Eugene Sheppard joins his Brandeis colleague John Plotz to speak with Joshua Cohen about The Netanyahus. Is the 2021 novel a Pulitzer-winning bravura story of the world’s worst job interview? Or is it a searing indictment of ethno-nationalist Zionism–and the strange act of pretense whereby American Jewish writers and thinkers in postwar America pretended thatContinue reading “5.2 Writing the Counter-book: Joshua Cohen with Eugene Sheppard (JP)”
Category Archives: Podcast
5.1 We Have This-ness, Y’all! Ocean Vuong and Amy E. Elkins (EH)
Season 5 of Novel Dialogue opens with an impassioned refresher course in literary theory brought to you by Ocean Vuong, poet and author of the bestselling novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (2019). Ocean talks with critic Amy E. Elkins and host Emily Hyde about browsing bookstore shelves and building his personal reading list ofContinue reading “5.1 We Have This-ness, Y’all! Ocean Vuong and Amy E. Elkins (EH)”
4.6 Translation is the closest way to read: Ann Goldstein and Saskia Ziolkowski (AV)
In our season finale, Ann Goldstein, renowned translator of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels, gives a master class in the art and business of translation. Ann speaks to Duke scholar Saskia Ziolkowski and host Aarthi Vadde about being the face of the Ferrante novels, and the curious void that she came to fill in the publicContinue reading “4.6 Translation is the closest way to read: Ann Goldstein and Saskia Ziolkowski (AV)”
4.5A Bonus Episode: Jean-Baptiste Naudy Reads from Claude McKay’s “Amiable with Big Teeth” (English and French)
A dramatic, bilingual reading from Amiable with Big Teeth by Jean-Baptiste. And don’t miss him in conversation with Brent Hayes Edwards! Listen and read: Transcript: 4.5A Bonus Reading
4.5 The Best Error You Can Make: Brent Hayes Edwards and Jean-Baptiste Naudy on Claude McKay (SW)
What can a French translator do with a novelist who writes brilliantly about the “confrontation between Englishes?” How can such a confrontation be made legible across the boundaries of language, nation, and history? Renowned scholar and translator Brent Hayes Edwards sits down with publisher and translator Jean-Baptiste Naudy to consider these questions in a wide-rangingContinue reading “4.5 The Best Error You Can Make: Brent Hayes Edwards and Jean-Baptiste Naudy on Claude McKay (SW)”
4.2 Light and Sound: Boubacar Boris Diop with Sarah Quesada (AV)
Boubacar Boris Diop is the author of Murambi: The Book of Bones, an unforgettable novel of the Rwandan genocide that blends journalistic research with finely drawn characterizations of perpetrators, victims, and bystanders. In this episode, Mr. Diop reads from Murambi, translated from French by Fiona McLaughlin, and speaks to Duke professor Sarah Quesada and host Aarthi Vadde about how his workContinue reading “4.2 Light and Sound: Boubacar Boris Diop with Sarah Quesada (AV)”
Season 4: Transition and Translation
A preview of Season 4 of Novel Dialogue, coming to you with new hosts and a new focus on translation! Don’t miss an episode: follow us on Twitter for all the latest episodes dropping on Thursdays in Fall 2022. Listen and Read: Audio: Season 4: Transition and Translation Transcript: 4.0 Transition and Translation
14. That Art Life
Are authors ever as interesting as their books? Usually not. Yet writers today are compelled to promote not just their work but themselves.
10. Salome, Your Silence is Too Loud for This Noisy Place
Putuma and Galgut explore the persistent negation of Black subjectivity and how this negation continues to haunt South African public life. What happens when laws change but hearts don’t?
9. Dining in With Chang-rae Lee
“Food is about being human.” There is an undeniable link between food and mood, but isn’t it odd for a literary critic to take an interest in culinary matters?
2.7 The Novel of Revolutionary Ideas: Viet Thanh Nguyen and Colleen Lye (AV)
Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning The Sympathizer and its sequel The Committed, joins esteemed scholar Colleen Lye of UC-Berkeley for a candid discussion about the Asian-American novel and the role of literature and theory in radical social movements. Colleen is drawn to the mix of philosophy and suspense in Viet’s workContinue reading “2.7 The Novel of Revolutionary Ideas: Viet Thanh Nguyen and Colleen Lye (AV)”
2.5 Stitching the Past to the Present: Caryl Phillips speaks with Corina Stan (JP)
Caryl Phillips, professor of English at Yale, world-renowned and prize-winning novelist (from The Final Passage to 2018’s A View of the Empire at Sunset) shares his thoughts on transplantation, on performance, on race, even on sports. Joining him here are John and the wonderful comparatist Corina Stan, educated in Romania, Germany, France and the US, authorContinue reading “2.5 Stitching the Past to the Present: Caryl Phillips speaks with Corina Stan (JP)”
2.4 In Medias Res: Kamila Shamsie and Ankhi Mukherjee (AV)
Acclaimed novelist Kamila Shamsie joins esteemed Oxford scholar Ankhi Mukherjee for a wide-ranging discussion of literature and politics. Ankhi raises the unique challenges facing postcolonial and specifically Muslim writers in the wake of 9/11 and the war in Afghanistan, including the pressure to become commentators in times of crisis (our episode was recorded in AugustContinue reading “2.4 In Medias Res: Kamila Shamsie and Ankhi Mukherjee (AV)”
4. Sigrid Nunez’s Visions of Life
Novels, she says, should provide a “vision of life” rather than a “fascinated horror” of it.
2.3 Because I Couldn’t Be a Dancer: Sigrid Nunez and Tara Menon (JP)
The brilliant New York writer Sigrid Nunez‘s most recent novel is What Are You Going Through; her previous one, The Friend, (2018) won the National Book Award. She speaks with Tara Menon, of the Harvard English department, and author of a terrific article about Sigrid Nunez in the Sewanee Review. The conversation ranges widely andContinue reading “2.3 Because I Couldn’t Be a Dancer: Sigrid Nunez and Tara Menon (JP)”
3. Tom Perrotta’s Writerly Ethic
“Who do we, as writers, choose not to leave behind?”
2.2 Adaptation: Tom Perrotta and Mark Wollaeger Go from Page to Screen (AV)
Novelist, screenwriter, and HBO showrunner Tom Perrotta joins his old friend Mark Wollaeger (who also happens to be a top scholar of modernism) for a wide-ranging conversation about literature, television, and everything in between. Tom reveals that he has been reading a most peculiar self-help book: Richard Ellmann’s biography of James Joyce. Mark then sharesContinue reading “2.2 Adaptation: Tom Perrotta and Mark Wollaeger Go from Page to Screen (AV)”
2. Jennifer Egan, Reverberator
“The novel wraps itself around you like a cocoon.”
2.1 Fiction as Streaming, Genre as Portal: Jennifer Egan and Ivan Kreilkamp (JP)
We are just delighted to welcome you back to the second season of Novel Dialogue, putting scholars and writers together to chew the fat, and spill secrets of the trade. It begins with a bang; who better to interview the prolific and prize-winning American novelist Jennifer Egan than Ivan Kreilkamp? The distinguished Indiana Victorianist showedContinue reading “2.1 Fiction as Streaming, Genre as Portal: Jennifer Egan and Ivan Kreilkamp (JP)”
1. On the Audio Culture of Letters
I think of my favorite literary interviews as revelatory events: occasions, in Toni Morrison’s words, “when some moment or phrase flares like a lightning bug” and all participants “see it at the same time and… remember it the same way”.