London Review Bookshop Podcast
Brian Dillon & Jennifer Higgie: Affinities
In Affinities, a series of linked essays, Brian Dillon investigates what it might mean for a thing to be like something else, and what it might mean for things to be connected even when they are nothing like one another. Currently Professor of Creative Writing at Queen Mary, University of London, Dillon’s writing is always surprising, and revelatory. Expect both revelations and surprises.
Dillon was joined in conversation by the writer Jennifer Higgie, whose latest book is The Other Side: A Journey into Women, Art and the Spirit World.
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Olivia Laing, Ken Worpole & Jon Day: The Allotment59:15Olivia Laing, Ken Worpole and Jon Day discuss Colin Ward and David Crouch's 1988 classic of social and oral history The Allotment, long out of print but finally reissued by the indefatigable Little Toller Books.Upcoming events at the bookshop: lrb.me/eventspod
Scratch Books Presents: Saba Sams & Jem Calder52:25Two of Britain’s most exciting short story writers joined in conversation to celebrate the release of their highly-acclaimed debuts in paperback. Faber author Jem Calder and Edge Hill Prize winner Saba Sams read from and discussed their stories with Tom Conaghan, publisher of Scratch Books.Find more events at the Bookshop: lrb.me/eventspodBuy Reward System: lrb.me/rewardsystemBuy Send Nudes: lrb.me/sendnudes
Amber Husain & Rebecca May Johnson: Meat Love56:11Meat Love, the latest book-length essay by Amber Husain (following on from 2021’s Replace Me), explores how meat-eating has become irretrievably enmeshed with capitalist desire, in what Sophie Lewis has described as ‘an exquisitely-crafted little hand grenade lobbed at the gentrification of the carnivorous mind’.She is in conversation with Rebecca May Johnson, whose Small Fires: An Epic in the Kitchen (Pushkin, 2022) touches on many of the same revolutionary themes. Johnson is an essayist and critic, and senior editor at the online magazine Vittles.
Ian Penman & Adam Mars-Jones: Fassbinder Thousands of Mirrors53:15Melodrama, biography, cold war thriller, drug memoir, essay in fragments, mystery – Fassbinder Thousands of Mirrors is cult critic Ian Penman’s long awaited first original book, a kaleidoscopic study of the late West German film maker Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1945–1982). Written quickly under a self-imposed deadline in the spirit of Fassbinder himself, who would often get films made in a matter of weeks or months, Fassbinder Thousands of Mirrors presents the filmmaker as a pivotal figure in the late 1970s moment between late modernism and the advent of postmodernism and the digital revolution. Penman was joined in conversation by Adam Mars-Jones.Buy a copy of Fassbinder Thousands of Mirrors: lrb.me/fassbinderFind more events at the Bookshop: lrb.me/eventspod
K Patrick & Amelia Abraham: Mrs S51:10K Patrick’s Mrs. S is one of the most eagerly awaited debuts of the year, having already secured for its author a spot on the Granta Best of Young British Novelists list. A queer romance set in the staffroom of an elite English boarding school, Lillian Fishman has described it as ‘a voluptuous performance in the art of withholding’. Patrick was in conversation with editor and writer Amelia Abraham, whose most recent book, Queer Intentions (Macmillan) was nominated for a Polari First Book award in 2020.
M. John Harrison & Jennifer Hodgson: Wish I Was Here51:16M. John Harrison has produced one of the greatest bodies of fiction of any living British author, encompassing space opera, speculative fiction, fantasy, magical and literary realism. Wish I Was Here is his first work of memoir – an ‘anti-memoir’ – written in his mid-seventies with aphoristic daring and trademark originality and style, fresh after winning the Goldsmiths Prize in 2020 for The Sunken Land Begins to Rise Again. Harrison was joined in conversation with writer and critic Jennifer Hodgson.Find more events at the Bookshop: lrb.me/eventspod
Jacqueline Rose & James Butler: The Plague59:06In The Plague (Fitzcarraldo) Jacqueline Rose who has, in the words of Edward Said ‘no peer among critics of her generation’ uses the recent experience of the Covid pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the writings of Simone Weil to investigate how we might learn to live with death when it intrudes more closely than we might like on our lived experience. Rose was in conversation about life and death with James Butler, contributing editor at the LRB.
Octavia Bright & Olivia Laing: This Ragged Grace59:16This Ragged Grace tells the story of Octavia Bright’s journey through recovery from alcohol addiction, and the parallel story of her father’s descent into Alzheimer’s. Looking back over this time, each of the seven chapters explores the feelings and experiences of the corresponding year of her recovery, tracing the shift in emotion and understanding that comes with the deepening connection to this new way of life. Bright was joined in conversation by Olivia Laing, author of Everybody.Find more events at the Bookshop: lrb.me/eventspodBuy a copy of This Ragged Grace: lrb.me/thisraggedgrace
Maureen McLane & Will Harris53:52Maureen McLane’s poetry has been praised for its deftness, intelligence and grace under extreme pressure. Her new collection, the aptly named What You Want, draws on these strengths to produce something remarkable and new.In a rare UK appearance, she reads from her work and talks to Will Harris, who also reads from his new collection Brother Poem (Granta). Harris has won the Forward Prizes for Best Single Poem and Best First Collection (for his debut, 2019's RENDANG), and more importantly, the LRB Bookshop Poetry Pamphlet Pick of the Year for 2016.