100 episodes

The Los Angeles Review of Books Radio Hour is a weekly show featuring interviews, readings and discussions about all things literary. Hosted by LARB Editor-at-Large Kate Wolf, Managing Editor Medaya Ocher, and Gender and Sexuality Editor, Eric Newman.

LARB Radio Hour Los Angeles Review of Books

    • Books
    • 3.0, 2 Ratings

The Los Angeles Review of Books Radio Hour is a weekly show featuring interviews, readings and discussions about all things literary. Hosted by LARB Editor-at-Large Kate Wolf, Managing Editor Medaya Ocher, and Gender and Sexuality Editor, Eric Newman.

    Aminatou and Ann's Big Friendship

    Aminatou and Ann's Big Friendship

    Authors Aminatou Sow and Ann Friendman join co-hosts Kate and Medaya to discuss their exploration of their friend, and close adult friendships in general, Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close. The discussion opens up with Aminatou and Ann telling the story of their friendship, how they met, bonded, grew inseparable, and have remained emotionally-so through trials, tribulations, and major life changes. The conversation then addresses how close non-romantic adult friendships, particularly among women, remain a difficult fit in contemporary America - even as bonding among women is given lip service throughout much of mass culture - and, as Aminatou and Ann testify, the upside to Big Friendship is immeasurable.
    Also, Frank B Wilderson III, author of Afropessimism, returns to recommend USC Assistant Professor Zakiyyah Iman Jackson's new book Becoming Human: Matter and Meaning in an Antiblack World.

    • 46 min
    Talking “Breasts and Eggs” with Japan’s Rising Literary Star, Mieko Kawakami

    Talking “Breasts and Eggs” with Japan’s Rising Literary Star, Mieko Kawakami

    Mieko Kawakami, whose poignant and pointed debut novel Breasts and Eggs is this season’s LARB’s Book Club selection, joins Medaya Ocher and Boris Dralyuk to discuss her career as a musician, poet, blogger, and author, the challenges facing women around the world, the state of Japanese literature, and the wonders of translation.
    Also, Eric Cervani, author of The Deviant's War: The Homosexual Vs. the United States of America, returns to recommend James Baldwin's classic Giovanni's Room.

    • 47 min
    When Reform Isn't Enough: Afropessimism's Argument for a New Society

    When Reform Isn't Enough: Afropessimism's Argument for a New Society

    This week, co-hosts Eric and Medaya talk to professor, writer, and revolutionary, Frank B. Wilderson III, whose latest book, Afropessimism, is a work of memoir and theory. Wilderson defines Afropessism, the ways it has been misrepresented and how it can shape our understanding of contemporary justice. Wilderson also recounts his childhood and how he became an Afropessimist.
    Also, writer and translator Joyce Zonana returns to recommends Betty Smith's classic from the 1940s, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

    • 44 min
    French Connections: Hirokazu Kore-eda on The Truth; Joyce Zonana on Henri Bosco’s Malicroix

    French Connections: Hirokazu Kore-eda on The Truth; Joyce Zonana on Henri Bosco’s Malicroix

    This week, Medaya speaks with acclaimed filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda about his new film, The Truth (La Vérité), starring French film screen legends Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche. Kore-eda discusses complicated family dynamics, the relationship between art and truth-telling and what brought him to France. In our second interview, Kate and Medaya are joined by scholar and translator Joyce Zonana, who discusses her translation of Henri Bosco’s 1946 novel Malicroix. This is the first time the French novel has been translated into English.

    • 40 min
    From Pride Month to Independence Day: the story of Frank Kameny, an LBGBTQ+ Trailblazer

    From Pride Month to Independence Day: the story of Frank Kameny, an LBGBTQ+ Trailblazer

    Author Eric Cervini Cervini explains Frank Kameny's legacy as a complex figure in the history of the LGBTQ struggle, as he discusses his new book The Deviant's War with Daya, Kate , and Eric. Kameny was a trailblazer for civil rights yet also a person deeply committed to an assimilationist vision of queer equality, one that often sidelined people of color as well as trans and gender-nonconforming members of the community. In the wake of Bostock vs. Clayton County, the landmark Supreme Court case that firmed up protections against employment discrimination for LGBTQ workers under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Cervini discusses how Kameny would have seen this moment in history and how his early work demonstrates at once the decades of struggle that have brought the freedoms of our moment as well as the road we still must travel.
    Also, our own Eric Newman explains how he came to read Robert K Massie's magisterial biography of Catherine the Great; and why he'd recommend it to anyone.

    • 36 min
    Changing the Conversation: Laverne Cox and Sam Feder on Trans Representation

    Changing the Conversation: Laverne Cox and Sam Feder on Trans Representation

    The new documentary Disclosure captures the history of trans representation in Hollywood and mainstream media, with particular attention to the ways in which racism and misogyny influence the portrayal of those who transgress society’s gender norms in order to live their truth. In a wide-ranging discussion, Director Sam Feder and Laverne Cox, star of Orange is the New Black, talk with Medaya and Eric about what has been gained in recent years as well as the challenges ahead as transgender stories, writers, directors, and performers take center stage.
    Also, Percival Everett, author of Telephone, returns to recommend Laurence Sterne's classic Tristam Shandy, as well as Michael Winterbottom's recent film adaptation: Tristam Shady: A Cock and Bull Story.

    • 39 min

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