London Review Bookshop Podcast
Nicole Flattery & Claire-Louise Bennett: Nothing Special
New York in the late 1960s: Mae escapes a run-down an apartment, an alcoholic mother and her mother’s occasional boyfriend to a new life as a typist for Andy Warhol, transcribing conversations with his friends and associates to provide the material for an unconventional novel. A mordantly funny investigation of celebrity, obsession, womanhood and sexuality, Nothing Special (Bloomsbury) is itself an unconventional debut novel, following on from Flattery’s acclaimed short story collection Show Them a Good Time.
Nicole Flattery discusses her novel with Claire-Louise Bennett, author of Pond and Checkout 19.
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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.
Deborah Levy & Stephen Grosz: August Blue47:50Novelist, essayist and playwright Deborah Levy read from and spoke about her novel August Blue, a mesmerising story of how identities, coalesce, collide and collapse. She was joined in conversation about August Blue with the psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz, author of The Examined Life.Find more events at the Bookshop: lrb.me/eventspodBuy a copy of August Blue: lrb.me/augustbluepod