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Episode 117: Karl Ove Knausgaard on Fate, Shame, Prolonging Pleasure and Iconic Memories

Episode 117: Karl Ove Knausgaard on Fate, Shame, Prolonging Pleasure and Iconic Memories

Listen to Karl Ove Knausgaard here. To say I’ve been looking forward to interviewing Karl Ove Knausguaard is an understatement. That said, I couldn’t have foreseen how lovely it was to speak with him in person. The world outside drifted away and we were able to […]

Episode 116: Alex Gilvarry on those all-consuming post-breakup runaway thoughts and channeling the voice of Norman Mailer

Episode 116: Alex Gilvarry on those all-consuming post-breakup runaway thoughts and channeling the voice of Norman Mailer

Listen to Alex Gilvarry on the pod here. It’s Alex’s second time on the pod and what a treat it was to have him on the show again, this time to talk about his second novel East man Was Here. Here’s what I wrote about it […]

Episode 115: Claire Messud on long-Lost friendships

Episode 115: Claire Messud on long-Lost friendships

Listen to Claire Messud here.

Claire Messud and I talk about her new novel The Burning Girl, as well as Claire’s childhood years in Australia, and how childhood friendships can haunt and define us. I’ve loved Claire’s work ever since I read The Emperor’s Children when I was living in Sydney. In the opening scene she captured so vividly what a certain set of creative people are like that I knew she must to have spent time in my hometown.
In The Burning Girl, Julia and Cassie have been friends since nursery school. They have shared everything, including their desire to escape the stifling limitations of their birthplace, the quiet town of Royston, Massachusetts. But as the two girls enter adolescence, their paths diverge and Cassie sets out on a journey that will put her life in danger and shatter her oldest friendship. The Burning Girl is a complex examination of the stories we tell ourselves about youth and friendship, and straddles, expertly, childhood’s imaginary worlds and painful adult reality—crafting a true, immediate portrait of female adolescence.
xox Angie
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Episode 114: Kaitlyn Greenidge on Writing Into Taboo Territory

Episode 114: Kaitlyn Greenidge on Writing Into Taboo Territory

Listen to Kaitlyn Greenidge on the pod here. Kaitlyn Greenidge and I chat about her funny, strange and wonderful debut novel, “We Love You, Charlie Freeman.” The Freeman family–Charles, Laurel, and their daughters, teenage Charlotte and nine-year-old Callie–have been invited to the Toneybee Institute in rural […]

Episode 113: Tom Perrotta on Porn Addiction, Suburban America & Exploring Gender Norms

Episode 113: Tom Perrotta on Porn Addiction, Suburban America & Exploring Gender Norms

Listen to Tom Perrotta here. Tom Perrotta and I talk about his latest novel Mrs. Fletcher, which explores sexuality in America. U R MY MILF! Send me a naked pic!! Divorced mother Eve Fletcher has never, ever, received a text like this before. Could it be from one […]

Episode 112: Jenny Zhang on Chinese American Immigrant Culture Shock, Family Expectations & Freeing Her Voice

Episode 112: Jenny Zhang on Chinese American Immigrant Culture Shock, Family Expectations & Freeing Her Voice

Listen to Jenny Zhang here.

Poet and writer Jenny Zhang joined me to talk about her debut collection of stories “Sour Heart.” The first book from Lena Dunham’s Lenny imprint at Random House crackles with vivid and vital stories of newly arrived Chinese Americans adjusting to New York life. Like Zhang herself, many of her characters arrive in the US from Shanghai as young children, and are confronted with an alien language and parents struggling to bridge the cultural divide. In one story, a young girl devotes her lonely afternoons to concocting ways she can sacrifice as much as her parents did to get to America. In another, set in China during the Cultural Revolution in 1966, gangs of vigilante teens roam the streets enforcing the regime’s toxic dehumanizing rules, actions that haunt the characters decades later, even after they’ve escaped across the globe. These stories are as fresh and lively as they are illuminating and I hope you love hearing Jenny talk about him on the pod.
xxo Angie
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Episode 111: Zinzi Clemmons on Identity, Race & Making Sense of Grief

Episode 111: Zinzi Clemmons on Identity, Race & Making Sense of Grief

Listen to Zinzi Clemmons on the podcast here. This week I talk to debut author Zinzi Clemmons about her book “What We Lose: A Novel.” This novel signals the launch of an important new voice who we’ll be turning to to make sense of our […]

Episode 110: Rachel Khong on Food & Family Matters

Episode 110: Rachel Khong on Food & Family Matters

Listen to Rachel Khong on the pod here. Beloved food writer Rachel Khong joins us this week to talk about her debut novel Goodbye, Vitamin. Our very relaxed conversation ranges from how Rachel met her husband, the science of alzheimer’s, and more. Buy Goodbye, Vitamin here.

Episode 109: Katja Meier on Running a Refugee Home in a Tuscan Village

Episode 109: Katja Meier on Running a Refugee Home in a Tuscan Village

Listen to Katja Meier here.

Without doubt this episode with Katja Meier stands out as one of the very special ones. Katja and I become “Instagram friends” (follow Katja on @anythingtuscan), meaning, we liked each other’s posts and commented on each other’s pics. When Katja told me about her book Across the big Blue Sea: Good Intentions and Hard Lessons in an Italian Refugee Home, I thought, I have to know more. Even if knowing more meant flying to Italy to meet her for myself!

Katja and her family generously took me into their home and that is where we recorded this conversation. Here is a little more about her incredible book and visit Katja’s site to learn more about the pressing issues she talks about in the episode…

Thousands of people risk crossing the treacherous waters of the Mediterranean Sea each year. But what happens if they make it to the other side?

On a hot July day, the Italian coast guard rescues five young Nigerian women in a battered boat. At the same time, Katja Meier is put in charge of a small refugee home in the Tuscan countryside. But a quaint hilltop town with an aged population wasn’t exactly where the five young women had hoped to land.

 Good intentions quickly get lost in cultural misunderstandings and the shadows of Italy’s criminal underworld as an improvised social worker confronts hard truths about disorganized charities, insurmountable bureaucracy and prostitution on cypress-lined roads. How can she make a difference when Nigerian girls keep disappearing?

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Buy Across the Big Blue Sea here or ask for it at your local bookstore.

Episode 108: Christopher Bollen on Crafting a Thriller & the Summer Antics of the Ultra-Rich

Episode 108: Christopher Bollen on Crafting a Thriller & the Summer Antics of the Ultra-Rich

Listen to Christopher Bollen on the pod here. I’m so excited for this week because I’ve wanted to interview Chris Bollen ever since her was my boss at Interview Magazine where her was editor-in-chief for many years. This is how I described his new book in Esquire… Ever wanted […]

Episode 107: Affinity Konar on the Stories That Haunt Us

Episode 107: Affinity Konar on the Stories That Haunt Us

Listen to Affinity Konar HERE. This week Affinity Konar and I discuss her harrowing debut novel Mischling, drawn from the tragedy of Auschwitz and Josef Mengele’s experiments on identical twins during World War II. The twins Stasha and Pearl are part of the experimental population of twins […]

Episode 106: J. Courtney Sullivan on Sisters, Secrets & Irish American Families

Episode 106: J. Courtney Sullivan on Sisters, Secrets & Irish American Families

Listen to Courtney Sullivan HERE.

I’ve been waiting years to have Courtney on the show and her new book finally gave me the chance! We discuss J. Courtney Sullivan’s fourth novel “Saints for All Occasions” about two sisters who leave their small Irish village to make a new life in America. Very early into their new lives in Boston each is forced to make a difficult decision that will impact their lives and divide loyalties. This is such a fun discussion about family secrets and family bonds, and about the time Courtney spent a week at a silent nunnery.

Enjoy!
xoxo Angie
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Episode 105: Samantha Irby on Intentional Dating, Sexual Mishaps and Redefining Family

Episode 105: Samantha Irby on Intentional Dating, Sexual Mishaps and Redefining Family

Listen to Samantha Irby HERE. Samantha Irby amassed a cult following with her Bitches Gotta Eat blog and then she wowed her fans with her hilarious and brutally honest memoir, Meaty, which is in TV development by Jessi Klein, head writer for Inside Amy Schumer, and Broad […]

Episode 104: Lidia Yuknavitch on the Future of Our Planet, the Mythology of Joan of Arc & Smashing the Patriarchy

Episode 104: Lidia Yuknavitch on the Future of Our Planet, the Mythology of Joan of Arc & Smashing the Patriarchy

Listen to Lidia Yuknavitch HERE. I’ve been waiting two years for Lidia Yuknavitch to return to the pod. We had one of the most illuminating conversations about her novel The Small Backs of Children and her memoir the Chronology of Water, and again we waste no time […]

Episode 103: Dani Shapiro on Memory, Time & Marriage

Episode 103: Dani Shapiro on Memory, Time & Marriage

Listen to Dani Shapiro HERE.

This week writer Dani Shapiro joined me to talk about her recent memoir Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage, an exquisite and intimate interrogation of her 18-year marriage to “M.” The conversation ranges from the wonderful advice given by her aunt to what happened when she Googled herself. We discuss those chance meetings that change your life, the challenge (and beauty) of committing to a creative life, and how love, ultimately, is what sustains us. Take a listen and you’ll soon see why Dani is celebrated across the globe. I loved this conversation so much. Dani’s books are the kind that you savor, reread, and buy for your very best friends.

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Buy Hourglass here.

Dani Shapiro is the bestselling author of the memoirs Still Writing, Devotion, and Slow Motion, and five novels including Black & White and Family History. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, One Story, Elle, The New York Times Book Review, the op-ed pages of The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and has been broadcast on “This American Life”.  Dani was recently Oprah Winfrey’s guest on”Super Soul Sunday.” She has taught in the writing programs at Columbia, NYU, The New School and Wesleyan University; she is co-founder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy. A contributing editor at Condé Nast Traveler, Dani lives with her family in Litchfield County, Connecticut. Her most recent book, Hourglass, was just published by Knopf.

Actress Pom Klementieff shares her Unique Russian-French-Korean Perspective

Actress Pom Klementieff shares her Unique Russian-French-Korean Perspective

Pom Klementieff arrives at our meeting on New York’s Upper West Side clutching a dog-eared copy of Hanya Yanagihara‘s haunting novel A Little Life. “It’s beautiful and brutal,” says the 31-year-old actress with a sigh. “I guess I’m drawn to complicated stories.” The daughter of […]

Samantha Bee and Masha Gessen Implore Us to Resist Trump’s “Word Salads”

Samantha Bee and Masha Gessen Implore Us to Resist Trump’s “Word Salads”

I wrote this for Elle! The Full Frontal host discussed Trump’s damaging use of language with journalist Masha Gessen at the PEN World Voices Festival. “Waking up every morning is like having a tennis ball machine and having the tennis balls shoot us in the […]

Episode 102: Jo Piazza on How to be Married

Episode 102: Jo Piazza on How to be Married

Listen to Jo Piazza HERE.

In Jo Piazza’s new book “How to be Married” she travels the globe in search of answers because she’s been married a year and seems to be getting it (just a little bit) wrong. So why not ask people who’ve been married for decades, and living in different cultures, for their advice and relationship philosophies? Who does she ask? Polygamous warrior women in Kenya, classy French ladies (who advised her to act like their husband’s mistress), Chilean dancers, Orthodox Jewish women in Jerusalem, and more. Jo is one of the most radiant and special people I’ve had on the pod and I know you;ll be able to hear in this episode. #dreamguest!

xox Angie

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Buy How to be Married HERE.

Jo Piazza is an award-winning journalist, editor, digital content strategist and author. Her latest book, How to be Married will be released by Penguin Random House in April 2017. Her novel, The Knockoff, became an instant international bestseller in May 2015 and has been translated into 13 languages.

She has written and reported for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Daily News, the New York Times, New YorkGlamour, CNN, Elle, Marie Claire and Slate. Jo regularly appears as a commentator on NPR, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. Her nonfiction book about progressive American nuns, If Nuns Ruled the World, was released to critical acclaim in September of 2014. The New York Times columnist Nick Kristof wrote about it in the Sunday Times: “In an age of villainy, war and inequality, it makes sense that we need superheroes. And after trying Superman, Batman and Spider-Man, we may have found the best superheroes yet: Nuns.” She is also the author of the highly acclaimed Celebrity Inc.: How Famous People Make Money, an economic case study of the Hollywood Industrial Complex and the novel Love Rehab.

Jo holds an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania, a Masters in Journalism from Columbia University and a Masters in Religious Studies from New York University. She lives in San Francisco with her giant dog and her husband.

Episode 101: Kristen Radtke on Writing From the Heart

Episode 101: Kristen Radtke on Writing From the Heart

Listen to Kristen Radtke HERE. Kristen Radtke masters a mode of storytelling that’s uniquely her own in her graphic memoir, “Imagine Wanting Only This.” Eerily-haunting, her book explores how certain special people touch and shape our lives, and why we’re sometimes attracted to places (and […]

Episode 100: Kelly Oxford on #NotOkay, Activism & Her New Book of Essays

Episode 100: Kelly Oxford on #NotOkay, Activism & Her New Book of Essays

Listen to Kelly Oxford HERE. This weeks guest, Kelly Oxford, tells it like it is — and she inspires millions of other women to speak their minds and share their experiences too. Her first book of essays “Everything is Perfect When You’re a Liar” was an […]

Stephanie Danler on Grub Street – with surprise Lit Up mention

Stephanie Danler on Grub Street – with surprise Lit Up mention

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“So many reasons to love Marlow …” Photo: Liz Clayman

Since Sweetbitter was published last May, it has gone on to become a best seller: It’s one of the few books to truly capture the frenetic experience of working in the restaurant industry (the protagonist is a server at a place that bears a close resemblance to the original Union Square Cafe). Now, the book is finally out in paperback, which means author Stephanie Danler is still on a book tour, even while working on a new nonfiction book. At least bouncing from New York to Los Angeles (where she calls home) meant she could hit Shake Shack and In-N-Out on the same day. Read all about it in this week’s Grub Street Diet.

Thursday, April 13
I wake up at 7 a.m., snuggled with my sister in Chinatown. Beg for coffee and fall asleep again. When I wake, there’s coffee next to the bed, and a “Sister Smoothie” in the fridge. Avocado, cherries, kale, and blueberries. She’s quite proud of her smoothies, but I love them because they’re a touch disgusting. I think it’s the aloe-vera juice. My favorite part is when Sister tells me how the smoothie will keep me full until lunch. Yeah, fucking right.

This is typical of my life in NYC now: My sister and I share a bed; she makes me all sorts of weird treats. At the end of the night, she walks me through her ten-step Korean skin-care program, and then we drink magnesium water and watch videos on Instagram in bed together. We were both married once, and this is so much more fun.

I make toast with packets of Justin’s almond butter that are usually in my suitcase. I also eat six spoonfuls of Sister’s homemade blackberry-rosé sorbet, and a handful of homemade pickled beets, while responding to emails that I should have responded to weeks ago.

At 12 p.m., I have lunch with Robin Desser, editorial director of Knopf and one of my serious woman-crushes. I don’t know how I got this lunch-date dispensation, but we don’t ever seem to run out of conversation. She picked Benoit, Alain Ducasse’s, and I see the words “asparagus and morels” on the menu, and I’m done. It’s served in a coquette, a sort of a stew of barely blanched asparagus, and I dip lots of bread into the gravy that’s left. I get a Campari soda, even though it feels early. I’m celebrating. The Sweetbitter paperback just hit the IndieBound best-seller list, which is based on independent bookstores’ sales. It means more to me than any other list.

I go to Pressed Juicery in Columbus Circle after lunch for a Wellness Shot and the new rosewater lemonade. Cannot get sick. The Wellness Shots work.

At 5 p.m., I meet my agent, Mel Flashman, and editor, Claudia Herr, at Janklow & Nesbit, where Mel has a bottle of Billecart Champagne already chilled. The number of bottles of Billecart we’ve had in the past year … they should sponsor me. Mel’s office has a terrace with stunning views, and we go out there to have a very sentimental toast to the paperback. I didn’t think I would be so moved by this release, but I am. I think about how hard we’ve all worked — how hard everyone works, from assistants to booksellers to art directors, to make books — and I’m totally weepy. And the paperback feels more permanent. This is the form the book will be in when I die. Sounds morbid, but it feels like a miracle. But yikes! Can’t get drunk before my event at Greenlight Bookstore.

By 6 p.m., I’m in Fort Greene and we run into No. 7 — after battling an unholy number of people on the rush-hour 5 train — where I wolf down fried-broccoli tacos, pickles, and French fries with a glass of rosé. Chug water. Get nervous and feel ill, but that’s all normal. Chug water.

At Greenlight Bookstore, I’m in conversation with the brilliant and beautiful Angela Ledgerwood of the Lit Up podcast. I’m super nervous, there’s a huge crowd, and it’s warm in the room. Every time I feel shaky, I just stare at Angela’s soothing blue eyes and drink more rosé. The Greene Grape picked this curious Pinot Noir from Hungary that I’m heartily recommending to the crowd.

I black out during events. It’s better that way. When we finish, I’ve sweated through my cardigan, and it’s dripping down my sides. Silk dress. Covered in sweat. Mortified. Drink more rosé and an entire bottle of water. Feel my usual disembodied, surreal self when strangers come up to me and tell me how important the book is to them. I can’t process it in the moment, or I would start bawling. My publicist, Angie Venezia, makes sure I sit down, breathe, hydrate, and sign books, and gets me rosé at Black Forest beer garden. I’m in awe of the incredible friend-family that surrounds Sweetbee.

At 11:45, Sister puts a face mask on me and makes us Golden Milk. It’s toasted coconut milk (also homemade) mixed with turmeric, ashwagandha, and ghee. She says, “It’s so simple!” because toasting coconut flakes and making your own coconut milk is something most people whip up after work. The longer she stays in NYC, the weirder she gets — I’m extra obsessed with her lately.

Friday, April 14
At 7 a.m., Sister rolls over in bed and says, “Should I take a personal day?” and I say, “Of course,” because it’s a medium-quiet workday for me. I think for a second that it means we can sleep in, but then I smell the coffee.

We go to Dimes for overpriced green smoothies (kale, coconut water, avocado), and go the Greenmarket in Union Square so Sister can load up for her cooking projects. She’s just getting into pickling, which is soooo 2009, but it’s cute on her. We get watermelon radishes, purple radishes, and golden beets. She wants to make ratatouille, and I roll my eyes and say, “You should only serve ratatouille in summer.” Sister ignores me and buys these pretty hot-house tomatoes and basil.

Lunch is at Kiki’s with my hardcover publicist from Knopf, Jordan Rodman. Years ago, after my novel was acquired, I got invited to the Knopf 100th-anniversary party, where I was completely overwhelmed and starstruck (Patti Smith’s surprise performance was just one highlight). I went to the bar afterward and was greeted by a tipsy and enthusiastic 24-year-old assistant publicist named Jordan. She was quoting my book to me. She forced me to take selfies with her. I thought she was insane. Four months later, she was promoted and became my publicist. No exaggeration: It was the best thing that ever happened to me or Sweetbitter.

Jordan’s keeping kosher for Passover like a good Jew, and I eat all the bread and tzatziki and fava mash, and the eggplant spread and the lemon potatoes (best thing on the menu). I eat so much of that stuff, I feel ill. Jordan tells stories that make me grateful that I’m not 25 anymore. Then I help her write text messages to guys she needs to tell to fuck off.

Sister and I walk over the bridge to Williamsburg. It’s spring in the greatest city in the world. We go to Marlow & Sons, a tradition. So many reasons to love Marlow, but the real reason is that they have been putting out exquisite, hyperseasonal food for the 11 years I’ve been going there — how is that possible? How is the raw-asparagus salad we order (asparagus, almonds, mint, preserved lemon) the most delicious thing I’ve eaten in 2017? I do not know the answer, and I don’t need to. I don’t dissect restaurants anymore, just adore them.

We rounded the salad out with oysters, chicken-liver pâte, and the scallops with butter beans, yogurt, and za’atar. We’re drinking a Slovenian Chardonnay that has the salinity and dryness of a Manzanilla sherry. Touch of amaro at the end. A-plus meal.

Happy birthday, Molly Prentiss! Molly wrote the critically acclaimed Tuesday Nights in 1980, and I’m an original superfan of hers. We go to Troost, a newish bar in Greenpoint that reminds me that everyone in New York is de facto cooler than everyone in L.A. We’re in the garden, and I drink Campari sodas so I’m not hungover (Campari soda = not hungover, the foundational equation of my life), and Molly made a heritage cake from her great-great-grandmother’s recipe. It’s dense and not too sweet; I accidentally eat most of it.

Magnesium water and Golden Milk back in Chinatown. Sister says she’s drunk and it’s my fault. Whatever, I’ll take the blame. She looks happy when she falls asleep.

Saturday, April 15
I hate flying. I barely slept from anxiety. I don’t know if my Campari-soda plan worked. I instinctively know that Shake Shack at JFK will cure me. I get a bacon-egg-and-cheese and a dollop of sriracha. It’s risky, as I’m a little nauseous, but I feel human when I finish.

I can only eat “puffed air” snacks on planes. Too nervous for real food. I eat half a bag of Snapea Crisps. They always make me a little sick, but are so satisfying. I can’t drink coffee before flights (see: anxiety), so I’m gulping cups of black tea and water, and sweating and working. Despite this lifetime of flying anxiety, or perhaps because of it, I get a ton of writing and reading done on planes.

I land at LAX at noon. Insert emoji with heart eyes. My love, Matt, picks me up at the airport with In-N-Out — protein-style, no onions — a huge bottle of Mountain Spring water, Pressed Juicery (apple, lemon, cayenne), and lilacs. He also has Mayra, our stolen dog (short version: I fell in love with my best friend’s dog and now routinely steal her). Experts take note, this is how you have Shake Shack and In-N-Out in the same day.

Before New York, I was in Aspen for work. Before that, Spain. Sometimes, I lose track of where or who I am. I have four days in Los Angeles for the entire month of April. I’m ravenous and hugely relieved to be home.

I go to the Silver Lake Farmers Market for dinner supplies. Matt’s sister and his nieces are arriving, and I want to cook — it makes me feel like I’m living in my “real life.” Asparagus (obsessed much?) for a spring-farro salad — a riff on something out of Chez Panisse Vegetables. I add Feta. Serve with a shallot vinaigrette, my recipe where I macerate the shallots for at least 30 minutes and throw in a ton of anchovies.

April in California is ridiculous. I buy fava beans, pea shoots, asparagus, Meyer lemons, strawberries, super-spicy large-leaf arugula, eggs, butter, and a whole chicken to roast. Couldn’t find English peas, so I buy a bag of frozen ones. Do I need to compare the farmers’ market in L.A. to the one in NYC? No, it’s too cruel.

We run by Silverlake Wines for house wine (Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire), Campari, and a bottle of Manzanilla sherry.

We eat in the backyard in Echo Park, and it’s glorious out. Matt’s nieces are pure joy. They miraculously love asparagus. I keep a huge bag of candy in our closet, so I can ensure that they love me the most of all the adults. We have the asparagus-and-farro salad with a roasted chicken and a few sweet potatoes. I drink a Campari mixed with grapefruit LaCroix, my house variation of a Campari soda.

At 9 p.m., it’s magnesium water, ginger tea, exhaustion.

Sunday, April 16
Easter! And back in my kitchen! Currently obsessed with Canyon Coffee made in the Chemex. While Matt is hiding Easter eggs in the yard, I make an assortment of toast for everyone in the house (avocado, peanut butter and banana, butter, and honey). We are taking the girls to Universal Studios for Harry Potter World.

Let’s get this out of the way — Harry Potter is dope. Universal Studios is one of Dante’s circles of Hell. We drink Butterbeer from a stand in Hogsmeade (if you don’t know these HP references, I can’t help you), which is butterscotch soda with this whipped-cream head on it. Definitely the most sugar I’ve had in a decade.

We have lunch at the Three Broomsticks, where I eat fish and chips. The plate is entirely fried and brown, and they weren’t generous with the French fries. The adults split a 20-ounce beer that costs $12. I throw out my neck on one of these god-awful virtual-reality rides, so I have another beer and four Tylenol when we get to Simpsons Land — appropriately, a Duff Beer at Moe’s Tavern, which I guess is pretty cool.

Ten hours at Universal Studios. After 4 p.m., I refuse to eat anything there. But no complaining — the girls are so happy, and it really did feel like Harry Potter for a second. Plus, we’re going to El Compadre for dinner. El Compadre is not trendy or authentic, but reminds me of the Mexican restaurants I grew up with in Southern California. Big booths, mariachi music, huge messy plates of enchiladas, fajitas sizzling in cast iron, and goblets of margaritas. It’s been around since the ’70s, and it’s pretty much perfect.

Enchiladas verdes, at least six baskets of chips; I drink all of my Pacifico and most of Matt’s. I want to be a kid again, so I can lie down in the booth. Exhausted.

Monday, April 17
Canyon Coffee in Chemex at 7 a.m. Two pieces of toast with almond butter and banana. I have a list a mile long — accounting, scheduling, interviews, deadlines, not to mention I’m out of clean underwear. Busy morning.

Surprise lunch with the love of my life (also a child, is this weird?), Luca, and his mom, Carly de Castro. We go to Honey Hi on Sunset Boulevard, and I have the breakfast bowl (sweet potato, turmeric poached egg, avocado, sumac). Then I run around my yard with Luca on my back, even though my neck is kind of broken. I miss my people so much when I’m traveling.

Matt takes off half a day, so we can have a minute to ourselves. Then, we’re shopping for dinner. We go to Fish King in Glendale for salmon and hit the Whole Foods. I never thought I would shop in the suburbs, but I have an irrational fear of driving in downtown L.A. I also hate closed parking structures. Nothing scarier. I guess I am getting soft.

Dave Peterson comes over, a.k.a. Mayra-the-stolen-dog’s actual owner. He’s just back from Coachella and is producing a ton of shows in the desert at Pappy & Harriet’s, so we are ships crossing in the night. Pre-music-festival-producer days, Dave and I worked at Tía Pol together, and he went on to become a cook, working all over Mexico and Brooklyn. He’s one of the only people I know in L.A. that thinks about food the way I do.

We cook together often and ambitiously. But tonight is easy because everyone is brain-dead. I’ve been making these salmon-and-brown-rice bowls and throwing in whatever is in season: Today, I blanch asparagus (no one is surprised), and roast eggplant glazed in miso (recipe from Lucky Peach Vegetables). I quick-pickle seedless cucumbers in rice vinegar, chop up radishes and scallions, and poach the salmon in barely simmering, lemon-infused water for eight minutes exactly. The whole thing comes together with a sweet miso dressing, and we eat outside under the lights, and Dave tries to tell me — yet again — that the Beatles are overrated. Yeah, right, listen to the White Album and go fuck yourself.

Dave brings a Riesling from Nahe, and I have a California pét-nat (naturally produced sparkling wine, typically from France) that’s cloudy and funky and tastes more like kombucha than wine. I love weird wines, but sometimes, I just want structure. In comes the Riesling, razor-sharp acidity and unbelievably dry.

Magnesium water, ginger tea, quiet.

Tuesday, April 18
Canyon Coffee in Chemex. Toast with almond butter with a side of Elizabeth Bishop poems. Greens 4 juice from Pressed. This is my last day in L.A. for five weeks, the thought of which makes me manic.

All the leftovers become a weird lunch. It’s Saturday’s farro salad, all the asparagus, the cucumber pickles, last shreds of salmon, and some sweet miso dressing. I put that on a huge pile of arugula and poach an egg. Drink two grapefruit LaCroix throughout the process. I literally emptied the fridge into a bowl, and it was fucking delicious.

Vanilla Almond Milk Coffee from Pressed. I mix Sun Potion ashwagandha into it, which is supposed to be good for adrenal fatigue. Coffee is not good for adrenal fatigue. I don’t know. I’m trying.

By 5 p.m., I’m stress-eating rice crackers (another puffed-air snack), avocado, and hummus (from the guys at the farmers’ market; it’s like silk). I’m in a haze, and then I look down and the entire bag of crackers is gone. It happens.

I am in a packing nightmare. I need clothes for a cross-country book tour, in addition to two music festivals, New York, and a wedding. I do not have the mental bandwidth to figure it out, so I panic and go to my love Alex McKenna’s house for help.

First, she gives me a glass of a super-nutty Chenin Blanc. I should mention that her house — in addition to possessing a closet called “Narnia” that takes up the entire garage — is also like a natural-wine bar. Whereas you can find me on the plane drinking Pinot Grigio from a box, Alex will not compromise on wine. Her fridge is filled with pét-nats, and chilled Northern Italian reds. Her “house wine” is a Trousseau from the Jura. Everyone at domaineLA and Silverlake Wines can recognize her voice when she phones in her orders.

I leave her house — after two glasses of wine, a bowl of these crazy potatoes she roasted with ghee and smoked sea salt that she was saving for dinner (whoops), and a chilled Orgaid face mask — with two Reformation dresses. She’s an amazing emergency resource.

Magnesium water, ginger tea. Epsom salts in bathtub. Matt’s out of town for business. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been in a house alone. Double-checking my suitcase, and my alarms. I touch all my books and go to bed with Plainwater by Anne Carson.

Off to Massachusetts and D.C. this week. Then Iowa City, Wichita, Chicago, and so on, and so on for the next month. I say yes to everything. I remind myself of all the joy in this, even the chaos. I often say that the privilege of my life is getting to write. But it’s not. It’s the food and the love. I am fucking #grateful.

Episode 99: Viet Thanh Nguyen on the Vietnamese-American Refugee Experience

Episode 99: Viet Thanh Nguyen on the Vietnamese-American Refugee Experience

Listen to Viet Thanh Nguyen HERE. The multi-talented Nguyen knows what it means to inhabit a life radically shaped by history. In 1975, he and his family came to The United States as refugees in the wake of the Vietnam War. His debut novel, The […]

Episode 98: Julie Buntin on the Childhood Friends That Shape Us

Episode 98: Julie Buntin on the Childhood Friends That Shape Us

Listen to Julie Buntin HERE. My brilliant and dear friend Julie Buntin joins me to dive beyond the pages of her remarkable novel, Marlena. She tells the story of two girls, Cat & Marlena, and the wild year that will cost one her life, and […]

Episode 97: Alyssa Mastromonaco on her Heady Years as President Obama’s Deputy Chief of Staff

Episode 97: Alyssa Mastromonaco on her Heady Years as President Obama’s Deputy Chief of Staff

Listen to Alyssa Mastromonaco HERE. Subscribe on iTunes HERE.

How does a fastidious IGA check-out chick and public school kid from upstate New York, with no connections and no Ivy League education, end up a few feet from the Oval Office, working as the youngest-ever woman to be deputy chief of staff for the president of the United States? Mastromonaco shares the memories and mishaps that shaped her journey, from desperately trying (and failing) to get a job in politics after college to finding herself joking with Obama about his penchant for black mock turtlenecks in her memoir, Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House. She reveals way more in this special and very funny episode. After listening to this show you’ll know why Obama wanted to keep her around for as long as he could!

xoxox Angie

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Buy Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House here.

Esquire’s 5 Best Books of March (written by moi)

Esquire’s 5 Best Books of March (written by moi)

Whether you prefer your reading sexy and satirical, political and polarizing, or simply amusing, the year’s best releases are guaranteed to hit the spot by providing some much-needed escapism, while challenging the status quo and sparking timely conversation. The best books of 2017 (so far, […]

A Few of My Favorite Things on Undrrated

A Few of My Favorite Things on Undrrated

I was lucky enough to be featured on Marina Khidekel’s newsletter Undrrated.  I did reveal that I’m a lover of BBQ ribs, and that I prefer to devour them alone, so no one can judge the significant stack of bones left in my wake. Some things […]

Episode 96: Mohsin Hamid on Immigration, Life in Pakistan & Donald Trump

Episode 96: Mohsin Hamid on Immigration, Life in Pakistan & Donald Trump

Listen to Mohsin Hamid HERE.

Sure to win a swath of awards this year, Mohsin Hamid‘s timely and important novel Exit West is about young lovers Nadia and Saeed, whose relationship is pressurized and contorted by war. In this unnamed city, suspended somewhere between the past, the present, and the future, text messages and one hour of daily internet connection link Nadia and Saeed with the world beyond a home that is disintegrating day by day. First the rich flee, then communication halts, and as the violence escalates they must decide how and when to escape their crumbling homeland. This timely novel brings the frightening reality of war outside your window up close and makes it deeply personal.

Mohsin and I had to make our conversation a quick one, but somehow this forced us to get right to the point, and I hope the result is as compelling as his beautiful book.

xoxox Angie

Photo credit: Ed Kashi

Mohsin Hamid is the author of four novels, Moth Smoke, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, and Exit West, and a book of essays, Discontent and Its Civilizations.

His writing has been featured on bestseller lists, adapted for the cinema, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, selected as winner or finalist of twenty awards, and translated into thirty-five languages.

Born in Lahore, he has spent about half his life there and much of the rest in London, New York, and California.

 

 

Episode 95: Ariel Levy on Life Before and After “Thanksgiving in Mongolia”

Episode 95: Ariel Levy on Life Before and After “Thanksgiving in Mongolia”

Listen to Ariel Levy on the podcast HERE. This week’s guest is Ariel Levy, a self-described professional explorer. She’s crisscrossed the globe in search of these unique experiences as a staff writer for The New Yorker since 2008, and now turns her interrogative eye on […]

Padma Lakshmi on How Her Indian Heritage Influenced Her Career

Padma Lakshmi on How Her Indian Heritage Influenced Her Career

Here’s how she turned challenges–like moving to a new country, struggling to lose weight, and battling endometriosis–into opportunities. PHOTO: FLICKR USER ELLEN WALLOP, ASIA SOCIETY   It’s easy to look at Padma Lakshmi and think, here is a person made for the spotlight. But for […]

Ode to the Wing

Ode to the Wing

New York’s Chicest Women-Only Club

In a matter of months, The Wing already has a 3000-strong waiting list.

(lead image credit: Harper’s Bazaar)

The pastel-hued Wing. Photo: Supplied

Late last year, after a decade trying to make it in New York’s hectic media world, with a weekly podcast interview series with writers I admire, I had fully embraced the freelance lifestyle. But, that meant working from home and I had developed a habit of talking to myself that didn’t stop when I was writing in cafés (and often overstaying my welcome). Like a lot of women, I wondered if my love affair with expensive, crowded New York had run its course—especially after America elected a pussy-grabbing reality TV star as president.

Enter The Wing, an unapologetically feminine and elegant, women’s-only co-working space and social club. Founded by Audrey Gelman and Lauren Kassan and located in Manhattan’s historic Ladies’ Mile District, The Wing is a nod (and a wink) to the late 19th century female-centric commerce and ladies’ clubs that flanked the area around the iconic Flatiron building.

Step out of the elevator and you walk into a light-filled, pastel-hued space with views of the Manhattan skyline. To the right there’s a café nook offering an array of fair trade coffee, tea and chai, with treats and snacks from Brooklyn-based Ovenly bakery and the Lower East Side’s healthy-hotspot Dimes (both female owned and operated, like all their amenity partners). To the left, there’s the library curated by librarian and writer R.H. Lossin, plush velvet couches for cozy catch-ups, and communal work tables punctuated by fragrant floral arrangements. Going to the bathroom has never been so enjoyable because it’s stocked with Glossier products (founder Emily Weiss is a member). Add marble showers, a pump room, a beauty room (with on-demand hairstyling and makeup services) and the place is like a fantasy come to life.

The Wing's beauty room. Photo: Supplied

The Wing’s beauty room. Photo: Supplied

Looking around I can usually spot recognisable faces, like that of Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine, or co-founder and editor-in-chief of Refinery29 Christene Barberich, or rapper Remy Ma, but the vibe at the Wing whispers, “we are all equal here—merely women trying to live our best lives.” For me, the simple act of saying hi to the woman next to me often leads to the most inspiring stories.

The project was born when Gelman, a former political and public relations consultant (she’s also Lena Dunham’s good pal and the inspiration for the character Marnie on GIRLS), met former Class Pass studio empowerment director Kassan, and they bonded over the working-lady frustrations most of us can relate to, especially if you live any distance from where you work. The term ‘bag lady’ comes to mind—a harried woman lugging around a tote stuffed with a computer, makeup, workout gear, and an after-work outfit and heels. Gelman’s original idea, called Refresh, aimed to provide women with a practical personal space where they could stash their stuff, take a shower and freshen up.

“We became energised by the idea of creating a modern, robust community of women who wanted to link arms, collaborate, lift each other up, and give back to society,” says Kassan. (Each member must commit to three days of volunteer service a year.) After a crash course in fundraising—they raised $2.4 million from majority female investors— and The Wing was born, opening it’s doors in October last year.

Gelman and Kassan enlisted Marianna Martinelli, The Wing’s community director & general manager, to cultivate a diverse group of founding members. “We wanted all kinds of women at different stages in their lives, from different backgrounds, and with varying interests,” she explains. “For the founding members we reached out to women in our extended networks and contacted women we admired out of the blue and hoped they would answer our emails.”

Today The Wing has 600 members, but there is a 3000-plus wait list for membership. The cost is surprisingly low for a city hardly known for being affordable: $1,500 per year for the 200 founding members, or $1,950 (or $185 per month) for later recruits.

When Kimberly Drew, social media manager at The Metropolitan Museum, joined the Wing, she was looking for a co-working space. “I surely wasn’t expecting to find a second home,” Drew says. “The empowerment, criticality, and energy that I’ve felt in The Wing has renewed my spirit in ways that I could not have imagined. Pre-Trump and post-Trump, the Wing has been a space for radical fellowship.”

Kassan says The Wing’s broad variety of members is its key, bringing women together without boundaries and judgment, to realize, “It’s okay to care about politics and your lipstick.” From braiding workshops, to off-site Beyoncé-themed dance classes, to the monthly book club lead by New York Times contributor Iranian-American Porochista Khakpour, the programming and events reflect this philosophy.

The resounding feedback is more, more, more…Someone even started the hashtag #bringthewing hoping to entice the pair to open a location in their city. The last burning question is, ‘why no men?’ For Gelman and Kassan it’s less about excluding men and more about the special kinetic energy that is created when large groups of women gather together. “The women who belong to The Wing say they are more productive, feel more affirmed and more confident and feel less alone,” concludes Gelman.

That’s something a lot of women—this one included—sorely needs as well.

Episode 94: Jami Attenberg On Being your Own Kind of Grown Up

Episode 94: Jami Attenberg On Being your Own Kind of Grown Up

Listen to Jami Attenberg HERE. Jami Attenberg is the best! I’ve been waiting to have her back on the show ever since Emily and I interviewed her about her last book Saint Mazie. As you will hear, All Grown Up, knocked me about and triggered […]

Episode 93: On the Korean Immigrant Experience in Japan

Episode 93: On the Korean Immigrant Experience in Japan

Listen to Jin Min Lee HERE.  I’m excited to celebrate International Women’s Day with my convo with writer Min Jin Lee, whose latest novel Pachinko is a stellar example of female resilience through the ages. Pachinko illuminates a period of history unknown to many of us – early […]

Episode 92: Daphne Merkin on Reckoning with Depression

Episode 92: Daphne Merkin on Reckoning with Depression

Listen to Daphne’s episode HERE.

Daphne Merkin is one of my favorite people and she is hands down one of the best writers I’ve ever come across. This is one of my favorite episodes. Daphne is a former staff writer for The New Yorker and a regular contributor to Elle Magazine — she’s written books and won prizes and now she shares her most personal story – about living with depression. This conversation, like the book, is not gloomy but fascinating and life affirming. It will also help you understand the people you love who live with depression. I adore Daphne and I feel lucky to call her a friend. Listen and you’ll soon see why.

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Buy This Close to Happy here.

Daphne Merkin is a former staff writer for The New Yorker and a regular contributor to Elle. Her writing frequently appears in The New York Times, Bookforum, Departures, Travel + Leisure, W, Vogue, Tablet Magazine, and other publications. Merkin has taught writing at the 92nd Street Y, Marymount College, and Hunter College. Her previous books include Enchantment, which won the Edward Lewis Wallant Award for best novel on a Jewish theme, and two collections of essays, Dreaming of Hitler and The Fame Lunches, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She lives in New York City.

 

Image credit: Tablet Magazine

Episode 91: Alana Massey on the Cult of Celebrity & Being a Winona Vs a Gwyneth

Episode 91: Alana Massey on the Cult of Celebrity & Being a Winona Vs a Gwyneth

Listen to Alana Massey and Payton Costell Turner HERE. This week we bring you writer and cultural critic Alana Massey whose book of essays All The Lives I Want: Essays About My Best Friends Who Happen to be Strangers examines celebrity womanhood and how it shapes our […]

Episode 90: Jennifer Wright on How Understanding Plagues Can Help Humanity

Episode 90: Jennifer Wright on How Understanding Plagues Can Help Humanity

Listen to JENNIFER WRIGHT HERE. I’ve wanted to have Jennifer Wright on the pod ever since I read her first book, It Ended Badly: Thirteen of the Worst Breakups in History. Jennifer has a rare ability to make history funny, titivating, and relevant, in way I’ve not […]

Episode 89: Ayelet Waldman on how Microdosing with LSD Changed Her Life

Episode 89: Ayelet Waldman on how Microdosing with LSD Changed Her Life

Listen to AYELET WALDMAN’S EPISODE HERE.

This episode is sure to have you rethinking all you know about LSD and drugs in general. In her memoir, A Really Good Day – How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life, Ayelet Waldman reveals what happened when she followed through with microdosing herself with LSD for a month to help combat her depression. Our conversation go to many places including using MDMA as marriage therapy, the state of the justice system, and more.

Jillian Tamaki best

Image credit: Jillian Tamaki for The New York Times.

Ayelet Waldman is the author of the novel Love and Treasure, Red Hook Road, Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, and Daughter’s Keeper, the Mommy-Track series, as well as the essay collection Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace. She was a Federal public defender and taught a course on the legal implications of the War on Drugs at the UC Berkeley Law School.

Episode 88: Patricia Bosworth on The Men in Her Life, Her Time at The Actors Studio & Tea with Audrey Hepburn & Givenchy

Episode 88: Patricia Bosworth on The Men in Her Life, Her Time at The Actors Studio & Tea with Audrey Hepburn & Givenchy

LISTEN TO PATRICIA’S EPIDOSE HERE. Patricia Bosworth has written biographies about Marlon Brando, Jane Fonda and Diane Arbus, and now she applies her talents to her own fascinating life in her second memoir, The Men in My Life. The book chronicles Bosworth’s adolescence and sexual awakening, her […]

Ayelet Waldman’s Unusual “Trip” & Favorite Books Revealed

Ayelet Waldman’s Unusual “Trip” & Favorite Books Revealed

Upcoming Lit Up podcast guest Ayelet Waldman was featured in The Sunday Book Review in the New York Times sharing her favorite books. Next week she’ll be on the show to talk about her most recent book,  A Really Good Day about micro dosing with LSD. Illustration […]

My 5 Must-Read Books of FEB for Esquire

My 5 Must-Read Books of FEB for Esquire

Whether you prefer your reading sexy and satirical, political and polarizing or simply amusing, these stand-out books in February are guaranteed to hit the spot by providing some much-needed escapism, while challenging the status quo and sparking timely conversation.

The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen

The multi-talented Nguyen knows what it means to inhabit a life radically shaped by history. In 1975, he and his family came to The United States as refugees in the wake of the Vietnam War. His debut novel, The Sympathizer, winner of last year’s Pulitzer Prize, revisited the conflict that changed the trajectory of his life and inserted a much-needed Vietnamese perspective to the largely American-driven narrative. In The Refugees, a collection of stories 20 years in the making, he gives voice to the Vietnamese communities in Southern California (where he grew up) and to those living in the country he fled, acknowledging that the ghosts of war reverberate for generations.


Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Saunders, the master of strangeness, celebrated for his quirky, sharp and humorous short stories, shares his first novel with the world and it does not disappoint. When Saunders discovered that a grief-stricken Abraham Lincoln repeatedly visited his 11-year-old son’s crypt in the days following his death in February 1862, he couldn’t get the image of the grieving father out of his mind. What results is a playful and poignant supernatural wonder of a novel. Unfolding over the one night Lincoln inhabits the “bardo,” the transitional place between life and death according to Tibetan tradition, Lincoln is surrounded by ghosts past and present. These ghosts are sexy, rude, naughty, haughty and shocking. (The 166-member, start-studded cast of the audio book might give you a hint of what’s in store: Julianne Moore, Susan Sarandon, Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, Carrie Brownstein, Miranda July, Lena Dunham, Jeffrey Tambor, Don Cheadle, Patrick Wilson, and Ben Stiller all lend their voices to the recording.)


Abandon Me by Melissa Febos

Anyone who’s read Febos’s memoir Whip Smart—about her four years working as a professional dominatrix at a midtown Manhattan “dungeon” while in grad school—knows that her work explores boundaries as deftly as it defies categorization. In this new collection of essays, she once again obliterates convention with her erotically charged and intellectually astute recollections of family, relationships and the search for identity. In Abandon Me, Febos interrogates what it means to be the product of an aloof sea captain and a psychotherapist, how the mysteries of her childhood shaped her, and how pain, addiction, and the need for human connection forged in her such deep desires and longings.


Running by Cara Hoffman

In the 1980s, teenager Cara Hoffman ditched college and took off for Europe, occasionally sleeping in train stations and stowing away in Venetian water taxis. Just as her funds were running dangerously low, she heard about a place she could crash and earn a small commission working as a “runner” in Greece—that is, walking the length of trains and luring in unsuspecting tourists to the seedy hotels in the red-light district of Athens. Running, the novel inspired by these experiences, explores the dark, alluring intersections between love and survival. When Hoffman’s three young protagonists unwittingly become involved in an act of terrorism, the bonds they’ve formed are irreversibly fractured and each must deal with the cost.


Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Thirty years in the making, Lee’s sweeping, multi-generational novel is set in 1900s Asia and is informed by stories she heard about legal and social discrimination against Koreans in Japan, a history largely denied and erased. This story kicks off with an unplanned pregnancy and the promise of a less shameful life in Japan and evolves into addictive family saga packed with forbidden love, the search for belonging, and triumph against the odds.


Angela Ledgerwood is the host of Lit Up, a podcast about books, writers, and all things literary.

Episode 87: Rachel Hulin on her Instagram novel “Hey Harry, Hey Matilda”

Episode 87: Rachel Hulin on her Instagram novel “Hey Harry, Hey Matilda”

LISTEN TO RACHEL HULIN’S EPISODE HERE. This week’s episode with writer and photographer Rachel Hulin is the perfect antidote to these politically uncertain times–sometimes you simply need to sit down with a smart and lovely person and have a conversation that snaps you into the […]

Episode 86: Roxane Gay on “Difficult Women”

Episode 86: Roxane Gay on “Difficult Women”

LISTEN TO ROXANE GAY HERE. I’ve read Roxane Gay’s work ever since I discovered her writing in grad school in 2010. Whenever there’s a huge cultural moment–a political catastrophe, an attack on Feminism, or breaking Channing Tatum news—I’m eager to see what she has to […]

Episode 85: Lucinda Rosenfeld on the Liberal Bubble, Education, and Class

Episode 85: Lucinda Rosenfeld on the Liberal Bubble, Education, and Class

Hello 2017! We are back with an exciting lineup for the year that will hopefully inspire, challenge, and provoke.

LISTEN TO LUCINDA ROSENFELD HERE.

This week Lucinda Rosenfeld talks about her most recent novel “Class.” The novel is as provocative as the title suggests. It’s also laugh-out-loud funny and one hell of a gripping read. Lucinda’s portrait of Karen Kipple, a mother grappling with how to live by her liberal ideals, is as relatable as it is confronting. While skewering the liberal bubble (so talked about in the politics of late), the novel also raises important questions about education, equality, and race. Some of the topics raised made me uncomfortable, and the book will do the same, but my hope is that having these frank conversations raises awareness and prompts us to acknowledge our own hypocrisies.

Lucinda wrote a beautiful essay in The New Yorker in 2014 that I reference in the show. It’s called The Battle Hymn of the Papier-Mache Mother.

Hope you enjoy this episode. Let us know @litupshow on Instagram & Twitter.

xo Angie

You can buy CLASS here.

Episode 84: Julia Baird on the Real Queen Victoria

Episode 84: Julia Baird on the Real Queen Victoria

Listen to Julia Baird HERE. I’ve been following author, broadcaster, journalist, and fellow Australian Julia Baird for more than a decade. In fact, I’ve been lurking around waiting for an opportunity to speak with her because I admire her work so much. Now she’s written the […]

Episode 83: Siri Hustvedt on Art, Feminism, Psychology & the Mind/Body Conundrum

Episode 83: Siri Hustvedt on Art, Feminism, Psychology & the Mind/Body Conundrum

LISTEN to Siri Hustvedt on the pod HERE. For many years I’ve read Siri Hustvedt’s work and marveled at her intelligence. The breadth of her knowledge–of the sciences, arts and literature– is mind boggling. Now, she shares another example of her genius with the world; […]

Episode 82: David Szalay on “All That Man Is”

Episode 82: David Szalay on “All That Man Is”

Listen to David Szalay HERE.

I often talk to women, but this week I reversed the trend and spoke to a man about the experience of being a man. A truly original idea! The man is David Szalay. His book, All That Man Is, shortlisted for the Mann Booker Prize, is a collection of nine stories about men at different points in their lives, each struggling with what creates a meaningful life. The pros are vivid, arresting, and unsentimental, especially when covering terrain such as male desire, male failure, and the dreamlike (sometimes mundane) nature of being a human. For a cerebral analysis of the book, check out James Wood’s review in the New Yorker, Nine Tales of Crisis in “All That A Man Is” – David Szalay’s novel is bracingly unsentimental about male desire and male failure. (The cover illustration is by BJØRN LIE for the New Yorker and it accompanies this article.)

I thoroughly enjoyed this conversation with David and I hope you do too.

xoox Angie

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I had to include this dashing photo! Buy All that Man Is here.

Szalay (pronounced SOL-loy) was born in Montreal in 1974 to a Hungarian father and a Canadian mother. He grew up in London, was educated at Oxford, and currently lives in Budapest. He is the author of three previous novels, London and the South-EastThe Innocent, and Spring. In 2013, Granta named him one of its best young British novelists.

 

 

Episode 81: Jade Chang on Times of Social Upheaval and the American Dream

Episode 81: Jade Chang on Times of Social Upheaval and the American Dream

LISTEN TO JADE CHANG HERE. There may not have been a more positive presence in the Lit Up studio than that of Jade Chang. It’s little wonder that she’s the author of the astute, funny, and sharp novel, The Wangs vs. the World, a road trip romp […]

Episode 80: Trevor Noah on Being Born a Crime

Episode 80: Trevor Noah on Being Born a Crime

LISTEN TO TREVOR NOAH HERE. Riveting. Humble. Inspiring. This is how I would describe comedian, writer, and host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah. This week he joined me at NeueHouse, in New York, for an intimate conversation about his memoir Born a Crime, which should be required reading […]

Trevor Noah Reveals All

Trevor Noah Reveals All

Trevor Noah on Born a Crime Wednesday Nov. 16 @ NeueHouse

As host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah is one of the world’s brightest voices, and provides viewers in America and around the globe with their nightly dose of biting satire. With his new book, Born a Crime (released November 15), Noah turns his focus inward, giving readers a deeply personal, heartfelt, and humorous look at the world that shaped him. A collection of eighteen personal essays, Born a Crime tells the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. The conversation will be hosted by Angela Ledgerwood, host of the literary podcast Lit Up, followed by a book gifting and signing.

Wednesday, November 16th from 9-9:30PM      NeueHouse Madison Square 110 East 25th Street

Episode 77: Brit Bennett On Secrets & The Decisions That Shape Us

Episode 77: Brit Bennett On Secrets & The Decisions That Shape Us

Listen HERE. It’s not often that a book gets as much buzz as Brit Bennett’s, The Mothers, and wholeheartedly delivers. Brit’s breakout novel eloquently dives head-on into taboo topics like religion and black motherhood, and explores how we’re shaped by certain pivotal decisions more than others. […]

Episode 75: Maria Semple on her Witchy Powers, 90201, and Adapting to Seattle

Episode 75: Maria Semple on her Witchy Powers, 90201, and Adapting to Seattle

Listen here!  “Today will be different,” Maria Semple‘s latest novel, begins the way we might hope to begin a new day, with the words: “Today I will be present. Today, anyone I’m speaking to, I will look them in the eye and listen deeply. . . . […]

Episode 74: Anuradha Roy on Womanhood in India

Episode 74: Anuradha Roy on Womanhood in India

 

Immerse yourself in the life of a young documentarian searching for her roots in a seaside Indian pilgrim town in Sleeping on Jupiter, Anuradha Roy’s most recent novel about the legacy of war and the state of womanhood in India. One of the pleasures of this novel is getting to know three delightfully-gossipy old ladies who’ve embarked on a trip of a lifetime, as well as Roy’s determined and stoic protagonist Nomi. There is so much to this haunting novel and this conversation will delve into just some of the taboo topics brought up amongst its pages.

Let us know what you think of this episode on Twitter and Instagram @litupshow.

Buy Sleeping on Jupiter at your local independent bookstore or on Amazon here.

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Anuradha Roy’s latest book, Sleeping on Jupiter,  won the DSC Prize for Fiction 2016 and was nominated for the Man Booker prize 2016. It has been nominated for various other literary prizes, including the FT/ Oppenheimer Prize, Hindu Prize for Best Fiction 2015, the Tata Book of the Year Award 2015, and the Atta Galatta Bangalore Literature Festival Fiction Prize 2015. She won the Economist Crossword Prize for her second novel, The Folded Earth. Her first novel, An Atlas of Impossible Longing, has been widely translated and was picked as one of the Best Books of the Year by the Washington Post and the Seattle Times. It has been named by World Literature Today as one of the 60 most essential books on modern India and was shortlisted for the Crossword Prize.

Anuradha Roy won the Picador-Outlook Non-Fiction Prize in 2004 for her essay, “Cooking Women”.  She works as a designer at Permanent Black, an independent press which she runs with her husband, Rukun Advani. She lives in Ranikhet, India.

Episode 73: Emma Donoghue on Fasting, Fairies, and More

Episode 73: Emma Donoghue on Fasting, Fairies, and More

  This week we have Emma Donoghue on the show to talk about her latest novel, The Wonder. She’s the author of five story collections and eight other novels, including Room (2010), which was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize and adapted, with a screenplay by Donoghue, […]

Episode 72: Jessica Bennett & Aminatou Sow on Fighting Sexism & the Patriarchy at Work

Episode 72: Jessica Bennett & Aminatou Sow on Fighting Sexism & the Patriarchy at Work

  This week we recorded live from NeueHouse Madison Square with award-winning journalist and critic Jessica Bennett, and consultant and co-host of the podcast Call Your Girlfriend, Aminatou Sow. We gathered to talk about Jessica’s new book Feminist Fight Club, an incisive guide to navigating subtle sexism at […]

Episode 71: Ann Patchett on Step Families, and Lasting Bonds

Episode 71: Ann Patchett on Step Families, and Lasting Bonds

Bestselling author—winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize—Ann Patchett delights us with stories from her childhood, the inspiration for her new novel Commonwealth.

Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how a chance encounter at a Sunday afternoon, gin-fueled party, reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that influences the rest of their lives.

When, in her twenties, Franny begins an affair with the legendary author Leon Posen and tells him about her family, the story of her siblings is no longer hers to control. Their childhood becomes the basis for his wildly successful book, ultimately forcing them to come to terms with their losses, their guilt, and the deeply loyal connection they feel for one another.

Commonwealth took me right back to my own childhood, kicking around with my step brothers and sisters, and made me so grateful for my family. I hope you feel the same way about this book. Either way, I think you’ll want to read everything Ann’s ever written after listening to this conversation!

Get your copy Commonwealth from Ann’s bookstore, Parnassus Books, in Nashville and you’ll get a signed copy. They also have mugs, totes and an array of first editions.

Also, if you love dogs (hello Sparky!) and need to smile, check out Parnassus’s shop dogs here, the descriptions will brighten your day.

xoxo Angie

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Episode 70: Revisting Mary-Louise Parker on Men and Motherhood

Episode 70: Revisting Mary-Louise Parker on Men and Motherhood

  We’re republishing one of our favorite interviews, with actress and writer Mary-Louise Parker. If you missed it the first time, I hope you’ll take a listen now. As many of you know, Mary-Louise is the Tony, Emmy, and Golden Globe award-winning actress and writer […]

Episode 69: Steph Opitz and Rachel Fershleiser on Summer Reads

Episode 69: Steph Opitz and Rachel Fershleiser on Summer Reads

This week we decided to switch it up and have two of our favorite literary professionals share their favorite books of the season. Steph Opitz is the books reviewer for Marie Claire magazine and celebrates books via work with the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) and the […]

Episode 68: Colson Whitehead on The Underground Railroad

Episode 68: Colson Whitehead on The Underground Railroad

Our guest this week is Colson Whitehead. His latest novel, The Underground Railroad, chronicles a young slave’s adventures, from the hellish Georgia plantation where she is born, through many treacherous Southern states with varying barbaric laws, towards freedom in the north. This is an extraordinary, brutal, and challenging read. Oprah just picked it for her famous book club, so I suggest you go get it right away so you can be part of the conversation.

Please let us know what you liked about this episode on Twitter and Instragram @litupshow.

xox Angie

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Buy The Underground Railroad on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or better yet, at your local independent bookstore.

Colson Whitehead is the author of the novels Zone One; Sag Harbor; The Intuitionist, a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway award; John Henry Days, which among many awards was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and Apex Hides the Hurt, winner of the PEN Oakland Award. He has also written a book of essays about his home town, The Colossus of New York, and a non-fiction account of the 2011 World Series of Poker called The Noble Hustle. A recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a MacArthur Fellowship.

Episode 67: Nadja Spiegleman on mother daughter relationships & family legacy

Episode 67: Nadja Spiegleman on mother daughter relationships & family legacy

  This week our guest Nadja Spiegleman takes us deep into her family history. Be warned; her revelations are sure to spark some of your own. Nadja’s memoir, “I’m Supposed To Protect You From All This” is a riveting examination of the interconnected nature and […]

Episode 66: Jessi Klein on Facing Fear, Speaking Up & Modern Femininity

Episode 66: Jessi Klein on Facing Fear, Speaking Up & Modern Femininity

Jessi Klein has been making us laugh and challenging our ideas about womanhood, feminism, and issues like age-ism, gun control, and online harassment as the head writer and executive producer of Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer for years.  Now, you can get 100% pure Klein in […]

Episode 65: Jay McInerney on his Heady Early NY Years & “Bright, Precious Days”

Episode 65: Jay McInerney on his Heady Early NY Years & “Bright, Precious Days”

For those of us who ever dreamed of living in New York City, Jay McInerney’s cult sensation “Bright Lights, Big City” fueled and formed our impressions of the city. Particularly the possibility of bumping into our literary heroes and partying with them until the wee hours of the morning. Jay’s latest novel BRIGHT, PRECIOUS DAYS is also set in his beloved city, but his focus has shifted towards the marriage of Russell and Corrine Calloway, the couple we first met in Brightness Falls (1992) and again in The Good Life (2006). Unlike most of their contemporaries, Russell and Corrine are still married, and yet, after all their years of solidarity (not necessarily fidelity), their marriage may finally come unraveled, or will it? Set on cusp of Obama’s historic presidential win, and, amidst the heady days of 2008 before the financial crash, the novel exudes (and makes fun of) the excesses of the period.

Here, Jay talks about his early years as an aspiring writer before “Bright Lights” was published (like the time he first met Raymond Carver and got high), why he’s drawn to winemakers, and why he’s been writing about the same couple for 25 years.

Enjoy! This one is literary history in the making! Let us know what you think on Twitter @litupshow and Instagram @litupshow.

xoxo Angie

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Buy “Bright, Precious Days” on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at your local independent book store.

Photo credit: Michael Lion star

Lead image courtesy The Guardian.

Episode 64: Nicole Dennis-Benn and BuzzFeed’s Annie Daly on the Real Jamaica

Episode 64: Nicole Dennis-Benn and BuzzFeed’s Annie Daly on the Real Jamaica

Our guests this week are novelist Nicole Dennis-Benn and BuzzFeed Travel Editor Annie Daly. Together, we talk about Nicole’s debut novel “Here Comes the Sun,” a riveting look at the Jamaica beyond the pristine beaches and resorts that cater to foreigners. The novel closely examines […]

Episode 63: Stephanie Danler on coming of age in NYC, food culture, and lessons learned

Episode 63: Stephanie Danler on coming of age in NYC, food culture, and lessons learned

Not since Anthony Bourdain’s “Kitchen Confidential” and Gabrielle Hamilton’s “Blood, Bones and Butter” has there been a more hotly anticipated book set in the restaurant world than Stephanie Danler‘s debut novel, “Sweetbitter.” And, boy, does it deliver. The story swirls and crashes around its central […]

Episode 61: Revisiting the Genius of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Through Irin Carmon

Episode 61: Revisiting the Genius of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Through Irin Carmon

With all the controversy surrounding the Supreme Court and the upcoming election and the landmark opinion written by Justice Stephen Breyer last week that struck down a Texas law that would have closed all but nine abortion clinics in the state–supported by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg–it seemed like the perfect time to re-air our conversation with MSNBC journalist, Irin Carmon, about her book  Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (co-written by Shana Knizhnik).

It was an honor to talk to Irin, who has devoted her career to illuminating women’s rights, and who now pays homage to one women who’s paved the way for us all. If you don’t know much about the life and work of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, this is one not to miss!

Please let us know what you think of this episode on Instagram and Twitter @litupshow.

XOXO Angie

Irin Carmon is an MSNBC national reporter. Co-author of the NOTORIOUS RBG. Visiting Fellow at Yale Law School’s Program for the Study of Reproductive Justice.

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Buy Notorious RBG on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or at your local independent bookstore.

Episode 60: Arianna Huffington on the Science of Sleep

Episode 60: Arianna Huffington on the Science of Sleep

This week Arianna Huffington brings her warmth, wit and wisdom to the show. It was an honor hear about her life–from growing up in Athens, to Cambridge at sixteen, to moving to New York and founding one of the most powerful media companies in the […]

Episode 59: Max Porter on the Realities of Grief

Episode 59: Max Porter on the Realities of Grief

Sometimes a book comes along and knocks you off kilter–revealing your fears and longings–reminding you how to love and live better. Grief Is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter is one such book. This astonishing, rowdy, rude, and brilliant novel dramatizes one family’s experience of mourning with […]

Episode 58: Yaa Gyasi on Slavery and its Haunting Legacy

Episode 58: Yaa Gyasi on Slavery and its Haunting Legacy

This week’s guest Yaa Gyasi is being called the next Toni Morrison. Her debut novel, Homegoing–praised by Ta-Nehisi Coates–is set to start conversations at home and abroad. The story spans three centuries and follows two branches of a family tree beginning with half-sisters Effia and Esi, born in different villages in 18th-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an English slave trader and she goes to live in the comfort of the Cape Coast Castle, which is also used to hold slaves before they are sent across the Atlantic. Her sister Esi is captured by her village’s rival tribe, sold to colonizers and ends up right below her sister, imprisoned in the castle’s dungeon. Essi is then sold into slavery in America. Homegoing takes us from Ghana to America, and back again, weaving stories about Effia and Esi’s descendants through the Civil War, the coal mines of Alabama and the jazz clubs of Harlem to the present day.

This is an important book and I hope the conversation is too. Be sure to read Megan O’Grady’s piece about Yaa, How Two Young Women Reimagined the American Novel, in this month’s Vogue.

xoxo Angie

@litupshow on Instagram and Twitter.

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Image photo credit: Thibault Montamat, Vogue, June 2016

Buy Homegoing on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at your local independent bookstore.

Episode 57: Jessica Valenti on How Sexism & Misogyny Negatively Shapes Womens’ Lives

Episode 57: Jessica Valenti on How Sexism & Misogyny Negatively Shapes Womens’ Lives

Jessica Valenti has been fighting against misogyny and sexism, bravely paving the way for women online ever since she founded Feministing.com. In her memoir Sex Object, out today, she reveals how decades of harassment has shaped who she is today. In this week’s episode she talks […]

Episode 56: Revisiting the Wisdom of Lidia Yuknavitch

Episode 56: Revisiting the Wisdom of Lidia Yuknavitch

I hope everyone had a lovely long weekend. This week we revisit one of our most loved episodes of last year with the incomparable Lidia Yuknavitch. Since the episode aired, we’ve had so much positive feedback, so if you missed it then, I suggest taking a […]

Episode 55: Geoff Dyer on the Lure of Travel, Art & the Power of Place

Episode 55: Geoff Dyer on the Lure of Travel, Art & the Power of Place

I’ve read Geoff Dyer‘s work for years, so getting to talk to him in person about his work this week was an honor and a treat. One thing I didn’t expect when I started reading his most recent book–a series of fiction and non fiction travel essays–White Sands; Experiences from the Outside World, was the ensuing giggles that turned into hysteria. (Let me know when you reach page 120.) There’s something about the specific way he sees the world that makes me happy–as well as finding his take on the world amusing, he is extraordinarily clever, and I always feel like I’m ratcheting up my IQ when I endeavor to understand and absorb his words. The art lover and historian in you will devour the essays about Gauguin and some the major Land Art site-specific works in the US, not to mention his observations on the Forbidden City in Beijing, the Norwegian darkness, and picking up hitchhikers. I hope you enjoy this episode. You’ll be able to tell that I did!

Let us know what you think on Twitter and Instagram @litupshow.

xoxxo Angie

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Buy  on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at your local independent bookstore.

 

Geoff Dyer is the author of four novels: Paris Trance, The Search, The Colour of Memory, and Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi; two collections of essays, Anglo-English Attitudes and Working the Room; and six genre-defying titles: But Beautiful, The Missing of the Somme, Out of Sheer Rage, Yoga For People Who Can’t Be Bothered To Do It, The Ongoing Moment and Zona, about Andrei Tarkovsky’s film Stalker. A collection of essays from the last twenty years entitled Otherwise Known as the Human Condition was published in the US in April 2011 and won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. His most recent book Another Great Day at Sea: Life Aboard the USS George H W Bush.

Episode 54: Lindy West On Living with Pride

Episode 54: Lindy West On Living with Pride

Whether this week’s guest Lindy West is taking a stance on victim-targeting rape jokes, misogyny in the comedy world or defending her place in the world as a fat woman, her words are always sharp, brilliant and ever so witty. Furthermore, she is willing to speak […]

Episode 53: Kate Tempest on Evolving through Form

Episode 53: Kate Tempest on Evolving through Form

This week our guest is the British poet, playwright, and spoken-word performer Kate Tempest. She’s a force to be reckoned with — her talents are so plentiful and her intellect so sharp, that I’m sure you’ll be hanging on her every word, just like I […]

Episode 52: Molly Prentiss on Artistic Ambition & New York Stories

Episode 52: Molly Prentiss on Artistic Ambition & New York Stories

This week Molly Prentiss and I talk about her buzz-worthy debut novel “Tuesday Nights in 1980.” This book is the ultimate absorbing read. Prepare to be swiftly transported to the downtown art scene of New York, packed with renegade artists, ambitious critics, and opportunistic curators and gallerists–not to mention one fresh-faced beauty–swirling around a city that threatens to swallow them whole. All the chaotic energy of the art world (and it’s promise of fame) fuel this book and it’s an absolute pleasure to read, especially if you’ve ever loved the art of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and James Turrell, and imagined yourself in their midst.

In this conversation we share our own “coming to NY stories,” we talk about Molly’s idyllic upbringing in Santa Cruz, and, what it means to be part of a creative couple. We also discuss  a condition called Synesthesia–you’ll see why when you listen. If you want to learn more about the artist I mention, José Parlá, you can do so here.

This chat makes the beginning of a precious new friendship for me, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Let us know @litupshow on Twitter and Instagram.

xoxox Angie

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Buy “Tuesday Nights in 1980” on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at your local independent bookstore.

Episode 51: Maggie Nelson on Gender, Sexuality, and Beyond

In the introduction to this week’s show, I say that Maggie Nelson is one of the most electrifying writers at work today. It’s worth mentioning this again, because it’s true! Her writing defies, blends, and bends genres. Reading it makes me question why we’re so […]

Episode 50: Padma Lakshmi on Love, Loss, and What We Ate

Episode 50: Padma Lakshmi on Love, Loss, and What We Ate

This week’s episode is guaranteed to inspire. My guest is the one and only Padma Lakshmi. I was lucky enough to record with her last week at Soho House in New York to celebrate her memoir “Love, Loss, and What We Ate.” In it she […]

Episode 49: Matt Gallagher on War, Coming Home & Life After Combat

 

This week I sat down with former US Army Captain Matt Gallagher to talk about his debut novel Young Blood. I have to admit, I’m not routinely drawn to contemporary war novels, but when a friend suggested I read this book (and I began to devour it) I realized how important it was for me to read outside my comfort zone. I LOVED it. And, it only deepened my respect for the men and women willing to fight on my behalf, even if I am conflicted about war itself.

Young Blood centers around a young Lt. Jack Porter, a platoon commander of 40 men, stationed in Ashuriyah, Iraq, performing counterinsurgency operations as the military prepares to withdraw from Iraq. Matt (who is also the author of the acclaimed Iraq memoir Kaboom: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little War, based on the popular and controversial blog he kept while he was deployed) spent years in Iraq. So, you’re in the hands of someone who knows what he’s talking about.

I really enjoyed this conversation because the subject matter was so far from my experience, and, because Matt was such a gracious and generous guest. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Do let me know @litupshow on Twitter & Instagram.

xoxo Angie

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Buy Young Blood on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at your local independent bookstore.

Gallagher holds an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and has written for the NY Times, the Atlantic, the Daily Beast and Boston Review, among others.

Episode 48: Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney on Relishing Dysfunctional Families

This week, our guest Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney brings us her scandalous and sexy debut novel, “The Nest,” a comedy about greed, family rifts and money anxiety in New York City. The adult Plumb siblings Leo, Jack, Melody and Beatrice have built their adult lives on […]

Episode 47: Karan Mahajan on Living with Global Terrorism

Karan Mahajan‘s novel “The Association of Small Bombs” is, put simply, excellent. It’s devastating, sharp and tender. In it, Karan explores the disintegration of the lives of both Hindus and Muslims affected by a bomb blast at Lajpat Market in Delhi in 1996. Karan and I […]

Episode 46: Melissa Broder & Karolina Waclawiak on So Sad Today

This week we get up close and personal with two of the most exciting voices of today; Melissa Broder and Karolina Waclawiak. Melissa Broder is a poet, author of the collection of essays “So Sad Today,” a Twitter guru and a monthly horoscope columnist for Lenny Letter. Karolina is the author (most recently) of “The Invaders,” and she’s Buzzfeed’s LA-based Deputy Cultural Editor.

I was lucky enough to go to LA (where these two amazing ladies live) for this interview. What followed is an especially candid conversation about sex, overcoming anxiety, the complications of keeping desire alive, how open marriage works for some people, and how fetishes can come from specific childhood events. We hope you enjoy this episode with all its twists and turns. Please be in touch either way on Twitter & Instagram @litupshow.

xoxo Angie L

Melissa Broder is the author of four poetry collections: SCARECRONE, MEAT HEART, WHEN YOU SAY ONE THING BUT MEAN YOUR MOTHER, and the forthcoming LAST SEXT (Tin House, 2016). She is also the author of the essay collection, SO SAD TODAY (Grand Central, March 2016). Her poems appear in POETRY, The Iowa Review, Tin House, Guernica, Fence, The Missouri Review, Denver Quarterly, Washington Square Review, Redivider, Court Green, The Awl, Drunken Boat, et al. By day, she is Director of Media and Special Projects at NewHive. Broder received her BA from Tufts University and her MFA from City College of New York. She lives in Venice, CA. Photo credit: Courtesy Elle Magazine

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Buy So Sad Today on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or better yet, at your local independent bookstore.

Karolina Waclawiak’s critically acclaimed first novel, How To Get Into The Twin Palms, was published by Two Dollar Radio in 2012. Her second novel, THE INVADERS, which was published in July 2015, was recently optioned by ABC Television. AWOL, a feature she co-wrote with Deb Shoval, is currently in post-production. Formerly an editor at the Believer, she is now the Deputy Culture Editor at Buzzfeed. Waclawiak received her BFA in Screenwriting from USC School of Cinematic Arts and her MFA in Fiction from Columbia University. Her last name is pronounced Vahts-Slav-iak and she is repped by Janklow & Nesbit and Gersh.
Photo credit: Eric Burg

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Buy The Invaders on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or at your local independent bookstore.

Episode 45: Alec Ross on Innovation, Cyber Weaponry, and Robots!

Get ready for a conversation that will get you thinking (or in my case, freaking out) about the future. Globalization and the Internet have had a world-changing impact on markets and businesses over the last two decades. The question now is: What comes next? This […]

Episode 44: Hannah Tennant-Moore On Lust, Rage and Finding Buddhism

  Welcome to this week’s episode! I’d like to thank Paris-based, composer and bassist, Marc Marder, for our new, elegant and ever so sexy, intro music. You’ll get a hint of his immense talent in this brief opening snippet, but you can find more about his celebrated […]

Episode 43: Style Icon Garance Doré On Ditching Perfection and Getting On With it!

In the world of fashion Garance Doré needs no introduction – she is, perhaps, the most beloved style icon of today – stylish because she is both elegant and kind. Since starting her namesake blog ten years ago she has amassed a huge cult following, in part because of her keen eye, but also because she writes so honestly about what’s going on in her life. Now, she brings all her glorious energy to her new book Love Style Life.

Speaking of glorious energy, we have Paris-based, composer and bassist, Marc Marder, to thank for our new, elegant and ever so sexy, intro music. You’ll get a hint of his immense talent in this brief opening snippet, but you can find more about his celebrated film scores, theater music and concert pieces here.

This week we recorded live from Soho House in New York.  It was such a pleasure to find Garance as open and funny as she is online. We talked about how she manages anxiety, what being broke in Paris in the early years taught her, about growing up in Corsica, and so much more.

Please let us know what you think @litupshow on Instagram and Twitter.

xox Angie

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Buy Love Style Life on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or at your local independent book store.

Episode 42: Maria Konnikova on the Psychology of Crafty Con Artists

From the moment this week’s conversation starts with journalist and psychologist Maria Konnikova, author (most-recently) of The Confidence Game: Why We Fall For It…Every Time, you’ll be captivated by her enthusiasm for the criminal mind. Join us as we chat about the cunning antics of the […]

Episode 41: The Revelatory Mary-Louise Parker

Our guest this week is Mary-Louise Parker; the Tony, Emmy, and Golden Globe award-winning actress and writer of the exceptional memoir-in-letters, Dear Mr. You. It would be an understatement to say I was nervous for this interview – there were breathing exercises happening moments before she walked in […]

Episode 40: Alexander Chee on the Power of the 19th Century Parisian Courtesan

This week we go on a sumptuous and extravagant journey back in time to Second Empire Paris with Alexander Chee. We were lucky enough to record this conversation live at Soho House in New York.  It was the perfect setting to celebrate Alex’s epic novel The Queen of the Night which illuminates the life of legendary Opera soprano Lilliet Berne, from her humble beginnings as an orphan on the American Frontier to her transformation into a dazzling fixture in the court of Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie, before the fall of the empire. Add to this alluring setting, Lilliet’s time in a circus troupe, her fashion “internship” amidst the hidden tunnels of the Tuileries palace, and, her friendship with the Italian spy Comtesse de Castiglione (also Napoleon’s mistress) and you’ve got a delicious story that unfolds over decades and keeps you gripped till the end.

We hope you love this episode. Do let us know what you think on Twitter @litupshow and Instagram @litupshow.

Thanks for listening!

xo Angie

ALEX

Buy The Queen of the Night at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at your local independent bookstore.

Alexander Chee is the author of the novels Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night, He is a contributing editor at The New Republic, and an editor at large at VQR. His essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Tin House, Slate, Guernica, NPR and Out, among others. He is winner of a 2003 Whiting Award, a 2004 NEA Fellowship in prose and a 2010 MCCA Fellowship. He lives in New York City, where he curates the Dear Reader series at Ace Hotel New York.

Episode 39: Helen Ellis – Writer, Poker Player and Housewife Extraordinaire

This week’s conversation with writer, professional poker player and all-round Southern belle, Helen Ellis, author of the sardonic, brilliant and sharp-witted collection of stories American Housewife, may have you longing for a mint julep, or perhaps, more importantly, an expert bra fitter of your own – […]

Episode 38: Sunil Yapa on Action Through Empathy

Our guest this week Sunil Yapa talks about his first novel Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, which takes place on one cold November day at the 1999 The World Trade Organization protests in Seattle. There couldn’t be a more timely […]

Episode 37: ‘Spotlight’ Screenwriter Josh Singer & Journalist Megan Twohey on the Complexity of Truth

This week we have two exceptional guests to kick off 2016. Josh Singer, the co-screenwriter (with director Tom McCarthy) of the award-winning film “Spotlight, based on The Boston Globe’s 2003 Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church; and Reuters investigative journalist Megan Twohey, a 2014 Pulitzer-prize finalist for her investigative series “The Child Exchange” in which she exposed an underground Internet marketplace where parents who had adopted children from overseas could bypass social welfare regulations to get rid of children they no longer wanted.

Obviously the brain power in the room was overwhelming! I hope you hear just how passionate and dedicated Josh and Megan are to uncovering injustices in the world and to the future of journalism.

It’s very exciting to be back in the studio. We have amazing guests lined up for you in 2016 so stay tuned and help spread the word on Twitter @litupshow and Instagram @litupshow.

xoxo Angie

And go see this film!

Josh SingerMegan Twohey

Josh Singer was a writer on The West Wing and Fringe, and the writer of the feature “The Fifth Estate” biopic about Wikileaks’s Julian Assange. Before becoming a writer, her worked as a business analyst for McKinsey & Company,, he got a J.D. from Harvard Law School and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Megan Towhey is an investigative reporter with Reuters based in New York. A Pulitzer-prize finalist, she previously worked at the Chicago Tribune, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Moscow Times and National Journal.

Episode 36: Steve Toltz on resilience and human nature

  This week I was lucky enough to speak with fellow Aussie writer Steve Toltz, author of the highly acclaimed and universally loved, A Fraction of the Whole, shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the 2008 Guardian First Book Award. His new novel Quicksand is as wonderfully […]

Episode 35: Stacy Schiff Unpacks the Hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials

This week’s guest is the formidable Stacy Schiff. She’s the author of Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov) for which she won the Pulitzer Prize; Saint-Exupéry, a Pulitzer Prize finalist; and A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America, and Cleopatra: A Life. Her latest book, The Witches: […]

Episode 34: Lauren Redniss on unearthing unique stories and the challenges of climate change

 

I have been following Lauren Redniss‘s work for many years. When a friend suggested I get her second book, Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout, after it was a finalist for the 2011 National Book Award, I snapped it up right away. Reading it was a revelation. The blend of illustrations, investigative journalism and historical non-fiction captivated me from the first page. This week we talk to Lauren about her new book Thunder & Lightning: Weather Past, Present, Futurea look at how weather shapes the world and our daily lives, as well as the challenges we face with global climate change. Our conversation crosses continents, cultures and more. I suggest you get all her books right away. They are also the most beautiful gifts.

Let us know what you think of this episode on Twitter and Instagram @litupshow.

xoxo Angie

thunder-lightning-cover LaurenRedniss

Buy Thunder & Lightening: Weather Past, Present, Future on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or at your local independent book store.

Lauren Redniss is the author of Thunder & Lightning: Weather Past, Present, Future; Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout, a finalist for the 2011 National Book Award; and Century Girl: 100 years in the Life of Doris Eaton Travis, Last Living Star of the Ziegfeld Follies. Her writing and drawing has appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times, which nominated her work for the Pulitzer Prize. She has been a Guggenheim fellow, a fellow the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars & Writers, and Artist-in-Residence at the American Museum of Natural History. She teaches at Parsons the New School for Design in New York City.

 

 

Episode 33: Molly Crabapple on The Paris Attacks, Refugees, Her Art and witness journalism

This week I’m joined by artist, writer and activist Molly Crabapple to talk about her memoir Drawing Blood. It’s as visceral as the title suggests—there is so little separating her wild heart from the page, that her words (and illustrations), bursting with passion, will ignite […]

Episode 32: Alex Mar on Modern Witchcraft in America

When I hear the word “witches” I think of Salem, black cats and broomsticks. But according to our guest this week, Alex Mar, the real life world of witches couldn’t be farther from those storybook images. Her gripping book, Witches of America, explores not only modern-day, nature-worshipping witchcraft, but […]

Episode 31: Mary Gaitskill on Horses, Love, and Rihanna

Having Mary Gaitskill on the show this week was a dream come true—sorry for the cliché—but there’s no other way to say it. The Mare, her follow up to the National Book Award–nominated Veronica, may be her most poignant work yet. I’m always amazed when I see writers who manage to one up themselves when they already are creating such important work.

While of course I’m partial to our interview, Parul Sehgal wrote another incredible piece, Mary Gaitskill and the Life Unseen, in The New York Times, which is definitely worth a read.

This is also our last episode with Emily. We’ve had the most incredible journey together up to this point and Lit Up could not have happened or developed this far without her. Make sure to listen to the very end of this one to hear in her own words what she’s up to next.

xo Angie

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Buy The Mare on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at your local independent bookstore.

Our First Live! Episode at the Soho House with Bill Clegg

This week’s show is our first live recording from the Soho House in New York! I was so excited to kick off the Lit Up Literary Salon with NY-based writer and renowned literary agent, Bill Clegg. His novel Did You Ever Have a Family is a heartbreaking book for sure, […]

Episode 29: Irin Carmon on Notorious RBG Fighting for Equality

As soon as I heard that MSNBC journalist, Irin Carmon, and Shana Knizhnik, creator of the Internet sensation Notorious RBG Tumblr planned to co-author a book about the formidable Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I was relentless in my goal to get one of them on the show! Apparently […]

Episode 2: Hanya Yanagihara on Adulthood and Its Many Variations

Episode 2: Hanya Yanagihara on Adulthood and Its Many Variations

 

What a week. After many, many months of (admittedly very fun) preparation, Lit Up is here. Thank you for listening and for helping launch our pod into the world. With your help we made it onto the iTunes New & Noteworthy list, hurrah!

We could not be more excited to share this week’s episode with Hanya Yanagihara whose most recent book A Little Life is making a huge splash in the literary world.

First up though, Emily and I catch up on what happened in our lives this past week – Emily interviewed Jennifer Weiner about online authenticity and she fell in love with Heidi Julavits’s new book The Folded Clock (she’ll be on the show in a week or two – stay tuned).

I hosted my book club for a Cuban themed soirée inspired by Rachel Kushner’s Telex From Cuba (I got the title wrong in our discussion, sorry Rachel!). I was lucky enough to visit the home of artist Arne Svenson. His new series of photographs are on show in New York at The Julie Saul Gallery until May 30th.

The main event, our discussion with Hanya, is undoubtedly one of the best things that happened to me this week. Her candid, fresh and fierce take on life prompted me to ask myself some big questions and I’ve been thinking about snippets of our conversation at strange moments ever since. Please let Emily and I know what it brings up for you.

One book mentioned in the conversation is Subtle Bodies by Norman Rush.

Enjoy!

xx Angie

Hanya Yanagihara is an editor-at-large at Conde Nast Traveler and the author of the novels The People in the Trees and most recently A Little Life. She has created a beautiful Instagram account for A Little Life and of course has her own stunning feed account. Make sure to take a look.

You can buy A Little Life on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or better yet, your local independent bookstore. Get her first book The People in the Trees here on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

ALittleLife Yana_ 9780385536776_jkt_ap1_r1


My Diary

New Pioneer Works Bookstore in Red Hook & The Perfect Sunday

When artist Dustin Yellin was inspired to turn an abandoned iron works building in Red Hook, Brooklyn, into the progressive interdisciplinary art space Pioneer Works in 2011, I’m not sure he could have foreseen how much it was going to enhance the art landscape in New York.

Now the Pioneer Works team has opened a new bookstore at 289 Van Brunt Street, a block away from the main converted factory space, that will carry an eclectic selection of magazines, books, and zines that reflect Pioneer Works’ mission to create a space for art, education, and music through the lens of innovation.

Pioneer Works’ biannual magazine, Intercourse that features essays, interviews, poems, and artwork by contributors, many of whom have lectured, taught and/or held exhibitions at the center is available too. Stay tuned for book launches and readings. If they are anything like the other events going on at the home base, then this new bookstore is going to be a new gathering place for the literary and artistically inclined.

I suggest heading to Red Hook this afteroon (Sunday June 28th via the free IKEA ferry from Pier 11 if you are coming from Manhattan) for an array of cool stuff to do. Once off the ferry head to Brooklyn Crab for a lobster roll and a few games of corn hole, check out the new bookstore around the corner, and then at 8pm get your butt to Pioneer Works to see for The Little Black Egg Big Band (otherwise known as Yo La Tengo and friends) who will play with Oren Ambarchi, and an array of jazz mainstays including Susie Ibarra, Daniel Carter, Taylor Ho Bynum, and more, for a blissful summer sundown soirée. Buy tickets for the event here.

See you there!

XOXOXO Angie

Yo La Tengo!

Yo La Tengo
Yo La Tengo

 


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