226 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.

    The Road From Belhaven: Margot Livesey and What Literature Can Tell Us About The Future

    The Road From Belhaven: Margot Livesey and What Literature Can Tell Us About The Future

    As the 2024 Presidential race heats up, award-winning fiction writer Margot Livesey joins co-hosts Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan to discuss the value of seeing the future in politics and in family life. Are the polls right? Will Donald Trump beat President Joe Biden in the November election? Livesey talks about the role predictions play in our political landscape and in her new novel, The Road from Belhaven, in which a young woman named Lizzie Craig, raised by her grandparents in 19th century Scotland, has the gift of second sight. Livesey discusses the ways that literature has handled the concept of “seeing the future” over time, including the role second sight plays in Macbeth. She reads from her 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.
    Margot Livesey

    The Road From Belhaven

    The Boy in the Field

    Homework

    Eva Moves The Furniture

    The Flight of Gemma Hardy


    Others


    Daniel Deronda by George Eliot

    Fiction/Non/Fiction: Season 3, Episode 24: “Summer Books Extravaganza: Margot Livesey and Jaswinder Bolina on Beach Reading When the Beach is Closed”


    Fiction/Non/Fiction: Season 5, Episode 35: "Boris Johnson: Margot Livesey on British Politics, the Brexit Blunder, and the Prime Minister’s Lies" 



    No Great Mischief  by Alistair MacLeod 



    The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan


    Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis 


    Macbeth by William Shakespeare


    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling


    Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

    L.M. Montgomery


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    • 36 min
    ‘They Want What We Have’: Matt Gallagher on Supporting Ukrainians' Struggle for Liberation

    ‘They Want What We Have’: Matt Gallagher on Supporting Ukrainians' Struggle for Liberation

    Two years after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, novelist, journalist, and veteran Matt Gallagher joins co-hosts Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan to discuss the current state of the Russo-Ukrainian war and why the country desperately needs the emergency aid in a bill currently under consideration in Congress. Gallagher, whose new novel Daybreak is set in Ukraine, weighs in on where the U.S. stands on the war by comparing it to military conflicts of the past, from World War II to more recent involvements in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. He also reflects on how reporting and training civilians in Ukraine influenced Daybreak, in which an Army veteran explores his own motivations for aiding the country’s fight for freedom as well as the flawed, messy realities of war. He 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.
    Matt Gallagher

    Daybreak

    Empire City

    Youngblood

    “This is no time to give up on Ukraine” by Matt Gallagher | Boston Globe

    “There Are Only Two Options Left in Ukraine” by Matt Gallagher | Esquire, Nov. 20, 2023

    “The Secret Weapons of Ukraine” by Matt Gallagher | Esquire, Feb. 23, 2023

    “My Advice for American Veterans Who Want to Get On a Plane to Ukraine” by Matt Gallagher | The New York Times, April 10, 2022

    “Notes from Lviv” by Matt Gallagher | Esquire, March 31, 2022


    Others:

    “Ukraine is resorting to attacking Russia with small drones because it's running out of artillery ammunition” by Tom Porter | Business Insider

    “Ukraine and Israel Aid Bill Inches Ahead as Divided G.O.P. Demands Changes” by Karoun Demirjian | The New York Times, 2024

    The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

    The Forever War by Dexter Wilkins

    “What Should a War Movie Do?” by Whitney Terrell | The New Republic, Nov. 21, 2016

    Fiction/Non/Fiction Season 1, Episode 1: The Art of Taking a Knee: Colin Kaepernick Edition


    Fiction/Non/Fiction Season 4, Episode 13: Cancellation or Consequences? Meredith Talusan and Matt Gallagher on Accountability in Literature


    Fiction/Non/Fiction Season 5, Episode 9: Anton Troianovski and Marci Shore on a Possible Russian Invasion of Ukraine 


    Fiction/Non/Fiction Season 6, Episode 2: How Dostoevsky’s Classic Has Shaped Russia’s War in Ukraine, with Explaining Ukraine’s Tetyana Ogarkova and Volodymyr Yermolenko


    Fiction/Non/Fiction Season 6, Episode 51: Tetyana Ogarkova and Volodymyr Yermolenko on How Artists Are Responding to the War in Ukraine 




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    • 53 min
    American Fiction: Jacinda Townsend and James Bernard Short on the Joy, Pathos, and Complexity of Black Experience in the Oscar-Nominated Film

    American Fiction: Jacinda Townsend and James Bernard Short on the Joy, Pathos, and Complexity of Black Experience in the Oscar-Nominated Film

    Novelist Jacinda Townsend and writer James Bernard Short join co-hosts Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan to talk about the movie American Fiction, which is based on the novel Erasure by Percival Everett. Townsend and Short discuss how the film addresses race in the publishing industry via its central character, Black author Thelonious “Monk” Ellison, who tries to make an ironic point by writing a book exploiting Black stereotypes and finds, to his dismay, that it’s received in earnest and a bestseller. Townsend and Short analyze director Cord Jefferson’s approach and the film’s themes of family dysfunction, freedom in storytelling, and the importance of portraying the complexity of Black lives. 

    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.

    Jacinda Townsend

    Mother Country

    Saint Monkey


    James Bernard Short

    “Aqua Boogie” | Blood Orange Review

    “Rootwork” | Blood Orange Review

    “Flash, Back: Langston Hughes’ The Simple Shorts” | SmokeLong Quarterly


    Others:

    American Fiction (movie) | Official Trailer

    Erasure by Percival Everett

    An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

    Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead

    Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead

    Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

    The Color Purple by Alice Walker

    Thelonious Monk

    Ralph Ellison

    Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

    “The Little Man at Chehaw Station” by Ralph Ellison | The American Scholar, 1978

    The Tuskegee Institute

    White Negroes by Lauren Michele Jackson

    “The White Negro” by Norman Mailer | Dissent, 1957

    “Dragon Slayers” by Jerald Walker | The Iowa Review, 2006

    “The Hidden Lesson of ‘American Fiction’” by John McWhorter | The New York Times

    Origin (movie) | Official Trailer

    Fiction/Non/Fiction Season 1, Episode 11, “Annihilation, Adaptation: What's It Really Like to Have Your Book Made Into a Movie”

    Fiction/Non/Fiction Season 2, Episode 11, “Brit Bennett and Emily Halpern on Screenwriting’s Tips for Fiction”

    Fiction/Non/Fiction Season 6, Episode 33, “The Stakes of the Writers’ Strike: Benjamin Percy on the WGA Walkout, Streaming, and the Survival of Screenwriting”

    Fiction/Non/Fiction Season 6, Episode 38, “Jacinda Townsend on Why Democrats Are Skeptical of President Biden—and How He Can Win Them Back”


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    • 49 min
    AWP 2024 Preview: Glenn North on Kansas City’s Jazz, Poetry, and Barbeque

    AWP 2024 Preview: Glenn North on Kansas City’s Jazz, Poetry, and Barbeque

    With AWP’s annual conference headed to Kansas City next week, poet and activist Glenn North joins co-hosts Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan to tell incoming writers where to find the best food and coolest hangouts in the city. North discusses Kansas City’s diversity, its history of racial covenants, and its newly rejuvenated Crossroads Arts District, which is near the convention site. North and Terrell, who also lives in Kansas City, highlight a variety of spots to check out, including the Green Lady Lounge, Swordfish Tom’s, The Blue Room, the American Jazz Museum, and Kansas City’s not-to-miss barbeque scene. North reads his poem, “Harmony on the Vine,” about the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District, where he is the current poet laureate, as well as an excerpt from his poem for the 25th anniversary of the American Jazz Museum.  
    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.

    Glenn North

    City of Song

    Check Cashing Day

    Love, Loss, and Violence: A Visual Dialogue on War


    Others:

    American Jazz Museum

    Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

    Kansas City Museum

    The Arabia Steamboat Museum

    World War I Museum

    Union Station

    Kansas City Public Library

    BLK + BRWN

    Bliss Books & Wine

    Rainy Day Books

    Wise Blood Booksellers

    Writer’s Place

    Green Lady Lounge

    Afterword

    The Mutual Musicians Foundation

    21c

    Corvino

    Farina

    Extra Virgin

    Anton’s

    Soriée

    Lulu’s

    Jarocho

    Prime Social

    Earl’s Premier

    River Market

    Country Club Plaza

    Gates Bar-B-Q

    Jack Stack Barbeque

    Bryant’s Barbeque

    Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que

    Q39

    LC’s Bar-B-Q


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    • 49 min
    ‘What is History?’: Ed Park on Korea’s Past, Real and Imagined

    ‘What is History?’: Ed Park on Korea’s Past, Real and Imagined

    Novelist Ed Park joins co-hosts Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan to discuss the role of alternate histories and counternarratives in popular culture, public record, and the general consciousness, via his new novel, Same Bed Different Dreams. Park talks about depicting and reimagining well known events and eras, including the Japanese occupation of Korea between 1910-1945; Korean resistance to that occupation in the form of the Korean Provisional Government; the post-World War II division of Korea into North and South, which became sovereign nations in 1948; and the Korean War, which lasted from 1950 to until 1953. He reflects on writing about more recent history, as well as his hometown of Buffalo, New York. The conversation suggests that positive alternate timelines, like the one Park creates, invite readers to learn more about actual events, whereas a more pernicious spin on the past may edit for the benefit of a particular group. Park 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.
    Ed Park

    Same Bed Different Dreams

    Personal Days

    Weird Menace


    Others:

    Charlie Kaufman

    Philip Roth

    Richard E. Kim

    Jack London on Korea

    Thomas Pynchon

    BTS


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    • 45 min
    Former Biden Speechwriter Nate Rawlings on Claudine Gay, Neil Gorsuch, and the Politics of Plagiarism

    Former Biden Speechwriter Nate Rawlings on Claudine Gay, Neil Gorsuch, and the Politics of Plagiarism

    Journalist Nate Rawlings, who spent a stint as a speechwriter for then-Vice President Joe Biden, joins co-hosts Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan to talk about the politics (and nuances) of plagiarism. Rawlings discusses how plagiarism accusations derailed Joe Biden’s presidential run in 1987. He examines how the right-wing activist-led plagiarism accusations against former Harvard President Claudine Gay fit into the context of prior plagiarism scandals, and considers the possibility that new technologies like AI will intensify future politically motivated attacks. He also reflects on why some plagiarism allegations stick and shift opinion, and others don’t.
    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.
    Nate Rawlings
    Nate Rawlings | TIME.com
    Others:
    "The North’s Jim Crow" by Andrew W. Kahrl|The New York Times, May 27, 2018
    "How We Squeezed Harvard to Push Claudine Gay Out" by Christopher Rufo | Wall Street Journal
    Grace: President Obama and Ten Days in the Battle for America by Cody Keenan  
    What It Takes: The Way to the White House by Richard Ben Cramer
    "Plagiarism charges downed Harvard’s president. A conservative attack helped to fan the outrage" by Collin Binkley and Moriah Balingit | AP
    Elise Stefanik
    Claudine Gay
    “Echoes of Biden’s 1987 plagiarism scandal continue to reverberate” by Neena Satija | The Washington Post, June 5, 2019
    Democratic Primary Debate, August 23, 1987
    Fiction/Non/Fiction Season 6, Episode 46, “Samuel G. Freedman on What Hubert Humphrey’s Fight for Civil Rights Can Teach Us Today”
    Fiction/Non/Fiction Season 6, Episode 16, “Chatbot vs. Writer: Vauhini Vara on the Perils and Possibilities of Artificial Intelligence”
    Nadia Schadlow, Small Wars Journal
    Peggy Noonan
    “Boys of Pont du Hoc” speech by Peggy Noonan for Ronald Reagan, June 6, 1984
    “I see the boys of summer,” by Dylan Thomas
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    • 50 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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