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

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

BOOKS ∙ WORKSHOPS ∙ PODCAST

BOOKS ∙ WORKSHOPS ∙ PODCAST

 

#292

Lance Olsen : Absolute Away & Shrapnel

Lance Olsen returns to Between the Covers to discuss his two new books, his uncategorizable multiverse fiction Absolute Away, and his new collection of philosophical essays and interviews on writing Shrapnel:Contemplations. Lance’s latest novel engages with the life of Edith Metzger, an improbable footnote in two momentous events in history: 1)as  the woman in the backseat of Jackson Pollock’s car on the fateful day he crashed it and ended both their lives, and 2)as  a German Jewish three-year old at the infamous Nazi book burning. When Hermann Göring mistook her for an Aryan, picking her up, little Edie bit his lip until it bled. Employing the notions of quantum physics as well as the notions of home and exile of Jacques Derrida, Lance imagines many otherwises for Edith Metzger. In this life and others. Together we explore the philosophic underpinnings of Lance’s writing, as evidenced in Shrapnel: Contemplations, and use his novel Absolute Away as the test case. For the bonus audio archive Lance contributes an extended reading from his forthcoming novel about the outsider artist Henry Darger. It’s provisional title is An Inventory of Benevolent Butterflies. You can find out how to subscribe to the bonus audio and all the other potential benefits and rewards of joining the Between the Covers community  as a listener-supporter at the show’s [Patreon page.] (http://patreon.com/betweenthecovers) Here is the [BookShop] (https://bookshop.org/lists/books-from-lance-olsen-conversation) for today’s conversation. The post [Lance Olsen : Absolute Away & Shrapnel] (https://tinhouse.com/podcast/lance-olsen-absolute-away-shrapnel/) appeared first on [Tin House] (https://tinhouse.com) . ... Read more

16 Jun 2024

2 HR 17 MINS

2:17:59

16 Jun 2024


#291

Amitav Ghosh : Smoke and Ashes

For nearly twenty years Amitav Ghosh has been writing about opium and the opium trade, first in his fictional Ibis trilogy, and now in nonfiction with Smoke & Ashes. This is a story that brings together many of the preoccupying themes from Ghosh’s career: the legacies of colonialism and extractive colonial economies, the intelligence of plants and the ways plants are actors and agents within history, and the strategies that can be gleaned from the story of opium in today’s battle to address climate change. But given that he has now engaged with the opium trade in both nonfiction and fiction, we also discuss another of his interests: the factors that led to the rise of realism in fiction, that shaped and defined what we.call the literary novel today. It turns out what shaped the realist literary novel are the same forces that have led to our opium and fossil fuel addiction, and we look at both. If you enjoyed today’s conversation,  consider joining the Between the Covers community as a listener-supporter. There are innumerable potential benefits and rewards of doing so. You can explore them all at the show’s [Patreon page.] (http://patreon.com/betweenthecovers) Lastly, here is today’s [BookShop] (https://bookshop.org/lists/books-from-amitav-ghosh-conversation) . The post [Amitav Ghosh : Smoke and Ashes] (https://tinhouse.com/podcast/amitav-ghosh-smoke-and-ashes/) appeared first on [Tin House] (https://tinhouse.com) . ... Read more

01 Jun 2024

1 HR 34 MINS

1:34:23

01 Jun 2024


#290

Joyelle McSweeney : Death Styles

Today’s guest, poet, playwright, novelist, translator, publisher, editor and critic, Joyelle McSweeney discusses her latest poetry collection Death Styles. She talks about the juxtaposing of “death” and “style” and the seam to the underworld that opens when you do, about style as survival, about writing after and into death, about eyes that spill Art, and ears that make sound, about poetry, performance, prophecy and more. We also do a deep dive into McSweeney’s aesthetics and poetics as exemplified by her landmark book of eco-criticism The Necropastoral: Poetry, Media, Occults. For the bonus audio archive, McSweeney contributes an almost twenty minute incredible performance from her libretto Pistorius Rex, her operatic and Oedipal reimagining of the trial of Oscar Pistorius (the double-amputee Olympic athlete who murdered his girlfriend). This joins bonus audio from many past guests, from Douglas Kearney to C.A. Conrad to Jorie Graham. To find out about how to subscribe to the bonus audio and the other possible benefits and rewards of joining the Between the Covers community as a listener-supporter, head over to the show’s [Patreon page] (http://patreon.com/betweenthecovers) . Finally, here is the [BookShop] (https://bookshop.org/lists/books-from-joyelle-mcsweeney-conversation) for today’s conversation. The post [Joyelle McSweeney : Death Styles] (https://tinhouse.com/podcast/joyelle-mcsweeney-death-styles/) appeared first on [Tin House] (https://tinhouse.com) . ... Read more

18 May 2024

1 HR 59 MINS

1:59:36

18 May 2024


#289

Danielle Dutton : Prairie, Dresses, Art, Other

One might ask, just what is Danielle Dutton’s latest book, Prairie, Dresses, Art, Other? A collection of stories, a philosophical essay, a sequence of nested dreams and memories, an act of loving citation, a one-act play of silent animals, a meditation on the human in the more-than-human world, on the end of the world, on writing, on reading, on visual art, on black holes, on subterranean forests and the landscapes inside us? Somehow, as we leap from one section to the next, from Prairie to Dresses to Art to Other, this book is about all of these things and much more. And yet, mysteriously, magically, improbably it all holds together as one. Everything echoing off of and deepening everything else. We talk about finding form, about creating work that best reflects the unique and weird way one sees the world, about the generative power of making the world strange again, about opening spaces in fiction, and writing into them. Many of the people mentioned today, from Bhanu Kapil to Sabrina Orah Mark to Caren Beilin have contributed readings to the bonus audio archive when they themselves were guests on the show. The bonus audio archive is only one possible benefit of joining the Between the Covers community as a listener-supporter. You can find out how to subscribe to it and all the other resources and rewards available at the show’s [Patreon page] (http://patreon.com/betweenthecovers) . Lastly, here is the [BookShop] (https://bookshop.org/lists/books-from-danielle-dutton-conversation) for today’s conversation. The post [Danielle Dutton : Prairie, Dresses, Art, Other] (https://tinhouse.com/podcast/danielle-dutton-prairie-dresses-art-other/) appeared first on [Tin House] (https://tinhouse.com) . ... Read more

20 Apr 2024

2 HR 03 MINS

2:03:06

20 Apr 2024


#288

Alexis Wright : Praiseworthy

Today’s guest is one of the most important and celebrated writers in Australia today, Alexis Wright. We look together at the ways Wright reshapes the novel form to honor Aboriginal notions of story, of time, and of scale. To find a different sound and voice for the novel, one that is multiple and collective. both ancestral and visionary, one that invites us to walk back into relationship with other beings and the land itself, and shows us where we are headed when we don’t. Her latest novel Praiseworthy is set in a world like ours, of extreme weather events, of unchecked white supremacy, of the inexorable pull toward assimilation, erasure and  the demanding present-tense of the internet. But the book is also one of aboriginal invention, adaptation, and vision, a novel of both biting humor and wisdom, as people, in the face of it all, search for Aboriginal sovereignty. For the bonus audio archive Alexis reads a favorite poem of hers by Bei Dao which joins an immense archive of supplemental material—readings, craft talks, long-form conversations with translators—from everyone from Layli Long Soldier to Dionne Brand, Naomi Klein to Richard Powers. You can find out more about the bonus audio archive and the many other potential benefits of joining the Between the Covers community as a listener-supporter at the show’s [Patreon page] (http://patreon.com/betweenthcovers) . Finally, here is the [Bookshop] (https://bookshop.org/lists/books-from-alexis-wright-conversation) corresponding to today’s episode. The post [Alexis Wright : Praiseworthy] (https://tinhouse.com/podcast/alexis-wright-praiseworthy/) appeared first on [Tin House] (https://tinhouse.com) . ... Read more

01 Apr 2024

1 HR 33 MINS

1:33:29

01 Apr 2024


#287

Nam Le : 36 Ways of Writing a Vietnamese Poem

Over the past fifteen years, Nam Le has published a book in each genre. Best known for his phenomenal 2009 debut story collection The Boat, he followed it with his 2019 debut nonfiction On David Malouf, and now, this year, his debut poetry collection 36 Ways of Writing a Vietnamese Poem. What is remarkable about these three books, is how, in a way, they are three different strategies aimed at the same goal—how to avoid the flatness and fixity of representation of identity, how to create enough elbow room, to push back against the assumptions, presumptions and expectations that come with one’s identity, and assert one’s sovereignty as a writer. Nam has suggested that 36 Ways of Writing a Vietnamese Poem could be viewed as one long poem, one poem that consists of many stand-alone poems, but where each individual poem, through your encounter with it, affects, changes, and deforms all the others, and the longer poem as a whole. We look at his three books in a similar spirit, looking at each through the vantage point of the others, to see what we discover about questions of identity, representation and art-making as we do. If you enjoy today’s conversation consider joining the Between the Covers community as a listener-supporter. To find out about all the possible benefits and rewards of doing so, from the bonus audio archive to the Tin House Early Reader subscription, head over to the show’s [Patreon page] (http://patreon.com/betweenthecovers) . Finally, today’s [BookShop] (https://bookshop.org/lists/books-for-nam-le-conversation) . The post [Nam Le : 36 Ways of Writing a Vietnamese Poem] (https://tinhouse.com/podcast/nam-le-36-ways-of-writing-a-vietnamese-poem/) appeared first on [Tin House] (https://tinhouse.com) . ... Read more

17 Mar 2024

2 HR 24 MINS

2:24:42

17 Mar 2024


#286

Anne de Marcken : It Lasts Forever and Then It’s Over

Writer, interdisciplinary artist, editor and publisher Anne de Marcken discusses her new book It Lasts Forever and Then It’s Over. Winner of the Novel Prize, and thus published simultaneously in the U.S., U.K., and Australia, by New Directions, Fitzcarraldo Editions and Giramondo respectively, de Marcken’s new book is a deeply philosophical and metaphysical, heartbreakingly funny book about life and death, love and loss. Join our undead protagonist, in search of herself, as she loses one body part after another, yet fills herself with one thing after another. How much can we lose and still be ourselves? How much of our sense of self is built from what we’ve lost? How much of who we are is really ‘other’? Perhaps the crow inside her chest, dead but communicative, speaking human words but not a human language, can tell us. For the bonus audio archive, Anne contributes a reading from her book The Accident: An Account, which joins supplemental readings from everyone from Dionne Brand to Jorie Graham, Natalie Diaz to Christina Sharpe. To find out how to subscribe to the bonus audio and the other potential benefits of joining the Between the Covers community as a listener-supporter head over to the show’s [Patreon page] (http://patreon.com/betweenthecovers) . Finally, here is today’s [BookShop] (https://bookshop.org/lists/books-from-anne-de-marcken-conversation) . The post [Anne de Marcken : It Lasts Forever and Then It’s Over] (https://tinhouse.com/podcast/anne-de-marcken-it-lasts-forever-and-then-its-over/) appeared first on [Tin House] (https://tinhouse.com) . ... Read more

04 Mar 2024

2 HR 11 MINS

2:11:00

04 Mar 2024


#285

Canisia Lubrin : Code Noir

Award-winning poet Canisia Lubrin talks about her debut fiction, Code Noir. The fifty-nine stories in this collection are each prefaced by one of Louis XIV’s fifty-nine “Black codes,” the rules of conduct in France and its colonies regarding slaves and slavery. And each of these codes, each of these edicts, is also engaged with, manipulated and remade by the abstract artist Torkwase Dyson. Together they unmake history, unmake the edicts, one in language and one with a brush. Canisia tells stories that are as short as a line, or told in footnotes, or that take place one thousand years in the future. Stories that remake other stories, and stories that aren’t stories at all. And ultimately, through storytelling, Canisia asks us how we place ourselves in relation to the stories we’ve inherited, the histories which themselves are fictions, and in the ways she herself does and doesn’t engage with the codes, she enacts a different way of living, sounding a future for Black life. For the bonus audio archive Canisia reads from Dionne Brand’s upcoming book Salvage: Readings from the Wreck, from Christina Sharpe’s remarkable “What Could a Vessel Be?” and more that I will leave as surprise. To learn how to subscribe to the bonus audio and the many other potential benefits of joining the Between the Covers community as a listener-supporter head over to the show’s [Patreon page.] (http://patreon.com/betweenthecovers) Finally here is today’s [BookShop] (https://bookshop.org/lists/books-from-canisia-lubrin-conversation) . The post [Canisia Lubrin : Code Noir] (https://tinhouse.com/podcast/canisia-lubrin-code-noir/) appeared first on [Tin House] (https://tinhouse.com) . ... Read more

26 Feb 2024

2 HR 26 MINS

2:26:53

26 Feb 2024


#284

Diana Khoi Nguyen : Root Fractures

Today’s conversation, with poet and multimedia artist Diana Khoi Nguyen, is not to be missed. Both of her books, Ghost Of and Root Fractures, engage with and are shaped by her brother’s absence and the family silence surrounding it. Two years before his suicide, her brother quietly removed the family photos from their frames on the walls, carefully cut himself out of each photo, and returned them to their frames without him. The redacted photos remained on the walls like this for years before and after his death. In different ways, Diana’s books write into and around the empty space that her brother left in these images, and in her family. We talk about her process of radical eulogy, the ways her work outside of language informs her poetry, how she uses photography—redacted by her own sibling—as a form and constraint in her work, about ghosts and hauntings, rivers and bees, about the Vietnamese declarative and the English subjunctive, about alternate lives not-lived and future ones that might be. One of the topics we cover today is how Diana constructed and crafted Root Fractures as a book, distilling a manuscript of over 200 pages of words and images to a book half that size. For the bonus audio archive Diana discusses this further and reads from some of the body-shaped poems that didn’t make it into the final manuscript, and yet were part of it coming into being. To learn more about how to subscribe to the bonus audio and the other potential benefits of joining the Between the Covers community as a listener-supporter head over to the show’s [Patreon page] (http://patreon.com/betweenthecovers) . Finally, here is today’s [Bookshop] (https://bookshop.org/lists/books-from-diana-khoi-nguyen-conversation) with not only Diana’s books but many of the books mentioned today. Everyone from Eliot Weinberger and Jenny Erpenbeck to Bhanu Kapil and Victoria Chang. The post [Diana Khoi Nguyen : Root Fractures] (https://tinhouse.com/podcast/diana-khoi-nguyen-root-fractures/) appeared first on [Tin House] (https://tinhouse.com) . ... Read more

05 Feb 2024

2 HR 39 MINS

2:39:49

05 Feb 2024


#283

Álvaro Enrigue : You Dreamed of Empires

Today’s conversation with Álvaro Enrigue about his latest novel, You Dreamed of Empires, translated by Natasha Wimmer, is set during the relatively undocumented first encounter between Moctezuma and Hernán Cortés. The novel dilates the knife’s edge moment when the Aztec emperor invites the conquistador, with his small band of Spanish soldiers, into the palaces of Tenochtitlan as guests. We talk about writing into the gaps of history, fiction’s influence on the “official” record, histories that are actually fictions, and how writing into erased or distorted histories can be a way to speak to the present moment. We talk of hornless deer, ritual cannibalism, psychedelic tomatoes, and a surprising influence of the indigenous cultures of the Americas on all of our lives today. If you enjoyed today’s conversation, consider joining the Between the Covers community as a listener-supporter. Find out about all the potential gifts and rewards of doing so at the show’s [Patreon page] (http://patreon.com/betweenthecovers) . Finally, here is the [Bookshop] (https://bookshop.org/lists/books-from-alvaro-enrigue-conversation) for today’s episode with all the books, fiction and nonfiction, literary and scholarly, that we reference today. The post [Álvaro Enrigue : You Dreamed of Empires] (https://tinhouse.com/podcast/alvaro-enrigue-you-dreamed-of-empires/) appeared first on [Tin House] (https://tinhouse.com) . ... Read more

21 Jan 2024

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21 Jan 2024


#282

Mathias Énard : The Annual Banquet of the Gravediggers’ Guild

Is Mathias Énard’s latest book formally influenced by the Buddhist Wheel of Time, by Jewish undertaker guilds, by François Rabelais’s scatological and philosophical prose and linguistic wordplay, by Catholic altarpiece polyptych panel paintings, and by the scandalous diaries of a Polish anthropologist?  The Annual Banquet of the Gravediggers’ Guild is dedicated to les pensées sauvages, to the wild thinkers, and today’s conversation is an exploration of Énard’s latest wild book, and of wild thinking itself. If you enjoy today’s conversation consider joining the Between the Covers community as a listener-supporter. There are many potential benefits and rewards of doing so. You can find out about them all at the show’s [Patreon page] (http://patreon.com/betweenthecovers) . In the spirit of Énard’s latest book and our conversation about it, today’s [Bookshop] (https://bookshop.org/lists/books-from-mathias-enard-conversation) is just as wide-ranging—with classics of anthropology, Buddhism, modern Arabic and French literature, and of course, Énard’s own books as well. The post [Mathias Énard : The Annual Banquet of the Gravediggers’ Guild] (https://tinhouse.com/podcast/mathias-enard-the-annual-banquet-of-the-gravediggers-guild/) appeared first on [Tin House] (https://tinhouse.com) . ... Read more

10 Jan 2024

1 HR 49 MINS

1:49:05

10 Jan 2024


#281

Tin House Live : Denis Johnson : 2003

We are kicking off the new year with a serious blast from the past. A recording from the very first Tin House writers workshop in the summer of 2003 with novelist, short story writer, poet, playwright, and screenwriter Denis Johnson. This three-part episode includes a remarkable reading from Johnson’s novella Train Dreams, an interview of Johnson by writer Chris Offutt that is an unforgettable exploration of a writer’s process and philosophy, and finally, after Denis takes a cigarette break, Johnson, Offutt and Charles D’Ambrosio perform the first act of Johnson’s play Psychos Never Dream. Books by all three of today’s writers can be found in this episode’s [Bookshop] (https://bookshop.org/lists/books-from-denis-johnson-episode) . And you can find out more about all the potential benefits and rewards of joining the Between the Covers community as a listener-supporter at the show’s [Patreon page] (http://patreon.com/betweenthecovers) . The post [Tin House Live : Denis Johnson : 2003] (https://tinhouse.com/podcast/tin-house-live-denis-johnson-2003/) appeared first on [Tin House] (https://tinhouse.com) . ... Read more

05 Jan 2024

1 HR 30 MINS

1:30:33

05 Jan 2024