Tag: fiction

Jenny Offill (BSS #534)

If we leave out a few words, how does the story change? How are human instincts for speculation encouraged by a minor elision? Who really knows the story? Jenny Offill explores these ideas and more in her new novel, DEPT. OF SPECULATION. We discuss the virtues of twisted quotes, the narrative frameworks that can be extracted from poetry, the risks of self-consciousness, and the importance of a contrarian impulse. Read More

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Paul Harding II (BSS #521)

Over the course of a few centuries, prayers for the dead have transformed into less uptight celebrations. But what candor did we lose in the transformation? In the first of two shows devoted to Halloween, we discuss this American relationship to grief and impermanence with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Paul Harding. The talk revolves around Harding’s second novel, ENON, and gets into candlepin bowling, the oneiric morass inside the skull, our national history of religiosity, and John Cheever. Read More

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Nicholson Baker II (BSS #520)

Nicholson Baker returns to our program for a rip-roaring 78 minute conversation. We discuss TRAVELING SPRINKLER, the many parallels between Baker and Paul Chowder. There is quite a bit of music and audio talk, vivacious arguments for and against Robin Thicke, a lively dialectic on whether or not Algebra 2 should be an educational requirement, and a vital discussion on alternative names for sexual organs. Read More

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Kiese Laymon (BSS #513)

In the first of two related programs devoted to the American epidemic of gravitating to mainstream culture in an age of limitless choice, we talk with Kiese Laymon about how his novel, LONG DIVISION, and his essays have responded to this problem. We discuss hip-hop, the rich Mississippi tradition of storytelling, “the worst of white folks,” and why America is terrified of rich and variegated cultural engagement. Read More

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Matt Bell (BSS #506)

We talk with Matt Bell, author of IN THE HOUSE UPON THE DIRT BETWEEN THE LAKE AND THE WOODS, about how to encourage imagination, James Joyce lookalikes, labryinths in fiction and video games, Nethack, the problems with depicting the quotidian, and how language creates mystery. Read More

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Claire Messud II (BSS #504)

Claire Messud returns to our program to discuss her latest novel, THE WOMAN UPSTAIRS, unlikable characters in fiction, why angry women aren’t featured in fiction, technological impediments, the millennial generation, Shel Silverstein’s songwriting career, James Joyce, and how fiction can be dangerous in a surveillance state. Read More

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Jack Butler (BSS #499)

This rare interview with Jack Butler, author of Jujitsu for Christ, discusses Southern writing, mixing the funny with the repulsive, Mississippi humidity, living in shanties, and combating desperation. Read More

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J. Robert Lennon II (BSS #497)

J. Robert Lennon is most recently the author of Familiar. He previously appeared on The Bat Segundo Show #300. This conversation was recorded live at McNally Jackson on October 3, 2012. This is also the final episode of The Bat Segundo Show. Thank you for listening. Condition of Mr. Segundo: Contending with five possible endings Read More

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T.C. Boyle V (BSS #492)

T.C. Boyle is most recently the author of San Miguel. Since Mr. Boyle has appeared four previous times on this program (Show #10, Show #70, Show #273, Show #385), we felt that it was essential to include him in Bat Segundo’s last stretch. This is the fifth and final conversation with T.C. Boyle. Condition of Read More

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A.M. Homes III (BSS #486)

A.M. Homes is most recently the author of May We Be Forgiven. She previously appeared on The Bat Segundo Show #58 and The Bat Segundo Show #115. Condition of Mr. Segundo: Seeing if there’s anyone left to forgive him. Author: A.M. Homes Subjects Discussed: May We Be Forgiven as an update to White Noise, Nixon Read More

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Jeffrey Ford III (BSS #483)

Jeffrey Ford is most recently the author of Crackpot Palace. He previously appeared on The Bat Segundo Show #36 and The Bat Segundo Show #191. Condition of Mr. Segundo: Constricted by restrictive taxonomies. Author: Jeffrey Ford Subjects Discussed: Eleven-hour drives from Ohio, the first-person “road” stories featuring a fictitious “Jeffrey Ford” and his wife Lynn Read More

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Ariel S. Winter (BSS #482)

Ariel S. Winter is most recently the author of The Twenty-Year Death. Condition of Mr. Segundo: Wondering if he can condense the shards of his life into a twenty-year epic spanning three books. Author: Ariel S. Winter Subjects Discussed: Day jobs, being a stay-at-home father, sneaking out to write in the library, the exhaustion of Read More

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