Cool Stuff

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 […]

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 […]

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PEN DIY Talk with Joseph Keckler

In a fresh and inventive PEN DIY talk titled “How to Sing Yourself,” Joseph Keckler used opera, fiction, poetry, photography, and performance to give the audience a glimpse of his genre and medium-bending creative process. Here, he speaks with PEN DIY host Angela Ledgerwood, and […]

Episode 79: Chloe Caldwell & Estelle Tang on Election WTF, Your 20s, and Hungry Ghosts

Episode 79: Chloe Caldwell & Estelle Tang on Election WTF, Your 20s, and Hungry Ghosts

LISTEN HERE. It’s been a brutal week post election, however I hope the dream-team combo of essayist and author Chloe Caldwell and Estelle Tang, the culture editor at Elle.com, will brighten your day. After spending an hour in the company of these two women I […]

Episode 78: Megan Abbott & Marcy Dermansky on the Female Psyche, Hinge Moments, and Breaking Free

Episode 78: Megan Abbott & Marcy Dermansky on the Female Psyche, Hinge Moments, and Breaking Free

LISTEN HERE. Two of my favorite writers, Marcy Dermansky and Megan Abbott, bring their grace and infectious energy the pod this week. It was such a treat to witness them engaging over each other’s work. We recorded live from Soho House in New York and […]

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 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 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 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 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 Feathers by Max Porter is one such book. This astonishing, rowdy, rude, and brilliant novel dramatizes one family’s experience of mourning with […]

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 […]

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 […]

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 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 28: Garth Risk Hallberg on How New York Inspired Him to Write City on Fire

Rarely does a book make as big of a splash in the literary world as Garth Risk Hallberg‘s sweeping novel City on Fire. Vogue and New York Mag both recently featured profiles on Garth, and every single media outlet has something to say about this exciting […]

Episode 24: Adam Johnson on Finding the Light in the Darkness

This week we were greatly humbled by our guest the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Adam Johnson, who generously regaled us with stories of his time in North Korea, his unusual childhood, and family matters close to the heart. Just a few days after recording with us, […]

Angie chats with Artist José Parlá for Interview Magazine

Last week I was lucky enough to speak with artist José Parlá in his studio for Interview Magazine. I highly suggest checking out his exhibit “Surface Body/Action Space,” on show now at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery in collaboration with Mary Boone Gallery in Chelsea, New York. Here’s the piece […]

Episode 22: Cosmic Cartoonist Marisa Acocella Marchetto

How have I been missing out on graphic novels for so long?! This week’s guest is the celebrated New Yorker cartoonist and the acclaimed author of Cancer Vixen, Marisa Acocella Marchetto. She talks about her stunning new graphic novel Ann Tenna which chronicles an influential gossip columnist brought […]

Episode 21: Julia Pierpont, on the Road from MFA to Debut Novelist

This week’s guest, Julia Pierpont, talks about her gripping, breakout, debut novel Among the Ten Thousand Things. This psychologically nuanced story about a family’s unraveling begins with the unthinkable when a box full of correspondence between the family’s father, Jack, and his mistress, arrives at his home. Then, instead […]

Art of the Out-of-Office Reply – Emily’s Latest New York Times Piece

Art of the Out-0f-Office Reply by Emily Gould (as first seen in The New York Times August 27th) Ah, the feeling of excitement and gratification that someone has replied to your email so quickly, followed milliseconds later by the deflating realization that what you have actually […]

Obsessed with the supermoon?

If you gazed at the moon last night you’ll know how special and beautiful it was. I couldn’t sleep and there was so much energy swirling around if you wanted to notice it. This morning I found this really gorgeous and fun website called Mystic […]

Episode 20: Alexandra Kleeman & Alex Gilvarry on reinvention in America and more

Get ready for a peculiar, wonderful, and wacky conversation with this week’s guest Alexandra Kleeman.  Her debut novel You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine, out today, is supercharged with wit, creepiness and unsettling obsessions with hunger, religion, and consumerism. Did we mention inverse pornography, […]

One Summer Book That Looks Like a Tall Glass of Water

The Rocks by Peter Nichols Don’t be fooled by this breezy cover, the idyllic Mediterranean setting and the brooding sexiness of the glitzy and sexy crowd—this book is way more than light reading fodder. To prove it we can start with the opening scene, so […]

Word Association with Jess Walter!

Earlier in the month BuzzFeed got up close and personal with Judy Blume and we loved it so much we decided to play our own version with our guest Jess Walter. Hilarity ensued. Here goes… Hollywood – Notes meeting (bottled water?) Basketball – Remembrance of […]

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 […]

Would You Get a Tattoo for Human Rights?

When Amy Novogratz (former director of the TED Prize) invited me to her downtown NY apartment to get a tattoo, I knew there had to be more to the story. And of course there was. She was hosting an event for Dutch artist Sander van […]

Alexander Chee & The Ace Hotel’s Antidote to #BEA15

This week the New York book world gets nutty. Book Expo America–BEA as it’s commonly known–brings thousands of publishers, agents, editors, booksellers, writers and readers to The Javits Center. It’s a place that can otherwise inspire nightmares (if a conference hall the size of a […]

New Art Book: Parisians’ Private Moments

  Photographer Gail Albert-Halaban likes to look into people’s windows. But not in a creepy way. In fact, when she started her Out My Window project she had no idea how much it would change her life and enrich the lives of those involved. In […]

Tim Winton’s Breath (a Lit Up fave) To Be Adapted By Simon Baker

Gorgeous Aussie actor Simon Baker will make his directorial debut with the adaption of Tim Winton’s surfing novel Breath about two teenage surfers who get entangled in the life of an aging surfer and his alluring wife. I read this book after sneaking into the […]

Jillian Tamaki and Other Masters of Visual Storytelling: Emily’s Faves

On this week’s episode, when Angie asked what I’d been reading, I talked about Jillian Tamaki’s SuperMutant Magic Academy, a collection of Tamaki’s award-winning webcomic that also features a bonus “afterschool special” that goes deeper into the lives of some of the one-pager’s characters.  The […]

‘Telex from Cuba’ Inspired Book Club Recipes

Last week I hosted my book club (the first gathering of pals in my new apartment) and despite the lack of chairs, knives and exotic appetizers, I think the evening ending up being a blast. We read Rachel Kushner’s Telex from Cuba (a unanimous good read) […]

Spooky Science Explained

  I came across Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout, written and illustrated by Lauren Redniss, after it had been nominated as a finalist for the National Book Award in Non-Fiction a few years ago. My first was thought was, […]

Emily’s Must-Read Books of 2015

2015 is shaping up to be a good year for people who depend on books as much as I do for diversion and emotional sustenance. Here are some forthcoming books (first seen in Paper Magazine) that I’ve been #blessed enough to get a peek at […]

Angie’s Book Picks That Will Change Your Life

Just Kids by Patti Smith In the mid-1960s Patti Smith was still a self-described country mouse—observant, somewhat shy and new to New York City. Around this time she met Robert Mapplethorpe by chance—she went to Brooklyn to visit friends only to find out that they’d […]