239 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

    • News
    • 4.9 • 74 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.

    Polycules and Cuddle Piles: Brandy Jensen on the Mainstreaming of Polyamory

    Polycules and Cuddle Piles: Brandy Jensen on the Mainstreaming of Polyamory

    Writer Brandy Jensen joins co-hosts Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan to talk about polyamory’s place in the contemporary imagination. Jensen discusses the connections between polyamory and politics, noting its links to queer community and its defiance of normative gender roles. She analyzes protections for the rights of multiple-partner relationships in Massachusetts, New York, and California. Jensen also considers the language of polyamory and how it has been portrayed in current and past literature, especially science fiction. She reads from her recent Yale Review article, “The Polycrisis.”

    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 episode of the podcast was produced by Anne Kniggendorf.

    Brandy Jensen
    “The Polycrisis” | Yale Review


    Others:


    More: A Memoir of Open Marriage by Molly Roden Winter


    “On the Cover of New York: A Practical Guide to Polyamory,” by Priyanka Mantha | New York Magazine



    “Lessons From a 20-Person Polycule: How they set boundaries, navigate jealousy, wingman their spouses and foster community.” by Daniel Bergner | The New York Times Magazine



    “Polyamory, the Ruling Class’s Latest Fad,” by Tyler Austin Harper | The Atlantic



    “Scenes from an Open Marriage,” by Jean Garnett | The Paris Review |June 29, 2022

    Oneida Community

    Octavia Butler

    N.K. Jemisin

    Sally Rooney


    American Poly: A History by Christopher Gleason


    Couplets: A Love Story by Maggie Millner


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    • 40 min
    This Strange Eventful History: Claire Messud on Blurring Family History and Fiction

    This Strange Eventful History: Claire Messud on Blurring Family History and Fiction

    Author Claire Messud joins co-hosts Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan to talk about how the lines between autobiography and fiction blur, and the ways that families—real and imagined—hide their true histories. Messud’s new novel, This Strange Eventful History, out Tuesday, draws on her own family’s complex past, including their connections to French colonialism in Algeria. Messud talks about using her grandfather’s 1,500-page handwritten memoir as source material, creating a story that spans the globe, how ordinary lives intersect with history, and including a character interested in questioning, editing, translating, and transforming family tales into a story for a different audience, as writers often do. She reads from the novel.

    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 episode of the podcast was produced by Anne Kniggendorf and Amanda Trout.

    Claire Messud

    This Strange Eventful History

    The Last Life

    The Woman Upstairs

    The Emperor’s Children

    The Burning Girl

    Kant’s Little Prussian Head and Other Reasons Why I Write

    A Dream Life

    The Hunters


    Others:

    France in Algeria


    The Art of Losing by Alice Zeniter

    Elias Canetti

    Alice Munro


    Ulysses by James Joyce


    In an Antique Land by Amitav Ghosh

    Fiction/Non/Fiction Season 4, Episode 7, Claire Messud and Brendan O’Meara on Creative Nonfiction in an Era of ‘Fake News’



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    • 44 min
    Come Together: Leah Hunt-Hendrix and Astra Taylor on Solidarity, Change, and Our Interconnected World

    Come Together: Leah Hunt-Hendrix and Astra Taylor on Solidarity, Change, and Our Interconnected World

    Authors and organizers Leah Hunt-Hendrix and Astra Taylor join co-hosts Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan to talk about the concept of solidarity, its reliance on relationship-building, and how it has been expressed in political movements, from recent pro-Palestine activism in the U.S. to the Polish organization Solidarność, a trade union founded in the 1980s. Hunt-Hendrix and Taylor, authors of a new book called Solidarity: The Past, Present, and Future of a World-Changing Idea, also reflect on how solidarity relates to their own work. Hunt-Hendrix recalls her dissertation on solidarity, and Taylor discusses her role as a founder of the Debt Collective, a union of debtors. They interrogate two kinds of solidarity, transformative and reactionary, as they exist across the political spectrum, and read from Solidarity. 
    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 episode of the podcast was produced by Anne Kniggendorf and Llewyn Crum.

    Leah Hunt-Hendrix and Astra Taylor 


    Solidarity: The Past, Present, and Future of a World-Changing Idea by Leah Hunt-Hendrix and Astra Taylor



    Capitalism Cries: Class Struggles in South Africa and the World by Leah Hunt-Hendrix, William K. Carroll, Vishwas Satgar



    The Age of Insecurity: Coming Together as Things Fall Apart by Astra Taylor 



    Others:


    The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee



    There’s Going To Be Trouble by Jen Silverman



    The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, a Study in Religious Sociology by Emile Durkheim


    Fiction/Non/Fiction: Season 7, Episode 29, “Jen Silverman on Generational Divides in American Politics”


    “Zibby Owens withdraws sponsorship for the National Book Awards over its ‘pro-Palestinian agenda,’” by Dan Sheehan | LitHub

    Solidarność


    “The Triumph and Tragedy of Poland’s Solidarity Movement,” by David Ost | Jacobin | August 24, 2020

    A Land for All

    Standing Together

    Emory is Everywhere (via Twitter)
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    • 51 min
    Cashing in on the White Bonus: Tracie McMillan on Privilege, Generational Wealth, and the Myth of Colorblindness

    Cashing in on the White Bonus: Tracie McMillan on Privilege, Generational Wealth, and the Myth of Colorblindness

    Author and journalist Tracie McMillan joins co-hosts Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan to talk about the concept of the “white bonus” and how systemic bias generates white wealth not only in daily life but across generations. She references racial covenants, incarceration rates, and housing codes that continue to impact families, Black and white, to this day. She comments on the challenges of writing about her own experiences while also working as a journalist, and reads an excerpt from her new book, The White Bonus: Five Families and the Cash Value of Racism in America.
    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 episode of the podcast was produced by Anne Kniggendorf and Charlie Sheckells.
    Tracie McMillan

    The White Bonus: Five Families and the Cash Value of Racism in America

    The American Way of Eating

    City Limits


    Others:

    Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva 

    "The Man Who Made the Suburbs White," by Mark Dent | Slate

    The King of Kings County by Whitney Terrell

    The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee

    Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward

    Heavy by Kiese Layman

    Fiction/Non/Fiction Season 1, Episode 24, Part I: “Jess Row and Timothy Yu on Whiteness and Writing About Race”

    Fiction/Non/Fiction Season 1, Episode 24, Part II: “Jess Row and Timothy Yu on Learning From Writers Who Write About Race”

    “What’s Your Bonus” | Thewhitebonus.com


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    • 47 min
    There’s Going to Be Trouble: Jen Silverman on Generational Divides in American Politics

    There’s Going to Be Trouble: Jen Silverman on Generational Divides in American Politics

    As the presidential election heats up and President Joe Biden struggles to keep young voters’ support, novelist Jen Silverman joins co-host V.V. Ganeshananthan to discuss generational divides in U.S. politics. Silverman, whose new book, There’s Going to Be Trouble, follows the political and sexual awakenings of a father and daughter in different eras, talks about how young people’s involvement in politics now compares to previous generations’ engagement. They address the question of whether today’s 20-something voters are more likely to protest than vote, consider how social media and technology relate to in-person conversations and activism, and reflect on the need to name and engage with the failures of earlier generations. Silverman also explains why they chose to write about anti-Vietnam War protests at Harvard in 1968 and the gilet jaunes (Yellow Vest) protests in Paris fifty years later, and reads an excerpt from There’s Going to Be Trouble. 
    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 episode of the podcast was produced by Anne Kniggendorf and Alijah Smith.
    Jen Silverman

    There’s Going to Be Trouble

    We Play Ourselves

    The Island Dwellers

    Bath

    The Moors


    Others:

    Family Ties (television sitcom)

    Changing Partisan Coalitions in a Politically Divided Nation | Pew Research Center

    “Who Are France's Yellow Vest Protesters, And What Do They Want?” by Jake Cigainero | NPR, December 3, 2018.


    “The Generational Rift that Explains Democrats’ Angst over Israel” by Steven Shepard and Kelly Garrity | Politico, October 12, 2023

    “Less than Half of Young Americans Plan to Vote in 2024, Harvard Poll Finds” by Joseph Konig | Spectrum News

    “Young Voters are Unenthusiastic about Biden, but He Will Need Them in 2024” by Dan Balz | The Washington Post

    “Climate Activists Target Jets, Yachts and Golf in a String of Global Protests Against Luxury” by David Brunat | AP News

    “The Weapons French police use During Protests” by Jean-Philippe Lefief and Marie Pouzadoux | Le Monde, April 6, 2023

    Fiction/Non/Fiction Season 7, Episode 24: “Emily Raboteau on Mothering and Climate Change”

    The Diary of Virginia Woolf, Volume 5 by Virginia Woolf


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    • 57 min
    How We Talk About Cancer: S.L. Wisenberg on Kate Middleton and the Language of the Big C

    How We Talk About Cancer: S.L. Wisenberg on Kate Middleton and the Language of the Big C

    In the wake of the news that Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, has cancer, author S.L. (Sandi) Wisenberg joins co-hosts Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan to talk about the control that public—and private—figures should have over the disclosure of their diagnoses. Wisenberg, who survived breast cancer, and Terrell, who was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, name books they have read that have helped them discover humor in their journey from testing to treatment, and reflect on the challenging nuances of what it means to have cancer. They talk about how and when they decided to tell their loved ones, friends, and students about their condition. Wisenberg reads from her 2009 book The Adventures of Cancer Bitch, which will be reissued in paperback in October.
    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 episode of the podcast was produced by Anne Kniggendorf and Jasmine Shackleford.
    S.L. (Sandi) Wisenberg

    The Adventures of Cancer Bitch

    The Sweetheart Is In

    Holocaust Girls

    The Wandering Womb


    Others:


    “Princess of Wales Apologizes, Saying She Edited Image,” by Mark Landler and Lauren Leatherby | The New York Times



    Kate Middleton announces her cancer diagnosis | NBC News 



    Time on Fire: My Comedy of Terrors by Evan Handler


    Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person: A Memoir in Comics by Miriam Engelberg


    Memoir of a Debulked Woman by Susan Gubar


    Our Cancer Year by Harvey Pekar and Joyce Brabner


    The Cancer Journals by Audre Lorde


    Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book by Susan Love

    Señor Wences

    American Splendor


    Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje 

    Dick York

    Nora Ephron

    Carl Bernstein


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    • 59 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
74 Ratings

74 Ratings

NadaTeTurbe ,

Wonderful bookish podcast

This is hands down my favorite podcast. The hosts deftly steer the conversation with such interesting guests, the discussion always gets my wheels turning and makes me want to read, and I always learn something.

Dawnshhdhbekenb ,

Love how relevant it is

Loved the one on the writers’ strike, the one on Cormac McCarthy… a really nice range of topics always, and smart analysis, good questions, prepared hosts.

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!

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