Laila Lalami (BSS #11)

[PRODUCER’S NOTE: Jorge was unavailable this week. So we were forced to enlist a man who claimed to have performed voiceover work for the 1970s incarnation of Battlestar Galactica to precede Mr. Segundo. Efforts are being made to coax Jorge back to the program, but it’s a little complicated. Mr. Segundo explains the problem in full.]

Authors: Laila Lalami, Scott Esposito, Beth Wadell and Tito Perez.

Condition of Mr. Segundo: Not the brightest pervert in the daisy chain, but surprisingly alcohol-free in light of the Jorge contretemps.

Subjects Discussed: Laila’s poverty fiction essay, her book list for Large Hearted Boy, chance vs. choice, John Steinbeck, reference points for North American audiences, writing in English, fiction which operates beyond culture, When Men Cry, the immigration situation in Morocco, Dirty Pretty Things, how to make cultural fiction to the publishing industry salable, subcultures neglected by the publishing industry, sympathizing with characters, cultural perceptions, how men hug, narrative perspective, taboos, a mysterious friend, Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, sasquatch, litblogging, unexpectedly meeting people, the current state of book review coverage, how much people read, the LBC, William T. Vollmann, being inundated by galleys, guilt, “unfair advantages,” the influence of Moorish Girl upon awareness of Hope, the origins of Laila’s blog, politics, the influence of litblogs, literature as one big party, a brash and quite silly claim involving a superhero, restoring literature’s place in American culture, Pablo Neruda, city-based book programs, the Oprah Book Club, advertising, Gus Lee, a brief but more sustained Q&A about sasquatch, what Laila’s working on now, and what it’s like to be an author on tour.