500 episodes

The Los Angeles Review of Books is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and disseminating rigorous, incisive, and engaging writing on every aspect of literature, culture, and the arts.

The Los Angeles Review of Books magazine was created in part as a response to the disappearance of the traditional newspaper book review supplement, and, with it, the art of lively, intelligent long-form writing on recent publications in every genre, ranging from fiction to politics. The Los Angeles Review of Books seeks to revive and reinvent the book review for the internet age, and remains committed to covering and representing today’s diverse literary and cultural landscape.

LA Review of Books LA Review of Books

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.3 • 63 Ratings

The Los Angeles Review of Books is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and disseminating rigorous, incisive, and engaging writing on every aspect of literature, culture, and the arts.

The Los Angeles Review of Books magazine was created in part as a response to the disappearance of the traditional newspaper book review supplement, and, with it, the art of lively, intelligent long-form writing on recent publications in every genre, ranging from fiction to politics. The Los Angeles Review of Books seeks to revive and reinvent the book review for the internet age, and remains committed to covering and representing today’s diverse literary and cultural landscape.

    Two Decades of N+1

    Two Decades of N+1

    Editors Dayna Tortorici and Mark Krotov join Kate Wolf and Medaya Ocher to speak about 20 years of the magazine n+1, as well as their new anthology The Intellectual Situation: The Best of n+1’s Second Decade. The book collects n+1 essays, short stories, and reviews from the last ten years, covering the rise of Bernie Sanders and democratic socialism, the George Floyd protests, #MeToo, and the Covid pandemic. The guests discuss the ins and outs of running a small magazine, the current media landscape, their commitment to formal experimentation and political discourse, and their vision for the future of print.
    Also, Yasmin Zaher, author of The Coin, returns top recommend The Kingdom by Emmanuel Carrere.

    • 51 min
    Yasmin Zaher's "The Coin"

    Yasmin Zaher's "The Coin"

    Kate Wolf speaks with writer and journalist Yasmin Zaher about her debut novel, The Coin. An allegorical tale of alienation, loneliness, and repulsion, the book follows a Palestinian woman who’s recently fulfilled her family’s dream of moving to America. In New York, working as a middle school teacher, she finds herself disillusioned with the filth of the city and its poverty. She’s beset with a deep unease at her own body and haunted by memories, especially that of a coin—a shekel—she swallowed on a car ride as a child just moments before a horrible accident. Estranged from the few people she knows in the city, her behavior becomes increasingly unhinged and bizarre in ways that complicate standard stories of immigration, and instead imagine the path of a character who sees through America’s promise and realizes she has nothing to lose.
    Also, Nell Irvin Painter, author of I Just Keep Talking, returns to recommend three books and one magazine: The Plague Edition of Konch Magazine edited by Ishmael Reed and Tennessee Reed’s; Black Art and Aesthetics: Relationalities, Interiorities, Reckonings edited by Michael Kelly and Monique Roelofs; James: a Novel by Percival Everett; and Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays by Zadie Smith.

    • 46 min
    Nell Irvin Painter at the Crossroads of Art, Politics, and Race in America

    Nell Irvin Painter at the Crossroads of Art, Politics, and Race in America

    Eric Newman is joined by historian Nell Irvin Painter to discuss I Just Keep Talking: A Life in Essays, a compendium of Painter's writing about art, politics, and race across nearly four decades. The wide-ranging discussion moves from how researching Sojourner Truth inspired Painter to get her MFA in visual art, to the struggle over what can be taught and known about American history, to the ways modern information technology impacts our experience of the present and its echoes in the past, and to how we might navigate a bleak present in which fascism seems newly on the march.
    Also, Emily Nussbaum, author of Cue the Sun! The Invention of Reality TV, returns to recommend Strangers to Ourselves: Unsettled Minds and the Stories That Make Us by Rachel Aviv.

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Emily Nussbaum's "Cue the Sun! The Invention of Reality TV"

    Emily Nussbaum's "Cue the Sun! The Invention of Reality TV"

    Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher are joined by New Yorker staff writer and former television critic Emily Nussbaum to discuss her book Cue the Sun! The Invention of Reality TV. Nussbaum's overview of the most dominant genre of our time moves from reality TV's origins in radio to its role in forging the public image of a US president. In a sweeping conversation, the hosts and Nussbaum break down some of the unsung heroes and incredible stories behind the creation of our nostalgic reality TV touchstones, the harbingers of a darker genre to come, and its relationship to broad, tectonic social and political changes in American life.
    Also, Patrick Nathan, author of The Future was Color, returns to recommend Housemates: A Novel by Emma Copley Eisenberg.

    • 58 min
    A Queer Vision of Old Hollywood

    A Queer Vision of Old Hollywood

    Medaya Ocher and Eric Newman speak with author Patrick Nathan about his latest novel, and this month's LARB Book Club pick, The Future Was Color. The novel chronicles the life of Hungarian immigrant writer George Curtis. When we meet George, he's writing the hacky sort of monster movies that are today's cult classics, trying to find sex and love amid the closeted ambiance of life between the wars and in the midst of the McCarthyite purges of communists and homosexuals that plagued the mid-century film industry. As George demurs writing the studio's next big hit to create something of greater substance about Hungary and the war from his exile perspective, he follows a passionate affair with his coworker in the writers' room. But when he departs the studio office for a residency of sorts with a Malibu actress and her gay husband, a dramatic chain reaction brings new motivations and possibilities to light. A novel about a moment in time that is also in so many ways timeless, The Future Was Color is an exploration of the line between the personal and political, between safety and risk, the art we create and the art that creates us.
    Also, Claire Messud, author of This Strange Eventful History, returns to recommend Susie Boyt's novel, Loved and Missed.

    • 44 min
    Claire Messud's "This Strange Eventful History"

    Claire Messud's "This Strange Eventful History"

    Medaya Ocher and Kate Wolf are joined by celebrated writer Claire Messud, the author of six works of fiction including the highly-acclaimed bestseller The Emperor's Children. Messud's latest novel is This Strange Eventful History, which follows the Cassars, a Pied-Noir family from Algeria, who find themselves constantly displaced by the changing tides of history, first by World War II and then by Algerian independence. Partly based on her own family's story, the book traces the story of each family member, across three generations, as they encounter the world as well as their own personal joys and tragedies. The novel is, of course, about history, both personal and global, as well as the ways people build homes outide of their homelands.

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
63 Ratings

63 Ratings

DG 1980 ,

Great Show

Incredible interviews, excellent subjects and great hosts/guests. Good book recommendations.

DR3XCIYA ,

Literary Treasure

I listen to the LARB Radio Hour almost every week. It’s a treasure trove of smart interviews with new and returning authors. Often, I listen to episodes more than once to really let what they’re talking about sink in. The radio hosts are all well informed and ask great questions. I get to listen to interviews with my favorite writers who have already written multiple books, and I also discover new writers whom I haven’t heard of before or are writing their first books. I can’t believe this is a free resource for literary folks out there. I also download episodes and listen to them while I’m driving - or doing chores around the house, or exercising. This is a must for all things books. One of the top literary podcasts out there.

Doctora 77 ,

Rachel Greenwald Smith…

Great discussion…I wish Rachel would have slowed down her speaking…when you know your stuff this is what happens but it made listening to the discussion difficult at times! I love this podcast!

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