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The Bat Segundo Show & Follow Your Ears: Episodes

Martha Gellhorn and Ernest Hemingway headed to Spain to help the Loyalists during the Civil War. Gellhorn was to transform into one of the 20th century's best war correspondents. Hemingway needed to have his romanticism crushed to write a masterpiece. They are two figures in Amanda Vaill's HOTEL FLORIDA. ...
Cartoonist Mimi Pond spent a good chunk of 1978 working as a dishwasher and a waitress in an Oakland diner. Thirty-six years later, she's collected her experiences in the graphic novel, OVER EASY. This 40 minute conversation examines that experience, looking into the difficulties of accurately portraying ...
Joanna Rakoff spent 1996 working as an assistant for Harold Ober Associates, overhearing the likes of J.D. Salinger and Judy Blume talking shop. This 75 minute conversation, which discusses Rakoff's memoir MY SALINGER YEAR, gets into some of the underlying privilege and protective family dynamics which ...
Author Paula Bomer has dedicated her fiction career to staring inside the abyss and seeking the human. We discuss her new short story collection, INSIDE MADELEINE, and discuss everything from Flannery O'Connor's notion of the grotesque, how sex defines relationships, boarding schools, how modest surrealism ...
In this wide-ranging 79 minute conversation, Porochista Khakpour discusses how she fused the romantic with the grotesque for her second novel, THE LAST ILLUSION, birds as an inevitable cultural symbol, growing up as an Iranian immigrant, quirky and pragmatic attitudes to death, Kafka and Kierkegaard, ...
Was there ever an age in which the office provided reasonable security for the worker? Is it possible for the office worker to be given respect and adequate compensation in the 21st century? We talk with Nikil Saval, author of CUBED, to figure out how a system designed to pit office workers against each ...
Evie Wyld is the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize-winning and Granta 20 author of ALL THE BIRDS, SINGING -- a novel that is arguably more alive than most of the dull literary books about flatware and chalices at pretentious dinner parties. Our conversation gets into how work defines even the natural landscape, ...
In this vivacious chat with MacArthur fellow Yiyun Li (and on the occasion of her latest novel KINDER THAN SOLITUDE), we discuss nothing less than the mysteries that humans impose upon the universe, Li's secret life as an accordion player, why poison is the most passive-aggressive murder technique, how ...
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 ...
Twelve and a half years after 9/11, Islamophobia remains alive and well. Where did it come from? Why does it perpetuate in American and British culture? And what effect does it have on our democratic values? To get some answers to these questions, we talked with Arun Kundnani, author of THE MUSLIMS ...
MacArthur Fellow Dinaw Mengestu's novels have been needlessly categorized as "immigrant fiction" when his work is about so much more. On the publication of his third novel, ALL OUR NAMES, Mengestu unpacks these issues with us, discussing how journalism helped him to peer into revolutionary turmoil, ...
In this triple-decker edition of Bat Segundo, we talk with author Dorthe Nors about Denmark, emotional connections to animals, the dangers of self-destruction and how folks songs fused with Swedish existentialism can produce an original voice, investigate Mayor Bill de Blasio's silence on saving New ...
Why are we so consumed with providing every moment of our lives to a faceless corporation who will share this data with other companies without our consent? What makes the NSA worse than the Stasi? And to what extent are we determined to become enslaved by convenience? We talk with journalist Julia ...
This one hour program looks into two "mad as hell" scenarios. We talk with journalist Dave Itzkoff about MAD AS HELL, the making of NETWORK, Paddy Chayefsky's colorful personality, and why something that seemed so absurd forty years ago became so real. We also investigate a controversy at Open Letter ...
Nearly ninety years after its publication, THE GREAT GATSBY remains a fluid and endurable masterpiece. In CARELESS PEOPLE, Sarah Churchwell tackles F. Scott Fitzgerald's great novel with an approach somewhere between an avid reader and a obsessive scholar. This vivacious and jampacked conversation, ...
If we leave out a few words, how does the story change? How are human instincts for speculation encouraged by a minor elision? Who really knows the story? Jenny Offill explores these ideas and more in her new novel, DEPT. OF SPECULATION. We discuss the virtues of twisted quotes, the narrative frameworks ...
Diane Johnson is best known for her comic novels centered around France: LE MARIAGE and LE DIVORCE. But before all this, many years before, she wrote a darker novel called THE SHADOW KNOWS that attracted Stanley Kubrick's notice. Johnson has published a new memoir, FLYOVER LIVES, that details her thoughts ...
Nigerian fiction writing is stronger than ever. But how does Nigeria's protean identity, often described as "stranger than fiction," affect contemporary fiction? In this one hour conversation, we hash out these questions with Okey Ndibe, author of FOREIGN GODS, INC., discussing Nigeria's census problems, ...
Barbara Stanwyck was one of the most legendary Hollywood stars that the 20th century has ever known. Veteran editor Victoria Wilson, author of a very large biography on Stanwyck, reveals Stanwyck's remarkable work ethic, her toughness, her shyness, how Zeppo Marx encouraged her to go into comedy, the ...
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 ...
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