754 episodes

Interviews with Writers about their New Books
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New Books in Literature New Books Network

    • Arts
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Interviews with Writers about their New Books
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    Rin Chupeco, "Wicked As You Wish" (Sourcebooks Fire, 2020)

    Rin Chupeco, "Wicked As You Wish" (Sourcebooks Fire, 2020)

    Rin Chupeco's Wicked As You Wish (Sourcebooks Fire, 2020) begins with our Filipina narrator, Tala, and her best friend, Alexei, who both attend high school in the small Arizona town of Invierno. Alexei has a few secrets. For one, he’s gay, but not out, and for another, he’s the exiled Prince of Avalon, hiding from the evil Snow Queen and her minions, which include the ICE, the US Immigrations Department. One can’t hide from the Snow Queen forever, though. Soon there are scary ice maidens roaming the halls of the local high school, hunting Alexei. Tala’s family, the Makilings, along with her Tias and Titos fight to protect Alexei but have a hard time against enemies that also include ogres and the undead. Luckily, reinforcements arrive when the Bandersnatchers, a group of teen magicians dedicated to Avalon, show up armed with various cool weapons and quips. And the adventure is just beginning.
    This mash-up offers a mix of everyone’s favourite fairytales.
    You can follow Gabrielle on Twitter to get updates about new podcasts and more @GabrielleAuthor.
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    • 40 min
    Dina Greenberg, "Nermina's Chance" (Atmosphere Press, 2021)

    Dina Greenberg, "Nermina's Chance" (Atmosphere Press, 2021)

    Today I talked to Dina Greenberg about her new novel Nermina's Chance (Atmosphere Press, 2021).
    Nermina is a medical student in Sarajevo. She’s been raised in an educated family of Westernized, secular Muslims, but it’s 1992 and the Serbian Chetniks have started to destroy the city. Her mother and brother are murdered and Nermina is brutally raped. She manages to bribe her way out of Bosnia, flees with an orphaned five-year-old whom she leaves with relatives, and ultimately ends up in Portland, Oregon. She starts to rebuild her life and resolves to bring her own child into the world, but she’s twenty-four and can’t afford a medically induced pregnancy. So, she entices a ‘sperm donor’ who has no idea of her intentions. Through pregnancy and the first sixteen years of her daughter’s life, Nermina completes her degrees and begins counseling traumatized combat veterans. One of them turns out to be the brother of Nermina’s unknowing sperm donor.
    Nominated for The Pushcart Prize, Best Small Fictions, and The Millions, Dina Greenberg’s poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have appeared widely in such journals as Bellevue Literary Review, Pembroke Magazine, Split Rock Review, Tahoma Literary Review, Barely South, and Wilderness House Literary Review. Dina earned an MFA in fiction from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she served as managing editor for the literary journal Chautauqua. She teaches creative writing at the Cameron Art Museum and provides one-on-one writing coaching for victims of trauma. Her work leading creative writing workshops for combat veterans resulted in Nermina’s Chance. When she’s not writing, teaching, or reading, Dina loves to work transforming a previously litter-strewn median into what she and a group of neighbors hope will be a city oasis. She also loves iPhone photography, building things (think DIY compost tumbler, raised garden beds, etc.), and power walking on Wilmington, NC’s Riverwalk.
    G.P. Gottlieb is the author of the Whipped and Sipped Mystery Series and a prolific baker of healthful breads and pastries. Please contact her through her website (GPGottlieb.com) if you wish to recommend an author (of a beautifully-written new novel) to interview, to listen to her previous podcast interviews, to read her mystery book reviews, or to check out some of her awesome recipes.
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    • 32 min
    Andrea Penrose, "Murder at the Royal Botanic Gardens" (Kensington, 2021)

    Andrea Penrose, "Murder at the Royal Botanic Gardens" (Kensington, 2021)

    Great Britain’s Regency Era (1811–1820) has long been wildly popular as a subject of historical fiction yet overly focused on the romance genre. The towering figures of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer have tended to dominate the field to the point where even novels that are not primarily romances exist within Austen’s world.
    But as we can see from Andrea Penrose’s Wrexford & Sloane mystery series, far more was going on during the Regency than parties and marriage politics. Penrose’s London is a gritty place filled with canny urchins, men and women of science, engineers and international businessmen, gamblers and disgraced lords and satirists who make their living off the foibles and follies of the well-to-do.
    One such satirist is Charlotte Sloane—a young artist who writes under the pen name A.J. Quill. Her network of contacts—including the two urchins who live with her, known as Raven and Hawk—proves invaluable in untangling a series of murders, the first of which Bow Street is all too eager to blame on the Earl of Wrexford. She and Wrexford become reluctant partners, then friends, and by the time we reach book 5, Murder at the Royal Botanic Gardens, they are planning their wedding.
    Wrexford is an acclaimed amateur chemist, an interest that brings him into contact with most of London’s scientific elite and accounts for his and Charlotte’s attendance at a symposium being held the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew. The death of a prominent botanist, visiting from the United States (then at war with Britain), is first written off as the result of a weak heart. But certain clues point to murder, and Wrexford and Sloane’s friends and family urge them to investigate. They soon realize this crime may have international implications, and the hunt for the killer is on.
    As with the Lady Sherlock mysteries, it’s best to read this series from beginning to end, as each book develops Charlotte’s and Wrexford’s relationship, revealing new insights into their past. The characters are fascinating, the plots fast-paced and complex, and the settings richly described. If you’ve been avoiding novels set in the Regency because you associate the era with pale and predictable romances, this series will open your eyes.
    Andrea Penrose is the bestselling author of Regency-era historical fiction, including the acclaimed Wrexford & Sloane mystery series.
    C. P. Lesley is the author of two historical fiction series set during the childhood of Ivan the Terrible and three other novels. Her next book, Song of the Sinner, will appear in January 2022.
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    • 41 min
    Elliot Ackerman and James Stavridis, "2034: A Novel of the Next World War" (Penguin, 2021)

    Elliot Ackerman and James Stavridis, "2034: A Novel of the Next World War" (Penguin, 2021)

    The next world war is 13 years away—that is, if you live in the world envisioned by Elliot Ackerman and James Stavridis, 2034: A Novel of the Next World War (Penguin, 2021).
    When writing about the intersection of combat and diplomacy, the co-authors draw from experience. Ackerman has worked in the White House and served five tours of duty as a Marine in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for Valor, and the Purple Heart. Stavridis, a retired United States Navy admiral, served as NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe and, after leaving the Navy, as the dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
    2034 plays out a what-if scenario, starting with an incident between the Chinese and U.S. that escalates into a major conflict. “You could certainly say right now, vis-a-vis the United States’ relationship with China, that if we’re not in a Cold War, we are at least in sort of the foothills of a Cold War,” Ackerman says.
    Told through the eyes of multiple main characters from five nations, the escalating conflict begins to seem inevitable as deceit, posturing, and a game of chicken made it harder and harder for the countries’ leaders to back down. Ackerman feels that a conflict between the U.S. and China in real life is possible but not inevitable.
    “It's a cautionary tale. There's still time to take the exit ramp,” he says.
    Rob Wolf is the host of New Books in Science Fiction and the author of The Alternate Universe and The Escape.
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    • 36 min
    Daniel Alexander Jones, "Love Like Light: Plays and Performance Texts" (53rd State Press, 2021)

    Daniel Alexander Jones, "Love Like Light: Plays and Performance Texts" (53rd State Press, 2021)

    Daniel Alexander Jones' Love Like Light: Plays and Performance Texts (53rd State Press, 2021) collects seven plays and performance texts from the past twenty-five years. Together, they provide a panoramic view of a remarkable playwright, songwriter, improviser, and performer. In our conversation we discuss Jones' early exposure to theatre as a high school student in Springfield, MA, his discovery of Ntozake Shange's work, his emergence in the Radical Alternative Theater scenes in Austin and the Twin Cities, and his more recent work at New York venues including Soho Rep and Joe's Pub. Love Like Light should be of interest to anyone interested in queer performance, Afromysticism, and abstract structures of performance writing.
    Andy Boyd is a playwright based in Brooklyn, New York. He is a graduate of the playwriting MFA at Columbia University, Harvard University, and the Arizona School for the Arts.
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    • 1 hr 6 min
    Sara B. Fraser, "Just River" (Black Rose Writing, 2021)

    Sara B. Fraser, "Just River" (Black Rose Writing, 2021)

    Today I talked to Sara B. Fraser about her new novel Just River (Black Rose Writing, 2021).
    The Otis River flows through the once bustling city of Wattsville, a few hours north of NYC, reminding the remaining residents of better days. Cross-dressing Sam is okay with his new, minimum-wage job, as long as he gets to sing Karaoke twice a month. His neighbor and best friend, Carol, is a cashier who spreads love through her baking. Garnet, Carol’s daughter, is in prison after nearly killing her violent boyfriend, who visits her in prison. A couple of inmates learn that he’s rich and threaten Garnet with violence unless he sneaks in drugs for them. Carol and Sam try to help Garnet, but then an innocent boy is kidnapped and a dog is poisoned. The river is the only thing that can save them all.
    Sara B. Fraser is the author of the novels Long Division and Just River. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in Carve, Jabberwock Review, the Forge, Wilderness House Literary Review, Salamander, Traveler’s Tales, and more. Fraser completed her BFA in Creative Writing at Emerson College and two master’s degrees, the first in Composition from the University of Massachusetts and the second in Education from Boston College. She is a high-school Spanish teacher, married to an Irishman, and mother of two boys. Her passions are surfing—she has trouble finding people willing to accompany her as she’ll drop everything even in the dead of winter if there’s swell (don’t tell her boss)—and fermenting things in her kitchen. She cultivates funny smelling stuff like kimchi, sauerkraut, vinegar, kombucha, and sourdough bread starter. Some people think scoby (a product of fermentation) is weird looking, but she loves it. She spends summers in Galicia and plans on retiring there. A random fact that may or may not indicate something about who she is: as a teenager she used to darn her socks.
    G.P. Gottlieb is the author of the Whipped and Sipped Mystery Series and a prolific baker of healthful breads and pastries. Please contact her through her website (GPGottlieb.com) if you wish to recommend an author (of a beautifully-written new novel) to interview, to listen to her previous podcast interviews, to read her mystery book reviews, or to check out some of her awesome recipes.
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    • 23 min

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