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Interviews, readings, music, and more from the Los Angeles Review of Books.

LA Review of Books Los Angeles Review of Books

    • Böcker

Interviews, readings, music, and more from the Los Angeles Review of Books.

    Nick Pinkerton Says Goodbye to Dragon Inn

    Nick Pinkerton Says Goodbye to Dragon Inn

    Kate Wolf is joined by writer and film critic Nick Pinkerton to discuss his book-length essay on Tsai Ming-liang’s film Goodbye, Dragon Inn, which revolves around the final screening at a cinema in Taiwan — on the very day that 300 movie theaters were shuttered across Southern California. The book is both a eulogy and a call to arms for cinema. Kate and Nick share a defiant sadness, revel in memories of the power and meaning they found in a communal space of shared dreams, and wonder how it might be preserved amidst the tyranny of tiny screens and the banality of the bottom line.
    Also, Sam Cohen, author of the collection of stories Sarahland, drops by to recommend Larry Mitchell’s The Faggots and Their Friends Between Revolutions.

    • 47 min
    Rachel Kushner Amongst The Hard Crowd

    Rachel Kushner Amongst The Hard Crowd

    Kate and Medaya are joined by Rachel Kushner, author previously of Telex from Cuba and the Flamethrowers, both nominated for the National Book Award, and The Mars Room, which was shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Award. Rachel's new book is a collection of her essays from the past two decades, The Hard Crowd, which exhibits the inspiring breadth of her interests and influences, many of which she discusses - from motorcycle racing, to prison abolition, the Anarcho-Marxist Italian left, rock impresario Bill Graham, the writing of Marguerite Duras, and the people and places of her rough-edged youth in San Francisco.
    Also, Jackie Wang, author of The Sunflower Cast a Spell to Save Us from the Void, returns to recommend Nobody: A Hymn to the Sea by poet Alice Oswald

    • 54 min
    Jackie Wang: The Sunflower Cast a Spell to Save Us From the Void

    Jackie Wang: The Sunflower Cast a Spell to Save Us From the Void

    Kate and Medaya talk with poet, essayist, and critic Jackie Wang about her new collection of poetry The Sunflower Cast a Spell to Save Us From the Void.  As an Assistant Professor of Culture and Media Studies at The New School, Wang also works on race, surveillance technology, and the political economy of prisons and police.  In her poetry, she uses dreams to get to very concrete historical and social issues; along with the apocalypse, survival, intimacy, speech, silence and of course, sunflowers. Jackie discusses the relationship between her poetry and academic work; and her exploration of dreams, psychoanalysis, and the work of the imagination “the work of creating openings where there were previously none.”
    Also, Jo Ann Beard, author of Festival Days, returns to recommend both Daniel Orozco's collection of stories Orientation; and also Amy Hempel's collection Sing To It.

    • 45 min
    Jo Ann Beard's Festival Days

    Jo Ann Beard's Festival Days

    Medaya talks with renowned essayist and fiction writer Jo Ann Beard, whose latest collection is called Festival Days. Near the beginning of the book, Jo Ann writes that there’s an element of fiction in her essays and essays in her fiction - an idea she elaborates on during the conversation. Jo Ann shares much about her own life and development as a writer, while addressing many of the central themes of the work: death, illness, childhood, memory and of course, her renowned and professed love for animals. 
    Also, Chanda Prescod-Weinstein returns to recommend one of Jane Austen's later novels, Mansfield Park.

    • 45 min
    Chanda Prescod-Weinstein's Disordered Cosmos

    Chanda Prescod-Weinstein's Disordered Cosmos

    Eric Newman is joined by Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein to discuss her book The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred, which opens up with some very heavy science, explaining quarks, dark matter and other phenomena that point to the limits of our knowledge about the how the universe, and everything in it, functions. But at the heart of the book is a series of questions about how the social construction of science both foments a toxic culture and might help us to understand not only how to do science better, but how to do better science.
    Also, Brian Dillon, author of Suppose a Sentence, returns to recommend Inventory of a Life Mislaid by Marina Warner.

    • 39 min
    Contrasting Interiors: Christine Smallwood's Life of the Mind and Sara Davis' Scapegoat

    Contrasting Interiors: Christine Smallwood's Life of the Mind and Sara Davis' Scapegoat

    Kate and Medaya speak with two heralded debut novelists. First up is Christine Smallwood, author of The Life of the Mind, about Dorothy, a failing adjunct professor in New York City, who suffers a miscarriage, and struggles to maintain her resilience in an unwelcoming world. Christine explains how the novel came to be and reflects on why Dorothy’s travails so successfully capture the texture of our time. Then Sara Davis joins Kate and Daya to talk about her novel The Scapegoat, which also centers around an academic in crisis. The narrator, N, disrupts his routine life to investigate the circumstances of his estranged father’s death, which is clouded in uncertainties of history, identity, and reality. Sara shares how she approached writing such a challenging and rewarding work.

    • 58 min

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