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New Books in Literature

Marshall Poe

41
Followers
16
Plays
New Books in Literature

New Books in Literature

Marshall Poe

41
Followers
16
Plays
OVERVIEWEPISODESYOU MAY ALSO LIKE

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About Us

Interviews with Writers about their New Books

Latest Episodes

Chip Jacobs, "Arroyo" (Rare Birds Books, 2019)

Two guys named Nick Chance, both with clairvoyant dogs named Royo, both inventors living in Pasadena, California – in 1913 and 1993. The original Nick, who starts out working on an ostrich farm, is drawn to the Colorado Street Bridge and manages to meet some of the great personalities of the period: Teddy Roosevelt, Upton Sinclair and Adolphus Busch all meet Nick. He parlays an idea for lighting into a job on the bridge and survives the lethal collapse of one of its arches during construction. Eighty years later, on the anniversary of the bridge’s inauguration, the second Nick Chance is pulled into rectifying the mistakes of the past. Pasadena, which had a millionaire’s row even back then, is nothing like the original, romanticized version of the town. There’s some magical realism, lots of fascinating historical detail about Pasadena and southern California, and lots of eating. Today I talked to Chip Jacobs about his new book Arroyo (Rare Birds Books, 2019) Jacobs is a Los Angel...

35 MIN3 d ago
Comments
Chip Jacobs, "Arroyo" (Rare Birds Books, 2019)

S. M. Hardy, "The Evil Within" (Allison and Busby, 2020)

Jim, our narrator, experiences a crisis of conscience in the wake of the possible suicide of his girlfriend. He quits his high-paying job seizing assets for a loan company and moves to a small village near the seaside to get away from it all. With no plans to occupy himself, and a golden parachute from his company, Jim finds himself with a lot of time on his hands—time that he hopes will help him heal from his loss. Instead, odd and spooky events immediately begin occurring. After he hears sounds from the empty attic, he finds out from his new friend, handyman Jed, that a little girl died falling down the steps. Soon, Jim begins to doubt that the little girl’s death was an accident. Jed, and a kindly neighbor, Emma, believe in supernatural visitations, and explain that he is receiving warnings from ghosts. Yet, some of the things that happen to Jim, like gas from the stove filling the cottage, seem too real to be ascribed to ghosts. Is Jim going mad, doing things he’s unaware of,...

25 MIN3 d ago
Comments
S. M. Hardy, "The Evil Within" (Allison and Busby, 2020)

Caridad Svich, "The Hour of All Things and Other Plays" (Intellect Books, 2018)

The Hour of All Things and Other Plays (Intellect Books, 2018) collects four plays by Caridad Svich, a 2012 OBIE for Lifetime Achievement playwright. The plays take place in Venezuela, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Southwest Detroit, as well as cyberspace and the place of dreams. In these works, Svich interrogates themes of globalization and environmental collapse in language that is poetic, rough, heart-breaking, hip, and relentlessly now. Svich remains one of America’s most exciting playwrights, and this book collects some of her most invigorating work yet. Andy Boydis a playwright based in Brooklyn, New York. He is a graduate of the playwriting MFA at Columbia University, Harvard University, and the Arizona School for the Arts. His plays have been produced, developed, or presented at IRT, Pipeline Theatre Company, The Gingold Group, Dixon Place, Roundabout Theatre, Epic Theatre Company, Out Loud Theatre, Naked Theatre Company, Contemporary Theatre of Rhode Island, and The Trunk Space. He is currently working on a series of 50 plays about the 50 U.S. states. His website isAndyJBoyd.com, and he can be reached at andyjamesboyd@gmail.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

81 MIN5 d ago
Comments
Caridad Svich, "The Hour of All Things and Other Plays" (Intellect Books, 2018)

Chris Fleming, "On Drugs" (Giramondo Publishing, 2019)

"After I’d finished my rapid-fire history of self-justification he paused and then said, deadpan and rural-Australian-slow: 'Right. Ok. So how is that all working out for you?'" On Drugs (Giramondo Publishing, 2019) explores Australian philosopher Chris Fleming’s experience of addiction, which begins when he is a student at the University of Sydney and escalates into a life-threatening compulsion. In a memoir by turns insightful and outlandish, Fleming combines meticulous observation with a keen sense of the absurdity of his actions. He describes the intricacies of drug use and acquisition, the impact of drugs on the intellect and emotions, and the chaos that emerges as his tightly managed existence unravels into hospitalisations, arrests and family breakdown. His account is accompanied by searching reflections on his childhood, during which he developed acute obsessive compulsive disorder and became fixated onthe rituals of martial arts, music-making and bodybuilding. In confronting the pathos and comedy of his drug use in Sydney, OnDrugsalso opens out into meditations on the self and its deceptions, religion, masculinity, mental illness, and the tortuous path to recovery. On Drugs is a uniquely Australian experience of a universal quest for oblivion. Dr Matthew Thompson is a literary journalism specialist recently with the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia but now based in the USA. Dr Thompson has a special focus on the conflict areas of the Sulu archipelago and Mindanao in the southern Philippines. He is the author of MAYHEM, Running With The Blood God, and My Colombian Death. For more information visit https://matthewthompsonwriting.com/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

76 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Chris Fleming, "On Drugs" (Giramondo Publishing, 2019)

Marco Rafalà, "How Fires End" (Little A, 2019)

In a sad but loving tribute to his Sicilian-Italian heritage, Marco Rafala’s debut novel How Fires End (Little A, 2019) centers on the haunting legacy of WWII on the people of a small Sicilian village. It’s the summer of 1943 and an unexploded mortar shell kills 9-year-old Salvatore’s twin brothers. His faith is destroyed, and his family unravels, fueling fear that the Vassallo name is cursed. Salvatore and his sister, Nella, accept the help of a fascist Italian soldier, Vincenzo, who accompanies them to a new life in America. But the three of them make the choice to keep their secrets hidden, and years later in America, Salvatore’s son, David, is swept up in the chaotic aftermath of their hidden pasts. This is a story about loyalty, family, and forgiveness. Marco Rafalà is a first-generation Sicilian American, novelist, musician, and writer for award-winning tabletop role-playing games (e.g. The One Ring). He earned his MFA in fiction from The New School and is a co-curator of the Guerrilla Lit Reading Series in New York City. His fiction and non-fiction have appeared in the Bellevue Literary Review and LitHub. Born in Middletown, Connecticut, he now lives in Brooklyn, New York. And when not working, reading or writing, Rafalà loves walking in the cemetery with his partner. If you enjoyed today’s podcast and would like to discuss it further with me and other New Books network listeners, please join us on Shuffle. Shuffle is an ad-free, invite-only network focused on the creativity community. As NBN listeners, you can get special access to conversations with a dynamic community of writers and literary enthusiasts. Sign up by going towww.shuffle.do/NBN/join G.P. Gottlieb is the author of theWhipped and Sipped Mystery Seriesand a prolific baker of healthful breads and pastries. Please contact her through her website (GPGottlieb.com) if you wish to recommend an author (of a beautifully-written new novel) to interview, to listen to her previous podcast interviews, to read her mystery book reviews, or to check out some of her awesome recipes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

28 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Marco Rafalà, "How Fires End" (Little A, 2019)

Lana Lesley, "Rude Mechs’ Lipstick Traces" (53rd State, 2019)

Rude Mechs’ Lipstick Traces (53rd State Press, 2019) is Lana Lesley’s graphic novelization of Lipstick Traces by Austin-based theatre collective Rude Mechs, itself an adaptation of Greil Marcus’ classic book Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century. The graphic novel vibrantly recreates the experience of watching Rude Mechs perform: light and sound cues, costume choices, and actors’ facial expressions are preserved much more faithfully here than they could ever be in a traditional script. From 16th-century mystic John of Leyden to 20th-century punk Johnny Rotten (born John Lydon – coincidence?), this imaginative and immersive work traces the secret history of a tradition of revolt that is perhaps more needed now than it has ever been. Andy Boydis a playwright based in Brooklyn, New York. He is a graduate of the playwriting MFA program at Columbia University, Harvard University, and the Arizona School for the Arts. His plays have been produced, developed, or presented at IRT, Pipeline Theatre Company, The Gingold Group, Dixon Place, Roundabout Theatre, Epic Theatre Company, Out Loud Theatre, Naked Theatre Company, Contemporary Theatre of Rhode Island, and The Trunk Space. He is currently working on a series of 50 plays about the 50 U.S. states. His website is AndyJBoyd.com, and he can be reached at andyjamesboyd@gmail.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

58 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Lana Lesley, "Rude Mechs’ Lipstick Traces" (53rd State, 2019)

Laura Lam, "Goldilocks" (Orbit, 2020)

Laura Lam’s new book Goldilocks (Orbit, 2020) takes readers into space with an all-female crew bound for a distant Earth-like planet. The all-female crew isn’t the only twist; there’s also the fact that the five astronauts steal their spaceship. The crew aren’t mere bandits, but the spacecraft’s original crew, who’d been shoved aside by a reactionary patriarchy intent on confining women to home and family. “As a little girl, I thought sexism was on the way out. And in the last few years, I’ve realized, ‘Oh no, it’s definitely not,’” Lam says, discussing her motivations to write the book. When NASA confiscates the spacecraft of Valerie Black, a billionaire entrepreneur who Lam describes as a “cross between Elon Musk and Sigourney Weaver,” Black steals it back. She and her crew “know they’re the best people with the skills and training to find this new planet, which is humanity’s last hope because Earth has only 30 years left of habitability due to climate change,” Lam says. Lam found inspiration in the unsung women who’ve played a role in the history of spaceflight, including the Mercury 13, a group of women who’d passed the same physiological tests as the seven men of the Mercury project in the late 1950s. “The Mercury 13 really helped me focus the book. … There are all these women who have been influential in space flight, but we still haven’t had a woman on the Moon,” Lam says. Rob Wolf is the host of New Books in Science Fiction and the author of The Alternate Universe and The Escape. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

33 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Laura Lam, "Goldilocks" (Orbit, 2020)

Janice Hadlow, "The Other Bennet Sister" (Henry Holt, 2020)

It is well known that the novels of Jane Austen (1775–1817), which enjoyed at best a modest success during her lifetime, have become ever more popular in the last fifty years or so. They support a small industry of remakes, spinoffs, and retellings. As Janice Hadlow notes while discussing The Other Bennet Sister(Henry Holt, 2020), one reason for that interest lies with Austen herself. A genius at characterization, Austen drops tiny pearls of insight into one secondary character or another throughout her novels, and these seeds, when properly nurtured, can develop in unexpected ways. The Other Bennet Sister focuses on the life of the middle sister in Pride and Prejudice. Stuck between an older pair—beautiful, gentle Jane and pretty, sprightly Lizzie—and a younger duo whose good looks and sheer love of life compensate for a certain lack of decorum, Mary is bookish, awkward, and plain. In a family where the daughters’ only future requires them to marry well without the plump dowries that would make them attractive to men of their own gentry class, Mary’s traits doom her (at least in her mother’s eyes) to an unhappy and lonely spinsterhood. Even her scholarly father underestimates Mary, because she lacks the wit and self-confidence that so distinguishes Lizzie, his favorite. Hadlow has given deep thought to what it would mean to grow up as Mary—what she wants, how she feels, which twists of fate and family turn her into the character we meet so briefly in Austen’s novel. But then The Other Bennet Sister goes beyond Pride and Prejudice to imagine how the Marys of the world might find happiness, even in the early nineteenth century. It is a captivating and heartening story, and you need not be an Austen fan to appreciate the journey. C. P. Lesley is the author of ten novels, including Legends of the Five Directions, a historical fiction series set during the childhood of Ivan the Terrible. Her latest book, Song of the Shaman, appeared in 2020. Find out more about her at http://www.cplesley.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

40 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Janice Hadlow, "The Other Bennet Sister" (Henry Holt, 2020)

Martin Shaw, "Courting the Wild Twin" (Chelsea Green, 2020)

Today I interview Martin Shaw. In Shaw’s new book, Courting the Wild Twin (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2020), he writes, “Here’s a secret I don’t share very often. Myths are not only to do with a long time ago. They have a promiscuous, curious, weirdly up-to-date quality. They can’t help but grapple their way into what happened on the way to work this morning, that video that appalled you on YouTube. Well, they are meant to; if they didn’t they would have been forgotten centuries ago.” In our interview, Shaw invites us to consider the power of myth to guide us not only toward new ways of seeing our current moment—one in which we’re witnessing an unprecedented global pandemic—but also new ways of seeing itself. For Shaw, a mythologist who’s designed courses at Stanford University and who directs the Westcountry School of Myth in the U.K, myths reveal unseen possibilities in our own lives and overlooked chances to reunite with our natural world. The old stories can lead us forward if only we learn how to hear them. Shaw shows us what it might mean to listen deeply and profoundly, with our minds, yes, but also with our souls, our spirits, our very bones. Eric LeMayis on the creative writing faculty at Ohio University. His work ranges from food writing to electronic literature. He is the author of three books, most recentlyIn Praise of Nothing: Essay, Memoir, and Experiments (Emergency Press, 2014). He can be reached ateric@ericlemay.org. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

52 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Martin Shaw, "Courting the Wild Twin" (Chelsea Green, 2020)

Leslie M. Harris, "Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies" (U Georgia Press, 2019)

Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies (University of Georgia Press, 2019), edited by Leslie M. Harris, James T. Campbell, and Alfred L. Brophy, is the first edited collection of scholarly essays devoted solely to the histories and legacies of this subject on North American campuses and in their Atlantic contexts. Gathering together contributions from scholars, activists, and administrators, the volume combines two broad bodies of work: (1) historically based interdisciplinary research on the presence of slavery at higher education institutions in terms of the development of proslavery and antislavery thought and the use of slave labor; and (2) analysis on the ways in which the legacies of slavery in institutions of higher education continued in the post–Civil War era to the present day. The collection features broadly themed essays on issues of religion, economy, and the regional slave trade of the Caribbean. It also includes case studies of slavery’s influence on specific institutions, such as Princeton University, Harvard University, Oberlin College, Emory University, and the University of Alabama. Though the roots of Slavery and the University stem from a 2011 conference at Emory University, the collection extends outward to incorporate recent findings. As such, it offers a roadmap to one of the most exciting developments in the field of U.S. slavery studies and to ways of thinking about racial diversity in the history and current practices of higher education. Today I spoke with Leslie Harris about the book. Dr. Harris is a professor of history at Northwestern University. She is the coeditor, with Ira Berlin, of Slavery in New Yorkand the coeditor, with Daina Ramey Berry, ofSlavery and Freedom in Savannah(Georgia). Adam McNeil is a History PhD student at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

59 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Leslie M. Harris, "Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies" (U Georgia Press, 2019)

Latest Episodes

Chip Jacobs, "Arroyo" (Rare Birds Books, 2019)

Two guys named Nick Chance, both with clairvoyant dogs named Royo, both inventors living in Pasadena, California – in 1913 and 1993. The original Nick, who starts out working on an ostrich farm, is drawn to the Colorado Street Bridge and manages to meet some of the great personalities of the period: Teddy Roosevelt, Upton Sinclair and Adolphus Busch all meet Nick. He parlays an idea for lighting into a job on the bridge and survives the lethal collapse of one of its arches during construction. Eighty years later, on the anniversary of the bridge’s inauguration, the second Nick Chance is pulled into rectifying the mistakes of the past. Pasadena, which had a millionaire’s row even back then, is nothing like the original, romanticized version of the town. There’s some magical realism, lots of fascinating historical detail about Pasadena and southern California, and lots of eating. Today I talked to Chip Jacobs about his new book Arroyo (Rare Birds Books, 2019) Jacobs is a Los Angel...

35 MIN3 d ago
Comments
Chip Jacobs, "Arroyo" (Rare Birds Books, 2019)

S. M. Hardy, "The Evil Within" (Allison and Busby, 2020)

Jim, our narrator, experiences a crisis of conscience in the wake of the possible suicide of his girlfriend. He quits his high-paying job seizing assets for a loan company and moves to a small village near the seaside to get away from it all. With no plans to occupy himself, and a golden parachute from his company, Jim finds himself with a lot of time on his hands—time that he hopes will help him heal from his loss. Instead, odd and spooky events immediately begin occurring. After he hears sounds from the empty attic, he finds out from his new friend, handyman Jed, that a little girl died falling down the steps. Soon, Jim begins to doubt that the little girl’s death was an accident. Jed, and a kindly neighbor, Emma, believe in supernatural visitations, and explain that he is receiving warnings from ghosts. Yet, some of the things that happen to Jim, like gas from the stove filling the cottage, seem too real to be ascribed to ghosts. Is Jim going mad, doing things he’s unaware of,...

25 MIN3 d ago
Comments
S. M. Hardy, "The Evil Within" (Allison and Busby, 2020)

Caridad Svich, "The Hour of All Things and Other Plays" (Intellect Books, 2018)

The Hour of All Things and Other Plays (Intellect Books, 2018) collects four plays by Caridad Svich, a 2012 OBIE for Lifetime Achievement playwright. The plays take place in Venezuela, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Southwest Detroit, as well as cyberspace and the place of dreams. In these works, Svich interrogates themes of globalization and environmental collapse in language that is poetic, rough, heart-breaking, hip, and relentlessly now. Svich remains one of America’s most exciting playwrights, and this book collects some of her most invigorating work yet. Andy Boydis a playwright based in Brooklyn, New York. He is a graduate of the playwriting MFA at Columbia University, Harvard University, and the Arizona School for the Arts. His plays have been produced, developed, or presented at IRT, Pipeline Theatre Company, The Gingold Group, Dixon Place, Roundabout Theatre, Epic Theatre Company, Out Loud Theatre, Naked Theatre Company, Contemporary Theatre of Rhode Island, and The Trunk Space. He is currently working on a series of 50 plays about the 50 U.S. states. His website isAndyJBoyd.com, and he can be reached at andyjamesboyd@gmail.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

81 MIN5 d ago
Comments
Caridad Svich, "The Hour of All Things and Other Plays" (Intellect Books, 2018)

Chris Fleming, "On Drugs" (Giramondo Publishing, 2019)

"After I’d finished my rapid-fire history of self-justification he paused and then said, deadpan and rural-Australian-slow: 'Right. Ok. So how is that all working out for you?'" On Drugs (Giramondo Publishing, 2019) explores Australian philosopher Chris Fleming’s experience of addiction, which begins when he is a student at the University of Sydney and escalates into a life-threatening compulsion. In a memoir by turns insightful and outlandish, Fleming combines meticulous observation with a keen sense of the absurdity of his actions. He describes the intricacies of drug use and acquisition, the impact of drugs on the intellect and emotions, and the chaos that emerges as his tightly managed existence unravels into hospitalisations, arrests and family breakdown. His account is accompanied by searching reflections on his childhood, during which he developed acute obsessive compulsive disorder and became fixated onthe rituals of martial arts, music-making and bodybuilding. In confronting the pathos and comedy of his drug use in Sydney, OnDrugsalso opens out into meditations on the self and its deceptions, religion, masculinity, mental illness, and the tortuous path to recovery. On Drugs is a uniquely Australian experience of a universal quest for oblivion. Dr Matthew Thompson is a literary journalism specialist recently with the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia but now based in the USA. Dr Thompson has a special focus on the conflict areas of the Sulu archipelago and Mindanao in the southern Philippines. He is the author of MAYHEM, Running With The Blood God, and My Colombian Death. For more information visit https://matthewthompsonwriting.com/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

76 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Chris Fleming, "On Drugs" (Giramondo Publishing, 2019)

Marco Rafalà, "How Fires End" (Little A, 2019)

In a sad but loving tribute to his Sicilian-Italian heritage, Marco Rafala’s debut novel How Fires End (Little A, 2019) centers on the haunting legacy of WWII on the people of a small Sicilian village. It’s the summer of 1943 and an unexploded mortar shell kills 9-year-old Salvatore’s twin brothers. His faith is destroyed, and his family unravels, fueling fear that the Vassallo name is cursed. Salvatore and his sister, Nella, accept the help of a fascist Italian soldier, Vincenzo, who accompanies them to a new life in America. But the three of them make the choice to keep their secrets hidden, and years later in America, Salvatore’s son, David, is swept up in the chaotic aftermath of their hidden pasts. This is a story about loyalty, family, and forgiveness. Marco Rafalà is a first-generation Sicilian American, novelist, musician, and writer for award-winning tabletop role-playing games (e.g. The One Ring). He earned his MFA in fiction from The New School and is a co-curator of the Guerrilla Lit Reading Series in New York City. His fiction and non-fiction have appeared in the Bellevue Literary Review and LitHub. Born in Middletown, Connecticut, he now lives in Brooklyn, New York. And when not working, reading or writing, Rafalà loves walking in the cemetery with his partner. If you enjoyed today’s podcast and would like to discuss it further with me and other New Books network listeners, please join us on Shuffle. Shuffle is an ad-free, invite-only network focused on the creativity community. As NBN listeners, you can get special access to conversations with a dynamic community of writers and literary enthusiasts. Sign up by going towww.shuffle.do/NBN/join G.P. Gottlieb is the author of theWhipped and Sipped Mystery Seriesand a prolific baker of healthful breads and pastries. Please contact her through her website (GPGottlieb.com) if you wish to recommend an author (of a beautifully-written new novel) to interview, to listen to her previous podcast interviews, to read her mystery book reviews, or to check out some of her awesome recipes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

28 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Marco Rafalà, "How Fires End" (Little A, 2019)

Lana Lesley, "Rude Mechs’ Lipstick Traces" (53rd State, 2019)

Rude Mechs’ Lipstick Traces (53rd State Press, 2019) is Lana Lesley’s graphic novelization of Lipstick Traces by Austin-based theatre collective Rude Mechs, itself an adaptation of Greil Marcus’ classic book Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century. The graphic novel vibrantly recreates the experience of watching Rude Mechs perform: light and sound cues, costume choices, and actors’ facial expressions are preserved much more faithfully here than they could ever be in a traditional script. From 16th-century mystic John of Leyden to 20th-century punk Johnny Rotten (born John Lydon – coincidence?), this imaginative and immersive work traces the secret history of a tradition of revolt that is perhaps more needed now than it has ever been. Andy Boydis a playwright based in Brooklyn, New York. He is a graduate of the playwriting MFA program at Columbia University, Harvard University, and the Arizona School for the Arts. His plays have been produced, developed, or presented at IRT, Pipeline Theatre Company, The Gingold Group, Dixon Place, Roundabout Theatre, Epic Theatre Company, Out Loud Theatre, Naked Theatre Company, Contemporary Theatre of Rhode Island, and The Trunk Space. He is currently working on a series of 50 plays about the 50 U.S. states. His website is AndyJBoyd.com, and he can be reached at andyjamesboyd@gmail.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

58 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Lana Lesley, "Rude Mechs’ Lipstick Traces" (53rd State, 2019)

Laura Lam, "Goldilocks" (Orbit, 2020)

Laura Lam’s new book Goldilocks (Orbit, 2020) takes readers into space with an all-female crew bound for a distant Earth-like planet. The all-female crew isn’t the only twist; there’s also the fact that the five astronauts steal their spaceship. The crew aren’t mere bandits, but the spacecraft’s original crew, who’d been shoved aside by a reactionary patriarchy intent on confining women to home and family. “As a little girl, I thought sexism was on the way out. And in the last few years, I’ve realized, ‘Oh no, it’s definitely not,’” Lam says, discussing her motivations to write the book. When NASA confiscates the spacecraft of Valerie Black, a billionaire entrepreneur who Lam describes as a “cross between Elon Musk and Sigourney Weaver,” Black steals it back. She and her crew “know they’re the best people with the skills and training to find this new planet, which is humanity’s last hope because Earth has only 30 years left of habitability due to climate change,” Lam says. Lam found inspiration in the unsung women who’ve played a role in the history of spaceflight, including the Mercury 13, a group of women who’d passed the same physiological tests as the seven men of the Mercury project in the late 1950s. “The Mercury 13 really helped me focus the book. … There are all these women who have been influential in space flight, but we still haven’t had a woman on the Moon,” Lam says. Rob Wolf is the host of New Books in Science Fiction and the author of The Alternate Universe and The Escape. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

33 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Laura Lam, "Goldilocks" (Orbit, 2020)

Janice Hadlow, "The Other Bennet Sister" (Henry Holt, 2020)

It is well known that the novels of Jane Austen (1775–1817), which enjoyed at best a modest success during her lifetime, have become ever more popular in the last fifty years or so. They support a small industry of remakes, spinoffs, and retellings. As Janice Hadlow notes while discussing The Other Bennet Sister(Henry Holt, 2020), one reason for that interest lies with Austen herself. A genius at characterization, Austen drops tiny pearls of insight into one secondary character or another throughout her novels, and these seeds, when properly nurtured, can develop in unexpected ways. The Other Bennet Sister focuses on the life of the middle sister in Pride and Prejudice. Stuck between an older pair—beautiful, gentle Jane and pretty, sprightly Lizzie—and a younger duo whose good looks and sheer love of life compensate for a certain lack of decorum, Mary is bookish, awkward, and plain. In a family where the daughters’ only future requires them to marry well without the plump dowries that would make them attractive to men of their own gentry class, Mary’s traits doom her (at least in her mother’s eyes) to an unhappy and lonely spinsterhood. Even her scholarly father underestimates Mary, because she lacks the wit and self-confidence that so distinguishes Lizzie, his favorite. Hadlow has given deep thought to what it would mean to grow up as Mary—what she wants, how she feels, which twists of fate and family turn her into the character we meet so briefly in Austen’s novel. But then The Other Bennet Sister goes beyond Pride and Prejudice to imagine how the Marys of the world might find happiness, even in the early nineteenth century. It is a captivating and heartening story, and you need not be an Austen fan to appreciate the journey. C. P. Lesley is the author of ten novels, including Legends of the Five Directions, a historical fiction series set during the childhood of Ivan the Terrible. Her latest book, Song of the Shaman, appeared in 2020. Find out more about her at http://www.cplesley.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

40 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Janice Hadlow, "The Other Bennet Sister" (Henry Holt, 2020)

Martin Shaw, "Courting the Wild Twin" (Chelsea Green, 2020)

Today I interview Martin Shaw. In Shaw’s new book, Courting the Wild Twin (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2020), he writes, “Here’s a secret I don’t share very often. Myths are not only to do with a long time ago. They have a promiscuous, curious, weirdly up-to-date quality. They can’t help but grapple their way into what happened on the way to work this morning, that video that appalled you on YouTube. Well, they are meant to; if they didn’t they would have been forgotten centuries ago.” In our interview, Shaw invites us to consider the power of myth to guide us not only toward new ways of seeing our current moment—one in which we’re witnessing an unprecedented global pandemic—but also new ways of seeing itself. For Shaw, a mythologist who’s designed courses at Stanford University and who directs the Westcountry School of Myth in the U.K, myths reveal unseen possibilities in our own lives and overlooked chances to reunite with our natural world. The old stories can lead us forward if only we learn how to hear them. Shaw shows us what it might mean to listen deeply and profoundly, with our minds, yes, but also with our souls, our spirits, our very bones. Eric LeMayis on the creative writing faculty at Ohio University. His work ranges from food writing to electronic literature. He is the author of three books, most recentlyIn Praise of Nothing: Essay, Memoir, and Experiments (Emergency Press, 2014). He can be reached ateric@ericlemay.org. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

52 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Martin Shaw, "Courting the Wild Twin" (Chelsea Green, 2020)

Leslie M. Harris, "Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies" (U Georgia Press, 2019)

Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies (University of Georgia Press, 2019), edited by Leslie M. Harris, James T. Campbell, and Alfred L. Brophy, is the first edited collection of scholarly essays devoted solely to the histories and legacies of this subject on North American campuses and in their Atlantic contexts. Gathering together contributions from scholars, activists, and administrators, the volume combines two broad bodies of work: (1) historically based interdisciplinary research on the presence of slavery at higher education institutions in terms of the development of proslavery and antislavery thought and the use of slave labor; and (2) analysis on the ways in which the legacies of slavery in institutions of higher education continued in the post–Civil War era to the present day. The collection features broadly themed essays on issues of religion, economy, and the regional slave trade of the Caribbean. It also includes case studies of slavery’s influence on specific institutions, such as Princeton University, Harvard University, Oberlin College, Emory University, and the University of Alabama. Though the roots of Slavery and the University stem from a 2011 conference at Emory University, the collection extends outward to incorporate recent findings. As such, it offers a roadmap to one of the most exciting developments in the field of U.S. slavery studies and to ways of thinking about racial diversity in the history and current practices of higher education. Today I spoke with Leslie Harris about the book. Dr. Harris is a professor of history at Northwestern University. She is the coeditor, with Ira Berlin, of Slavery in New Yorkand the coeditor, with Daina Ramey Berry, ofSlavery and Freedom in Savannah(Georgia). Adam McNeil is a History PhD student at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Leslie M. Harris, "Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies" (U Georgia Press, 2019)
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