75 episodes

A monthly conversation about books and ideas on NTS Radio hosted by friends Carrie Plitt, a literary agent, and Octavia Bright, a writer and academic. Each show features an author interview, book recommendations, lively discussion and a little music too, all built around a related theme - anything from the novella to race to masculinity. Listen live on NTS Radio www.nts.live

Literary Friction Literary Friction

    • Arts

A monthly conversation about books and ideas on NTS Radio hosted by friends Carrie Plitt, a literary agent, and Octavia Bright, a writer and academic. Each show features an author interview, book recommendations, lively discussion and a little music too, all built around a related theme - anything from the novella to race to masculinity. Listen live on NTS Radio www.nts.live

    Literary Friction - On the Run with Eimear McBride

    Literary Friction - On the Run with Eimear McBride

    This month on Literary Friction we’re going on the run. Or, more accurately, we’ll be sitting still in the studio talking about literature that features characters and people who are running away both physically and psychologically, from Cora in Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad, to Madame Bovary, to Augusten Burroughs and A.A. Gill. Our guest is Irish novelist Eimear McBride, who has come back on the show to talk about her third novel Strange Hotel, which follows an unnamed protagonist as she moves from hotel room to hotel room around the world, trying to forget her past, and the powerful allure of an untethered life. So, lace up your sneakers and jog along with us for the next hour of Literary Friction.



    Recommendations on the theme, On The Run:

    Octavia: The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion https://www.thejoandidion.com/year-of-magical-thinking

    Carrie: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead https://www.hachette.co.uk/titles/colson-whitehead/the-underground-railroad/9780708898383/



    General Recommendations:

    Octavia: Things I Don't Want to Know by Deborah Levy https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/253/253221/things-i-don-t-want-to-know/9780241983089.html

    Carrie: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/311/311140/girl--woman--other/9780241984994.html


    Eimear: Cleanness by Garth Greenwell https://www.panmacmillan.com/authors/garth-greenwell/cleanness/9781509874637



    Buy a tote! https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/758247545/literary-friction-canvas-tote-bag?ref=shop_home_active_1&crt=1



    Email us: litfriction@gmail.com



    Tweet us & find us on Instagram: @litfriction



    This episode is sponsored by Picador

    https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador

    • 58 min
    Minisode Ten

    Minisode Ten

    For the first minisode of 2020, we're wading into the gossipy world of TS Eliot's love life: this year marks the publication of his romantic letters to Emily Hale, fifty years after their deaths. If you missed the story in the press, let's just say it's not one in which he covered himself in glory. Listen in for our thoughts on literary fetishism, posthumous publications, and how to choose a wife that won't kill the poet in you, plus all the usual recommendations.

    Tote bags: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LiteraryFriction
    Twitter & Instagram: @litfricton
    This episode is sponsored by Picador: https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador

    • 33 min
    Literary Friction - New Beginnings With An Yu

    Literary Friction - New Beginnings With An Yu

    Our first show of the year (and decade) is all about New Beginnings: from Virginia Woolf's novels to memoirs like Amy Liptrot’s The Outrun, we’ll look at books that feature rejuvenation, and think about why it's such fertile ground for storytelling. Joining us is author An Yu, whose thoughtful and surreal debut novel Braised Pork inspired the theme. It tells the story of Jia Jia, a young artist in contemporary Beijing who, after the abrupt death of her husband, must begin her life again. Listen in for our chat with An, who stopped by the studio to talk about starting over, the power of enigmatic symbols, and why we need stories to make sense of the world around us, plus all the usual recommendations. It’s good to be back!

    Recommendations on the theme, New Beginnings:
    Octavia: Days Without End by Sebastian Barry https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/316782/days-without-end-by-sebastian-barry/
    Carrie: Washington Black by Esi Edugyan https://serpentstail.com/washington-black.html

    General Recommendations:
    Octavia: Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan https://www.weidenfeldandnicolson.co.uk/titles/naoise-dolan/exciting-times/9781474613477/
    Carrie: Kudos by Rachel Cusk https://www.faber.co.uk/9780571346646-kudos.html
    An: Village of Stone by Xiaolu Guo https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/103/1035933/village-of-stone/9780099459071.html


    Buy a tote! https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/758247545/literary-friction-canvas-tote-bag?ref=shop_home_active_1&crt=1

    Email us: litfriction@gmail.com

    Tweet us & find us on Instagram: @litfriction

    This episode is sponsored by Picador https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador

    • 59 min
    Literary Friction - In Therapy With Ben Lerner

    Literary Friction - In Therapy With Ben Lerner

    For our last show of the year, we’re going into therapy - or, more accurately, we’ll be talking about therapy’s intersection with literature. Does analysis make good fiction? Do therapists make good characters, or good authors? What has the language of psychology given to literature? We’re very happy that the inspiration for today’s topic is our guest, Ben Lerner, whose third novel The Topeka School is a brilliant meditation on family, psychology, toxic masculinity, whiteness and American life, told through the lens of one man’s coming of age in Topeka, Kansas in the 90s, where Ben himself was born. So, lay down on the couch and do the work with us for the next hour on Literary Friction, and we'll catch up with you in the new decade. Happy holidays, everyone!

    Recommendations on the theme, In Therapy:

    Octavia: Medical Muses: Hysteria in Nineteenth-century Paris by Asti Hustvedt https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/medical-muses-9780747576334/

    Carrie: The Examined Life by Stephen Grosz https://www.stephengrosz.com/the-examined-life/


    General Recommendations:

    Octavia: Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/year-of-the-monkey-9781526614759/

    Ben: The Mushroom at the End of the World by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing https://press.princeton.edu/books/paperback/9780691178325/the-mushroom-at-the-end-of-the-world

    Carrie: The Past by Tessa Hadley https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062270429/the-past/


    Buy a tote! https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/758247545/literary-friction-canvas-tote-bag?ref=shop_home_active_1&crt=1

    Email us: litfriction@gmail.com

    Tweet us & find us on Instagram: @litfriction

    • 1 hr
    Minisode Nine: Year In Review

    Minisode Nine: Year In Review

    It’s our last minisode of 2019, so we're looking back over some of our favourite reads of the year, some of our resolutions for 2020, plus the usual cultural recommendations - so, if you need some inspiration for what books to buy people for Christmas then grab a pen! Also, here’s your annual reminder to support your local independent bookshop instead of ordering everything online. An update on our lovely, fair trade cotton tote bags: we now have an Etsy shop where you can buy them! The link is below, all the money we make from the sales goes back into making the show bigger and better, so please get one for all your friends. Finally, thank you for listening and for another brilliant year of Literary Friction. Happy holidays everyone! See you on the flipside.

    Tote bags: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LiteraryFriction
    Twitter & Instagram: @litfriction
    Email us: litfriction@gmail.com

    • 47 min
    Literary Friction - Returning with Elizabeth Strout

    Literary Friction - Returning with Elizabeth Strout

    From William Faulkner to John Updike, and Hilary Mantel to Margaret Atwood, why do authors return to the same characters and places again and again? What can a trilogy do that a solo book can’t? And why do we get so excited (and nervous) about these returns? To help us answer these questions, this month we have a very special guest: the inimitable, Pulitzer prize-winning author Elizabeth Strout. Her latest novel, Olive, Again, is a return to the complicated character of Olive Kitteridge and her community in Crosby, Maine.

    Recommendations on the theme, Returning:
    Octavia: Everything Under by Daisy Johnson https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/111/1110035/everything-under/9781784702113.html
    Carrie: Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld http://www.curtissittenfeld.com/books/eligible/buy-the-book/

    General Recommendations:
    Octavia: Be My Guest by Priya Basil https://canongate.co.uk/books/3072-be-my-guest-reflections-on-food-community-and-the-meaning-of-generosity/
    Elizabeth: Tolstoy by Henri Troyat and Tolstoy by A.N. Wilson https://groveatlantic.com/book/tolstoy/; https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/9780393321227

    Carrie: Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/118610/hateship-friendship-courtship-loveship-marriage-by-alice-munro/

    Email us: litfriction@gmail.com
    Tweet us and find us on Instagram: @litfriction

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

deborahhemming ,

My favourite books podcast!

Always look forward to new episodes of Literary Friction. Engaging themes and thoughtful interviews!

Naz-t2 ,

Amazing Podcast!

I can't beleive Literary Friction has only 2 reviews! This is truly an amazing podcast. Carrie & Octavia are very well-read, very well-informed,and they're extremely sweet. It's very pleasant to listen to them. Their conversations are always meaningful and relevant. They have introduced me to so many great books. I'm sort of addicted to them. To all the book lovers out there, I highly recommend this podcast!
Greetings from Canada guys :)

KjannaSilvio ,

Brilliant podcast for book-lovers

This is such an insightful, well-produced podcast. The hosts have thoughtful critiques on literature and society. They have introduced me to many fantastic books.

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