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Literary Friction podcast

Literary Friction

A monthly conversation about books and ideas on NTS Radio hosted by friends Carrie Plitt, a literary agent, and Octavia Bright, a writer and academic. Each show features an author interview, book recommendations, lively discussion and a little music too, all built around a related theme - anything from the novella to race to masculinity. Listen live on NTS Radio www.nts.live

A monthly conversation about books and ideas on NTS Radio hosted by friends Carrie Plitt, a literary agent, and Octavia Bright, a writer and academic. Each show features an author interview, book recommendations, lively discussion and a little music too, all built around a related theme - anything from the novella to race to masculinity. Listen live on NTS Radio www.nts.live

 

#129

Literary Friction Special - Elif Batuman

This month we're bringing you an author special with Elif Batuman, who joined Carrie in cyberspace to talk about her hilarious and original second novel Either/Or. In this extended interview, they discussed what makes a novel political, snobberies about structure and storytelling, learning to be funny on Twitter, the allure of the '90s, and much more. Plus the usual book recommendations. We hope you enjoy! Recommendations: Elif: The Eighth Life by Nino Haratischvili, translated by Charlotte Collins and Ruth Martin Carrie: Fever Dream by Samantha Schweblin, translated by Megan McDowell Find a list of all recommended books at: https://uk.bookshop.org/lists/june-2022-special-with-elif-batuman Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/litfriction Email us: litfriction@gmail.com Tweet us & find us on Instagram: @litfriction This episode is sponsored by Picador: https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador ... Read more

Yesterday

50 MINS

50:53

Yesterday


#128

Minisode Thirty-One: Parties

Spring is finally really happening here in the UK: the roses are out, we’ve swapped our coats for jackets, we even had dinner together outside the other night and watching the city come to life made us think about parties. Remember them? Parties! Outfits! Strangers in close proximity! The agony and the ecstasy of all that might happen... So, listen in for an ode to parties good, bad, imaginary and literary, plus all the usual recommendations. PLUS, your last chance to get your hands on one of our excellent tote bags, here: https://literaryfriction.myshopify.com/collections/all Patrons get an extra 20% off and you can subscribe here: https://www.patreon.com/litfriction ... Read more

02 Jun 2022

46 MINS

46:17

02 Jun 2022


#127

Rediscovery with Lauren Elkin

Who gets to decide what a 'classic' is? And how and why do some books get reintroduced to us years after they were first published? This month we're continuing a conversation we started four years ago with Jennifer Hodgson and Nell Dunn about literary rediscoveries, with our guest, author and translator Lauren Elkin. Lauren joined us to talk about her translation of The Inseparables, a newly discovered novel by the influential philosopher and novelist Simone de Beavouir. Just published in English by Vintage, it tells the story of the intense friendship between two schoolgirls in turn of the century Paris. Listen in for some fascinating insight into the translation process and Simone de Beauvoir's life, plus all the usual recommendations. Recommendations on the theme, Rediscovery: Octavia: Nevada by Imogen Binnie Carrie: Maud Martha by Gwendolyn Brooks General Recommendations: Octavia: Home is Where We Start From: Essays by a Psychoanalyst by D. W. Winnicott Lauren: Translating Myself and Others by Jhumpa Lahiri Carrie: The Promise by Damon Galgut Find a list of all recommended books at: https://uk.bookshop.org/lists/may-2022-rediscovery-with-lauren-elkin Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/litfriction Email us: litfriction@gmail.com Tweet us & find us on Instagram: @litfriction This episode is sponsored by Picador: https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador ... Read more

19 May 2022

59 MINS

59:48

19 May 2022


#126

Minisode Thirty: Libraries

This minisode is a sister to our last one about bookshops - this month, we're talking about libraries. We love libraries! Those other places where you can go to get your hands on the books you want, the books you don’t yet know you want, the books that want you, and everything in between. Listen in for stories of the libraries and librarians that shaped us, our favourite libraries around the world, libraries in books and movies (Giles from Buffy gets an honourable mention) plus all the usual cultural recommendations. We are also about to launch another sale of our gorgeous, sturdy LF tote bags on Etsy in the next week or so, and there will be a special discount for Patrons. Keep your eyes on our socials for more info! ... Read more

05 May 2022

50 MINS

50:02

05 May 2022


#125

The Instant with Amy Liptrot

Whether it’s a single action that reverberates around a community, or the rupture of a break-up, literature is filled with memorable instants after which everything changes. Our guest this month is Amy Liptrot, who joined us from Orkney to talk about her second book The Instant, a memoir of Amy’s move from Scotland to Berlin, where she searches for racoons, tracks the moon, goes to techno clubs, looks for boyfriends, falls in love and has her heart broken. It’s also about connectivity and the instants that change our lives, and so in honour of Amy’s book our theme today is ‘the instant’ - we’ll be thinking about those moments in literature when things turn on a dime. Sit back, enjoy, and let us change the course of your life over the next hour on literary friction. Recommendations on the theme, The Instant: Octavia: All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld Carrie: The End of the Affair by Graham Greene General Recommendations: Octavia: Body Work: the radical power of personal narrative by Melissa Febos Amy: Time on Rock: A Climber's Route Into The Mountains by Anna Fleming Carrie: Man's Search For Meaning by Victor Frankl Find a list of all recommended books at: https://uk.bookshop.org/lists/april-2022-the-instant-with-amy-liptrot Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/litfriction Email us: litfriction@gmail.com Tweet us & find us on Instagram: @litfriction This episode is sponsored by Picador: https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador ... Read more

30 Apr 2022

1 HR 00 MINS

1:00:34

30 Apr 2022


#124

Minisode Twenty-Nine: Bookshops

The theme for this minisode was suggested by our patron Maria and it's a subject very close to our hearts: bookshops. We love bookshops - those magical places where you can get your hands on the books you want, the books you don’t yet know you want, the books that want you, and everything in between. Listen in for this ode to everything we love about bookshops and booksellers, including our earliest memories of hanging out in bookshops, our favourite bookshops in the UK and around the world, plus all the usual cultural recommendations. Enjoy! ... Read more

07 Apr 2022

47 MINS

47:22

07 Apr 2022


#123

Satire with Pola Oloixarac

We love a good satire here at LF, so we're thrilled this month to bring you a show dedicated to the form. Argentine writer and novelist Pola Oloixarac joined us from Barcelona to talk about her latest novel Mona, which has been translated from Spanish by Adam Morris. It's the story of a young Peruvian novelist invited to Sweden, where she's in the running for one of the most prestigious literary awards in Europe. There, she has a number of hilarious run-ins with authors from all over the world, but lurking beneath the surface is a memory of violence which cannot be fully suppressed. It's a biting and very funny satire of the literary world, so in honour of Mona this show is all about our favourite satirical work, from The Master and the Margarita to Catch 22. We'll get into what we think makes satire successful, and also some of the times it can fall flat, plus all the usual recommendations. Enjoy! Recommendations on the theme, Satire: Octavia: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov Carrie: Catch 22 by Joseph Heller General Recommendations: Octavia: The Liars' Club by Mary Karr Pola: Borges by Adolfo Bioy Casares, translated by Valerie Miles (NY Review of Books) Carrie: Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It by Maile Meloy Find a list of all recommended books at: https://uk.bookshop.org/lists/mar-2022-satire-with-pola-oloixarac Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/litfriction Email us: litfriction@gmail.com Tweet us & find us on Instagram: @litfriction This episode is sponsored by Picador: https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador ... Read more

24 Mar 2022

58 MINS

58:23

24 Mar 2022


#122

Minisode Twenty-Eight: Fathers

Our last minisode was about mothers, so in the name of equity (and riffing on Octavia’s statement that she’d rather be a dad) we’re extending the conversation to fathers in literature. The figure of the father has its own heavy symbolism, wrapped up with masculinity and the need to provide, and literature is filled with fathers from the admirable to the monstrous. We ask whether we expect as much from fathers in life and in books, and whether being a ‘bad’ father might pose a different kind of threat. Plus we get into the father memoir, how expectations are shifting, and the power of shame in creating more equal parenting roles. Enjoy! ... Read more

16 Mar 2022

46 MINS

46:24

16 Mar 2022


#121

East Side Voices with Helena Lee and Will Harris

This month's show is about East and Southeast Asian identity in Britain. We spoke to journalist Helena Lee about East Side Voices, the anthology of writing she edited that celebrates the diversity of these voices in the UK. We also spoke to poet and writer Will Harris about the poem he contributed and some of the other pieces from the collection, which features writers including Mary Jean Chan, Sharlene Teo, Rowan Hisayo Buchanan and Catherine Cho. These essays and poems cover a range of experiences and settings, from the set of Harry Potter to the NHS frontlines, and seek to combat the absence of representation in British culture in which East and Southeast Asian lives are often, to use Salman Rushdie’s words, "visible but unseen". Listen in for readings, music, plus all the usual recommendations. Recommendations: Octavia: Pisti, 80 rue de Belleville by Estelle Hoy Helena: Woman, Eating by Claire Kohda Will: Ultimatum Orangutan by Khairani Barokka Carrie: Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman Find a list of all recommended books at: https://uk.bookshop.org/lists/feb-2022-east-side-voices-with-helena-lee-and-will-harris Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/litfriction Email us: litfriction@gmail.com Tweet us & find us on Instagram: @litfriction This episode is sponsored by Picador: https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador ... Read more

24 Feb 2022

54 MINS

54:23

24 Feb 2022


#120

Minisode Twenty-Seven: Mothers

In honour of the fact that a lot of our friends are suddenly becoming parents, this minisode is dedicated to mothers in literature. The figure of the mother is seriously heavy with symbolism - whether she’s the perfect mother or the monstrous mother, the mother we’re supposed to long for or the mother we’re supposed to fear. Then there's motherhood as an experience in all its complexity, with all its ambivalences and sacrifices and joys, and the politics that surround these choices and identity shifts. There's a lot to talk about! We definitely don't get through even half of it in a single show, but if you’d like some book recommendations about mothers and motherhood (or want to find out which of us would rather be a dad!) then this one’s for you. ... Read more

10 Feb 2022

46 MINS

46:31

10 Feb 2022


#119

Roots with Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

Books, from memoirs to histories to novels, can help us think through where we come from - how we are tied to our roots but also need to break free of them. For our first show of the year, we're thrilled to welcome poet and professor Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, who joined us from the US to talk about her first novel The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois, which is a book about the power of knowing where you came from. It’s a big, majestic story about the family of Ailey Pearl Garfield, a young Black woman growing up in the late 20th century between a northern American city and the small town of Chicasetta, Georgia, where her mother's side are from. It’s also interspersed with ‘Songs’, which tell the stories of Ailey’s ancestors in Georgia, stretching back to indiginous Creek people and plantation slaves. Inspired by the novel’s relationship with Ailey’s ancestry, we’ll be thinking more broadly on the show today about literature that engages with roots, plus all our usual reading recommendations. So hit play and let us climb up your family tree on literary friction. Recommendation on the theme, Roots: Octavia: White Teeth by Zadie Smith Carrie: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee General Recommendations: Octavia: The Secret to Superhuman Strength by Alison Bechdel Honorée: Collected Poems of Sonia Sanchez Carrie: Matrix by Lauren Groff Find a list of all recommended books at: https://uk.bookshop.org/lists/jan-2022-roots-with-honoree-fannone-jeffers Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/litfriction Email us: litfriction@gmail.com Tweet us & find us on Instagram: @litfriction This episode is sponsored by Picador: https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador ... Read more

29 Jan 2022

1 HR 05 MINS

1:05:03

29 Jan 2022


#118

Literary Friction - Year in Review 2021

It’s our last Literary Friction of 2021, so as usual it's time for our year in review show, packed full of recommendations just in time for your holiday shopping. 2021 may have been a bad year for going out, but it was a great year for books, and the voices that lifted us out of our lockdown torpor are particularly special to us now. Listen in for some of our favourite reads from the last year, a gentle check in on how our reading resolutions from 2020 went (clue: patchy), plus books we are looking forward to in 2022. We've posted a list of all the recommendations on our page at Bookshop.org so click the link below to see everything lined up, and please remember to support your local independent bookshop! Happy holidays everyone, catch you in the new year with our exciting 2022 programme. List of books recommended in this episode: https://uk.bookshop.org/lists/2021-year-in-review Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/litfriction Email us: litfriction@gmail.com Tweet us & find us on Instagram: @litfriction This episode is sponsored by Picador https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador ... Read more

17 Dec 2021

1 HR 07 MINS

1:07:09

17 Dec 2021


#117

Literary Friction - Books About Books with Ruth Ozeki

Regular listeners will know that we love to get a little meta here on LF, and this month author Ruth Ozeki gave us the perfect excuse to indulge ourselves as we slide into the holiday season. Ruth's latest novel, The Book of Form and Emptiness, is about a boy named Benny who loses his father and shortly thereafter begins to hear the voices of inanimate objects, including the voice of the novel itself. In honour of Ruth, and Benny, this show is all about books about books. We'll dig into the ways that literature can be about itself, from books set in libraries to stories about writers to metafictional texts about their own means of creation, and ask what the joys and the pitfalls of this kind of self-referentiality can be - plus all the usual recommendations. Recommendations on the theme, Books About Books: Octavia: The Mysterious Flame Of Queen Loana by Umberto Eco Carrie: Writers & Lovers by Lily King General Recommendations: Octavia: The Red Parts: Autobiography of a Trial by Maggie Nelson Ruth: The Aleph by Jorge Luis Borges Carrie: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke Find a list of all recommended books at: https://uk.bookshop.org/lists/december-2021-books-about-books-with-ruth-ozeki Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/litfriction Email us: litfriction@gmail.com Tweet us & find us on Instagram: @litfriction This episode is sponsored by Picador: https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador ... Read more

02 Dec 2021

59 MINS

59:43

02 Dec 2021


#116

Minisode Twenty-six: Twilight Knowing

In the wake of the COP26 summit in Glasgow we are thinking a lot about climate crisis and the role literature can play in galvanising people to take action. We want to think about how fiction, poetry, and non-fiction writing can approach climate crisis beyond showing how terrible it will be in the future - is there a way to write about the subject that's not only disaster fiction? How do we move out of what Jenny Offill calls 'the twilight knowing' into full comprehension? Listen in for our thoughts on all this plus lots of recommendations for books that address the climate crisis either directly or indirectly. Find a list of some of the books we talked about at: https://uk.bookshop.org/lists/minisode-26-twilight-knowing ... Read more

18 Nov 2021

45 MINS

45:12

18 Nov 2021


#115

Literary Friction - Climbing the Ladder with Natasha Brown

Social hierarchies and the metrics of status and success are a part of life accepted by some and rejected by others, but whatever your position, they are hard to escape. There are lots of novels about characters climbing proverbial ladders, from Patrick Bateman rising through the ranks in the workplace in American Psycho to Becky Sharpe social climbing in Vanity Fair. Our guest this month is Natasha Brown, whose debut novel Assembly follows a Black British woman preparing for a garden party at her boyfriend's family estate, and thinking through the stories she exists within - stories of class, race, and the meaning of success. She's ticked all the 'right' boxes, went to a good university, has a cushy job in finance, owns her flat, and yet she begins to question the cost of her complicity in a system that will never fully accept her. We get into how books can enforce these kinds of social norms or subvert them, and whether fiction is a good place to question these structures, plus all the usual recommendations. Recommendations on the theme, Climbing the Ladder: Octavia: The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith Carrie: Klara and The Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro General Recommendations: Octavia: No. 91/92: notes on a Parisian commute by Lauren Elkin Natasha: Exquisite Cadavers by Meena Kandasamy Carrie: Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout Find a list of all recommended books at: https://uk.bookshop.org/lists/november-2021-climbing-the-ladder-with-natasha-brown Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/litfriction Email us: litfriction@gmail.com Tweet us & find us on Instagram: @litfriction This episode is sponsored by Picador: https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador ... Read more

04 Nov 2021

1 HR 04 MINS

1:04:22

04 Nov 2021


#114

Minisode Twenty-Five: The Campus Novel

This minisode we are leaning even further into our autumnal and back to school-ish vibe to talk about The Campus Novel, a genre that includes some beloved books and some much less beloved books, but remains enduring nevertheless. Why is there such an appetite for novels about university life? Are these stories mostly wish fulfilment narratives for older men who fear irrelevance? Is it always an elitist set-up? Listen in as we dig into these questions and more. ... Read more

21 Oct 2021

48 MINS

48:14

21 Oct 2021


#113

Literary Friction - Constraint with Maggie Nelson

Can you have freedom without constraint? What role does it play in creativity, and can it be productive as well as limiting? This month our guest is the thinker and writer Maggie Nelson, whose latest book, On Freedom, explores the concept of freedom via four wide-ranging essays about art, sex, drugs and climate. Its subtitle is Four Songs of Care and Constraint, so we thought we’d make this month’s show about the boundaries that are often the counterpoint to freedom. Tune in for Maggie’s thoughts on – to borrow a phrase from Judith Butler – ‘working the trap’, our favourite books about constraint, plus all the usual recommendations. Recommendations on the theme, Constraint: Octavia: The Mad Women’s Ball by Victoria Mas, translated by Frank Wynne Carrie: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison General Recommendations: Octavia: Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden-Keefe Maggie: My Brother by Jamaica Kinkaid Carrie: Train Dreams by Denis Johnson Find a list of all recommended books at: https://uk.bookshop.org/lists/october-2021-constraint-with-maggie-nelson Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/litfriction Email us: litfriction@gmail.com Tweet us & find us on Instagram: @litfriction This episode is sponsored by Picador: https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador ... Read more

07 Oct 2021

1 HR 11 MINS

1:11:02

07 Oct 2021


#112

Minisode Twenty-Four: Back to School

School is a loooong way in our past, but the imprint of that new start in September cycle runs deep, so in this minisode we are leaning into that back-to-school feeling. It also feels like there are more brilliant books on the horizon than ever this autumn, and we want to pay homage to our big and exciting to-read piles by telling you about some of the books we’re most jazzed to read in the coming months. Get your pencils out and take some notes! ... Read more

30 Sep 2021

40 MINS

40:54

30 Sep 2021


#111

Literary Friction - Writing For Change With Shon Faye

It's September, the leaves are starting to turn, and we're kicking off our Autumn season with a vital conversation about the power of writing for change. Our guest is the author Shon Faye, who joined us to discuss her hotly anticipated first book, The Transgender Issue: An Argument for Justice. It's a necessary and inspiring text in which she argues that we're having the wrong conversation about trans people, and that the struggle for trans liberation is all of our struggle. In honour of Shon's book, which aims to change the terms of a cultural conversation, we'll talk more widely about books that seek to shift perspectives, including the ones that shifted ours. It's good to be back! Recommendations on the theme, Writing for Change: Octavia: The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud Carrie: Ways of Seeing by John Berger General Recommendations: Octavia: Paul by Daisy Lafarge Shon: The Right to Sex by Amia Srinivasan Carrie: Circe by Madeline Miller Find a list of all recommended books at: https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/litfriction Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/litfriction Email us: litfriction@gmail.com Tweet us & find us on Instagram: @litfriction This episode is sponsored by Picador: https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador ... Read more

09 Sep 2021

1 HR 14 MINS

1:14:50

09 Sep 2021


#110

Literary Friction - RE-RUN: Memoir with Viv Albertine

We're on our summer break, which gives us a chance to re-run this brilliant conversation we had with punk superstar Viv Albertine when she dropped by the studio a few years ago to talk about her memoir, To Throw Away Unopened. Nothing grants insight into lived experience quite like a memoir, but the form can accommodate so much more than that, and Viv's book takes in many things alongside its descriptions of her experiences growing up as a working-class kid in London, and her complicated relationship with her extraordinary mother. So, tune in for a show celebrating memoirs that take us from the experience of giving birth to coming out to what it’s like to be in a world-famous band, via all the richness and thorny issues that this form promises, and we'll be back with a new episode in September. ... Read more

12 Aug 2021

59 MINS

59:11

12 Aug 2021


#109

Minisode Twenty-Three: The Sea, the Sea!

It’s hot here, the sky is blue, the air smells sweet, and we are about to take our summer break, so we wanted this last minisode of the season to be a little ode to one of our very favourite things about this time of year: the ocean. Of course, the sea is for all seasons, but there is something magical about it in the summer - swimming in it, gazing at it, dreaming of it... that shimmery, glittery blue and green stretching all the way to the horizon. Writers and poets have been enthralled by it forever, so listen in as we ponder what it is about the ocean that will always be so captivating, and we'll be back with a new show in September. ... Read more

30 Jul 2021

38 MINS

38:39

30 Jul 2021


#108

Literary Friction - Grandparents with Anuk Arudpragasam

Many of us have significant relationships with our grandparents, but is this reflected in literature? From Grandpa Joe in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Olive Kitteridge, which fictional grandparents have stayed with you? This month, we’re really excited to welcome the author Anuk Arudpragasam to talk about his second novel, A Passage North. It's a beautiful, meditative book about a young man named Krishan, who must take a train from Colombo to Northern Sri Lanka to attend a funeral. His relationship with his grandmother is a central part of the story, so we're dedicating this show to the elders of literature. We'll be asking what grandparents symbolise in family dynamics, and wondering why there seem to be so few grandparents in contemporary literature, so put the kettle on, get comfy, and imagine we're offering you a Werther's original for the next hour of Literary Friction. Recommendations on the theme, Grandparents: Octavia: The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende Carrie: Olive Kitteridge and Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout General Recommendations: Octavia: Milk Fed by Melissa Broder Anuk: A Book of Memories by Peter Nadas Carrie: Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny Find lists of all recommended books at: http://uk.bookshop.org/shop/litfriction. Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/litfriction Email us: litfriction@gmail.com Tweet us & find us on Instagram: @litfriction This episode is sponsored by Picador: https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador ... Read more

15 Jul 2021

1 HR 00 MINS

1:00:52

15 Jul 2021


#107

Minisode Twenty-Two: Pets

Inspired by Deborah Levy's recommendation of The Friend by Sigrid Nunez - about the surprising friendship between a woman and a Great Dane named Apollo - this show is dedicated to: pets! Furry best friends or unfairly subjugated creatures? Is it ever possible to love animals ethically? Which pets from the pages of literature have stuck in our minds, and why? Tune in for odes to the animals in our lives, plus a cameo from an irascible peacock named Oberon. If you'd like to suggest themes for us to explore, and get an extra minisode each month, you can subscribe to our Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/litfriction ... Read more

01 Jul 2021

45 MINS

45:17

01 Jul 2021


#106

Literary Friction - Real Estate with Deborah Levy

This month, our guest is the inimitable author Deborah Levy, whose latest book, Real Estate, is the third instalment in her acclaimed living autobiography trilogy. It's a book about a lot of things - being a writer, being a woman, how we make and remake a life, and what we ultimately leave behind. But it's also about real estate, which got us thinking about the importance of buildings, houses and homes in literature. How can books help us understand where and how we make our homes? Why is the haunted house such an enduring symbol? And how is the value of property different for 'generation rent'? So if you want to check out some hot property, join us for all this plus the usual recommendations. Recommendations on the theme, Real Estate: Octavia: In The Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado Carrie: The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters General Recommendations: Octavia: Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters Deborah: The Friend by Sigrid Nunez Carrie: The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas Find lists of all recommended books at: http://uk.bookshop.org/shop/litfriction, where you can order books online while supporting independent bookshops. Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/litfriction Email us: litfriction@gmail.com Tweet us & find us on Instagram: @litfriction This episode is sponsored by Picador: https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador ... Read more

17 Jun 2021

1 HR 04 MINS

1:04:03

17 Jun 2021


#105

Minisode Twenty-One: Book Criticism

Book criticism - it’s a divisive topic, and one people feel very strongly about. Do you secretly relish a hatchet job, or think there's only space for glowing reviews?What actually is the function of criticism, and what makes it good or bad? Can it ever be truly impartial? This month's theme was recommended by our patron Angelique, and it's one we really enjoyed digging into. Tune in for Carrie's favourite critics, O's favourite Rilke quote, plus a cultural recommendation from the actual outside world! If you'd like to suggest themes for us to explore, and get an extra minisode each month, then you can subscribe to our Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/litfriction ... Read more

04 Jun 2021

45 MINS

45:06

04 Jun 2021


#104

Literary Friction - Hard Crowds with Rachel Kushner

Our guest this month is the novelist Rachel Kushner, who we have been huge fans of ever since we read her novel The Flamethrowers. Rachel’s latest book is a collection of essays, The Hard Crowd. Though it covers a lot of ground, the collection returns often to the rebels and misfits and outsiders living on the edge of society - a theme in her fiction too. Inspired by Rachel's work, for this show we're talking about ‘hard crowds’ in literature, from the ultraviolent gang in Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange to musicians living on the edge in their memoirs. So, climb on the back of our hogs and take a ride with us for the next hour of Literary Friction… Recommendations on the theme, Hard Crowds: Octavia: Nicotine by Nell Zink https://harpercollins.co.uk/products/nicotine?variant=32557710442574 Carrie: Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson https://us.macmillan.com/author/denisjohnson/ General recommendations: Octavia: No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/no-one-is-talking-about-this-9781526629760/ Rachel: The Copenhagen Trilogy by Tove Ditlevsen https://www.penguin.co.uk/authors/138738/tove-ditlevsen.html Carrie: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carre https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/306/306246/tinker-tailor-soldier-spy/9780241330890.html Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/litfriction Email us: litfriction@gmail.com Tweet us & find us on Instagram: @litfriction Find lists of our recommendations at: http://uk.bookshop.org/shop/litfriction, where you can also order books while supporting independent bookshops This episode is sponsored by Picador: https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador ... Read more

20 May 2021

1 HR 10 MINS

1:10:53

20 May 2021


#103

Minisode Twenty: Books as Objects

Some people treat books like they are sacred objects, others scribble all over them (or even cut them in half). Of course, books are objects, but they're also portals to other universes, new ways of thinking, adventures, romances, and more. The suggestion for this theme was sent to us on Patreon by a patron called Agnes - who asked if we’d talk about how we relate to books as things, as well as vessels for thoughts and experiences. Tune in to find out who is a profligate page folder, who underlines in pen, and who once threw a library book in a puddle of mud (gasp!). If you'd like to suggest themes for us to explore then you can subscribe to our Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/litfriction ... Read more

05 May 2021

47 MINS

47:52

05 May 2021


#102

Literary Friction - Magical Realism with Leone Ross

Everyone needs a little magic from time to time, and this episode is brimming with it. We spoke to Leone Ross about her sensuous, absorbing new novel, This One Sky Day, which is set in the fictional Carribean archipelago of Popisho, where everyone is born with a certain magical gift, or cors. It's a story about many things, but mainly of two lovers trying to find their way back to one another over the course of a single day while the world shifts around them. We spoke to Leone about the subversive potential of magical realism, it's political power, and why some people are still so snobby about it. So listen in for our interview with Leone, a more general discussion of the literature of magical realism, and finally our usual book recommendations, and let us whisk you away to a better place for an hour. Recommendations on the theme, Magical Realism: Octavia: Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges, translated by Andrew Hurley https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/571/57141/fictions/9780141183848.html Carrie: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, translated by Gregory Rabassa https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/572/57241/one-hundred-years-of-solitude/9780141184999.html General recommendations: Octavia: Everybody: A Book About Freedom by Olivia Laing https://www.olivialaing.com/everybody Leone: Diary of a Film by Niven Govinden https://www.hachette.co.uk/titles/niven-govinden/diary-of-a-film/9780349700724/?v2=true Carrie: Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro https://www.faber.co.uk/catalog/product/view/id/7906/s/9780571364879-klara-and-the-sun/ Support us on Patreon: patreon.com/litfriction Email us: litfriction@gmail.com Tweet us & find us on Instagram: @litfriction This episode is sponsored by Picador https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador ... Read more

22 Apr 2021

1 HR 10 MINS

1:10:55

22 Apr 2021


#101

Minisode Nineteen: Party of Six

It has - astonishingly - been a year since our first lockdown minisode (Escapism in Quarantine), and here in the UK we are just starting to emerge from the latest restrictions. So, in honour of being able to meet six people outside again, we are dedicating this minisode to books about groups of friends. What makes stories about friendship groups so great? Which literary group of friends would you most like to tag along with, and which are the gangs that have really stayed with you? Let us get you in the mood while we all figure out how to socialise again (and don't forget your thermals when you meet in the park - in the words of Prince, sometimes it snows in April). ... Read more

07 Apr 2021

46 MINS

46:02

07 Apr 2021