Tag: literary

Ben Tarnoff (BSS #541)

More than a century after his death, Mark Twain is often portrayed as a jolly and avuncular figure. Yet the truth is that Twain was a savage wit and an incendiary figure, and it took this free-spirited iconoclasm to push expression forward. We talk with Ben Tarnoff, author of THE BOHEMIANS, to discuss how California writers (including Twain, Bret Harte, Charles Warren Stoddard, and Ina Coolbrith) defied the East and reinvented American literature during the 1860s. Read More

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Blake Bailey II (BSS #530)

Literary biographer Blake Bailey and Our Correspondent may be the only two people in the United States who have read everything Charles Jackson has published. Who was he? Well, in 1944, Jackson wrote THE LOST WEEKEND — a pioneering masterpiece that was among the first to depict the devastating effects of alcoholism. But seven decades later, Jackson has been largely forgotten, outshadowed by the Billy Wilder movie. We spend 73 minutes pinpointing Jackson’s forgotten legacy and considering the risks of waning literary posterity. We also talk about Bailey’s work on the Philip Roth bio, as well as his forthcoming memoir, THE SPLENDID THINGS WE PLANNED. Read More

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Benjamin Anastas (BSS #495)

Benjamin Anastas is most recently the author of Too Good to Be True. Condition of Mr. Segundo: Wrestling with failure. Author: Benjamin Anastas Subjects Discussed: Memoirs devoted to literary failure, Paul Auster’s Hand to Mouth, Tom Grimes’s Mentor, being inspired by Notes from Underground, measuring life through the medium of writing, seeking existential symmetry through Read More

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Catherine Chung (BSS #442)

Catherine Chung is most recently the author of Forgotten Country. Condition of Mr. Segundo: Wondering if he left his car keys in Korea. Author: Catherine Chung Subjects Discussed: How Forgotten Country emerged from multiple stories, finding inspiration from disappearance, mysterious ghost monks that couldn’t float their way into the narrative, getting to know a character’s Read More

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Allegra Goodman (BSS #355)

Allegra Goodman is most recently the author of The Cookbook Collector. Condition of Mr. Segundo: Confusing cookbooks with novels. Author: Allegra Goodman Subjects Discussed: [List forthcoming] EXCERPT FROM SHOW: Correspondent: Jonathan’s dialogue is so reflective of Sergey Brin. I mean, he says things like “Introduce me. I’m serious.” Very Star Trek-like in his dialogue. Goodman: Read More

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Barry Gifford (BSS #335)

Barry Gifford is most recently the author of Sailor & Lula: The Complete Novels. Condition of Mr. Segundo: Wilder than his heartburn. Author: Barry Gifford Subjects Discussed: [List forthcoming] EXCERPT FROM SHOW: Gifford: Well, the point is “Don’t be a victim.” I mean, I think I have another chapter somewhere that’s called “Victims.” But that’s Read More

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Sam Lipsyte (BSS #325)

Sam Lipsyte recently appeared on The Bat Segundo Show #325. Mr. Lipsyte is most recently the author of The Ask. Condition of Mr. Segundo: Looking to ask someone for something. Author: Sam Lipsyte Subjects Discussed: Milo Burke as the obverse to Home Land‘s Lewis Miner (and common personality qualities), Lipsyte’s early draft of The Ask Read More

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Brian Evenson (BSS #309)

Brian Evenson is most recently the author of Fugue State and Last Days. Condition of Mr. Segundo: Latching onto toccata. Author: Brian Evenson Subjects Discussed: Knowing when a story concept has legs, ideas that never come to anything, the origins of “A Pursuit,” The Open Curtain, maintaining surprise, text sources vs. personal experience, writing fiction Read More

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J. Robert Lennon (BSS #300)

J. Robert Lennon is most recently the author of Castle and Pieces for the Left Hand. Condition of Mr. Segundo: Contemplating his surprising longevity after 300 shows. Author: J. Robert Lennon Subjects Discussed: Ending sentences with nouns, how location affects character description, objects and places as the territory of a story, how the land in Read More

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John Wray (BSS #282)

John Wray is most recently the author of Lowboy. Condition of Mr. Segundo: Searching for those who will listen to him in the subway. Author: John Wray Subjects Discussed: The ABAB narrative of Lowboy, mirroring schizophrenia within a narrative structure, a sane perspective that assists the reader, subway details, Franz Kafka’s Amerika, real vs. imaginary Read More

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Marilynne Robinson (BSS #240)

Marilynne Robinson is most recently the author of Home. Condition of Mr. Segundo: Avoiding the relationship potential of malfunctioning XLR cables. Author: Marilynne Robinson Subjects Discussed: Revisiting the Gilead universe, Lawrence Durrell, Robinson’s aversion to sequels, the parable of the prodigal son, the role of letters and text within Gilead and Home, text as a Read More

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