Created with Sketch.
103 minutes | 22 days ago
Episode 17: Kids Will Survive
On this episode, we discussed Lydia Millet's prescient 2020 novel "A Children's Bible" and William Golding's 1954 classic "Lord of the Flies" as species of the survivalist novel. Along the way, we recalled our earliest encounters with Golding's novel to the best of our ability and examined both stories in light of the most pressing cultural and political crises of their respective moments of publication.
85 minutes | a month ago
Episode 16: The Vanishing Half
Since its release in June, The Vanishing Half has been what feels like everywhere: atop the New York Times Fiction Best Sellers List, across dozens of Best of 2020 lists, and even on Barack Obama’s favorite reads of last year. For this episode, the team discusses highlights from the novel and what struck them most, plus recommend titles that help readers decide where to go next.
85 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 15: The Spies Who Loved Me
Spy novels are driven by a set of interrelated questions: Who or what is really in charge? What is the true mission? And how will they get out of this one? On this episode, we discuss two novels with entertaining responses to these questions. Both Who is Vera Kelly? by Rosalie Knecht and This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone offer surprising twists on the spy novel formula and allow us a way in to talk about the appeal of spy fiction and what we as readers want out of our books.
86 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 14: Time Passes, Please Look Back
This episode features our first cross-media pairing, as we examine Virginia Woolf's novel "To The Lighthouse" and Céline Sciamma's film "Portrait of a Lady on Fire." Topics discussed include: relationships, gender politics, the presentation of thinking in art, and the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.
100 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 13: The Left Hand of Darkness
51 years after its publication, Ursula K. Le Guin’s masterwork, The Left Hand of Darkness, continues to inspire and open minds across the globe for its frank explorations of gender, friendship, loyalty and patriotism. If you didn’t think all that could happen in a science fiction-adventure novel, then it’s time to pick up The Left Hand of Darkness yourself, then listen to this episode. We discuss Left Hand and its obvious impact on science fiction released since, and we dig into the novel’s structure and style, what books we’d like to see redesigned as dossiers, and how Le Guin continues to blow our minds, even half a century later.
112 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 12: Slaughterhouse-Five, Two Ways
On this episode, we consider the perennial appeal and relevance of Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut through the context of a new graphic novel adaptation. Along the way, we talk about the potential for experimenting with time in graphic storytelling, our theories about the Tralfamadorians, and more.
80 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 11: Vietnam, Beyond the War
In this episode, we’re looking at two stories of Vietnamese families who immigrate to America, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong and The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui. While the families are pressed into change by the Vietnam War and its impact on the country, the war itself lingers at the very edges of both books, which are centered primarily around relationships between children who carve their own paths and parents who want an American experience for their kids (whatever that means). While On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is an autobiographical novel and The Best We Could Do is a graphic memoir, both tackle the ultimately universal themes of belonging and the need for understanding, along with generational trauma and the search for identity.
99 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 10: Unlikely Detectives
The team discusses the timelessness of the mystery novel while examining Motherless Brooklyn and The Crying of Lot 49.
83 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 9: Ill Will
Are you looking for a novel that will unnerve you and challenge you to make all of its pieces fit? Do you spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the Satanic Panic? Do you think Ohio is equal parts fascinating and terrifying? If you answered a hesitant yes to any of these questions, then you should check out this episode.
94 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 8: Romance
Why are romance novels commercially successful but critically undervalued? We consider a variety of answers to this question in our discussion of Helen Hoang's The Kiss Quotient and Jasmine Guillory's The Wedding Date.
91 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 7: Truth in Fiction
How can fiction help us think about our standards for truth and belief in shared reality and experiences? On this episode we explore these questions through a discussion of Susan Choi's award winning novel "Trust Exercise" and Kevin Nguyen's recent novel "New Waves." Along the way, we consider the roles played by fiction and the internet in the reconstruction of the self and memory.
96 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode 6: Other Worlds and Other Minds in Speculative Fiction
How can short stories evoke the deep textures of another world or the manifold complexities of another mind? On this episode we explore these topics through a discussion of the short fiction of N.K. Jemisin and Ted Chiang.
84 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode 5: Bearing Witness in the DPRK
How can we make art in response to dictatorships and oppression? How could readers respond to those works of art? These broad questions guide our discussion of two books set in North Korea, The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson and Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea by Guy Delisle.
77 minutes | 8 months ago
Episode 4: City Stories and Black Lives
Discussing "Lot" by Bryan Washington and "Sports is Hell" by Ben Passmore
80 minutes | 8 months ago
Episode 3: LGBTQ+ Graphic Novels Beyond Fun Home
To celebrate Pride Month, Jess and Joseph review some of the latest titles in LGBTQ+ graphic novels.
77 minutes | 9 months ago
Episode 2: Unreliable Narration in Psychological Thrillers
77 minutes | 9 months ago
Episode 1: The Sound and the Fury
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2020