chance to talk with her as all of this is happening, and grateful that she gave me an hour of her time.
In the monologue, as I just mentioned, you'll hear me talk about the death of my computer. And you'll also hear Eileen read a poem. Which is way better than hearing me talk about the death of my computer.