Between The Covers : Conversations with Writers in Fiction, Nonfiction & Poetry

By David Naimon, Tin House Books, KBOO 90.7FM

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BOOKS ∙ WORKSHOPS ∙ PODCAST

Episode Date
Tice Cin : Keeping the House
1:51:53

Tice Cin’s debut novel Keeping the House is set within the Turkish Cypriot community of North London. But while it is also set within the heroin trade there, this book is not a crime novel, or if it is, it is like no crime novel you’ve read before. Keeping the House is a book, by Cin’s […]

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Nov 11, 2021
Rosmarie Waldrop : The Nick of Time
1:52:56

Today’s guest, poet and translator Rosmarie Waldrop, is best known for her prose poetry and for good reason. Waldrop is one of the great prose poetry practitioners and innovators over the course of the last half century. We speak about her latest collection, The Nick of Time, through the lens of the themes, questions, and […]

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Nov 01, 2021
Percival Everett : The Trees
1:16:31

Today’s guest, Percival Everett, author of twenty-one novels, four short story collections, six collections of poetry and a children’s book, has also been a horse and mule trainer, a jazz guitarist, a fly fisherman, a rehabilitator of mandolins, and an abstract painter. He is, however, best known for his “gleefully unhinged” (New York Times) hard-to-categorize […]

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Oct 18, 2021
Myriam J. A. Chancy : What Storm, What Thunder
2:45:23

Haitian-Canadian-American writer Myriam Chancy is an acclaimed novelist but she is also a literary scholar who studies, among other things, storytelling. As a scholar instrumental in inaugurating Haitian women’s studies as a contemporary field of specialization, and one who has argued that much of Haitian women’s literature should be viewed through the lens of the […]

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Oct 05, 2021
Tin House Live : Negotiating the Love and Renouncing the Rest with Destiny O. Birdsong and Donika Kelly
1:05:12

“Negotiating the Love and Renouncing the Rest,” today’s Tin House Live conversation between poets Destiny O. Birdsong & Donika Kelly, was recorded at the 2021 Tin House Summer Writers Workshop. Among many other things, they ask what it would mean to center yourself in your own work, in your own story. How would that look, […]

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Sep 20, 2021
Pádraig Ó Tuama : In the Shelter & Borders and Belonging
2:32:55

Irish theologian, storyteller, poet, conflict mediator, and host of the podcast Poetry Unbound Pádraig Ó Tuama joins David to discuss the role of both narrative storytelling and poetry in relationship to encountering ‘the other.’ How can the stories we tell about ourselves prevent us from seeing who we are, from being open to accountability and change, […]

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Sep 10, 2021
Adania Shibli : Minor Detail
1:59:39

The latest book by Palestinian novelist Adania Shibli, Minor Detail, was a finalist for the National Book Award for Translated Literature, and longlisted for the International Booker Prize. Shibli talks about what it means that she doesn’t write about Palestine but rather from Palestine. And why for her, as a writer, so many of the […]

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Sep 01, 2021
Tin House Live : Writing On Your Own Terms with Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
42:07

Originally delivered at the 2021 Tin House Summer Writers Workshop, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore’s electrifying talk “Writing On Your Own Terms” explores what it means to write against the canonical imperative, to write against the world as it is, to instead write on your own terms, toward community, and specifically toward the community of people who […]

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Aug 19, 2021
Kaveh Akbar : Pilgrim Bell
2:11:20

Today’s guest, poet Kaveh Akbar, discusses his latest poetry collection Pilgrim Bell. Given that Akbar once suggested that syntax was identity, how do the changes in Akbar’s own poetry, from his first collection to now, reflect changes in himself as a person? Akbar talks about the ways in which poetry can be a spiritual technology, […]

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Aug 10, 2021
Callum Angus : A Natural History of Transition
2:25:49

Callum Angus’s A Natural History of Transition is described as a collection of short stories “that disrupts the notion that trans people can only have one transformation.” Angus talks about trans narratives, both the ones most commonly seen in the culture at large, and his notion of transness, not as a journey between two static […]

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Aug 01, 2021
Douglas Kearney : Sho
2:43:14

Today’s episode with poet Douglas Kearney is about his latest book of poetry, Sho, and the poetry-performance album (with Haitian sound artist Val Jeanty) Fodder. Throughout Kearney’s career he has engaged with the tension between the stage and the page, the eye and the ear, the word and the body, all as a means to […]

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Jul 12, 2021
Arthur Sze : The Glass Constellation : New & Collected Poems
2:19:18

Arthur Sze, winner of the 2019 National Book Award in Poetry for Sight Lines, joins David Naimon to discuss his latest book, The Glass Constellation: New and Collected Poems. Together they step back to take in a half century of Arthur’s work, not only how it has changed and why, tracking the growth of a […]

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Jul 01, 2021
Anakana Schofield : Bina
2:30:13

Today’s guest, Irish Canadian writer Anakana Schofield, joins us to talk about her latest novel, Bina, winner of the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year. Bina was also shortlisted for the 2020 Goldsmith Prize, awarded to fiction that pushes the boundaries of form (in the spirit of  Walter Benjamin who said “All great works of […]

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Jun 16, 2021
Doireann Ní Ghríofa : A Ghost in the Throat & To Star the Dark
2:15:44

Irish poet Doireann Ní Ghríofa joins us to talk about her latest poetry collection, To Star the Dark, and her prose debut, A Ghost in the Throat, a debut that has captured the imaginations (and all the awards) in Ireland and the UK and is just out now in North America. A Ghost in the […]

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Jun 01, 2021
Abdellah Taïa : A Country For Dying
2:17:52

Today’s guest, Moroccan writer and filmmaker Abdellah Taïa discusses his most recent novel A Country For Dying translated by Emma Ramadan and winner of the 2021 PEN Translation Award. We talk about voice in relation to self, story in relation to truth, writing in one’s second language, particularly a language imposed by colonization, about making that […]

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May 10, 2021
Elissa Washuta : White Magic
2:20:14

Today’s episode of Between the Covers is with writer Elissa Washuta about White Magic, her new memoir in essays just out from Tin House. Elissa Washuta’s body of work, and White Magic is no exception, is deeply engaged with form, particularly in relationship to the telling of our own true stories. How do we find […]

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May 01, 2021
Rikki Ducornet : Trafik
1:46:50

Writer, poet, and painter Rikki Ducornet returns to Between the Covers to discuss her latest novel Trafik which is her first foray into science fiction. Ducornet’s body of work—surrealist, alchemical, gnostic, metamorphic—is sparked by the wonder and mystery of dreams, as well as by the shared company of the non-human other, the eels and butterflies […]

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Apr 18, 2021
Jorie Graham : Runaway
2:45:46

Today’s guest is poet Jorie Graham. We speak about her fifteenth book of poetry, Runaway. This latest book, along with the three that precede it—Sea Change, Place, and Fast—confronts our accelerating trajectory toward climate disaster. But as Lidija Haas says for Harper’s Magazine, Graham “in her poems remakes a world you can inhabit, one in […]

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Apr 01, 2021
Brandon Hobson : The Removed
1:54:39

Today’s Between the Covers conversation with Brandon Hobson is about his novel The Removed, his first book since his National Book Award finalist, Where the Dead Sit Talking. The Removed places us with the Echota family fifteen years after the death of their son Ray-Ray at the hands of the police, and in the long shadow […]

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Mar 16, 2021
Viet Thanh Nguyen : The Committed
2:00:01

Today’s guest, Viet Thanh Nguyen, returns to Between the Covers after six years to discuss The Committed, his much-anticipated follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel The Sympathizer. The second book in this trilogy finds our protagonist in the French Vietnamese community of Paris in the 1980s. We talk about the differences between France and the […]

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Mar 02, 2021
Ross Gay : Be Holding
2:01:10

Today’s Between the Covers conversation is with the poet Ross Gay about Be Holding, his book-length poem that emerges from a sustained meditation on a mere few seconds of the basketball career of Julius Erving (aka Dr. J). Be Holding is a finalist for this year’s PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, given to a work “which […]

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Feb 16, 2021
Teju Cole : Fernweh
2:52:22

Today’s guest is writer, photographer, critic, and curator Teju Cole. In this extended conversation, we use Cole’s latest photo book Fernweh as a lens through which to look at his entire career, from his novels to his essay collection, from his collaborative work of image-text to the curation of his Spotify playlists. “Who is a stranger? Who […]

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Feb 01, 2021
Nnedi Okorafor : Remote Control
1:49:16

Today’s episode is with one of today’s great writers of science fiction and fantasy, Nnedi Okorafor. Using her new novella Remote Control (Tor Books) as a lens and a frame, we discuss the difference between Afrofuturism and Africanfuturism, questions of hybrid identity and home within her stories, her use of Nigerian, Namibian, and Ghanian cosmologies […]

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Jan 19, 2021
Vanessa Veselka : The Great Offshore Grounds
2:23:51

Vanessa Veselka returns to Between the Covers, eight years after her first appearance, to discuss her new novel The Great Offshore Grounds. Longlisted for this year’s National Book Award in Fiction, Roxane Gay calls The Great Offshore Grounds epic, original, and “utterly engrossing.” Lidia Yuknavitch adds: “This novel is thrilling in its content, daring in […]

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Jan 01, 2021
Tin House Live : Publishing, Power Structures & Creative Practice with Leni Zumas & Janice Lee
1:12:07

This Tin House Live conversation between Leni Zumas and Janice Lee, “Publishing, Power Structures, and Creative Practice,” was recorded at the summer 2020 Tin House Writers Workshop. Leni Zumas is the author most recently of the novel Red Clocks, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and winner of the Oregon Book Award for […]

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Dec 23, 2020
Natalie Diaz : Postcolonial Love Poem : Part Two
1:58:34

Today’s episode of Between the Covers is a first for the show, a return to and extension of a recent episode with Natalie Diaz.  Today’s ‘part two’ does not entirely depend upon part one, but it does refer back to it with frequency.  So if you would like to get the fullest experience begin here. […]

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Dec 10, 2020
Alice Oswald : Nobody
1:37:53

Today’s episode of Between the Covers is a conversation with poet and classicist Alice Oswald. Widely considered one of our great living poets, Oswald is the 46th professor of poetry at the University of Oxford, and the first woman to hold the poetry chair in its over three centuries of existence. Perhaps best known for Memorial, […]

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Dec 01, 2020
Tin House Live : Writing Pop Culture with Shayla Lawson & Hanif Abdurraqib
1:13:12

Join poet-essayists Hanif Abdurraqib & Shayla Lawson for an extended conversation on writing pop culture (and so much more).  This conversation was recorded at the 2020 Tin House Writers Workshop.  Shayla’s most recent book is This is Major: Notes on Diana Ross, Dark Girls and Being Dope & Hanif’s next book is A Little Devil in […]

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Nov 25, 2020
Elisa Gabbert : The Unreality of Memory
2:18:51

“Amid impending disasters too vast even to be perceived, what can we do―cognitively, morally, and practically? Gabbert, a tenacious researcher and a ruthless self-examiner, probes this ultimate abstraction in her essays, goes past wordless dread and comes up with enough reasoned consideration to lead us through. Do you feel―and how can you not―as if your […]

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Nov 14, 2020
Ayad Akhtar : Homeland Elegies
1:59:26

“An urgent, intimate hybrid of memoir and fiction, Homeland Elegies lays bare the broken heart of our American dream turned reality TV nightmare. The book . . . brilliantly captures how we got to this exact moment in time and at what cost. Stunning.” —A. M. Homes “An unflinchingly honest self-portrait by a brilliant Muslim-American […]

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Nov 01, 2020
Natalie Diaz : Postcolonial Love Poem : Part One
2:39:31

Today’s conversation is with poet Natalie Diaz, author of the National Book Award shortlisted collection Postcolonial Love Poem.  We talk today about questions of postcoloniality, about love and postcolonial love, about writing poetry under occupation, the fine line between participation and complicity, about empathy and what cannot be translated and about the sensuality that arises from […]

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Oct 23, 2020
Tin House Live : Getting Past the Gatekeepers with Mira Jacob & Kaitlyn Greenidge
1:02:09

In “Getting Past the Gatekeepers: How to Keep Writing in an Industry that Excludes Us,” Kaitlyn Greenidge and Mira Jacob discuss their combined 30+ years of experience navigating literary publishing. From the first feedback to the final copyedits, they discuss strategies to stay sane and keep writing when your story doesn’t fit the industry’s narrow […]

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Oct 14, 2020
Jenny Erpenbeck : Not a Novel : A Memoir in Pieces
2:10:31

“This collection of essays, memoirs and critical pieces forms an intellectual biography of Europe’s most history-obsessed writer. Beginning with her childhood in East Berlin in the early ’60s and ’70s, the book moves in concentric circles, from the intimate and understatedly moving to the moment History collides with her life. A powerful voice singing the […]

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Oct 02, 2020
Mary-Kim Arnold : The Fish & The Dove
2:11:11

“In The Fish & The Dove, Mary-Kim Arnold’s lyrical scope sweeps across intersecting terrains, moving through time to capture the history of occupation and legacy war in Korea, through the delicate tethers between biological mother, adoptive mother, motherland and daughter, and through the permeable membranes which exist between person and place. . . . With […]

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Sep 23, 2020
Tin House Live : Queer Beatitudes with Brandon Taylor & Garth Greenwell
1:01:55

A conversation between Brandon Taylor & Garth Greenwell about queer aesthetics, “problematic art,” representation, and much more.

The post Tin House Live : Queer Beatitudes with Brandon Taylor & Garth Greenwell appeared first on Tin House.

Sep 12, 2020
Jeannie Vanasco : Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl
2:16:13

“It’s hard to overstate the importance of this gorgeous, harrowing, heartbreaking book, which tackles sexual violence and its aftermath while also articulating the singular pain of knowing—or loving, or caring for, or having a history with—one’s rapist. Vanasco is whip-smart and tender, open and ruthless; she is the perfect guide through the minefield of her […]

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Sep 03, 2020
Tin House Live : Bassey Ikpi & Melissa Febos on the Anatomy of Melancholy
1:08:40

“Anatomy of Melancholy” is a conversation between Melissa Febos & Bassey Ikpi at the 2020 Tin House Summer Writers Workshop.  Febos & Ikpi talk about making narrative (and aesthetic) sense out of the darkest parts of one’s past. Bassey Ikpi is the New York Times bestselling author of I’m Telling the Truth But I’m Lying […]

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Aug 27, 2020
Lauren Camp : Took House
1:32:04

“In Lauren Camp’s Took House we are enveloped in a poetry both precise and mysterious, intimate and sublime. Reading through these poems, I was reminded of the tenet that poetry is not like the interior life, but is the interior life, the thing itself made flesh via language. . . . Here is a poet […]

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Aug 20, 2020
Joe Sacco : Paying the Land
1:38:57

“Sacco is a talent entirely unto himself, applying an exquisitely fine eye for detail to the urgent histories that define the world around us. . . . Now, Sacco brings that eye to the lives of the Dene people in the Canadian subarctic, getting the full picture as only he can.” —Jonny Diamond, Literary Hub […]

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Aug 01, 2020
Lidia Yuknavitch : Verge
1:34:37

“Verge is a bouquet of dynamite: explosive, deadly, and spectacularly beautiful. These stories captivated me like modern fairy tales, and like those dark lessons they showed me how resilience is forged through survival, beauty through brokenness, joy by fire. The women who occupy them are my favorite kinds of heroines: as flawed as they are […]

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Jul 20, 2020
Tin House Live : Lacy M. Johnson On Likability
33:14

Today’s talk, “On Likability” by Lacy M. Johnson, was given at the 2018 Tin House Writers Workshop. It later became an essay, one selected by Rebecca Solnit for The Best American Essays 2019.

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Jul 08, 2020
Philip Metres : Shrapnel Maps
2:04:21

“Shrapnel Maps is so beautiful. Half dream, half nightmare, all real. Filled with the remnants of what people hope for and what they are willing to do, and everything that remains afterwards. It’s a confrontation to identity and it dares to conjugate love as a defiance to the capacity of violence. Extraordinary. . . . […]

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Jul 01, 2020
Tin House Live : Lidia Yuknavitch on “Writing from the Deep Cut”
35:50

Lidia Yuknavitch gave this craft talk, “Writing from the Deep Cut,” at the 2018 Tin House Writers Workshop. As Lidia says: “We are (always) living in tumultuous times. The despair and trauma fracture our life narratives daily, culturally and personally. And yet we endure, make love, make art, we keep creating. There is so much […]

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Jun 17, 2020
N.K. Jemisin : The City We Became
1:37:39

“The City We Became is a wonderfully inventive love letter to New York City that spans the multiverse. A big middle finger to Lovecraft with a lot of heart, creativity, smarts and humor. A timely and audacious allegorical tale for our times. This book is all these things and more.” —Rebecca Roanhorse “The most important […]

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Jun 11, 2020
Nikky Finney : Love Child’s Hotbed of Occasional Poetry
2:20:04

“Love Child’s Hotbed of Occasional Poetry is a 21st-century paean to the sterling love songs humming throughout four hundred years of black American life.” —Lit Hub “Her poems elide the generational and the personal with ample music. They are, therefore, more than taut with vital details; they are alive with nuance and contrast, where doom […]

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Jun 01, 2020
Tin House Live : Rebecca Makkai on The Ear of the Story
54:20

Given at the 2019 Tin House Summer Workshop, Rebecca Makkai’s craft talk “You Talkin’ to Me?: The ‘Ear’ of the Story” looks at an important but underappreciated aspect of story craft, the flip side of point of view, the point of telling.  In her words, “Who is the story’s implied listener? Are you casting your […]

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May 25, 2020
Fernanda Melchor : Hurricane Season
2:05:13

“Fernanda Melchor is part of a wave of real writing, a multi-tongue, variform, generationless, decadeless, ageless wave, that American contemporary literature must ignore if it is to hold on to its infantile worldview.” —Jesse Ball Shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize, Hurricane Season is the English-language debut of one of the most thrilling and accomplished […]

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May 18, 2020
Hanif Abdurraqib : A Fortune For Your Disaster
1:29:42

“A Fortune for Your Disaster proves that, if you pay attention, Black people have defined and still define themselves for themselves amid roses and dandelions, cardinals and violets, the blues of music and police uniforms, prayer and swagger. . . . The disaster is not us or ours but what we endure, forced and as […]

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May 08, 2020
Tin House Live : How to Write a Hoax Poem with Kevin Young
51:43

The New Yorker poetry editor and host of The New Yorker poetry podcast, Kevin Young, delivered this talk, “How to Write a Hoax Poem,” at the 2014 Tin House Writers Workshop. He discusses some of the more notable modern poetry hoaxes, glimpsing into the secret history of the poem as something conceived to tempt or […]

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May 01, 2020
Rachel Zucker : SoundMachine
3:05:28

“Whether speaking about motherhood, grief, or poetry, Zucker’s unrelenting eye and wittily critical voice peel back these experiences to reveal insights that are both deeply human and uncompromisingly analytic. . . . Above all, this book is open—open about difficult subjects, open in the way its language operates, open in its willingness to create a […]

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Apr 24, 2020
Tin House Live : Power & Audience, On Not Writing for White People with Ingrid Rojas Contreras
37:14

Ingrid Rojas Contreras’ talk “Power & Audience: On Not Writing for White People” was given at the 2019 Tin House Summer Workshop in Portland, Oregon. In this talk she references a 2019 Publishing Industry Survey and a series of pie charts showing the racial, gender, sexual orientation, and ability breakdown of various subsets of the […]

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Apr 15, 2020
Tin House Live : On Dialogue with Dorothy Allison
52:44

Dorothy Allison treated the participants of the 2011 Summer Workshop to a spirited discussion of how characters should speak on the page. Not only “he said, she said, none of them said a thing,” but a whole range of language issues—what is said and not said, dialect and rhythm, pacing, patterns in speech, and most […]

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Apr 08, 2020
Mark Haber : Reinhardt’s Garden
1:26:10

“Reinhardt’s Garden is one of those perfect books that looks small and exotic and melancholic from the outside but, once in, is immense and exultant in the best possible way. Think Amulet by Roberto Bolaño, think Nightwood by Djuna Barnes, think Train Dreams by Denis Johnson, think Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, think Zama by Antonio Di Benedetto, think The Loser by Thomas Bernhard. Think.” —Rodrigo […]

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Apr 01, 2020
Jenny Offill : Weather
1:46:11

“Novelists don’t need to dream the end of the world anymore—they need to wake up to it. Jenny Offill is one of today’s few essential voices, because she writes about essential things, in sentences so clipped and glittering it’s as if they are all cut from one diamond.” –Jonathan Dee

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Mar 11, 2020
Lance Olsen : My Red Heaven
2:08:38

“Lance Olsen locates his porous, alluring, heartbreaking, and haunted narrative in Berlin on a day in 1927. Poised at a moment of such hope and doom, it is a ravishing meditation on history, on time, and on what it is to be alive.” —Carole Maso

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Mar 02, 2020
Tin House Live : “From First Draft to Plot” with Alexander Chee
36:45

Alexander Chee delivered this craft lecture, from “First Draft to Plot,” at the 2016 Tin House Summer Workshop. Chee is the author most recently of the essay collection How to Write an Autobiographical Novel.

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Feb 21, 2020
Garth Greenwell : Cleanness
1:49:33

“Garth Greenwell, whose first book is a masterpiece, amazingly has written a second book that is also a masterpiece. The great enterprise that Joyce and Lawrence began—to write with utter literal candor about sex, grounding one’s moral life and philosophical insight in what that candor reveals about us—finds fulfillment, a late apotheosis, in Greenwell’s work. […]

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Feb 14, 2020
Carmen Maria Machado : In the Dream House
1:39:26

“In the Dream House . . . confronts the issues of credibility, self-doubt, and disbelief that all too frequently arise when survivors of domestic abuse speak out. But the work also stands as an intervention explicitly aimed at the silences, erasures, and lacunae of the culture at large . . . Machado’s In the Dream […]

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Feb 03, 2020
Tin House Live : Jericho Brown on Suicide & Joy
25:42

Jericho Brown gave these two talks, on suicide, and on joy, at the 2016 Tin House Summer Workshop in Portland, Oregon.  His latest poetry collection The Tradition (Copper Canyon Press) was a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award.

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Jan 24, 2020
E. J. Koh : The Magical Language of Others
1:38:44

“In The Magical Language of Others, E. J. Koh writes of the boundary between anonymity and naming, between absence and abandonment, between cruelty and safety for four generations of mothers and daughters, each speaking with an occupied heart and crossing narrative borders between Korea, Japan, and America. As a reader, you give yourself over to her […]

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Jan 13, 2020
Karthika Naïr : Until the Lions : Echoes from the Mahabharata
1:52:32

“In this retelling of the Mahabharata from the point of view of its hitherto minor female characters, Karthika Naïr uncovers a seminal feminist text. Until the Lions makes dazzling use of concrete verse and surreptitious rhyme to tell a story you think you know. By poem’s end you understand, with gratitude, that you know nothing […]

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Jan 06, 2020
CAConrad : Resurrect Extinct Vibration
1:59:30

“CAConrad always argues (from the inside of their poems) for a poetry of radical inclusivity while keeping a very queer shoulder to the wheel. Their kind of queerness strikes me as nonpolarizing, not intentionally but because of the fullness of their exposition, a kind of gigantism that seems to me to be most deeply informed […]

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Dec 16, 2019
Daniel José Older : The Book of Lost Saints
1:42:50

“Older’s spellbinding novel is a fever dream full of magic and loss, wickedness and grace, faith and love, spirit and power.” —Marlon James;  “A lyrical, beautiful, devastating, literally haunting journey of assimilation, resistance, and family. Older just gets better and better.” —N.K. Jemisin

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Dec 01, 2019
Jake Skeets : Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers
1:50:57

“Jake Skeets takes us to ‘The Indian Capital of the World,’ a landscape of erosion and erasure, where ‘boys only hold boys / like bottles’ and eros is a dangerous thing. In the brush and horseweed, ghosts and trains and abandoned trailers, a young Diné attempts to answer all the question marks of adolescence and […]

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Nov 20, 2019
Tin House Live : ‘Writing Towards Joy’ Panel with Kelly Link, Garth Greenwell, Justin Torres
36:32

Recorded on the final day of the 2019 Tin House Summer Writers Workshop, the panel “On Writing Towards Joy” ended the week on a high note.  Moderated by Tin House Assistant Books Editor Elizabeth DeMeo, panelists Kelly Link, Garth Greenwell, and Justin Torres unpack a rarely discussed topic. How does one create joy on the […]

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Nov 12, 2019
Richard Powers : The Overstory
1:30:10

“This book is beyond special. Richard Powers manages to turn trees into vivid and engaging characters, something that indigenous people have done for eons but that modern literature has rarely if ever even attempted. It’s not just a completely absorbing, even overwhelming book; it’s a kind of breakthrough in the ways we think about and […]

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Nov 01, 2019
Zadie Smith : Grand Union
54:05

“Grand Union is an unusual creature, combining all the experimental exuberance of a writer discovering a form with the technical prowess of one at the height of her abilities. The result is exhilarating. Between the covers of one book, readers will find such disparate forms as allegory, parable, speculative thriller and satire, as well as […]

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Oct 21, 2019
Tin House Live : Readings by Garth Greenwell, Michelle Tea, Kaveh Akbar
59:31

Recorded at the 2019 Tin House Summer Writers Workshop at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, today’s episode is a medley of readings from three different nights. Garth Greenwell reads from his upcoming novel Cleanness (FSG January 2020), Michelle Tea  from her novel-in-progress, Little Faggot, and Kaveh Akbar the short and long poems “Vines” and “The Palace” respectively.

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Oct 16, 2019
Rob Schlegel : In the Tree Where the Double Sex Sleeps
2:01:57

“Rob Schlegel has a voice you’d follow into the dark woods, knowing full well it’s hard, awful, daily, plain, living truth you’re running toward. The speaker in this book is a heartbreaker of a storyteller—a synesthesiac of mixed feelings, bad news, and wordsmithery. I feel known, caught out, believed in, vulnerable, when I read this […]

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Oct 02, 2019
Tin House Live : Revision Panel with R.O. Kwon, Karen Shepard, Danielle Evans, Jamel Brinkley
48:10

“Finding the Life of the Story: Vision & Revision” was recorded at the 2019 Tin House Summer Writers Workshop. Panelists Karen Shepard, Danielle Evans, R.O. Kwon and Jamel Brinkley talk strategies to draft and revise. Moderated by David Naimon, host of Between the Covers.

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Sep 25, 2019
Xuan Juliana Wang : Home Remedies
1:31:13

“Filled with characters who mirror the chaos and anxiety, exhilaration and despair, desire and fear of the world around them, Home Remedies offers searing portraits of millennial Chinese immigrants. . . . Wang’s shimmering words offer proof that even the most mundane of these lives have the potential to become something extraordinary. . . .  A great, […]

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Sep 18, 2019
Ayşe Papatya Bucak : The Trojan War Museum
1:43:22

“These are stories that reflect the author’s Turkish heritage and a curiosity about our human search for meaning as profound as it is lyrical. The stories are music. They beguile and illuminate with narratives about yearning and desire, circumstance and courage, resilience and discovery.”—NPR

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Sep 04, 2019
Brandon Shimoda : The Grave on the Wall
1:49:39

“If someone asked me what a poet’s history might look and read like, I would say Brandon Shimoda’s The Grave on the Wall. It is part dream, part memory, part forgetting, part identity. It is a remarkable exploration of how citizenship is forged by the brutal US imperial forces—through slave labor, forced detention, indiscriminate bombing, historical […]

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Aug 15, 2019
Elvia Wilk : Oval
1:41:42

“J. G. Ballard meets William Gibson meets Jeff VanderMeer. Oval is an up-to-the-minute story about the twilight zones of corporate design, aesthetics, pharmacy, and bioengineering, where there’s nothing consultants won’t break in the quest for ‘innovation.’ What could possibly go wrong? Find out in Elvia Wilk’s crisp and stylish debut book.”—McKenzie Wark

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Aug 01, 2019
Max Porter : Lanny
1:50:05

“In Lanny Max Porter has expanded on his innovative hybrid mode while remaining faithful to our species-wide tradition of storytelling through myth, magic, and parable, but also through the harrowing minutiae of being alive in the trying hours of a small town ruptured by loss. The result is a powerful yet tender reclamation of the imagination, love, […]

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Jul 15, 2019
Ted Chiang : Exhalation
1:10:04

“Ted Chiang has no contemporary peers when it comes to the short story form. His name deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Carver, Poe, Borges, and Kafka. Every story is a universe. Every story is a diamond. You will inhale Exhalation in a single, stunned sitting, because true genius doesn’t come along nearly […]

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Jul 01, 2019
Miriam Toews : Women Talking
1:34:47

“An astonishment, a volcano of a novel with slowly and furiously mounting pressures of anguish and love and rage. No other book I’ve read in the past year has spoken so lucidly about our current moment, and yet none has felt as timeless; the always-wondrous Miriam Toews has written a book as close to a […]

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Jun 12, 2019
Sophia Shalmiyev : Mother Winter
1:49:19

“Shalmiyev stubbornly, brilliantly pursues loss in this psycho-geography of immigration, grief displacement, and damage. A mother herself, Shalmiyev’s narrator channels the ghosts of Dorothy Richardson, Anaïs Nin, Frances Farmer and the sad, bad stories of Aileen Wuornos and Amy Fisher, who could never be the right kind of girls. Like the great modernist writers, Shalmiyev writes from, not […]

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Jun 03, 2019
Morgan Parker : Magical Negro
1:57:32

“Morgan Parker’s latest collection, Magical Negro, is a riveting testimony to everyday blackness. . . . It is wry and atmospheric, an epic work of aural pleasures and personifications that demands to be read—both as an account of a private life and as searing political protest.”—Glory Edim, Time Magazine

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May 14, 2019
Cristina Rivera Garza : The Taiga Syndrome
1:45:49

“If The Taiga Syndrome is a book of illness, it’s also about exile, disappearance, borders, love, language and translation, desire, capitalism and its discontents, fairy tales, and what it means to be possessed by the madness of others and the madness of ourselves. The murmurs that haunt the detective in The Taiga Syndrome evoke the history of Mexican fiction, most […]

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Apr 30, 2019
Lacy M. Johnson : The Reckonings
1:50:02

“Through prose that is at once passionate and percussive, Lacy Johnson’s The Reckonings demands that we place justice and discovery at the center of our conversations, memories, imaginations, and art. I don’t know that I’ve ever been happier to be alive after reading any book. In this weird way that probably says way too much about the smallness of […]

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Apr 15, 2019
Christine Schutt : Pure Hollywood
1:39:08

“Nobody writes like Schutt . . . and her latest collection is the perfect entry point for readers new to her work . . . In each of the collection’s 11 stories, Schutt gives readers dissipated women staggering to the brink of sanity, desperate men with foggy intentions, and an eerie atmosphere that radiates menace, […]

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Apr 01, 2019
Mitchell S. Jackson : Survival Math
1:42:00

“A vibrant memoir of race, violence, family, and manhood . . . Jackson recognizes there is too much for one conventional form, and his various storytelling methods imbue the book with an unpredictable dexterity. It is sharp and unshrinking in depictions of his life, his relatives (blood kin and otherwise), and his Pacific Northwest hometown, […]

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Mar 18, 2019
Marlon James : Black Leopard, Red Wolf
1:22:17

“Black Leopard, Red Wolf is the kind of novel I never realized I was missing until I read it. A dangerous, hallucinatory, ancient Africa, which becomes a fantasy world as well-realized as anything Tolkien made, with language as powerful as Angela Carter’s. It’s as deep and crafty as Gene Wolfe, bloodier than Robert E. Howard, and […]

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Mar 04, 2019
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore : Sketchtasy
1:49:11

“Sycamore paints an unsparing and unsentimental portrait of survival in a homophobic era, and her writing is beyond beautiful. Sketchtasy is a powerful firecracker of a novel; it’s not just one of the best books of the year, it’s an instant classic of queer literature.”—Michael Schaub, NPR Books

The post Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore : Sketchtasy appeared first on Tin House.

Feb 12, 2019
Alicia Jo Rabins : Fruit Geode
1:39:06

“How does a body do what it does: make love, mistakes, create life, exist after life; how does a body evolve, celebrate, regret, reconsider its big and small moments: these are the passionate concerns of Alicia Rabins’ Fruit Geode, a book that I could not stop reading once I started, a book that drew me […]

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Feb 01, 2019
Genevieve Hudson : Pretend We Live Here
1:32:25

“A terrific collection of stories. There are echoes here of Flannery O’Connor, Barry Hannah, and Denis Johnson, but Genevieve Hudson is her own writer—impressively and gloriously so. Her eye for the clinching detail is unnerving and her sympathies are fascinatingly conflicted. I hope, and suspect, this book will be the start of a long and […]

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Jan 13, 2019
Jeffrey Yang : Hey Marfa
1:38:00

“Yang rebuilds for the reader a town that is notable for its many stark contrasts: restored & ruined buildings, wealth & poverty, international art & border enforcement. Hey, Marfa makes a remarkable poetic accounting of the ways imagination is currently working with & against the histories & myths of the US/Mexico borderlands & the American […]

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Jan 02, 2019
Chaya Bhuvaneswar : White Dancing Elephants
1:50:15

“Bhuvaneswar is unflinching about the lives of those for whom identity is a constant battle & the act of being is an unavoidable challenge, but she doesn’t ignore the beauty in their strength . . . White Dancing Elephants is a necessary book — & one that introduces a gifted voice to contemporary literature.”―NPR “White Dancing […]

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Dec 17, 2018
Layli Long Soldier : Whereas
1:53:22

“Long Soldier reminds readers of their physical and linguistic bodies as they are returned to language through their mouths and eyes and tongues across the fields of her poems.”—Natalie Diaz for The New York Times Book Review “Layli Long Soldier’s movement between collective and personal makes this book intimate and urgent. She has charted new […]

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Dec 02, 2018
Diane Williams: The Collected Stories of Diane Williams
1:14:18

“Williams’s short precise, & emphatic sentences build a strange society whose denizens are not quite familiar to us & not quite comfortable with their own quietly disturbing evolutions. Not a single moment of the prose here is what you expect, & even the ordinary is, in the context created by Diane Williams, no longer ordinary. […]

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Nov 14, 2018
R.O. Kwon : The Incendiaries
1:11:18

“Every explosive requires a fuse. That’s R. O. Kwon’s novel, a straight, slow-burning fuse. To read her novel is to follow an inexorable flame coming closer & closer to the object it will detonate—the characters, the crime, the story, &, ultimately, the reader.”—Viet Thanh Nguyen “Kwon’s multi-faceted narrative portrays America’s dark, radical strain, exploring the […]

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Nov 01, 2018
Tommy Pico : Junk
1:19:20

“Reading Tommy Pico’s Junk I kept thinking of Heather McHugh’s pronouncement that the main discipline of poetry is “to keep finding life strange.” Pico is the master of making the stone stony, or returning the sheer absurdity of being to everything, from grief to intimacy to dating apps to donuts. Junk insists on the urgency […]

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Oct 14, 2018
Dubravka Ugrešić : Fox & American Fictionary
1:45:05

Dubravka Ugrešić is considered one of Europe’s most distinctive novelists and essayists.  She is the 2016 winner of Neustadt International Prize for Literature for her body of work, joining literary luminaries from Gabriel Garcia Marquez to Elizabeth Bishop to Octavio Paz. In 1991 when war broke out in the former Yugoslavia, Ugrešić took a firm […]

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Oct 01, 2018
Anna Moschovakis : Eleanor or The Rejection of the Progress of Love
1:51:34

“Anna Moschovakis takes the reader straight to the terrifying edge: that moment where one ages out of youthfulness & begins to flutter in the debris of middle living, flattened out by technology, wild-goose chasing one’s data. Yet, the deeper we look into Eleanor’s unsettledness, the more we see & the more hope we find in […]

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Sep 24, 2018
Dao Strom : You Will Always Be Someone From Somewhere Else
1:55:13

In Dao Strom’s collection of poetic fragments, You Will Always Be Someone From Somewhere Else, translated by Ly Thuy Nguyen as Mình sẽ luôn là người nọ đến từ nơi nọ, the fragments are wholly filled—with text: English, Vietnamese, drifting, entwined, dense, vanishing—with space: empty, white, solid, black—with images: cropped, multiplied, sliced, erased—& with punctuation: plus, […]

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Aug 22, 2018
Catherine Lacey : Certain American States
1:29:25

“Lacey captures with eerie precision the strangeness of being a person in the world, living alongside other human beings with unknowable thoughts and feelings . . . Reading Lacey’s fiction feels like walking through a dark apartment in someone’s mind, full of winding hallways and unmarked doors. You never know quite where you are or […]

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Aug 07, 2018
Forrest Gander : Be With
1:25:46

“Forrest Gander’s life partner, the poet C.D. Wright, died suddenly a little more than two years ago, and this book is one result or record of the aftermath of that loss. In poems that are utterly naked and bereft, elegies, apologies, could-have-beens, Gander grieves and wonders about what’s left in his life. There is so […]

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Jul 19, 2018
Chelsea Hodson : Tonight I’m Someone Else
1:26:41

“Hodson’s essays have such a sexy drama to them—and ultimately it’s the romance of just getting through life; the passion that comes from being a wholly alert woman and living to tell about it. I had a real romance with this book.”—Miranda July “Chelsea Hodson tests herself against her desires, grapples with their consequences, and […]

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Jul 06, 2018
Molly Crabapple : Brothers of the Gun – A Memoir of the Syrian War
1:37:34

“From the anarchy, torment, and despair of the Syrian war, Marwan Hisham and Molly Crabapple have drawn a book of startling emotional power and intellectual depth. Many books will be written on the war’s exhaustive devastation of bodies and souls, and the defiant resistance of many trapped men and women, but the Mahabharata of the […]

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Jun 12, 2018
Sheila Heti : Motherhood
1:28:54

“This book is going to change how we think about life and women forever; like ancient Greek philosopher level of describing reality in a way that creates it. So, go or don’t go, read the book or don’t—either way your life will be changed by this thinker. I’m being serious here.”—Miranda July “This inquiry into […]

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Jun 01, 2018
Azareen Van Der Vliet Oloomi : Call Me Zebra
1:37:53

“Not many authors are compared to Borges, Cervantes, and Kathy Acker all in one breath, but that is exactly what we’re dealing with here: Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi is a twisted, twisty genius.”—Nylon Magazine “Van der Vliet Oloomi captures the shattered identity of the refugee and the immigrant, the way that literature becomes a […]

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May 15, 2018
Jen Bervin : Silk Poems
1:33:36

“Jen Bervin’s work—all of it—engages the eye, the hand, the ear, and the mind. Her artistry is vast and inclusive, by finesse and intelligence, by curiosity, forbearance, and vision. She knows the unexpected wonder of pattern is everywhere and that the smallest detail contains enough energy to spawn a universe. I think they should send […]

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May 01, 2018
Cheston Knapp : Up Up Down Down
1:38:55

“Cheston Knapp’s Up Up, Down Down has the uncanny, welcome ability to make so-called mainstream or dominant culture—white, masculinist, Christian, frat boy, & so on—appear newly strange, & newly open to analysis. He has the eye & ear of an anthropologist, a joyously expansive vocabulary, a prose style that feels both extravagant & exact, & a […]

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Apr 10, 2018
John Keene : Counternarratives, Playland, and Grind
1:37:11

“In Counternarratives, John Keene undertakes a kind of literary counterarchaeology, a series of fictions that challenge our notion of what constitutes ‘real’ or ‘accurate’ history. His writing is at turns playful and erudite, lyric and coldly diagnostic, but always completely absorbing. Counternarratives could easily be compared to Borges or Bolaño, Calvino or Kiš.”—Jess Row “Keene’s […]

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Apr 01, 2018
Vi Khi Nao : Umbilical Hospital & A Brief Alphabet of Torture
1:48:09

“These pieces are elaborate piecework—perforated, whip stitched, and distressed field-dressed dissections of language. Tortured? Maybe. But lusciously junked & juxtaposed, turned inside out & every which way but . . . No, in every way they make way.”—Michael Martone “Imagine an entity composed of sheep, wheat, assholes, clitorises, stars. Why not? That would be this […]

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Mar 11, 2018
Micheline Aharonian Marcom : The Brick House
1:36:14

Micheline Aharonian Marcom’s The Brick House is a place where people dream of love and loneliness, of the world’s beauty, and of ongoing environmental degradation. Travelers confront their lives in the strange, elemental language which dreams allow for, a strangeness mirrored in the accompanying illustrations by Fowzia Karimi. Inspired by Calvino’s Invisible Cities and Kawabata’s House of Sleeping […]

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Mar 01, 2018
Terese Marie Mailhot : Heart Berries
1:21:02

“Heart Berries by Terese Mailhot is an astounding memoir in essays. Here is a wound. Here is need, naked and unapologetic. Here is a mountain woman, towering in words great and small . . . What Mailhot has accomplished in this exquisite book is brilliance both raw and refined.” ―Roxane Gay “If Heart Berries is any […]

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Feb 13, 2018
Carmen Maria Machado : Her Body and Other Parties
1:28:38

“Cross-pollinating fairy tales, horror movies, TV shows, & a terrific sense of humor, Machado’s work reminds me at different times of such wildly divergent figures as David Lynch, Jane Campion, Maggie Nelson, & Grace Paley; which is a way of saying, Machado sounds like nobody but herself.”—John Powers, NPR “Fresh Air” “The book abounds with […]

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Feb 01, 2018
Eunsong Kim : Gospel of Regicide
1:43:34

“In Gospel of Regicide, Eunsong Kim develops a thrilling method for unwriting lyric even as she reimagines it, creating a socially engaged poetry of & for our time. Anticapitalist, feminist & anti-racist yet critical of non-intersectional understandings of identity & selfhood, she is unafraid of drawing the sacred from the pedestrian, & unbeholden to whiteness as […]

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Jan 14, 2018
Leni Zumas : Red Clocks
1:20:03

“Leni Zumas here proves she can do almost anything. Her tale feels part Melvillian, part Lydia Davis, part Octavia Butler—but really Zumas’s vision is entirely her own. Red Clocks is funny, mordant, political, poetic, alarming, and inspiring—not to mention a way forward for fiction now.”—Maggie Nelson “Move over Atwood, Leni Zumas’s Red Clocks is a […]

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Jan 05, 2018
David Biespiel : The Education of a Young Poet
1:38:46

“Biespiel’s supple memoir of becoming a poet will surely inspire other writers to embrace the bodily character of writing & feel the power &, sometimes, the emptiness of the act of writing poetry.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review “Whether he is writing about poetry, politics, competitive diving, or the glories of great conversation, Biespiel’s recurring subject is the […]

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Dec 01, 2017
Rae Armantrout : Partly – New & Selected Poems
1:17:37

“For nearly 40 years Armantrout has made a poetics of not finding the right words–of finding, in fact, the ‘wrong’ ones . . . Armantrout restores the strangeness of experiences we take for granted.”—Michael Robbins, Chicago Tribune “Hoopskirts, star jasmine, synchronized swimming, Russian icons, a ceramic fish face, electrons & photons: in these poems, everything […]

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Nov 01, 2017
Eileen Myles : Afterglow
1:27:31

“What is a dog if not god? In Afterglow, Eileen Myles steps up to the challenge for writers to function as prophets. Ghostwritten in part by deceased pit bull Rosie, this ‘dog memoir’ explores—among other things—geometry, gender, mortality, evil, aging, and plaids. Myles makes new rules for what prose writing can be. Afterglow is Myles’s […]

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Oct 19, 2017
Celeste Ng : Little Fires Everywhere
1:11:11

“I read Little Fires Everywhere in a single, breathless sitting. With brilliance and beauty, Celeste Ng dissects a microcosm of American society just when we need to see it beneath the microscope:  how do questions of race stack up against the comfort of privilege, and what role does that play in parenting?  Is motherhood a […]

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Oct 05, 2017
Peter Rock : Spells
1:24:44

“Spells is a fascinating hybrid text, not simply illustrated by a collection of photographs but created in response to them, a collaboration between Peter Rock and five photographers. The result is a novel unlike any I’ve read before, that weaves elements of realism, fable, prose poetry, and essay through the supporting structure of images to […]

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Sep 21, 2017
Safiya Sinclair : Cannibal
1:21:33

“Sinclair crafts her stunning debut collection around the beauty & brutality of the word cannibal, whose origins derive from Columbus’s belief that the Carib people consumed human flesh. Attacking this dehumanizing judgment born from white entitlement & denouncing the idea that blackness is synonymous with savagery, Sinclair ponders such questions as, How does a poet […]

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Sep 10, 2017
Matthew Zapruder : Why Poetry
1:30:56

In Why Poetry,  award-winning poet, translator, and editor, Matthew Zapruder argues that the way we have been taught to read poetry is the very thing that prevents us from enjoying it. Anchored in poetic analysis & steered by Zapruder’s personal experience of coming to the form, Why Poetry is engaging & conversational, even as it […]

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Aug 21, 2017
Yanara Friedland : Uncountry
1:25:00

“As a descendent of Chantal Akerman and Unica Zürn—among others—Yanara Friedland reimagines the origin myth. Friedland’s permeable pages allow the reader entryway into a ‘mirror [that] becomes an open door,’ a door through which we hear the echo of Ana Mendieta telling us ‘There is no original past to redeem: there is the void.’ Uncountry […]

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Aug 07, 2017
Mary Ruefle : My Private Property
1:13:03

“Mary Ruefle’s careful, measured sentences sound as if they were written by a thousand-year-old person who is still genuinely curious about the world . . . She combines imagistic techniques from surrealism with narrative techniques to create surprising, high-velocity, and deeply affecting work.”—The Stranger “Mary Ruefle is, in this humble bookseller’s opinion, the best prose-writing […]

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Jul 22, 2017
Yuri Herrera : Kingdom Cons
1:17:36

In the court of the King, everyone knows their place. But as the Artist wins hearts & egos with his ballads, uncomfortable truths emerge that shake the Kingdom to its core. Part surreal fable & part crime romance, this prize-winning novel from Yuri Herrera questions the price of keeping your integrity in a world ruled […]

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Jul 11, 2017
Gregory Pardlo : Digest
1:31:54

“[Gregory Pardlo] explores what is American, what is African American, what is the Other, what is city, what is suburban, what is personal & what is persona. Digest offers a changing, rich landscape of verse both haunting, funny, & rigorously intellectual—Jerry Magazine “[Pardlo] renders history just as clearly & palpably as he renders NYC or […]

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Jun 26, 2017
Dani Shapiro : Hourglass
1:31:15

What are the forces that shape our most elemental bonds? How do we make lifelong commitments in the face of identities that are continuously shifting, and commit ourselves when the self is so often in flux? What happens to love in the face of the unexpected, in the face of disappointment and compromise—how do we […]

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Jun 07, 2017
Jeff Vandermeer : Borne
1:09:52

“Here is the story about biotech that VanderMeer wants to tell, a vision of the nonhuman not as one fixed thing, one fixed destiny, but as either peaceful or catastrophic, by our side or out on a rampage as our behavior dictates—for these are our children, born of us and now to be borne in […]

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May 23, 2017
Thalia Field : Experimental Animals
1:18:25

“Thalia Field has now composed what very well might be her life’s work—a tragic, comical, & utterly fascinating tale of a marriage that vividly encapsulates not only the origins of experimental medicine, but an entire age that spirited experiments in literature, science, engineering, film, etc. It’s nothing less than a history—gorgeously fictional, purposefully essayistic–of how […]

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May 02, 2017
Sallie Tisdale : Violation
1:15:29

“That Sallie Tisdale’s a treasure comes as no secret to lovers of the essay, and yet this happy gathering that spans the decades is revelatory, a fascinating look at the epic wanderings of a life mapped by curiosity. Here we get elephants and houseflies, diets and fires, birth and the debris of death, all the […]

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Apr 19, 2017
Morgan Parker : There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé
1:10:31

Morgan Parker uses political & pop-cultural references as a framework to explore 21st century black American womanhood & its complexities: performance, depression, isolation, exoticism, racism, femininity & politics. Parker explores this in the contemporary American political climate, folding in references from jazz standards, visual art, personal family history, & Hip Hop. The voice of this […]

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Mar 29, 2017
Melissa Febos : Abandon Me
1:20:32

“Abandon Me is, in many ways, a story about how a woman’s body & the body of literature hold memory. In other ways, Abandon Me is a story about stories. Febos weaves familial stories, feminist stories, communal stories, literary stories & love stories,  revealing much of where she’s been & where we, her readers, might […]

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Mar 15, 2017
Ursula K. Le Guin : Words Are My Matter
1:13:17

“Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society & its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, & even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need writers who can remember freedom—poets, visionaries—realists of a larger reality. […]

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Feb 14, 2017
Susan DeFreitas : Hot Season
1:26:20

An outlaw activist on the run. A pipeline set to destroy a river. And 3 young women who must decide who to love, who to trust, & what to sacrifice for the greater good. Based in part on real events in the Northwest & Southwest in the early 90s & mid-aughts, Hot Season explores what […]

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Jan 18, 2017
Solmaz Sharif : Look
1:01:13

In this virtuosic array of poems, lists, shards, & sequences, Sharif assembles fragmented narratives in the aftermath of war. Those repercussions echo in the present day, the grief for those killed in America’s invasions of Afghanistan & Iraq, the discriminations endured at the checkpoints of daily encounter. At the same time, these poems point to […]

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Jan 04, 2017
Sofia Samatar : The Winged Histories
1:02:29

“If you love stories but distrust them, if you love language & can also see how it is used as a tool or a weapon in the maintenance of status quo, then read The Winged Histories.”—Marion Deeds, Fantasy Literature “Told by four different women, it is a story of war; not epic battles of good […]

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Dec 13, 2016
Tyehimba Jess : Olio
1:16:01

“This 21st century hymnal of black evolutionary poetry, this almanac, this theatrical melange of miraculous meta-memory. Tyehimba Jess is inventive, prophetic, wondrous. He writes unflinchingly into the historical clefs of blackface, black sound, human sensibility. After the last poem is read we have no idea how long we’ve been on our knees.”—Nikky Finney “Olio is […]

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Nov 16, 2016
Eliot Weinberger : The Ghosts of Birds
1:04:42

A new collection from “one of the world’s great essayists” (The New York Times), The Ghosts of Birds offers 35 new essays by Eliot Weinberger.  He chronicles a 19th century journey down the Colorado River, records the dreams of people named Chang, & shares other factually verifiable discoveries that seem too fabulous to possibly be […]

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Nov 02, 2016
Pauls Toutonghi : Dog Gone
1:00:58

“You can’t write about dogs without writing about people. They chose long ago to be our good company in the adventure of being alive, and ever since they’ve served as our mirrors, our teachers, and the most stubbornly loyal of friends. Pauls Toutonghi understands the richness of these bonds. In Dog Gone, this engaging storyteller […]

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Oct 27, 2016
Monica Drake : The Folly of Loving Life
45:05

Following her acclaimed novels Clown Girl and The Stud Book, Monica Drake presents her long-awaited first collection of stories. “What can I say about Monica Drake’s stories? They are brilliant, sure. They are hilarious, yes. Each one is a marvel. But more importantly–they are raw and awake and full of life. At the center of […]

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Sep 28, 2016
Alexis Smith : Marrow Island
1:02:41

“A faltering journalist returns to an island abandoned after an earthquake released a toxic spill. That’s the beautifully wrought setting of this novel, which reunites two childhood friends, one of whom has joined a sect claiming it can heal the land.”—O, The Oprah Magazine “Tucked into this suspenseful plot are stunning and important reflections on […]

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Sep 14, 2016
Jesse Ball : How to Set a Fire and Why
1:07:02

Jesse Ball’s blistering novel tells the story of a teenage girl who has lost everything—and will burn anything. Lucia’s father is dead, her mother in a mental hospital, and now she’s been kicked out of school—again. She makes her way through the world with only a book, a zippo lighter, a pocketful of stolen licorice, […]

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Aug 17, 2016
Rikki Ducornet : Brightfellow
1:04:37

A feral boy comes of age on a campus decadent with starched sheets, sweating cocktails, & homemade jams. Stub is the cause of that missing sweater, the pie that disappeared off the cooling rack. Then Stub meets Billy, who takes him in, & Asthma, who enchants him, & all is found, then lost. A fragrant, […]

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Jul 20, 2016
Lina Meruane : Seeing Red
1:07:33

This powerful autobiographical novel describes a young Chilean writer recently relocated to New York for doctoral work who suffers a stroke, leaving her blind & increasingly dependent on those closest to her. Fiction & autobiography intertwine in an intense, visceral, & caustic novel about the relation between the body, illness, & gender. “Meruane writes further […]

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Jun 30, 2016
Rob Spillman : All Tomorrow’s Parties
51:53

“Truly exceptional memoirs have to do something more than recount a good origin story: they have to test the author’s youthful understanding of the world, and break down that world, even as it’s being built upon the page. All Tomorrow’s Parties is such a memoir. Not only is it a super-fun, shatter-the-mirror joyride through Spillman’s […]

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Jun 15, 2016
Brian Blanchfield : Proxies
1:14:48

“Into what some are calling a new golden age of creative nonfiction lands Brian Blanchfield’s Proxies, which singlehandedly raises the bar for what’s possible in the field. This is a momentous work informed by a lifetime of thinking, reading, loving, and reckoning, utterly matchless in its erudition, its precision, its range, its daring, and its […]

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May 18, 2016
Idra Novey : Ways to Disappear
55:35

“Idra Novey, an acclaimed poet & translator of Spanish & Portuguese literature, has written a debut novel that’s a fast-paced, beguilingly playful, noirish literary mystery with a translator at its center. Ways to Disappear explores the meaning behind a writer’s words—the way they can both hide & reveal deep truths. . . . Yes, there’s […]

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May 04, 2016
Ursula K. Le Guin : Late in the Day
54:13

Late in the Day, Ursula K. Le Guin’s new collection of poems (2010–2014) seeks meaning in an ever-connected world, giving voice to objects that may not speak a human language but communicate with us nevertheless through and about the seasonal rhythms of the earth, the minute and the vast, the ordinary and the mythological. As […]

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Apr 20, 2016
Brian Evenson : A Collapse of Horses
59:03

A stuffed bear’s heart beats with the rhythm of a dead baby; Reno keeps receding to the east no matter how far you drive; and in a mine on another planet, the dust won’t stop seeping in. In these stories, Brian Evenson unsettles us with the everyday and the extraordinary—the terror of living with the […]

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Mar 30, 2016
Laila Lalami : The Moor’s Account
47:26

In this stunning work of historical fiction, Laila Lalami brings us the imagined memoirs of the 1st black explorer of America, a Moroccan slave whose testimony was left out of the official record. In 1527, the conquistador Narváez sailed with a crew of 600 men & nearly 100 horses. Within a year there were only […]

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Mar 16, 2016
Lacy M. Johnson : The Other Side
59:40

“[Lacy M. Johnson’s] powerfully moving and brilliantly structured memoir, The Other Side, asks, ‘How is it possible to reclaim the body after devastating violence?’ Her intense desire and demand for a life lived in the body is triumphant. Johnson’s strength to free not only her physical self, but also to move through years of incapacitating […]

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Feb 17, 2016
Keith Lee Morris : Travelers Rest
42:48

“It won’t take long—a page, maybe two—before you feel wondrously disquieted by Keith Lee Morris’s Travelers Rest. The novel traps its characters in the town of Good Night, Idaho, and the reader in its shaken snow globe of a world. The language dazzles and the circumstances chill and put this story in the good company […]

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Jan 20, 2016
Mary Gaitskill : The Mare
44:06

From the author of the National Book Award-nominated Veronica: Mary Gaitskill’s The Mare—the story of a Dominican girl, the white woman who introduces her to riding, and the horse who changes everything for her. “Gaitskill takes a premise that could have been preachy, sentimental, or simplistic—juxtaposing urban and rural, rich and poor, young and old, […]

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Dec 16, 2015
Valeria Luiselli : The Story of My Teeth
1:05:39

Written in collaboration with the workers at a Jumex juice factory, The Story of My Teeth is a witty, exhilarating romp through the industrial suburbs of Mexico City and Luiselli’s own literary influences.  Protagonist Gustavo “Highway” Sánchez Sánchez is a late-in-life world traveler, yarn spinner, collector, and legendary auctioneer. His most precious possessions are the […]

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Nov 19, 2015
Amelia Gray : Gutshot
53:29

NPR calls Gutshot “a book brimming with blood, sexual deviance, mucus and madness.” The New York Times says “reading Gutshot is a little like being blindfolded and pelted from all sides with fire, Jell-O and the occasional live animal.” And Vice Magazine calls it a book full of bodily fluids and strange sights and smells. […]

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Oct 28, 2015
Ursula K. Le Guin : Steering The Craft
58:23

Ursula K. Le Guin believes we cannot restructure society without restructuring the English language, and thus her book on the craft of writing inevitably engages class, gender, race, capitalism, and morality, all of which are not separate from grammar, punctuation, tense, and point of view for Le Guin. Ursula K. Le Guin is the author of […]

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Oct 01, 2015
Liz Prato : Baby’s On Fire
35:47

“Liz Prato’s stories are filled with the lost, the lonely, and the damned, and she makes all of them sing with a haunting grandeur. Baby’s on Fire is a lamentation brimming with wit, candor, and the eternal possibility of mercy,” says writer Steve Almond about Liz Prato’s debut collection of stories. “The stories are at […]

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Sep 23, 2015
David Biespiel : A Long High Whistle
1:18:53

Library Journal calls David Biespiel’s A Long High Whistle one of the best books about reading poetry you will ever find. Biespiel is a poet, editor, essayist, critic, and teacher, and also the writer of the longest-running newspaper column on poetry in the United States. A Long High Whistle discusses the work of nearly a hundred […]

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Aug 19, 2015
Rebecca Makkai : Music For Wartime
40:43

Rebecca Makkai, whose stories have appeared in four consecutive editions of The Best American Short Stories, discusses her much-anticipated story collection Music for Wartime. A reality show producer manipulates two contestants into falling in love, even as her own relationship falls apart. A young boy has a revelation about his father’s past when a renowned […]

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Aug 05, 2015
Maggie Nelson : The Argonauts
54:46

An intrepid voyage out to the frontiers of the latest thinking about love, language, and family. Maggie Nelson binds her personal experience, the story of her relationship with the fluidly-gendered artist Harry Dodge, to a rigorous exploration of what iconic theorists have said about sexuality, gender, and the vexed institutions of marriage and child-rearing. The Argonauts […]

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Jul 29, 2015
Lidia Yuknavitch : The Small Backs of Children
49:31

In a war-torn village in Eastern Europe, an American photographer captures a heart-stopping image: a young girl flying toward the lens, fleeing a fiery explosion that has engulfed her home and family. The image wins acclaim and prizes, becoming an icon for millions—and a subject of obsession for one writer, the photographer’s best friend, who […]

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Jul 15, 2015
Mary Ruefle : An Incarnation of the Now
1:01:47

Beloved and critically-acclaimed poet, essayist, and erasure artist, Mary Ruefle talks about her life as an artist, her approach to poetry, the questions she comes back to, and the artists that influence her. Ruefle is the author of ten books of poetry, the collected lectures Madness, Rack & Honey, a book of prose, a comic […]

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Jun 03, 2015
Neal Stephenson : Seveneves
49:04

A catastrophic event renders the Earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere: in outer space. Only a handful of survivors remain . . . Five thousand years later, their […]

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May 20, 2015
Viet Thanh Nguyen : The Sympathizer
41:55

It is April 1975 and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a general of the South Vietnamese army is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his trusted captain, drawing up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of the country. The general and his compatriots start […]

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Apr 29, 2015
Sarah Manguso : Ongoingness
38:54

In Ongoingness, Sarah Manguso confronts a meticulous diary that she has kept for 25 years. “I wanted to end each day with a record of everything that had ever happened,” she explains. But this simple statement belies a terror that she might miss something important. When Manguso became pregnant and had a child, these Copernican […]

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Apr 02, 2015
Kelly Link : Get in Trouble
52:28

Kelly Link has been hailed by Michael Chabon as “the most darkly playful voice in American fiction” and by Neil Gaiman as “a national treasure.” Link has won an ardent following for her ability, with each new short story, to take readers deeply into an unforgettable, brilliantly constructed fictional universe. Hurricanes, astronauts, evil twins, bootleggers, […]

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Mar 04, 2015
Sarah Gerard : Binary Star
30:29

The language of the stars is the language of the body. Like a star, the anorexic burns fuel that isn’t replenished; she is held together by her own gravity. With luminous, lyrical prose, Binary Star is an account of a young woman struggling with anorexia and her long-distance, alcoholic boyfriend. On a road trip circumnavigating the U.S., […]

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Feb 25, 2015
Miranda July : The First Bad Man
41:47

Here is Cheryl, a tightly-wound, vulnerable woman who lives alone, with a perpetual lump in her throat. She is haunted by a baby boy she met when she was six, who sometimes recurs as other people’s babies. Cheryl is also obsessed with Phillip, a philandering board member at the women’s self-defense nonprofit where she works. […]

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Jan 28, 2015
Leslie Jamison : The Empathy Exams
49:28

Beginning with her experience as a medical actor who was paid to act out symptoms for medical students to diagnose, Leslie Jamison’s visceral and revealing essays ask essential questions about our basic understanding of others: How should we care about each other? How can we feel another’s pain, especially when pain can be assumed, distorted, […]

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Dec 18, 2014
Claudia Rankine : Citizen
1:00:10

Claudia Rankine, chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, speaks about her much-awaited follow-up to her groundbreaking work Don’t Let Me Be Lonely. A provocative meditation on race (and short-listed for the National Book Award), Citizen: An American Lyric recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first century daily life and in the media. […]

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Nov 13, 2014
William Gibson : The Peripheral
1:02:30

Where Flynne and her brother, Burton, live, jobs outside the drug business are rare. Fortunately, Burton has his veteran’s benefits, for the neural damage he suffered from implants during his time in the USMC’s elite Haptic Recon force. Then one night Burton has to go out, but there’s a job he’s supposed to do—a job […]

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Nov 05, 2014
David Mitchell : The Bone Clocks
46:03

“No one, clearly, has ever told Mitchell that the novel is dead. He writes with a furious intensity and slapped-awake vitality, with a delight in language and all the rabbit holes of experience . . . In his sixth novel, he’s brought together the time-capsule density of his eyes-wide-open adventure in traditional realism with the […]

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Oct 01, 2014
Ben Parzybok : Sherwood Nation
37:25

In drought-stricken Portland, Oregon, a Robin Hood-esque water thief is caught on camera redistributing an illegal truckload of water to those in need. Nicknamed Maid Marian—real name: Renee, a twenty-something barista and eternal part-time college student—she is an instant folk hero. Renee rides her swelling popularity and the public’s disgust at how the city has […]

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Sep 10, 2014
Karen Russell : Sleep Donation
53:15

A crisis has swept America. Hundreds of thousands have lost the ability to sleep. Enter the Slumber Corps, an organization that urges healthy dreamers to donate sleep to an insomniac. Under the wealthy and enigmatic Storch brothers, the Corps’ reach has grown, with outposts in every major U.S. city. Trish Edgewater, whose sister Dori was […]

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Aug 13, 2014
Dinaw Mengestu : All Our Names
29:25

All Our Names is the story of two young men who come of age during an African revolution, drawn from the safe confines of the university campus into the intensifying clamor of the streets outside. But as the line between idealism and violence becomes increasingly blurred, the friends are driven apart—one into the deepest peril, […]

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Jul 30, 2014
Jo Walton : My Real Children
51:05

It’s 2015 and Patricia Cowan is very old. “Confused today,” read the notes clipped to the end of her bed. She forgets things she should know—what year it is, major events in the lives of her children. But she remembers things that don’t seem possible. She remembers marrying Mark and having four children. And she […]

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Jun 25, 2014
Roxane Gay : An Untamed State
36:10

An Untamed State is a novel of privilege in the face of crushing poverty, and of the lawless anger that corrupt governments produce. It is the story of a willful woman attempting to find her way back to the person she once was, and of how redemption is found in the most unexpected of places. […]

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Jun 11, 2014
Leni Zumas & Luca Dipierro : A Wooden Leg
57:43

There is a long, if lesser known, history of fictions (and fictive illustrations) that invite reader participation, where the reader co-creates the story with the authors. These stories often utilize an element of chance and/or suggest multiple possible ways a text can be read. Leni Zumas and Luca Dipierro, the co-creators of A Wooden Leg: […]

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May 28, 2014
Lorrie Moore : Bark
39:44

Harper’s Magazine may have said it best when describing today’s guest, Lorrie Moore: “Fifty years from now, it may well turn out that the work of very few American writers has as much to say about what it means to be alive in our time as that of Lorrie Moore.” Over the course of the […]

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Apr 23, 2014
Kyle Minor : Praying Drunk
52:01

The characters in Praying Drunk speak in tongues, torture their classmates, fall in love, hunt for immortality, abandon their children, keep machetes beneath passenger seats, and collect porcelain figurines. From Kentucky to Florida to Haiti, these seemingly disparate lives are woven together within a series of nested repetitions, enacting the struggle to remain physically and […]

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Apr 09, 2014
Helen Oyeyemi : Boy, Snow, Bird
30:30

In the winter of 1953, Boy Novak arrives by chance in a small town in Massachusetts, looking, she believes, for beauty—the opposite of the life she’s left behind in New York. She marries a local widower and becomes stepmother to his winsome daughter, Snow Whitman. A wicked stepmother is a creature Boy never imagined she’d […]

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Mar 27, 2014
Gina Frangello: A Life In Men
28:50

The friendship between Mary and Nix has endured since childhood, a seemingly unbreakable bond, until the mid-1980s, when the two young women reunite for a summer vacation in Greece. It’s a trip instigated by Nix, who has just learned that Mary has been diagnosed with a disease that will inevitably cut her life short. Nix, […]

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Mar 12, 2014
Chang-rae Lee : On Such A Full Sea
37:21

“The most striking dystopian novels sound an alarm, focus our attention and even change the language. The Handmaid’s Tale crystallized our fears about reproductive control; Fahrenheit 451 still flames discussions of censorship; and 1984 is the lens through which we watch the Obama administration watching us. Chang-rae Lee’s unsettling new novel, On Such a Full […]

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Feb 20, 2014
Gary Shteyngart : Little Failure
46:39

“Gary Shteyngart has written a memoir for the ages. I spat laughter on the first page and closed the last with wet eyes. Unputdownable in the day and a half I spent reading it, Little Failure is a window into immigrant agony and ambition, Jewish angst, and anybody’s desperate need for a tribe. Readers who’ve […]

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Jan 23, 2014
Veronica Gonzalez Peña : The Sad Passions
55:12

Told by six women in one family, Veronica Gonzalez Peña’s The Sad Passions captures the alertness, beauty, and terror of childhood lived in proximity to madness. Set against the backdrop of a colonial past, spanning three generations, and shuttling from Mexico City to Oaxaca to the North Fork of Long Island to Veracruz, The Sad Passions is the lyrical […]

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Dec 19, 2013
Kevin Sampsell : This Is Between Us
28:37

There may be no author more integral to the Portland literary scene than Kevin Sampsell. Kevin is not only the small press curator and events coordinator at Powell’s books, but he’s also the editor of the Portland Noir fiction anthology, curated this year’s Wordstock literary festival, was in charge of LitHopPDX, Portland’s inaugural literary bar […]

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Nov 21, 2013
Lucy Corin : One Hundred Apocalypses
31:20

We seem to be in the midst of an upsurge in dystopian art and end times anxieties. If we as a culture don’t have a sense of impending doom, we do at least have trouble imagining the future being bright and promising. Today’s guest Lucy Corin is here on Between The Covers to talk about […]

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Oct 31, 2013
Jonathan Lethem : Dissident Gardens
36:47

Jonathan Lethem is a man of many lives. For one, because of his repeated return to New York as both setting and muse in novels such as Motherless Brooklyn, Fortress of Solitude, and Chronic City, he may be New York’s closest thing to having a bard. But Lethem is known as well for his genre […]

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Oct 02, 2013
Robert Boswell : Tumbledown
38:00

“When most of us think of today’s great American novel, we think of Franzen’s Freedom or Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad—sprawling stories that comment on contemporary society as we live it. Tumbledown, Robert Boswell’s latest, is just such a book—and one you’ll stay up until 3 AM reading. Over the course of a […]

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Sep 19, 2013
Jami Attenberg : The Middlesteins
34:24

For more than thirty years, Edie and Richard Middlestein shared a solid family life together in the suburbs of Chicago. But now things are splintering apart for one reason: Edie’s enormous girth. She’s obsessed with food–thinking about it, eating it—and if she doesn’t stop, she won’t have much longer to live. With pitch-perfect prose, huge compassion, […]

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Aug 08, 2013
Matt Bell : In the House Upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods
29:03

Matt Bell’s novel is so unlike anything else you’ll read this year that people are struggling to describe just what it is. The Washington Post says it’s like a magical realist story chanted by druids on mushrooms, The Stranger says it feels like a Tolkein epic set inside Plato’s cave and told by Carl Jung, […]

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Jul 10, 2013
NoViolet Bulawayo : We Need New Names
28:06

Born and raised in Zimbabwe, NoViolet Bulawayo earned her MFA at Cornell University where she was the recipient of the Truman Capote fellowship. In 2011 she won the biggest literary prize in Africa, the Caine Prize for African Writing for her short story “Hitting Budapest,” first published in the Boston Review. Bulawayo talks with Between […]

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Jun 27, 2013
Lenore Zion : Stupid Children
26:47

Host David Naimon talks with Lenore Zion about her debut novel Stupid Children, a book Thomas Michael Duncan of Necessary Fiction calls “a bildungsroman of twisted proportions told with startling clarity through the filter of a smart, psychoanalytic perspective. No character is safe from Zion’s unapologetic examinations. She bestows her protagonist with an open mind, a […]

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May 30, 2013
Benjamin Percy : Red Moon
28:32

They live among us.
 They are your neighbor, your mother, your lover.
 They change.  Every teenage girl thinks she’s different. When government agents kick down Claire Forrester’s front door and murder her parents, Claire realizes just how different she is. Patrick Gamble was nothing special until the day he got on a plane and hours […]

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May 15, 2013
Karen Russell : Vampires in the Lemon Grove
31:10

Karen Russell is one of today’s most celebrated and vital writers—honored in the New Yorker’s list of the twenty best writers under the age of forty, Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists, and the National Book Foundation’s five best writers under the age of thirty-five. Last year, Karen Russell was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in […]

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Apr 24, 2013
Monica Drake : The Stud Book
29:04

In the hip haven of Portland, Oregon, a pack of unsteady but loyal friends asks what it means to bring babies into an already crowded world. A smart, edgy and poignantly funny exploration of the complexities of what parenthood means today, Monica Drake’s second novel, The Stud Book, demonstrates that when it comes to babies, […]

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Apr 18, 2013
Sam Lipsyte : The Fun Parts
26:28

A hilarious collection of stories from the writer the New York Times called “the novelist of his generation.” Returning to the form in which he began, Sam Lipsyte, author of the New York Times bestseller The Ask, offers up The Fun Parts, a book of bold, hilarious, and deeply felt fiction. Combining both the tragicomic […]

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Mar 14, 2013
George Saunders : Tenth of December
29:52

“George Saunders Has Written the Best Book You’ll Read All Year,” declared the cover of the New York Times Magazine several weeks ago. Since then, the world has rushed to agree that Saunders’ new story collection, Tenth of December, is a remarkable literary achievement. “George Saunders is a complete original, unlike anyone else, thank god—and […]

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Feb 14, 2013
Chris Kraus : Summer of Hate
27:13

Writer, filmmaker and art critic Chris Kraus talks with host David Naimon about her latest book, Summer of Hate. Her other books include the novels I Love Dick, hailed by Rick Moody as one of the literary highpoints of the past two decades, Aliens & Anorexia, and Torpor.  She is also the author of the essay collections Video Green and Where Art Belongs, […]

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Nov 30, 2012
Alexis Smith : Glaciers
28:00

Portland author Alexis Smith talks with host David Naimon about Glaciers, her debut novel from Tin House books. Glaciers follows Isabel through a day in her life, in which work with damaged books in the basement of a library, unrequited love for the former soldier who fixes her computer, and dreams of the perfect vintage dress move over a […]

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Nov 15, 2012
Jess Walter : Beautiful Ruins
29:34

Host David Naimon talks with Jess Walter about his sixth novel, Beautiful Ruins, a deeply human rollercoaster of a novel, spanning fifty years and nearly as many lives. Walter is also the author of the national bestseller The Financial Lives of the Poets, the National Book Award finalist The Zero, the Edgar Award-winning Citizen Vince, Land of the Blind, and the New York […]

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Oct 25, 2012
Junot Diaz : This Is How You Lose Her
34:01

Host David Naimon speaks with Junot Diaz, who the New Yorker calls one of the top 20 writers for the 21st century. He’s the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, a Creative Writing professor at MIT, the Fiction Editor at the Boston Review, and a founding member of Voices of […]

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Sep 27, 2012
Sheila Heti : How Should A Person Be?

Is How Should a Person Be? a novel, a memoir, a self-help manual, or a book of philosophy? It is all of these things and more.  Host David Naimon talks with Sheila Heti about her new book, which Bookforum dubs “a raw, startling, genre-defying novel of friends, sex, and love in the new millennium—a compulsive read that’s like spending […]

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Aug 31, 2012
Karen Thompson Walker : The Age of Miracles
27:31

On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, and the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she […]

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Jul 14, 2012
Vanessa Veselka : Zazen
29:05

A war has either started or is about to; bombs are going off in the city, but people seem strangely disengaged. Della’s activist friends seem more concerned about the next sex party or the finer points of vegan ideology, and customers at the vegan café where she works talk of leaving the country for a […]

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Jun 22, 2012
Adam Levin : Hot Pink
29:09

Adam Levin’s debut novel, The Instructions, published by McSweeney’s in 2010, arrived with a lot of buzz. An inventive, experimental book of over 1000 pages, its protagonist was Gurion ben-Judah Maccabee, a 10-year-old genius from Chicago, who may or may not be the Jewish Messiah. Levin’s short stories have appeared in Tin House, McSweeney’s, and Esquire. He […]

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Jun 14, 2012
Jon Raymond : Rain Dragon
29:27

Host David Naimon talks with Portland author, Jon Raymond, about his new novel Rain Dragon.  Raymond is the author of the novel The Half-Life, and the short story collection Livability, which won the Oregon Book Award and contained two stories that became the critically acclaimed movies Old Joy and Wendy & Lucy. Jon Raymond was also the screenwriter for the film Meek’s Cutoff and […]

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May 24, 2012
Nathan Englander : What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank
29:47

Englander burst on the literary scene in 1999 with For The Relief of Unbearable Urges, a story collection that earned him the PEN/Faulkner Malamud Award and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Sue Kauffman Prize. His first novel, The Ministry of Special Cases, set during Argentina’s Dirty War, came out in 2007. And this year finds Englander […]

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Mar 14, 2012
Ben Marcus : The Flame Alphabet
25:47

What if the words your children spoke to you actually made you sick? Physically sick. And what if the children themselves relished in this newfound power over their parents? This is the setting of Ben Marcus’ new dystopian novel The Flame Alphabet. Ben Marcus is Chair of Creative Writing at Columbia University and the author of […]

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Mar 01, 2012
Colson Whitehead : Zone One
21:06

Host David Naimon speaks with award-winning writer Colson Whitehead about his new novel Zone One, described as a “wry take on the post-apocalyptic horror novel.” The world has been devastated by a plague. There are two types of survivors: the uninfected and the infected, the living and the living dead. Colson Whitehead is the author […]

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Dec 29, 2011
Justin Torres : We The Animals
25:40

Host David Naimon interviews debut novelist Justin Torres. His book, We the Animals, has been heralded for its beautiful, concentrated prose. NPR likened it to a diamond, brilliant and brilliantly compressed. Esquire called it a “knock to the head that will leave your mouth agape.” Justin Torres is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, with work in the […]

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Nov 03, 2011
China Miéville : Embassytown
28:18

Science fiction and fantasy writer China Miéville has won nearly every award in the genre and has caught the attention of mainstream publications from the New York Times to the Guardian with the depth of his imagination and the height of his erudition. David Naimon interviews him about his new, much anticipated book, Embassytown. “Embassytown is a […]

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Jul 21, 2011
Scott Sparling : Wire to Wire
28:07

Host David Naimon interviews Portland writer Scott Sparling about his debut novel, Wire to Wire, from Tin House Books.  A pick of the week by Publisher’s Weekly, they call Wire to Wire, “well-crafted and thrilling, tying together an obvious love for both Michigan and railroads with an expert sense of timing and plot. The world he has created is both overwhelming […]

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Jun 30, 2011
Anthony Doerr : Memory Wall
26:20

Host David Naimon speaks with writer Anthony Doerr about his latest book, Memory Wall. Doerr is the author of three other books: The Shell Collector, About Grace, and Four Seasons in Rome. Doerr’s short fiction has won three O. Henry Prizes and has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, and The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Fiction. […]

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Jan 13, 2011
Nicole Krauss : Great House
25:12

Host David Naimon speaks with Nicole Krauss about her newest novel Great House, which tells a story haunted by questions: What do we pass on to our children? How do they absorb our dreams and losses? How do we respond to disappearance, destruction, and change?  Great House was a finalist for the National Book Award for fiction this year. […]

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Dec 14, 2010