161 episodes

Hosted by Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan, fiction/non/fiction interprets current events through the lens of literature, and features conversations with writers of all stripes, from novelists and poets to journalists and essayists.

fiction/non/fiction fiction/non/fiction

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    • 4.9 • 70 Ratings

Hosted by Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan, fiction/non/fiction interprets current events through the lens of literature, and features conversations with writers of all stripes, from novelists and poets to journalists and essayists.

    With the Ancestors: Buki Papillon on African Folklore and Wakanda Forever

    With the Ancestors: Buki Papillon on African Folklore and Wakanda Forever

    Buki Papillon, inaugural winner of the Maya Angelou Book Award in fiction, joins hosts V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell to discuss African folklore’s impact on popular culture. They talk about how the newly released blockbuster Black Panther: Wakanda Forever draws on the myths, histories, and languages of many African nations, including the tradition of calling to ancestors for guidance. Papillon, who was born in Nigeria, also reads from her prize-winning debut novel, An Ordinary Wonder, and discusses how she included folklore, proverbs, and deities from the Yoruba pantheon in the story, which follows an intersex protagonist seeking to claim her identity. 
    To hear the full episode, subscribe through iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app (include the forward slashes when searching). You can also listen by streaming from the player below. Check out video versions of our interviews on the Fiction/Non/Fiction Instagram account, the Fiction/Non/Fiction YouTube Channel, and our show website: https://www.fnfpodcast.net/
    This podcast is produced by Anne Kniggendorf.

    Selected Readings:
    Buki Papillon
    An Ordinary Wonder

    Others:


    “With 'Wakanda Forever,' African Folklore’s Influence on Pop Culture Is Finally Getting Overdue Recognition” by Elizabeth Agyemang

    Black Panther: Wakanda Forever


    Anansi the Spider by Gerald McDermott

    African trickster myths


    “Meet the African goddess at the center of Beyoncé’s Black is King” by Constance Grady



    “The 'Black Panther' Revolution: How Chadwick Boseman and Ryan Coogler created the most radical superhero movie of all time” by Josh Eells


    “How ‘The Woman King’ makes Hollywood history with an incredible true story” by Sonaiya Kelley

    The Maya Angelou Book Award

    ILGA

    InterACT Advocates

    intersex Nigeria


    Marlon James and Daniel José Older: Against Genre Snobbery (Season 1, Episode 17) 


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    • 43 min
    Live from Writers for Readers in Kansas City: Alexander Chee on Editing Best American Essays 2022

    Live from Writers for Readers in Kansas City: Alexander Chee on Editing Best American Essays 2022

    Writer and editor Alexander Chee joins hosts V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell live from the annual Writers for Readers gala in Kansas City to discuss editing Best American Essays 2022. Chee talks about what makes a strong essay and how he curated the volume, as well as how his training as a speed reader stood him in good stead as he made his selections. He also comments on specific pieces by Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, Kaitlyn Greenidge, Anthony Veasna So, Ryan Bradley, Vauhini Vara, Erika J. Simpson, and others. 
    Writers for Readers is an ongoing partnership between the Kansas City Public Library and the University of Missouri’s MFA Program in Creative Writing. Funds raised support the Maya Angelou Book Award and enable graduate students to teach writing classes at the library. 
    To hear the full episode, subscribe through iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app (include the forward slashes when searching). You can also listen by streaming from the player below. Check out video versions of our interviews on the Fiction/Non/Fiction Instagram account, the Fiction/Non/Fiction YouTube Channel, and our show website: https://www.fnfpodcast.net/
    This podcast is produced by Anne Kniggendorf.

    Selected Readings:
    Alexander Chee


    The Best American Essays 2022 (Ed.)

    How to Write an Autobiographical Novel

    Edinburgh

    The Queen of the Night


    Others:

    Annie Dillard

    Jamaica Kincaid

    David Foster Wallace

    Hilton Als

    Susan Sontag

    Cynthia Ozick

    Edward Hoagland

    Robert Atwan

    Elizabeth Hardwick

    Darryl Pinckney


    Diaries of Mavis Gallant

    Dmitri Nabokov

    Vladimir Nabokov 


    Black Folk Could Fly by Randall Kenan

    James Baldwin

    Joan Didion

    Anne Carson

    Edwidge Danticat

    Brian Doyle

    Franklin Burroughs

    Gerard Manley Hopkins

    Maya Angelou

    Alex Marzano-Leznevich

    Erika J. Simpson

    Ryan Bradley

    Kaitlyn Greenidge

    Gary Shteyngart

    Christopher Leonard


    “Ghosts” by Vauhini Vara


    “When World of Warcraft is an Escape – and a Memorial” by Tanner Akoni Laguatan


    “Baby Yeah,” by Anthony Veasna So


    Fiction/Non/Fiction, Season 5 Episode 10: “How on Earth Do You Judge Books?” Susan Choi and Oscar Villalon on the Story Behind Literary Awards


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    • 53 min
    The Talented Mr. Musk: Dan Chaon on Twitter, Identity, and Imposters

    The Talented Mr. Musk: Dan Chaon on Twitter, Identity, and Imposters

    Fiction writer Dan Chaon joins Fiction/Non/Fiction hosts V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell to discuss the fate of Twitter and social media in the aftermath of Elon Musk’s $44 billion purchase of the platform. Chaon says Twitter is not a “public square,” it’s a business, and talks about how much we really own our online identities in light of that. He also reads from and discusses his Atlantic article, “The Story of My Imposters,” about a fake website purporting to be his, as well as his latest novel, Sleepwalk, which features characters trying to stay off the grid—and to discern each other’s true identities.
    To hear the full episode, subscribe through iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app (include the forward slashes when searching). You can also listen by streaming from the player below. Check out video versions of our interviews on the Fiction/Non/Fiction Instagram account, the Fiction/Non/Fiction YouTube Channel, and our show website: https://www.fnfpodcast.net/.
    This podcast is produced by Anne Kniggendorf.
    Selected Readings:
    Dan Chaon

    Sleepwalk

    Ill Will

    Stay Awake

    Await Your Reply

    Among the Missing


    “The Story of My Imposters,” The Atlantic



    Others:

    Edan Lepucki

    Charles Baxter

    The Soul Thief

    'A chameleon's skill' | TribLIVE.com

    George Saunders

    Writers Wrestle with Twitter: Do I Stay or Go (and Where?) by Jess deCourcy Hinds, Literary Hub


    Fiction/Non/Fiction, Season 6 Episode 6: “Nancy Pelosi’s Majority: Matthew Clark Davison’s San Francisco Take on a National Leader”


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    • 46 min
    Nancy Pelosi’s Majority: Matthew Clark Davison’s San Francisco Take on a National Leader

    Nancy Pelosi’s Majority: Matthew Clark Davison’s San Francisco Take on a National Leader

    In the wake of the brutal attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul, and anticipating the midterms, writer and longtime Bay Area resident Matthew Clark Davison joins Fiction/Non/Fiction hosts V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell to discuss Nancy Pelosi’s political trailblazing and what it’s like to live in her district. Davison talks about how he’s seen Pelosi support marginalized groups through the years and his own early impressions of her. He also reads from his novel, Doubting Thomas, which includes some of San Francisco’s political history, especially as it pertains to gay communities.
    To hear the full episode, subscribe through iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app (include the forward slashes when searching). You can also listen by streaming from the player below. Check out video versions of our interviews on the Fiction/Non/Fiction Instagram account, the Fiction/Non/Fiction YouTube Channel, and our show website: https://www.fnfpodcast.net/.
    This podcast is produced by Anne Kniggendorf.
    Selected Readings:
    Matthew Clark Davison
    Doubting Thomas
    
    Others:

    Nancy Pelosi

    “Nancy Pelosi Says Attack on Husband Will Affect Her Political Future,” by Eduardo Medina, The New York Times


    “The Facts about the Attack on Paul Pelosi, According to Prosecutors,” by The New York Times

    “Pelosi, Vilified by Republicans for Years, Is a Top Target of Threats,” by Annie Karni, Catie Edmondson and Carl Hulse, The New York Times

    Janice Mirikitani


    Fiction/Non/Fiction Season 5 Episode 19: “The Danger is Larger Because the Voice is Bigger.” Alexandra Billings on the Surge in Anti-Trans Legislation


    Fiction/Non/Fiction Season 6 Episode 5: The Author of Election on the Election: Tom Perrotta Talks Tracy Flick’s Return and the Midterms


    Fiction/Non/Fiction Season 5 Episode 8: Paul Lisicky and Terese Marie Mailhot on the Long-Term Mental Health Effects of the Pandemic


    Fiction/Non/Fiction Season 1 Episode 12: C. Riley Snorton and T Fleischmann Talk Gender, Freedom, and Transitivity


    “What ‘news deserts,’ Americans must ensure what they’re consuming is legit,” hosted by Steve Chiotakis, KCRW


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    • 44 min
    The Author of Election on the Election: Tom Perrotta on Tracy Flick’s Return and the Midterms

    The Author of Election on the Election: Tom Perrotta on Tracy Flick’s Return and the Midterms

    Novelist Tom Perrotta joins Fiction/Non/Fiction hosts V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell to discuss the upcoming midterm elections through the lens of his new novel, Tracy Flick Can’t Win, his second about the title character. Tracy Flick serves as an avatar for elite liberalism—a way many view the Democratic Party, he argues, whether the Dems are aware of it or not. Perrotta talks about what it means for his character, and many Americans, to be Republicans at heart while finding it necessary to lean toward the Democratic Party in light of Trump-era Republicanism. He also reads from the novel and explains how #MeToo influenced his decision to return to the iconic heroine.
    To hear the full episode, subscribe through iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app (include the forward slashes when searching). You can also listen by streaming from the player below. Check out video versions of our interviews on the Fiction/Non/Fiction Instagram account, the Fiction/Non/Fiction YouTube Channel, and our show website: https://www.fnfpodcast.net/.
    This podcast is produced by Anne Kniggendorf.
    Selected Readings:
    Tom Perrotta

    Election

    Tracy Flick Can’t Win

    Mrs. Fletcher

    The Leftovers

    Little Children

    Bad Haircut

    The Wishbones

    Joe College

    The Abstinence Teacher

    Nine Inches


    Others:


    "Rhyming Action," by Charles Baxter, from Michigan Quarterly Review, Vol. 35, No. 4 (also in Burning Down the House)


    5 scenarios that could decide the Senate in 2022, The Washington Post


    On Feminism and Fictionalized Histories: Curtis Sittenfeld Tackles Centrism, Clintonism and All Things ‘Hillary Rodham’ (Fiction/Non/Fiction Season 3, Episode 18) 

    Charles Baxter


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    • 49 min
    Women Resisting Terror in Iran: Porochista Khakpour on the Historic Protests Against President Raisi’s Government

    Women Resisting Terror in Iran: Porochista Khakpour on the Historic Protests Against President Raisi’s Government

    Novelist and essayist Porochista Khakpour joins Fiction/Non/Fiction hosts V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell to discuss the current wave of protests for women’s rights in Iran, and the government’s brutal crackdown in response. Khakpour laments the deaths of young women who have lost their lives speaking out against compulsory hijab. She also reflects on and celebrates multiple generations of human rights protests in the country of her birth. Finally, she talks about what it means to be Iranian in the United States and reads from her essay “Revolution Days,” which is included in her latest book, Brown Album: Essays on Exile and Identity.
    To hear the full episode, subscribe through iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app (include the forward slashes when searching). You can also listen by streaming from the player below. Check out video versions of our interviews on the Fiction/Non/Fiction Instagram account, the Fiction/Non/Fiction YouTube Channel, and our show website: https://www.fnfpodcast.net/.
    This podcast is produced by Anne Kniggendorf.
    Selected Readings:
    Porochista Khakpour

    Brown Album: Essays on Exile and Identity

    The Last Illusion

    Sons and Other Flammable Objects 

    Sick


    Shirin Ebadi: 'Almost a fourth of the people on Earth are Muslim. Are they like each other? Of course not' | Working in development | The Guardian (April 25, 2017)


    “What I Saw at the Revolution,” The Daily Beast (Feb. 11, 2009)



    Others:


    “Iranian President Orders Enforcement of Hijab and Chastity Law for Women” by Ardeshir Tayebi, RadioFreeEurope / RadioLiberty's Radio Farda (July 7, 2022)



    “In Iran, Woman's Death After Arrest by the Morality Police Triggers Outrage,” by Farnaz Fassihi, The New York Times (Sept. 16, 2022)


    “Nika Shakarami: Iran protester's family forced to lie about death,” by Parham Ghobadi, BBC Persian (Oct. 6, 2022)


    “Another teenage girl dead at hands of Iran's security forces, reports claim,” by Deepa Parent and Annie Kelly, The Guardian, (Oct. 7, 2022)


    “Unity In Diversity: On Overcoming the Erasure of Kurdistan and Jina,” by Ala Riani and Rezan Labady, Los Angeles Review of Books, (Oct. 13, 2022)

    “Protest Chants, a Riot and Gunshots: How a Prison Fire Unfolded in Iran,” by Farnaz Fassihi, The New York Times (Oct. 21, 2022)


    Jasmin Darznik and Dina Nayeri on the 40th Anniversary of the Iranian Revolution (Fiction/Non/Fiction Season 2, Episode 23) 


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    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
70 Ratings

70 Ratings

Bohemian_Peasant ,

Relevant and informative

Your conversation with the hosts of Explaining Ukraine about “Crime Without Punishment” was timely and relevant. Don’t miss this episode!

dataylor1 ,

Entertaining and thoughtful

Every episode a great listen

ustazaduktura ,

Such a fun and thought-provoking podcast

A must listen

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