A monthly transatlantic conversation hosted by Tamara Crawford and Vina Orden about books, writing, identity, and representation, centered on marginalized voices and stories.
S2. E5 THE SEEP: What it means to be human
As we’re trying to see our way out of the pandemic, The Seep proves a timely read. It’s a story about social transformation brought about by an alien entity The Seep, which seeks to ameliorate human suffering—poverty; sexual & gender as well as racial and ethnic discrimination; death—in exchange for information about what makes humans “human.” Which begs the question, if our struggles & complexities are eliminated in a utopia, can we still call ourselves human?
S2.E4 THE SON OF GOOD FORTUNE / POTIKI: Fighting for Home
In time for Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in the US and the launch of a campaign to establish East and South East Asian (ESEA) Heritage Month in the UK, hosts Tamara Crawford and Vina Orden discuss Pilipino American writer Lysley Tenorio's novel The Son of Good Fortune and Māori writer Patricia Grace's reissued classic Potiki. Both Tenorio and Grace write against invisibility, having been raised on the Western canon but never encountering stories or characters that resembled their own experiences and cultures. Potiki, a story about the Māori community protecting its land against developers attempting to seize it, and The Son of Good Fortune about a young Filipino who discovers he’s undocumented, both challenge dominant notions about who gets rights to land and human dignity—issues very much in the forefront of public discourse today.
S2. E3 NIGHT SKY WITH EXIT WOUNDS / THE TRADITION: American Beauty | American Violence
Both with National Poetry Month around the corner, and with the anti-Black & anti-Asian violence going on in the US, it is timely that The Lift Up had chosen these two poetry collections to discuss: Ocean Vuong‘s Night Sky With Exit Wounds, and Jericho Brown‘s The Tradition. Both poets explore the concurring states of beauty and violence in their own unique experience of America and the body in relation to place, personal and collective histories, and being in the moment.
S2.E2 BREASTS AND EGGS: Reclaiming our bodies and ourselves
In recognition of Women’s History Month in the US and in the lead-up to International Women’s Day on March 8, hosts Tamara Crawford and Vina Orden discuss celebrated Japanese writer Mieko Kawakami's Breasts and Eggs, her first novel to be translated into English. It is an intimate portrait of the lives of contemporary urban, working-class women that also boldly interrogates social and cultural mores around womanhood and sexuality—from internalized white beauty standards, to expectations of marriage and motherhood, to imposter syndrome and creative ambitions.
S2.E1 RED AT THE BONE: The selves we inherit & invent
This New York Times Bestseller and Notable Book of the Year (2019) is a story of two families told from the perspectives of various family members. It examines class, gender roles, queerness, and the intersections between personal & collective history, in this case the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 and the Great Northward Migration of 6 million African Americans from the rural American South to the urban Northeast, Midwest, and West.
Episode 7 - Hurricane Season: On breaking the silence & impunity around femicide
In this month's episode - our final episode for Season 1 - hosts Vina Orden and Tamara Crawford discuss Fernanda Melchor’s English-language debut novel, Hurricane Season, which explores the misogyny and rampant violence against women and trans people that goes unnoticed and unmentioned in society. For transcripts, links to things mentioned on the show, and other bonus material, please visit our blog (https://medium.com/the-lift-up-podcast).