We are two 20-somethings who love thought-provoking, women-focused pop-culture.
LLW: Interview with Kiley Reid, author of Such a Fun Age
For our first episode of 2021, LLW connected with Kiley Reid, author of Such a Fun Age, the smash-hit novel long-listed for the 2020 Man Booker Prize. In our chat, Kiley discusses the novel’s themes of storytelling and social media, plus how she uses the writing process to get inside her character’s heads, why she chose the multi-layered title and the limitations of the anti-racist reading list. Our chat was mostly spoiler-free, but we do discuss the novel’s ending from 23:05 to 26:16 and again from 27:38 to 28:17, so skip those parts if you haven't read the book yet. It was fantastic to connect with Kiley on the eve of the UK paperback release of Such a Fun Age, which is out now in all good bookstores.
Later, we chat about questionable-yet-entertaining Netflix festive films The Princess Switched 2: Switch Again and Christmas on the Square, which we watched together via Netflix Party over the holiday period. We hope everyone’s staying safe and well as we begin the New Year and we’ll be back with a new episode next month.
LLW: Interview with Zaina Arafat, author of You Exist Too Much, plus His Dark Materials and Rebecca
This week on LLW we speak to Zaina Arafat, author of You Exist Too Much, a coming of age story about a young Palestinian-American woman caught between two worlds. Zaina, an LGBTQ, Arab/Muslim-American writer, speaks to LLW about her protagonist, who struggles with her dual identity, her complicated relationship with her mother and her internalised homophobia. We also discuss how Zaina settled upon You Exist Too Much's vignette-style structure and her choice of a first person narrator. Later, we chat about why we’re so excited for the return of BBC/HBO’s His Dark Materials and have some thoughts on the Netflix adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. Enjoy!
LLW: Enola Holmes and Emily in Paris
After a month hiatus, LLW is back! We're here to chat about two recent Netflix big hitters: new movie Enola Holmes starring Stranger Things' Millie Bobbie Brown and so-bad-it's-good TV hit Emily in Paris. Find out why we were charmed by one and bemused by the other and get stuck into a discussion about breaking the fourth wall, a saccharine vision of Paris and whether TV shows are always aware when they've created unlikable characters. We're delighted to be back and have more book/cinema/theatre discussion coming up!
LLW: Interview with Helly Acton, author of The Shelf, plus all our thoughts on reality TV
This week we had the pleasure of chatting to Helly Acton, author of debut novel The Shelf. The Shelf follows protagonist Amy, who is unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend on a new reality TV show and tasked, alongside six other contestants, to complete challenges that'll turn her into a 'keeper' and win the show. We had a great time listening to the audiobook, which is read by Normal People star and LLW fave Daisy Edgar-Jones. We also loved connecting with Helly to discuss feminism, sexism and reality television and followed that up with all our thoughts on reality TV in today's modern world, from Love Island to new hit Selling Sunset. Enjoy!
LLW: Interview with Tennis Lessons author Susannah Dickey, plus Stephenie Meyer's Midnight Sun
Welcome back to Loves Labours Watched! This week we're chatting to Susannah Dickey, author of compelling new novel Tennis Lessons, a coming of age story showcasing snapshots of a young woman's life from her childhood to late twenties. It's visceral and compulsive and we speak to Susannah all about her knack for observing the minutiae of daily life. Also...Midnight Sun, Stephenie Meyer's rewriting of Twilight, is out and of course Helena has read it and has many thoughts. Plus, we discuss some of our past interviewees who've recently had books optioned for TV, including Beth O'Leary, Naoise Dolan and Brit Bennett. Enjoy!
LLW: Interview with Coky Giedroyc, director of How to Build a Girl
This week on Loves Labours Watched we’re chatting all about How to Build a Girl, the new movie adaptation of Caitlin Moran’s 2014 novel of the same name. We speak to director Coky Giedroyc, who brought the book to the big screen with a vivacious energy that matches the bighearted performance of Beanie Feldstein as protagonist Johanna Morrigan. Coky talks to LLW about the importance of creating a film that was truthful and reflected the reality of being a teenage girl and how her fast paced camerawork mirrors her protagonist’s journey. We also discuss the v swoon-worthy performance by Alfie Allen and how the movie ranks against our favourite coming-of-age dramadies. How to Build a Girl is available to watch on demand in the US and via Amazon Prime in the UK.
Speaking of music, we later get into all our thoughts on Taylor Swift’s surprise new album folklore. Plus book recs including Candice Brathwaite’s I am Not Your Baby Mother. Enjoy! (And please rate and review the podcast if you’ve liked it/get in touch on social media to tell us your thoughts)