Jared Yates Sexton is the guest. His new book, American Rule, is available from Dutton.
This is Jared's second time on the program. He first appeared in Episode 478 on August 23, 2017.
Sexton is the author of The Man They Wanted Me to Be and The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore. His political writing has appeared in publications including The New York Times, The New Republic, Politico, and Salon.com. Sexton is also the author of three collections of fiction and is an associate professor of creative writing at Georgia Southern University.
Today's monologue: long and rambling, pre-election jitters.
Anne Helen Petersen is the guest. Her new book, Can't Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation, is available from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It is the official October pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.
A former senior culture writer for BuzzFeed, Petersen now writes her newsletter, Culture Study, as a full-time venture on Substack. She received her PhD at the University of Texas at Austin, where she focused on the history of celebrity gossip. Her previous books, Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud and Scandals of Classic Hollywood, were featured in NPR, Elle, and the Atlantic. She lives in Missoula, Montana.
Today's monologue: burnt.
Laura Bogart is the guest. Her debut novel, Don't You Know I Love You, is available from Dzanc Books.
Bogart is also a non-fiction writer who focuses on personal essays, pop culture, film and TV, feminism, body image and sizeism, and politics (among other topics). She is a featured contributor to The Week and DAME magazine; her work has also appeared in The Atlantic, The Guardian, SPIN, The AV Club, Vulture, and Indiewire (among other publications). She lives in Baltimore.
Today's monologue: nada.
Dean Koontz is the guest. His new novel, Elsewhere, is available from Thomas & Mercer.
Koontz is the author of fourteen number one New York Times bestsellers, including One Door Away from Heaven, From the Corner of His Eye, Midnight, Cold Fire, The Bad Place, Hideaway, Dragon Tears, Intensity, Sole Survivor, The Husband, Odd Hours, Relentless, What the Night Knows, and 77 Shadow Street. He’s been hailed by Rolling Stone as “America’s most popular suspense novelist,” and his books have been published in thirty-eight languages and have sold over five hundred million copies worldwide.
Born and raised in Pennsylvania, he now lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Elsa, and the enduring spirits of their goldens Trixie and Anna.
Today's monologue: right to the conversation.
Lynn Steger Strong is the guest. Her new novel, Want, is available from Henry Holt.
Strong was born and raised in South Florida. Her first novel, Hold Still, was released by Liveright/WW Norton in 2016. Her nonfiction has been published by Guernica, Los Angeles Review of Books, Elle.com, Catapult, Lit Hub, and others. She teaches both fiction and non-fiction writing at Columbia University, Fairfield University, and the Pratt Institute.
Today's monologue: Trump and covid and skepticism and the speed of the news.
Steven Dunn is the guest. His latest novel, water & power, is available from Tarpaulin Sky.
Dunn's other novel, Potted Meat, is also available from Tarpaulin Sky.
He was born and raised in West Virginia, and after 10 years in the Navy, he earned a B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Denver.
He lives in Denver.
Today's monologue: AT&T delay.
Shearn is the author of the novels The Mermaid of Brooklyn and How Far Is the Ocean From Here. She has an MFA from the University of Minnesota, and currently lives in Brooklyn.
Today's monologue: orders of business.
Kathleen Rooney is the guest. Her new novel, Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey, is available from Penguin Books.
This is her second time on the program. She first appeared in Episode 274 on May 4, 2014.
Rooney is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press, a nonprofit publisher of literary work in hybrid genres, as well as a founding member of Poems While You Wait, a team of poets and their typewriters who compose commissioned poetry on demand. She teaches in the English Department at DePaul University, and her most recent books include the national best-seller, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk (St. Martin’s Press 2017 / Picador 2018) and The Listening Room: A Novel of Georgette and Loulou Magritte (Spork Press, 2018).
A winner of the Ruth Lilly Fellowship from Poetry magazine, she is the author of nine books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, including the novel O, Democracy! (Fifth Star Press, 2014); the novel in poems Robinson Alone (Gold Wake Press, 2012), based on the life and work of Weldon Kees; the essay collection For You, For You I Am Trilling These Songs (Counterpoint, 2010); and the art modeling memoir Live Nude Girl: My Life as an Object (University of Arkansas Press, 2009). Her first book is Reading with Oprah: The Book Club That Changed America (University of Arkansas Press, 2005), and her first poetry collection, Oneiromance (an epithalamion) won the 2007 Gatewood Prize from the feminist publisher Switchback Books.
With Elisa Gabbert, she is the co-author of the poetry collection That Tiny Insane Voluptuousness (Otoliths, 2008) and the chapbook The Kind of Beauty That Has Nowhere to Go (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2013).. And with fellow DePaul professor Eric Plattner, she is the co-editor of Rene Magritte: Selected Writings (University of Minnesota Press, 2016).
Her reviews and criticism have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Poetry Foundation website, The New York Times Book Review, BITCH, Allure, The Chicago Review of Books, The Chicago Tribune, The Paris Review, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Nation and elsewhere.
She lives in Chicago with her spouse, the writer Martin Seay.
Today's monologue: listener mail.
Matthew Salesses is the guest. His new novel, Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear, is available from Little A Publishing.
This is Matthew's second time on the program. He first appeared in Episode 145 on February 3, 2013.
Salesses is the bestselling author of The Hundred-Year Flood, an Amazon Best Book of September and Kindle First pick, an Adoptive Families Best Book of 2015, and a Best Book of the season at Buzzfeed, Refinery29, and Gawker, among others. Forthcoming in 2021 are a craft book, Craft in the Real World, and a collection of essays, Own Story. His previous books include I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying; Different Racisms: On Stereotypes, the Individual, and Asian American Masculinity; and The Last Repatriate.
Salesses was adopted from Korea. In 2015 Buzzfeed named him one of 32 Essential Asian American Writers. His essays have been published in Best American Essays 2020, NPR Code Switch, The New York Times Motherlode, VICE.com, Gay Magazine, and many other venues. His short fiction has appeared in Glimmer Train, American Short Fiction, PEN/Guernica, and Witness, among others. He has received awards and fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Glimmer Train, Mid-American Review, [PANK], HTMLGIANT, IMPAC, Inprint, and elsewhere.
He is currently an Assistant Professor of English at Coe College, where he teaches fiction writing and Asian American literature. He earned a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston and an M.F.A. in Fiction from Emerson College. He serves on the editorial boards of Green Mountains Review and Machete (an imprint of The Ohio State University Press), and has held editorial positions at Pleiades, The Good Men Project, Gulf Coast, and Redivider. He has read and lectured widely at conferences and universities and on TV and radio, including PBS, NPR, Al Jazeera America, various MFA programs, and the Tin House, Kundiman, Writers @ Work, and Boldface writing conferences.
Today's monologue: bradpocalypse
David Goodwillie is the guest. His new novel, Kings County, is available from Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster.
Goodwillie's other books include the novel American Subversive, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and the memoir Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time.
Goodwillie has written for the New York Times, New York magazine, Newsweek, and Popular Science, among other publications.
He has also been drafted to play professional baseball, worked as a private investigator, and was an expert at Sotheby’s auction house. A graduate of Kenyon College, he lives in Brooklyn.
Today's monologue: the proliferation of podcasts and a new blog project.
Emerson Whitney is the guest. He is the author of a memoir called Heaven, available from McSweeney's.
Whitney is also the author of Ghost Box. He teaches in the BFA creative writing program at Goddard College and is a postdoctoral fellow in gender studies at the University of Southern California.
Flynn is the author of three previous memoirs, including the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award–winning Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, and four volumes of poetry. A professor on the creative writing faculty at the University of Houston, he lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Today's monologue: where you listen.
Stephen Graham Jones is the guest. His latest novel, The Only Good Indians, is available from Gallery Books.
Jones is the author of twenty-five or so novels and collections, and there’s some novellas and comic books in there as well. Stephen’s been an NEA recipient, has won the Texas Institute of Letters Award for Fiction, the Independent Publishers Award for Multicultural Fiction, a Bram Stoker Award, four This is Horror Awards, and he’s been a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award and the World Fantasy Award. He’s also made Bloody Disgusting’s Top Ten Horror Novels. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.
Today's monologue: where you listen redux.
Mesha Maren is the guest. Her debut novel, Sugar Run, is available from Algonquin Books.
Maren's short stories and essays can be read in Tin House, The Oxford American, The Guardian, Crazyhorse, Triquarterly, The Southern Review, Ecotone, Sou’wester, Hobart, Forty Stories: New Writing from Harper Perennial, and elsewhere. She was the recipient of the 2015 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, a 2014 Elizabeth George Foundation grant, an Appalachian Writing Fellowship from Lincoln Memorial University, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Ucross Foundation. She was the 2018-2019 Kenan Visiting Writer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is an Assistant Professor of the Practice of Creative Writing at Duke University and also serves as a National Endowment of the Arts Writing Fellow at the federal prison camp in Alderson, West Virginia.
Today's monologue: where you listen.
Sabrina Orah Mark is the guest. Her story collection, Wild Milk, is available from The Dorothy Project.
Sabrina grew up in Brooklyn, New York. She earned a BA from Barnard College, Columbia University, an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and a PhD in English from the University of Georgia. She is the author of the book-length poetry collections The Babies (2004), winner of the Saturnalia Book Prize chosen by Jane Miller, and Tsim Tsum (2009), as well as the chapbook Walter B.’s Extraordinary Cousin Arrives for a Visit & Other Tales from Woodland Editions.
Her poetry and stories most recently appear in American Short Fiction, The Bennington Review, Tin House (Open Bar), The Collagist, jubilat, The Believer, and have been anthologized widely.
She lives in Athens Georgia with her husband, Reginald McKnight, and their two sons. For The Paris Review she writes a monthly column on fairytales and motherhood entitled HAPPILY.
Today's monologue: listener mail, where you're listening.
Hilary Leichter is the guest. Her debut novel, Temporary, is available from Coffee House Press.
Hilary teaches at Columbia University, where she earned her MFA in Fiction. She has received fellowships from The Edward F. Albee Foundation, the Table 4 Writers Foundation, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She lives in New York.
Today's monologue: listener mail.
Leigh Stein is the guest. Her new novel, Self Care, is available from Penguin.
Stein is a writer interested in what the internet is doing to our identities, relationships, and politics. She is also the author of the memoir Land of Enchantment, the poetry collection Dispatch from the Future, and the novel The Fallback Plan. Her non-fiction writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker online, Allure, ELLE, Poets & Writers, BuzzFeed, The Cut, Salon, and Slate.
From 2014 – 2017, she was cofounder and executive director of Out of the Binders/BinderCon, a feminist literary nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the careers of women and gender variant writers. Nearly 2,000 writers attended BinderCon events in NYC and LA, to hear speakers including Lisa Kudrow, Anna Quindlen, Claudia Rankine, Jill Abramson, Elif Batuman, Effie Brown, Leslie Jamison, Suki Kim, and Adrian Nicole LeBlanc. Leigh also moderated the private Facebook community of 40,000 writers.
Leigh is no longer on Facebook.
Today's monologue: zilch.
Raphael Bob-Waksberg is the guest. He is the creator of the animated television series BoJack Horseman and the author of a new story collection called Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory (Knopf).
Bob-Waksberg was raised in Palo Alto, California. He attended Bard College and lives in Los Angeles. This is his first book.
Maggie Downs is the guest. Her new memoir, Braver Than You Think: Around the World on the Trip of My (Mother's) Lifetime, is available from Counterpoint Press.
Downs is an award-winning writer based in Palm Springs, California. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Palm Springs Life, and McSweeney's and has been anthologized in The Lonely Planet Travel Anthology: True Stories from the World's Best Writers and Best Women's Travel Writing. This is her first book.
Today's monologue: my book.
Jean lives in Los Angeles. This is her debut.
Today's monologue: sleep deprivation, pizza delivery.
Nikki Dolson is the guest. Her new story collection, Love and Other Criminal Behavior, is available from Bronzeville Books.
Dolson is a writer primarily of short fiction, which has been published in places like Shotgun Honey, Tough, Thuglit, and Bartleby Snopes. Her other book, All Things Violent, is available from Fahrenheit Press. She lives in Las Vegas.
Today's monologue: Bellow and Roth.
Genevieve Hudson is the guest. Their new novel, Boys of Alabama, is available from Liveright Publishing.
This is their second time on the program. They first appeared in Episode 544 on September 26, 2018.
Hudson's other books include the critical memoir A Little in Love with Everyone (2018), and Pretend We Live Here: Stories (2018), which was a LAMBDA Literary Award finalist.
They hold an MFA in fiction from Portland State University, and their work has appeared or is forthcoming in ELLE Magazine, OprahMag.com, McSweeney’s, Catapult, Bookforum, Bitch, and other places. They have received fellowships from the Fulbright Program, MacDowell, Caldera Arts, and The Vermont Studio Center. They are a Visiting Fiction Faculty member at Antioch University-Los Angeles’s MFA Program, a freelance writer, and also work in advertising. They live in Portland, Oregon.
Today's monologue: zero.
Wayne Koestenbaum is the guest. His new essay collection, Figure It Out, is available from Soft Skull Press.
Koestenbaum has published nineteen books, including Camp Marmalade, Notes on Glaze, The Pink Trance Notebooks, My 1980s & Other Essays, Hotel Theory, Best-Selling Jewish Porn Films, Andy Warhol, Humiliation, and Jackie Under My Skin. His essays and poems have been widely published in periodicals and anthologies, including The Best American Poetry, The Best American Essays, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Paris Review, London Review of Books, The Believer, The Iowa Review, Cabinet, and Artforum. Formerly an Associate Professor of English at Yale and a Visiting Professor in the Yale School of Art’s painting department, he is a Distinguished Professor of English, French, and Comparative Literature at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City.
Today's monologue: minimal.
Di Prisco has published four other novels (Confessions of Brother Eli, Sun City, All for Now, and The Alzhammer), three books of poetry (Wit’s End, Poems in Which, and Sightlines from the Cheap Seats), two books on childhood and adolescence co-written with psychologist and educator Michael Riera (Field Guide to the American Teenager and Right from Wrong), and two memoirs (Subway to California and The Pope of Brooklyn). His book reviews, essays, and poems have appeared in numerous journals and newspapers, and his poetry has been awarded prizes from Poetry Northwest, Bear Star Press, and Bread Loaf.
He is the graduate of a Catholic boys’ high school, Syracuse University summa cum laude, and the University of California, Berkeley, where he completed his dissertation on Mark Twain. He taught English for some twenty years, middle school, high school, and college. In other lives he has lived, he was a novice in a Catholic monastery, managed restaurants, been a wine consultant, and (when he was a young man who was broke in the ‘80s) played high-stakes blackjack professionally around the world for several years, bankrolled by big-money backers with multiple vowels in their names.
He has sat on, and consulted with, non-profit boards dedicated to children’s mental health, the arts, theater, and education. He is Board Chair Emeritus of Redwood Day School and Founding Chair of the Simpson Family Literary Project, a collaborative enterprise of the UC Berkeley English Department and the Lafayette Library and Learning Center Foundation.
He lives with his wife, photographer Patti James, and their two whippets (Raylan and Ava—yes, their names straight out of Elmore Leonard) in Lafayette, California.
Today's monologue: nada mucho.
Meredith Talusan is the guest. Her new memoir, Fairest, is available from Viking.
Talusan is an award-winning journalist and author. She has written features, essays, and opinion pieces for many publications, including The New York Times, The Guardian, The Atlantic, VICE, Matter, Backchannel, The Nation, and the American Prospect. She has contributed to several books including the New York Times Bestselling Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture, edited by Roxane Gay. She lives in New York.
Today's monologue: not much.