Recent Posts

Stephanie Danler on Grub Street – with surprise Lit Up mention

Stephanie Danler on Grub Street – with surprise Lit Up mention

What a treat to be mentioned in Stephanie Danler’s Grub Street Diet piece, Drinks Butterbeer, Manzanilla Sherry, and Lots of Campari by Sierra Tishgart “So many reasons to love Marlow …” Photo: Liz Clayman Since Sweetbitter was published last May, it has gone on to become […]

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 define the other’s for decades. Julie beautifully balances dialogue in the past and present tense while showing the invaluable strength that a long-lasting friendship brings in the darkest of times.

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

xoxo Angie

Marlena_featured

Photo credit: Nina Subin

Buy Marlena here.

Julie Buntin is from northern Michigan. Her work has appeared in the AtlanticCosmopolitanOThe Oprah MagazineSlateElectric Literature, and One Teen Story, among other publications. She teaches fiction writing at Marymount Manhattan College, and is the director of writing programs at Catapult. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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 […]

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, […]

I Few of My Favorite Things on Undrrated

I 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 Angie loves:
STYLE
Sea New York is hands down my favorite clothing brand. It was started by two best friends, Sean and Monica, who grew up together in upstate New York. I adore their denim, embroidered cotton blouses and flowy spring dresses. The pieces are made in Manhattan (by hand in the fashion district), and even though they don’t have a brick-and-mortar store they can be found in places like Barneys and Intermix. In terms of shoes, not only areVeja sneaks vegan and sustainable, they are chic and cute. I love the gold and silver hues for adults and the Bisou pair for kids are fab.”
FOOD & DRINK, NYC
Elsa. The Art Deco design touches at this new Brooklyn bar on Atlantic Ave will make you swoon, as will the mirrored kaleidoscopic restrooms. The quality of the cocktails and vino goes without saying. I’m also loving The Spaniard. The elegant wood paneling and the 10-person leather booths (as well as the mighty-long whisky list) make this Irish-meets-old-school-New York-bar in the heart of West Village the best newcomer in years.”
PODCAST
Maeve in America. Irish comedian and writer Maeve Higgins (who’s appeared onInside Amy Schumer) makes understanding the hot-topic of immigration in America funny, poignant and enlightening by interviewing people from varied backgrounds about their experiences. Maeve’s pod is one of the most compelling post-Trump creative projects I’ve come across.”
BOOK
Marlena by Julie Buntin. Set to be one of the most talked about debut novels of the year, this coming-of-age psychological thriller is about the kind of dangerous adolescent friendship that would have freaked your parents out, big time.”
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 […]

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.

How Padma Lakshmi’s Indian Heritage Has Influenced Her Career
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 the executive producer and host of the Emmy-Award winning TV show Top Chef, now in its 14th year, success has been a much longer, more interesting road than one might think at first glance—a lifelong journey to embrace her Indian heritage and her unique, cross-cultural experience.

Lakshmi’s entrepreneurial successes stretch across a broad spectrum: modeling; cookbooks (The Encyclopedia of Spices & Herbs!, Tangy, Tart, Hot & Sweet, and the award-winning Easy Exotic); a rice and lentil line also called Easy Exotic; a pottery and glassware company called the Padma Collection; a jewelry line; acting; television hosting; and a best-selling memoir, Love, Loss, and What We Ate. When you read this book, you might be surprised to find out how long it has taken Lakshmi to feel comfortable in her own skin, and how her career began to succeed once she came to terms with, and became proud of, the twists and turns in her fascinating life.

The young vegetarian’s first culture clash with the U.S. was with food, naturally. “My grandfather (who incidentally loved America) warned me: ‘Be careful,’” Lakshmi says. “’It’ll be snowing outside and you will order something as innocent and pure as a vegetable soup, but in that broth is lurking the melted flesh of an animal!’” Throughout her childhood, Mexican, Japanese, and Chinese restaurants were family favorites because they served rice—the only item on the menu she would eat.

Decades later, Lakshmi launched Padma’s Easy Exotic, a line of six frozen rice and lentil dishes designed for working parents who want a quick, healthy weeknight meal on the family table. (Each rice variety is vegan and gluten-free, and three of the six flavors are 100% organic and non-GMO certified.) “I’m not inclined to reach for packaged foods when I’m cooking at home, so it was important for me to create something I was comfortable putting in my own daughter’s mouth,” says Lakshmi. Fittingly, the entrees are based on family recipes passed down through generations. The Madras lemon rice—a combination of rice, red jalapeño, black mustard seeds, lemon, and gram lentils—is what her grandmother made every weekend in Chennai.

Food, and the ritual of preparing it, has shaped Lakshmi’s life and career. She spent a decade modeling in Europe, working with the likes of Helmut Newton–the first photographer to book her because of an eye-catching scar on her arm (the result of a car accident). Lakshmi later embarked on a professional acting career. For her first TV role in the U.S., she gained 20 pounds, and though it was a cinch (and a pleasure) to gain the weight, it wasn’t so easy to lose it after filming.

Searching for a healthy way forward, she began to experiment with her favorite recipes, tweaking them for what would become the basis of her first cookbook, Easy Exotic: A Model’s Low Fat Recipes from Around the World.

When asked, “What does a model know about food?” her answer was: a lot. The book won the International Versailles Event for Best Cookbook by a First Time Author at the 1999 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Lakshmi identifies this as a professional turning point. “It opened my eyes to the possibility that I could actually have a career in food—that it wasn’t just a lark.”

After her first television cooking show was canceled, Lakshmi feared the worst–but then the Food Network asked her to draw upon her global travels and family Indian recipes for Padma’s Passport and Planet Food, which gave her a renewed sense of confidence. “Now I see that the exposure to both [Indian and American] cultures gives me a broader perspective—both in my tastes, and in my knowledge,” says Lakshmi, who says it’s her mission to make the world’s most exotic flavors more user-friendly and accessible to everyone.

True to that vision, Lakshmi is in the process of relaunching her line of spices, but she is taking her time to find the right distribution partner, careful to apply the lessons she learned the first time she introduced the seasoning line on the Home Shopping Network (HSN). “When we first launched, we were so excited to have HSN on board because they are such a great distributor, but we didn’t realize the HSN customer was not really our target market. It was like selling a baseball bat to a basketball player.”

This time, she’s recalling advice from her late partner and mentor Teddy Forstmann. “The reason he excelled at business was because he was good at people. He was good at sussing out what was really important to the person sitting across any table from him. If he could give that to them in exchange for whatever he needed from them, he did it. He taught me in real, concrete ways how not to be penny wise and pound foolish.”

Her basic rule in negotiating is built around the fact that a good deal happens when both parties are happy. “You will never get 100% of what you want, but you have to remember that the contract is only the first step of dealing with this other person or entity. You have to work with each other, and no one wants to work with someone being difficult from the get-go.”

Lakshmi finds herself constantly dealing with the challenges that come from being a business owner–and it certainly hasn’t all been smooth sailing. “One of the most difficult business decisions I’ve had to make was choosing to shut down my jewelry line,” she says. “I had orders for six new stores when we closed. But I became pregnant, and because of the legal issues that ensued, I felt it was too much to maintain a fine jewelry company at that time. I had to let go of four employees. It was very painful.”

Her road to good health has also been a bumpy road–but again, she found a way to overcome adversity. In 2009, Lakshmi cofounded the Endometriosis Foundation of America, an organization that advocates for early diagnosis, additional research, and awareness of the chronic disease that affects over 190 million women worldwide. Lakshmi is one of those women. “To me, success is when you’re at a point in your life when you can help other people. Not only monetarily, but when you can use your power and influence to really make a difference when and where people need it.”

For now, most of Lakshmi’s power and influence comes from the hit show Top Chef. “The pleasure one gets from watching Top Chef is largely voyeuristic, and has an element of fantasy to it,” Lakshmi says. “It’s wonderful to have these complicated dishes broken down for you by four knowledgeable palates, but I don’t think most people watch Top Chef thinking, ‘I’m going to make this at home!’”

The best part of the show for Lakshmi is launching the careers of so many talented chefs. “For so much of my life, until about a decade ago, I was so busy trying to make it, I couldn’t think past that. Now I feel that the most rewarding part of doing well is to be able to create opportunity for others.”

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 […]

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 20th Century relations between Korea and Japan. If you’re looking for a sweeping and absorbing historical saga (you’ll become smarter reading this book) then this is the novel for you. Listen to Min Jin’s extraordinary story of how long it took her to write this book, her experience of living in Japan, and more.

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Buy Pachinko here.

Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko (Feb 2017) is a national bestseller, a New York Times Editor’s Choice and an American Booksellers Association’s Indie Next Great Reads. It is a Top Ten Books of the month for Amazon. It has been listed as a top read or a most anticipated book for BBC.com, NBC’s Bill Goldstein’s Weekend Today, Newsweek.com, Stylist UK, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com, LitHub, The Millions, Chicago Review of Books, BuzzFeed, Book Riot, BookPage, Elle.com, Daily Mail UK, BookBub, Nylon, and it is a Book of the Month Club selection. Pachinko received a Starred Review from Kirkus, Library Journal and Booklist. It has been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, WNYC’s The Leonard Lopate Show, Publishers Weekly Radio, and NPR’s Book Reviews. Lee’s debut novel* Free Food for Millionaires (May 2007) was a No. 1 Book Sense Pick, a *New York Times Editor’s Choice, a Wall Street Journal Juggle Book Club selection, and a national bestseller; it was a Top 10 Novels of the Year for The Times of London, NPR’s Fresh Air and USA Today.

Min Jin went to Yale College where she was awarded both the Henry Wright Prize for Nonfiction and the James Ashmun Veech Prize for Fiction. She attended law school at Georgetown University and worked as a lawyer for several years in New York prior to writing full time. She has received the NYFA Fellowship for Fiction, the Peden Prize from The Missouri Review for Best Story, and the Narrative Prize for New and Emerging Writer. Her fiction has been featured on NPR’s Selected Shorts and has appeared most recently in One Story. Her writings about books, travel and food have appeared in The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, The Times of London, Vogue (US), Travel + Leisure (SEA), Wall Street Journal and Food & Wine. Her personal essays have been anthologized in To Be Real, Breeder, The Mark Twain Anthology: Great Writers on His Life and Works, One Big Happy Family, Sugar in My Bowl, and Global and the Intimate: Feminism in Our Time. She served three consecutive seasons as a Morning Forum columnist of the Chosun Ilbo of South Korea. Lee has lectured about writing, politics, film and literature at various institutions including Columbia University, French Institute Alliance Francaise, Tufts, Loyola Marymount University, Stanford, Johns Hopkins (SAIS), University of Connecticut, Boston College, Hamilton College, Hunter College of New York, Harvard Law School, Yale University, Ewha University, Waseda University, the American School in Japan, World Women’s Forum, Korean Community Center (NJ), the Tokyo American Center of the U.S. Embassy and the Asia Society in New York, San Francisco and Hong Kong. In 2017, she won the Literary Death Match (Brooklyn/Episode 8).

From 2007 to 2011, Min Jin lived in Tokyo, Japan where she wrote Pachinko (February 2017). She lives in New York City with her family.

photo copyright 2016 Elena Seibert

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 […]

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 HistoryJennifer has a rare ability to make history funny, titivating, and relevant, in way I’ve not come across before. Her passion and enthusiasm jumps off the page and makes her most recent book Get Well Soon: History’s Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them, a most compelling and important read. From understanding what makes a good leader (we see you Marcus Aurelius), to the hysteria of laughing and dancing plagues, to the origin of the condom (hello syphilis?!), Jennifer takes us on an journey through time that informs our present.

I loved this conversation. Let me us know what you think. We are @litupshow on Twitter and Instagram and Jennifer @jenashleywright on Twitter and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Victor Medina San Andrés

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 […]

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 credit: Jillian Tamaki for The New York Times

What books are currently on your night stand?

“Certainty,” by Madeleine Thien; “A Meal in Winter,” by Hubert Mingarelli; and the book that’s currently breaking my heart, “Dear Friend, From My Life I Write to You in Your Life,” by Yiyun Li.

What’s the last great book you read?

“Exit West,” by Mohsin Hamid, which I consumed in one frantic gulp a day or two after the election. It was as if Hamid knew what was going to happen to America and the world, and gave us a road map to our future. It’s a novel about refugees and doors — portals — that magically whisk them away from the dangerous and deadly place to somewhere new. Sometimes those new places are themselves dangerous and deadly. Sometimes they’re not. Generally, I am far too practical and cynical to enjoy magic realism, but this book blew the top off my head. It’s at once terrifying and, in the end, oddly hopeful.

What’s the best classic novel you recently read for the first time?

This summer my husband and I were invited to Dublin for Bloomsday, and at the last minute I found out that we were both to be interviewed, onstage, as part of the festivities. I had assumed I’d be safely watching from the wings. In a panic, I tried (again) to read “Ulysses.” The first time I attempted the book was in my senior year of high school, under the tutelage of an enthusiastic English teacher. Once a week, early in the morning before school started, we’d gather in his classroom and struggle through a page or two. I made copious margin notes to the first dozen or so pages of my mother’s college edition. Then I threw in the towel.

I’ve repeated that experience, minus the notes, six or seven times in the decades since. This time, however, I had a stroke of genius. Instead of battling it out on the page, I listened to it on audiobook. I got much farther than I ever had before, listening daily as I tromped through the woods with my sweet (and now sadly departed) dog. However, the audiobook is so damn long. Twenty-seven hours! Not even my dog had the energy for that much hiking. I ended up going onstage having only read about half of the book I was ostensibly there to celebrate. I’d intended to fake it — it was Bloomsday in Dublin; surely I could count on the audience to be sufficiently in their cups not to notice — but I’m a compulsive confessor. Within a minute I’d admitted the truth. I like to think the audience was laughing with me, not at me.

What’s your favorite book no one else has heard of?

“The Queen’s Gambit,” by Walter Tevis. I have exactly zero interest in chess, and yet I adore this book. It’s suspenseful and heartbreaking and just wonderful.

Which writers — novelists, playwrights, critics, journalists, poets — working today do you admire most?

For inspiration in these times I look to Dahlia Lithwick and Emily Bazelon, who are to my mind the two most sophisticated American writers on the intersection of law and politics. Rebecca Solnit’s essays on environmentalism and feminism are required reading. Peggy Orenstein’s work on gender, especially her latest book, “Girls and Sex,” is fascinating and important.

For diversion (also important in these times), I highly recommend two writers of speculative fiction, Charlie Jane Anders and Naomi Alderman.

What’s the last book that made you laugh?

“Loving Day,” by Mat Johnson, about a man who describes himself as a “racial optical illusion.” Among other fine moments is a particularly delicious one featuring a broken condom.

The last book that made you furious?

I was enraged when I read “The New Jim Crow,” by Michelle Alexander, but with a productive fury. The book is a fierce dissection of the American justice system and of the policies of mass incarceration that have immiserated generations of African-Americans. The country has begun to reckon with the systemic racism polluting the criminal justice system, inspired in no small part by Alexander’s book and by others, like “Between the World and Me,” by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Which genres do you especially enjoy reading? And which do you avoid?

I’ll read good writing in any genre. Well, maybe not nurse romance. Though, come to think of it, “Atonement,” by Ian McEwan, is one of my favorite contemporary novels, and what is that if not a nurse romance?

How do you like to read? Paper or electronic? One book at a time or simultaneously? Morning or night?

I read both paper and electronically, though when I’m home I prefer to read on paper. Out of the house, I read electronically, primarily because my greatest fear in life is finishing my book and being stuck with nothing to read.

Though I’m a frantic multitasker, what that usually means is that I do many things poorly, all at once. That’s fine if what I’m screwing up is cooking dinner or doing my taxes. Truly important things like reading, however, demand focus and attention. I read one book at a time, until I’ve either finished it or tossed it aside as not worth the effort.

I read primarily at night. My husband works at night, and my children are all old enough to be uninterested in my company, so every evening at around 8 I crawl into bed, watch TV for an hour or two (or six, depending on what Netflix is streaming), and then read until I fall asleep, at around midnight or 1 a.m. If a book is good, though, I’ll just keep reading until I’m done, whatever time that is. My favorite thing about being an adult is that there is no one who calls “Bedtime” and snaps off my bedside light right in the middle of the best part. I get to read for as long as I want.

How do you organize your books?

Not long ago, my husband decided in a fit of who knows what lunatic O.C.D. to organize the books in our summer house by color, an odd move when you consider that both our sons are colorblind. The result has been that between the months of June and August, I have no idea where anything is, and am forced to just buy a second copy of any book I want to reread. A tip for book jacket designers looking to stand out: There are very few purple book jackets out there. Black, on the other hand, is sadly overused.

What kind of reader were you as a child? Which childhood books and authors stick with you most?

I didn’t have a lot of friends, my parents didn’t have cable television and I’m not at all athletic, so really all I ever did as a child was read. I read while I brushed my teeth, I read while I walked to school. I slipped novels behind my textbooks and read in class.

My very favorite book was “Half Magic,” by Edward Eager. I loved “The Railway Children,” anything by Roald Dahl, the Little House books and the Borrowers series. I was an avid reader of science fiction, an obsession that began for me, like for so many, with “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” and moved on to books like “The Chrysalids” and “The Day of the Triffids,” by John Wyndham, and the Chronicles of Amber, by Roger Zelazny. When I was very little, I loved the All-of-a-Kind Family books. Unlike most of the books I loved as a child, which hold up remarkably well, when I bought the All-of-a-Kind Family books to read to my kids, I found them to be nauseatingly cloying. Everyone was so well meaning and kind. I much prefer the twisted world of “Harriet the Spy.” As a preteen I went through a Holocaust literature phase. “The Diary of Anne Frank” was my gateway drug.

You’re organizing a literary dinner party. Which three writers, dead or alive, do you invite?

Alice Waters, Julia Child and Yotam Ottolenghi. But only if it’s potluck.

Of the books you’ve written, which is your favorite or the most personally meaningful? And do you have a favorite among the books written by your husband, Michael Chabon?

“Daughter’s Keeper” is not my best, but it’s the novel that means the most to me. It was with “Daughter’s Keeper” that I finally realized that I wasn’t a lawyer on maternity leave, but a writer with aspirations beyond just keeping myself from going crazy while trapped in the house with babies. The book is about a young woman who gets caught up in a drug deal and ends up facing a long prison sentence. It’s about the war on drugs and about motherhood. There are things I’m embarrassed of in the book — my thinking on race in particular has evolved, as has, I hope, my prose — but, looking back, I admire my ambition.

The two midwives in “Telegraph Avenue” are my favorite of my husband’s characters. They feel more real to me than do most people I know.

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 […]

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 newsI’m eager to see what she has to say. Her view point helps broaden and illuminate my own. In other words, I’m grateful she exists and she’s brave enough to share her opinions (and her captivating fiction) in the face of cowardly haters. Her new book of short stories Difficult Women out by Grove Press is brutal, honest, and riveting. It makes us acknowledge the darkness in the world, while observing the resilience of women. It was a great honor to speak with Roxane this week and I hope you enjoy hearing her talk about her work, her life, and the current state of the globe.

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

xox Angie

Photo credit: Jay Grabiec

Buy Difficult Women here.

Roxane Gay’s writing appears  in Best American Mystery Stories 2014, Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, A Public Space, McSweeney’s, Tin House, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, Virginia Quarterly Review, and many others. She is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. She is the author of the books Ayiti, An Untamed State, the New York Times bestselling Bad Feminist, and Difficult Women and Hunger forthcoming in 2017. She is also the author of World of Wakanda for Marvel.

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 […]

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; a compelling and radical collection of essays on art, feminism, neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy called, A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women: Essays on Art, Sex, and the Mind. Speaking with Siri was such a privilege. Our convo ranges from the artwork of Louise Bourgeois, why she took so long to begin psychoanalysis, and the challenges of the female artist.

I think you’ll be able to see from this picture just how special this conversation was. Please share with your friends if you like it.

xoxo Angie

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Buy A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women here.

I have included the extensive bio from her website below because it’s ever so interesting and will give you some background to this episode…

Siri Hustvedt was born February 19, 1955 in Northfield, a small town in southern Minnesota, to a Norwegian mother, Ester Vegan Hustvedt, and an American father, Lloyd Hustvedt. Most of her early life was spent in Northfield with her parents and three younger sisters, Liv, Asti [the scholar and author of Medical Muses], and Ingrid. She and her sisters attended local public schools. Ester stayed home with her children but later worked as a French instructor and in the library at St. Olaf College. Lloyd Hustvedt taught Norwegian language and literature at St. Olaf and was the first King Olav V professor of Norwegian Studies. He became Executive Secretary of The Norwegian American Historical Association, an unpaid position, to which he devoted four decades of his life. The Association was a repository for a vast archive of immigrant letters, documents, diaries, newspapers, recipes, and books, few of which had been put into order when Lloyd took over the job. He spent countless hours in Rolvaag Library at St. Olaf, documenting the archive materials. In 1966, he won the McKnight Prize for Literature for his biography of Rasmus Björn Anderson, a Norwegian American scholar and publisher. In 1980 he was awarded the Order of St. Olav, Knight First Class by the King Olav V. In 1985, he was the first American to be recognized by the America-Norway Heritage Fund for his contributions to Norwegian American understanding and for preserving the history of Norwegian immigrants in the United States. He died February 2, 2004. Ester still lives in Northfield.

Siri first visited Norway in 1959 when her mother took her and her sister Liv for a summer visit. In the academic year 1967/68, the family lived in Bergen. The four girls were enrolled in the Rudolph Steiner School and spent the following summer in Reykjavik, Iceland, where Lloyd was studying the sagas. In the autobiographical essay “Extracts From the Story of a Wounded Self,” she describes her voluminous reading over that summer and her decision to become a writer. She continued her intensive reading and wrote poetry and stories during her high school years.

In 1972, she returned to Bergen to live with her mother’s sister and her husband and spent a year as a student at the Cathedral School and graduated with an Artium degree. She returned to the United States, attended St. Olaf College, and graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in history in 1977.

She worked for a year in her hometown as a bartender, saved money, and headed for New York City in 1978 to study English at Columbia University on a fellowship. She continued to write poetry, was a research assistant to the poet Kenneth Koch, a professor of English at Columbia, and worked at a number of odd jobs: waitress, researcher to a medical historian, department store model, and artist’s studio assistant. In 1982 she began teaching as a graduate assistant at Queens College. Her first poem appeared in The Paris Review The Paris Review in 1981.

Later that same year, she met the writer Paul Auster at a poetry reading at the 92nd Street Y. She married him on Bloom’s Day, June 16, 1982. In 1983, she published a small book of poems Reading to You with Station Hill Press.

In the spring of 1986, Hustvedt defended her doctoral dissertation on language and identity in Dickens: “Figures of Dust:A Reading of Charles Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend.”The dissertation turned on Dickens’ use of pronouns, metaphor,and images of fragmentation as they relate to a vision of the self, concerns that have continued to occupy Hustvedt in both her fiction and non fiction.In the dissertation, she drew on the work of Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, Julia Kristeva, Emile Benveniste, Roman Jakobson, Mary Douglas, and Paul Ricoeur among others.

Hustvedt and Auster’s daughter, the singer-songwriter Sophie Hustvedt Auster was born on July 6, 1987.

Fiction

After receiving her PhD, she turned to fiction and began work on her first novel, The Blindfold, two sections of which were published in literary magazines as stories and later reprinted in Best American Short Stories 1991 and 1992. The novel was published in the United States by the now defunct Poseidon Press in 1992 and was translated into seventeen languages.

Five novels followed: The Enchantment of Lily Dahl, What I Loved, The Sorrows of an American, The Summer Without Men, and The Blazing World. What I Loved and The Summer Without Men were international bestsellers.The Blazing World was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize and won The Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction in 2014.

Art

She began writing about art in the 1995 when Karen Wright, then the publisher of Modern Painters asked her to choose a single painting in the exhibition Johannes Vermeer at the National Gallery in Washington. That essay “Vermeer’s Annunciation” argues for an interpretation of Woman with a Pearl Necklace as an Annunciation rather than a Eucharistic image, which permanently altered scholarly perceptions of the image. She has continued to write about visual art and, in 2006, published a collection of her writing on painting with Princeton Architectural Press, Mysteries of the Rectangle.She has continued to write and lecture on art. Essays on the subject appear in her essay collection A Plea for Eros, and the last third of Living, Thinking, Looking is devoted to art, as are a number of essays in A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women.She has lectured at the Prado and Metropolitan Museums, an in January 2010 she was the Schelling Professor of Art at the Akademie der Bildenen Kunste (The Academy of the Visual Arts) in Munich where she delivered her lecture: “Embodied Visions: What Does it Mean to Look at a Work of Art?”

Psychoanalysis and Neuroscience

Hustvedt has had migraines and their accompanying auras since childhood and has long been fascinated by psychoanalysis, neurology, and psychiatry. Since the late-nineties, she has been immersed in neuroscience and the philosophical quandaries of the mind-brain debates. She began attending the neuroscience lectures at The New York Psychoanalytic Institute in New York and was subsequently invited by Mark Solms to attend the Mortimer Ostow Neuropsychoanalysis Discussion Group, which she attended for two years until the group was disbanded after Ostow’s death in 2006. She was a volunteer writing instructor for psychiatric in-patients at The Payne Whitney Clinic at New York Hospital for four years. In 2006, she suffered from violent shaking while delivering a memorial speech for her father, a symptom that became the subject of her book: The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves. The book is both a personal account of Hustvedt’s experience as a patient with an unexplained symptom and an exploration of the ambiguities of diagnosis through the lenses of medical history, neurology, psychiatry, psychoanalysis,neuroscience, and philosophy.

Since the publication of The Shaking Woman, Hustvedt has lectured on neuroscience, psychoanalysis, philosophy, and literature at international conferences. In 2011 she delivered the annual Sigmund Freud Lecture for the Sigmund Freud Foundation in Vienna. She has published her work in a number of scholarly and science journals, including Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Neuropsychoanalysis, Seizure: the European Journal of Epilepsy, Clinical Neurophysiology, and Suicidology Online. In 2013, she gave the opening keynote lecture at an international conference on the work of Søren Kierkegaard in honor of his 200th birthday at the University of Copenhagen. She is the recipient of three honorary doctorates: from the University of Oslo in Norway,from Université Stendal in Grenoble, France, and from Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany.

In 2012, she received the International Gabarron Award for Thought and Humanities.

In 2015, she was appointed a lecturer in psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College where she gives a seminar in Narrative Psychiatry to psychiatric residents and junior faculty.

Hustvedt continues to divide her time between writing fiction and nonfiction.

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 […]

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 for every single person on the planet. Trevor’s grace, humor (and cheekiness) captivated us all, and it similarly flows effortlessly through the pages of his book which chronicles his experience of growing up in apartheid South Africa. This conversation is guaranteed to open your mind and challenge your perspective, and I hope you will share it and encourage everyone you know to read Trevor’s book.

Thank you Ella Marder, head of cultural programming at NeueHouse, and Dhara Parikh and Barbara Fillon at Random House, for collaborating to make this special event happen.

If this conversation moves you, please share it and let us know why @litupshow & @trevornoah on both Instagram and Twitter.

xox Angie

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Buy Born a Crime here.

 

 

 

 

 

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 […]

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. . . . Today I will radiate calm. Kindness and self-control will abound. Today I will buy local. Today I will be my best self, the person I’m capable of being. Today will be different.”

From this compelling opening manifesto we’re launched into the fraught life of Eleanor Flood, Semple’s protagonist, who is dealing with some serious self-loathing.  As well as being endearingly judgmental, Eleanor may be the most hilarious character to grace a novel in a long time. I hope you get a sense of how much fun this book is to read by listening to Maria on the show. She was a delight to talk to you, and I know you’ll be aching to start reading her book after hearing this conversation.

Let us know what you think on Twitter and Instagram.

oxox Angie

 

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Buy Today Will Be Different at your local independent bookstore or on Amazon here.

Maria Semple spent her early years traveling around Europe with her bohemian parents, but that ended abruptly when her father, Lorenzo Semple, Jr., finished a pilot for Batman while living in Torremolinos, Spain. He airmailed it in, they shot it, and the family moved to LA.  After the Batman TV series and feature, Lorenzo went on to write a bunch of movies. Once he was established, the family moved to Aspen, Colorado.

Maria attended boarding school at Choate Rosemary and college at Barnard, where she majored in English.

Maria moved to LA shortly after graduating Barnard and wrote screenplays which never got made, and then TV shows. 90210, Mad About You, Arrested Development and others. She quit to give fiction a try.

This One Is Mine was published by Little, Brown in 2008.

In 2008 Maria, George Meyer and their little daughter moved to Seattle just because. It was a difficult adjustment for Maria, which became the basis for Where’d You Go, Bernadette. The novel came out in 2012 and became an instant bestseller. Today Will Be Different is her latest.

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 […]

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 GirlfriendAminatou Sow. We gathered to talk about Jessica’s new book Feminist Fight Club, an incisive guide to navigating subtle sexism at work. What followed was a candid, and hilarious, conversation about what it is to be a modern woman.

Aminatou is also the founder of TechLadyMafia, a group that increases visibility and opportunities for women in Tech, and she recently let Politics and Social Impact Marketing at Google. Jessica worked as the contributing editor to Sheryl Sandberg’s women’s nonprofit, LeanIn.org, where she co-founded and curated the Lean In Collection with Getty Images, a photo initiative to change the depiction of women in stock photography. These women know a thing or two about the  realities facing working women, so let them engage and entertain you this episode. You’ll never react to a Manterrupter the same way again.

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

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Buy Feminist Fight Club on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or better yet, at your local independent book store.

xoxo Angie

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 […]

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 Brooklyn Book Festival. Rachel Fershleiser is the Executive Director of Audience Development and Reader Engagement at HMH books. We’ve all known each other for a few years now, which you can probably tell from this lively conversation. I hope you enjoy this episode. We mentioned so many wonderful books and I’ve listed them below so you can keep track of them.

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

xox Angie

Steph’s book recommendations:

Amy Gentry’s Good as Gone

How to Party with an Infant by Kaui Hart Hemmings

Deceit and Other Possibilities by Vanessa Hua

Loner by Teddy Wayne

We Show What We Have Learned by Clare Beams

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Also mentioned:

The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee

Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead

Rachel’s books recommendations:

Dear Fang by Rufi Thorpe

Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

Make Your Home Among Strangers by  Jennine Capó Crucet

Forthcoming:

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

The Wangs vs the World by Jade Chang

A Song to Take the World Apart by Zan Romanoff

Also mentioned:

The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob

Steph Opitz is the books reviewer for Marie Claire magazine. She also celebrates books via work with the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), Kirkus Reviews, the Brooklyn Book Festival, Twin Cities Book Festival; by serving on boards and committees for organizations like the National Book Foundation/ National Book Awards, PEN America, and American Short Fiction; and by buying and reading them.

Rachel Fershleiser is Executive Director of Audience Development and Reader Engagement at HMH books. Previously she was head of publisher outreach at Tumblr, community manager at Bookish, and director of public programs at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, where she now serves on the board of directors. She is the co-creator of Six-Word Memoirs and co-editor of the New York Times bestseller Not Quite What I Was Planning and three other books.  She also serves on boards and advisory committees at organizations including the National Book Foundation, Brooklyn Book Festival, Literary Hub, and Wordstock.

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 […]

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 her new book of essays “You’ll Grow Out of It,” out this month by Grand Central Publishing. Jessi and I sat down to talk about facing your fears, knowing when it’s time to take a big leap, her career journey till now, and so much more. The biggest pleasure of taping this episode was finding out that Jessi is as lovely and funny in real life as she is in her book.

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

xoxox Angie

 

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Buy “You’ll Grow Out of It” on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at your local independent bookstore.

Jessi Klein is the Emmy and Peabody award-winning head writer and an executive producer of Comedy Central’s critically acclaimed series Inside Amy Schumer. She’s also written for Amazon’s Transparent as well as Saturday Night Live. She has been featured on the popular storytelling series The Moth, and has been a regular panelist on NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! She’s been published in Esquire and Cosmopolitan, and has had her own half-hour Comedy Central stand-up special.

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 […]

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 character, Tess, who arrives in New York City naive, expectant and yearning for new experiences. The day she lands a job at one of the most celebrated restaurants in the city, she’s thrust into a chaotic, renegade ecosystem, one that sparks her sexual and culinary awakening.

Having been a waitress for so long, this book was a revelation for me. It captured–no holds barred–the world I lived in for years, while I struggled with who to become and what to do next. I met the most wonderful people at my “restaurant home” and they became mentors, friends and inspiring figures in my life. I am very thankful for my Gjelina family who made my experience so positive and enriching. Love you guys!

I hope you all enjoy this episode. I suggest pairing a chilled glass of chablis with this conversation!

xoxox Angie

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

 

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Buy “Sweetbitter” at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at your local independent book store.

 

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 […]

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 Featherby Max Porter is one such book. This astonishing, rowdy, rude, and brilliant novel dramatizes one family’s experience of mourning with the intrusion of one very unexpected visitor. It’s inventive, darkly funny, and wacky, and will make you thankful for the precious people in your lives. Published last year in England and now in the U.S. by Graywolf, the book has already won a slew of prizes. It was shortlisted for both the Guardian First book award and the Goldsmiths Prize and, recently, won the Dylan Thomas Prize.

This conversation was a pleasure and a reminder of why I love writers so much. Let us know what you think on Twitter @litupshow and Instagram @litupshow and Max on Twitter @maxjohnporter.

xoxo Angie

Max-Porter 9781555977412_custom-4add983d7ba796c92d273bf356c81ca11bb3d066-s400-c85

Buy Grief is the Thing With Feathers on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at your local independent book store.

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 […]

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 listen now.

Lidia is the author of the fierce and explosive novel, The Small Backs of Children. This transcontinental story opens in the middle of an Eastern European war zone when an American photojournalist snaps a startling image of a young girl at very the moment her family is atomized by a bomb. What follows is a gripping and intense narrative ride that will haunt you for days. Since I spoke with Lidia, a piece called The Wild, Remarkable Sex Scenes of Lidia Yuknavitch by Garth Greenwell came out about her book in The New Yorker.

Lidia’s memoir, The Chronology of Water, is mentioned many times in the show. It is one of the most powerful books I have read in a long time and I highly recommend you pick it up. She’s is also the author of the novel Dora: a Headcase, three works of short fiction; Liberty’s Excess, Her Other Mouths, and Reel to Reel (a finalist for the Oregon Book Award), as well as Allegories of Violence, a book of literary criticism.

It was such a privilege to be in the room with Lidia and I’m excited for you to listen in on our conversation once again.

XOXOX Angie

Buy The Small Backs of Children at your local independent bookshop, on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
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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 […]

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 was in this conversation. Do yourself a favor and watch some of her performances on YouTube like this Ballad of a Soldier, performed on NPR’s Music Tiny Desk Concert Series, which made me cry.

Kate is the winner of a Ted Hughes award for her “lyric poem” Brand New Ancients — her account of two London families cast as ancient gods. She’s also a rapper, and her debut solo album, Everybody Down, was shortlisted for the Mercury music prize. The album is also the inspiration and companion piece to her debut novel, The Bricks that Built the Houses , which explores the relationship between two South–East Londoners; a struggling dancer Becky, and Harry who works in “recruitment”–a cover for dealing drugs. Her other works include the album Balance, two poetry collections Everything Speaks its own Way and Hold Your Own, and the three plays GlassHouse, Wasted and Hopelessly Devoted.

Instead of going on and on about Kate and her work I hope this conversation makes you want to discover her for yourself. Let us know what you find!

xoxo Angie

Follow us @LitUpShow on Twitter and Instagram

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Buy The Bricks that Built the Houses on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at your local independent bookstore.

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 […]

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 recalls her (sometimes fraught) childhood going back and forth between India and The United States, how her relationship with her body (and discovering she had endometriosis) shaped her life, and so much more. She also candidly reveals much about her relationships with Salman Rushdie and Teddy Forstmann. Now, add some of her secret family recipes to the book and you have the most delicious read imaginable. Ultimately, I  got a sense that Padma is a fiercely independent (and damn amazing) woman whose forged her own path, turning the obstacles in her way into opportunities. I took so much away from this conversation and I hope you do too.

In person, Padma’s presence is undeniable; and her grace and beauty could be totally overwhelming were she not so warm and cheeky — you’ll hear how funny and witty she is in this interview from the get-go. Do let us know what you think of the show on Twitter and Instagram @litupshow. I’m sure this week’s show will bring up a lot for people and we’d love to hear how it affected you.

See you next week!

XO Angie

Buy Love, Loss, and What We Ate on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at your local independent bookstore.

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Photos courtesy Vincent Razzi Jr. for Soho House.

Emmy-nominated Padma Lakshmi is known internationally as an actress, food expert, model and award-winning author. Lakshmi recently wrapped her twelfth season as the host of Bravo’s Emmy award-winning Top Chef. she is also the author of the best-selling cookbook Easy Exotic, for which she won the International Versailles Event for best cookbook by a first time writer. Lakshmi followed this success with the publication of her second cookbook, Tangy, Tart, Hot & Sweet, released by Weinstein Books, which has over 150 recipes from around the world alongside intriguing personal memoirs.

In addition to these current projects, Lakshmi is a savvy businesswoman with multiple companies of her own. Her debut home décor line, The Padma Collection, hit floors in Bloomingdale’s stores nationwide with tabletop dishware, stemware and hand-blown glass décor pieces. She has also created Padma’s Easy Exotic, a collection of culinary products including frozen organic foods, fine teas, natural spice blends, as well as hard goods.

For The Food Network, Lakshmi hosted Padma’s Passport where she cooked diverse cuisine from around the world. Lakshmi has also hosted Planet Food, a documentary series broadcast on The Food Network and worldwide on the Discovery Channel where she journeyed to countries such as Spain and India. Lakshmi is Emmy nominated for her role as host and judge on Bravo’s Top Chef which has recently been awarded an Emmy for Outstanding Reality Competition Show. Other television credits include co-hosting Rai Television’s Domenica In, Italy’s highest rated program.

Lakshmi is also an accomplished writer. In addition to her food writing, she has contributed to such magazines as Vogue, Gourmet and British and American Harper’s Bazaar as well as had a syndicated column on fashion and food for The New York Times.

Originally known as the first internationally successful Indian supermodel and often noted as a global style icon, Lakshmi has been featured as People magazine’s 100 Most Beautiful People and 25 Most Intriguing People, AOL’s Top 20 Style Influencers, Gotham magazine’s Best Dressed New Yorkers, and part of The Elle 25.

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 […]

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 spoke last Wednesday, the day after the terrorist attacks in Brussels. I couldn’t have imagined there would be another atrocity so soon, such as the suicide bomb in Lahore, Pakistan on Sunday. Like I said on Instagram, I was confused and worried about how to broach this conversation, but I knew it was important to try. Karan’s understanding of the subject is astounding and I think you’ll be very interested about how his experiences growing up in New Delhi informed the novel. You’ll also hear about the extent of his research on the perpetrators of these type of attacks, the affect of pornography on Indian society, and so much more. I am very proud to bring this conversation to air. Thank you for listening and embracing the wide range of issues we talk about on the show.

XOXO Angie

Please let us know wheat you think of this episode on Twitter & Instagram @litupshow.

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Buy “The Association of Small Bombs” on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at your local independent bookstore.

Karan Mahajan grew up in New Delhi, India. His first novel, Family Planning, was a finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize and was published in nine countries. A graduate of the Michener Center for Writers and Stanford University, he lives in Austin, Texas. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker Online, The Believer, NPR’s All Things Considered, The San Francisco Chronicle, and many more. In the past, Karan has worked as an editor, a consultant on economic and urban planning issues for the New York City government, and as a researcher in Bangalore.

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 […]

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 film scores, theater music and concert pieces here.

This week, Hannah Tennant-Moore visits us in the studio to talk about her debut novel Wreck and Order, a book that beautifully captures the restlessness and angst of early adulthood. Elsie, the novel’s protagonist, may be whip smart and self-aware, but it doesn’t protect her from the type of self-destructive behavior synonymous with not really knowing who you are and what you want. As you’ll hear from the discussion, much of the novel is drawn from Hannah’s experiences living in Southern California and traveling through Sri Lanka – a place that nurtured her Buddhist practice.

I hope you enjoy this episode.

XO Angie

 

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Buy Wreck and Order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or better yet, at your local independent book store.

Hannah Tennant-Moore‘s work has appeared in the New York Times, The New Republic, n+1, Tin House, Salon, Bookforum, Dissent, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and has twice been included in Best Buddhist Writing. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her husband.

Theme music by Marc Marder (copyright) 2016

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 […]

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 the room – but I needn’t have worried. Her vibe was calm and kind, and within seconds we were in the no-BS zone. We could (as you’ll hear) have gone on forever.

It was such a pleasure to have such an open and honest conversation with someone I admire so much. Dear Mr. You was a revelation for me. I cried so many times while reading it – not because I was upset – more because Mary-Louise hit on truths that I hadn’t had words for before. I cannot recommend this book enough. Check out The New York Times review Mary-Louise Parker’s ‘Dear Mr. You’ by one of our other favorite guests, Kate Bolick.

xoxo Angie

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Buy ‘Dear Mr. You’ on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at your local independent bookstore.

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 […]

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 book as it takes on big themes like economic inequality, police brutality, and race.

In the novel, Sunil seamlessly switches from the perspectives of seven people: Victor, a biracial 19-year-old hoping to sell weed to the protesters; Bishop, his estranged father who is also the police chief; a pair of officers trying to control the crowd; the Sri Lankan finance minister trying to get his country into the WTO, and the two non-violent protesters who are on a mission to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Our conversation jumps all over the place — from the influence of his dad’s Marxist beliefs, to his years traveling the world, to selling posters on college campuses to make some cash to fund his adventures — we hope you enjoy Sunil’s obvious passion for the writing life.

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

XOXOX Angie

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Buy Your Heart is a Muscle The Size of a Fist at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at your local independent book store.

Sunil Yapa’s debut novel YOUR HEART IS A MUSCLE THE SIZE OF A FIST is the lead title for Lee Boudreaux’s eponymous new imprint, Lee Boudreaux Books at Little, Brown & Company. Publication date is January 12, 2016.

Sunil Yapa holds a BA in economic geography from Penn State University, and received his MFA in Fiction from Hunter College in New York City in 2010, where he worked with two-time Booker Prize winning author Peter Carey, and the 2009 National Book Award winner (Let the Great World Spin) Colum McCann. While at Hunter Sunil was also awarded the Alumni Scholarship & Welfare Fund Fellowship, which is given to one fiction student every three years, and was twice selected as a Hertog Fellow, working as a research assistant for Zadie Smith (Changing My Mind), as well as Ben Marcus (The Flame Alphabet).

He is the recipient of the 2010 Asian American Short Story Award, sponsored by Hyphen Magazine and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop in New York, and has received scholarships to The New York State Summer Writers’ Institute, The Norman Mailer Writers’ Center in Provincetown and The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. His writing has appeared in American Short Fiction, The Margins, Hyphen Magazine, The Tottenville Review, Pindeldyboz: Stories that Defy Classification, and others.

The biracial son of a Sri Lankan father and a mother from Montana, Yapa has lived around the world, including time living in Greece, Guatemala, Chile, Argentina, China, and India, as well as, London, Montreal, and New York City.

 

 

 

 

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 […]

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: Salem, 1962, illuminates the mystery of the Salem Witch Trials which began in 1692, over a freezing Massachusetts winter, when a minister’s daughter began to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before 19 men and women had been hanged and an 75-year-old man crushed to death. Even some dogs were denounced as witches! As you will hear, Stacy spent years researching the book, and her knowledge on the subject flows out of her in the most thrilling and arresting manor. This book is a delicious companion for the coming winter snowy evenings, so I hope this conversation gets you in the mood.

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

xoxox Angie

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Buy The Witches; Salem, 1692 on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or at your local independent book store now.

Stacy Schiff is the author of Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov), winner of the Pulitzer Prize; Saint-Exupéry, a Pulitzer Prize finalist; and A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America, winner of the George Washington Book Prize, the Ambassador Award in American Studies, and the Gilbert Chinard Prize of the Institut Français d’Amérique. Cleopatra: A Life, won the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for biography. A #1 bestseller, Cleopatra was translated into 30 languages. Her fourth book, The Witches, will be published in October 2015. Schiff has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities and was a Director’s Fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. She was awarded a 2006 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2011 she was named a Library Lion by the New York Public Library. Schiff has written for The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Boston Globe, among other publications. She lives in New York City.

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 […]

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 Alex’s own journey into occultism. It’s a serious look at something most, or I at least, sometimes think of as being fantastical, but it’s as viable belief system as any. Alex opened my eyes to a entire community and its many variations that I wasn’t even aware existed.  Take a listen and read the book – I think you’ll find a surprising amount of ideology that you could get behind too!

We mention a fascinating piece Alex wrote for Nerve.com called A Surprising Weekend Inside the Touchy-Feely World of Polyamory.  Make sure to check it out!

xoxox Angie

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

Alex Mar is a writer based in her hometown of New York City. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The Believer, The New York Times Book Review, Elle, Epic, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Tin House, Atlas Obscura, The Oxford American (where she is a contributing editor), and The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2015. Formerly an editor at Rolling Stone, she has been a guest correspondent for CBS, ABC, National Public Radio, and the BBC, as well as a fellow at the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. She is also the director of the feature-length documentary American Mystic, currently streaming on Amazon. Her first book is WITCHES OF AMERICA by Sarah Crichton Books / Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

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 […]

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 hard work pays off, because we were lucky enough to have Irin join us this week.

Irin talks about their book, Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which incorporates all the cheeky creativity of the wildly popular blog with Irin’s touch of precise writing and insight. As if that weren’t enough – there are as rap lyrics, illustrations of RBG working out, biographical photographs and legal luminaries translating many of her most famous Supreme Court descents. This conversation is why this podcast exists. 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 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 […]


My Diary

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 Featherby Max Porter is one such book. This astonishing, rowdy, rude, and brilliant novel dramatizes one family’s experience of mourning with the intrusion of one very unexpected visitor. It’s inventive, darkly funny, and wacky, and will make you thankful for the precious people in your lives. Published last year in England and now in the U.S. by Graywolf, the book has already won a slew of prizes. It was shortlisted for both the Guardian First book award and the Goldsmiths Prize and, recently, won the Dylan Thomas Prize.

This conversation was a pleasure and a reminder of why I love writers so much. Let us know what you think on Twitter @litupshow and Instagram @litupshow and Max on Twitter @maxjohnporter.

xoxo Angie

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Buy Grief is the Thing With Feathers on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at your local independent book store.


All Time Favorites

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 […]

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 76: Jessica Grose & Teddy Wayne on gender politics, infatuation and belonging

Episode 76: Jessica Grose & Teddy Wayne on gender politics, infatuation and belonging

Listen to the episode here. This week I was lucky enough to have two fab writers in the studio, Jessica Grose and Teddy Wayne. I have admired Jessica Grose from afar for as long as I’ve lived in the US, I’ve always connected with her work–her relentless […]

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 […]