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)”

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)”

2.1 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)”

1.9 Season Wrap: Aarthi and John Reflect and Ruminate

Our two hosts play guest, and dive into the season’s high and lowlights, starting with the role humor played on the show. We also talk through the affordances of the “virtual” studio as opposed to the brick and mortar one where John recorded podcasts in “the before time.” Literary critics that we are, we can’tContinue reading “1.9 Season Wrap: Aarthi and John Reflect and Ruminate”

1.8 The Novel is like a Stack of Yurts: George Saunders talks with Michael Johnston (AV)

Novel Dialogue sits down with Michael Johnston of Purdue University and George Saunders, master of the short story form and author of the Booker-prize winning novel Lincoln in the Bardo. This conversation was defiant of novelist and chemist C.P. Snow’s lament that the sciences and humanities have become siloed from one another. George shows usContinue reading “1.8 The Novel is like a Stack of Yurts: George Saunders talks with Michael Johnston (AV)”

1.7 Helen Garner is Hacking at the Adverbs (Elizabeth McMahon, JP)

Helen Garner sits down with John and Elizabeth McMahon, a distinguished scholar  of Australian literature. Helen’s novels range from the anti-patriarchy exuberance of Monkey Grip (1977) to the heartbreaking mortality at the heart of The Spare Room (2008). She has also authored a slew of nonfiction, plus screenplays for Jane Campion’s Two Friends and GillianContinue reading “1.7 Helen Garner is Hacking at the Adverbs (Elizabeth McMahon, JP)”

1.6 Military Sci-Fi Minus the Misogyny: Kameron Hurley with Gerry Canavan (AV)

Gerry Canavan talks to geek feminist author Kameron Hurley about her Hugo-nominated novel The Light Brigade. A love-hate letter to military science fiction, The Light Brigade turns the form on its head. It is built around women fighters, queerness, and defying authority while being at the bottom of the chain of command.  The novel also has surprisingContinue reading “1.6 Military Sci-Fi Minus the Misogyny: Kameron Hurley with Gerry Canavan (AV)”

1.5 Getting Into Other Worlds: James Robertson with Penny Fielding (JP)

James Robertson, brilliant author of The Testament of Gideon Mack, and University of Edinburgh’s top prof. Penny Fielding beam in from their respective corners of Scotland. Extensive reference is made to (John’s madly beloved) James Hogg and to Robert Louis Stevenson, especially his Jack-the-Ripperesque Jekyll and Hyde. The violence that underpins slavery–aye, even in Scotland,Continue reading “1.5 Getting Into Other Worlds: James Robertson with Penny Fielding (JP)”

1.4 Feral Fiction: Catherine Lacey and Martin Puchner (JP)

Novel Dialogue sends Martin Puchner (polymathic author of The Written World and most recently The Language of Thieves) out to speak with Pew author Catherine Lacey. They go a-wandering. Lacey’s earlier works include a 2018 collection of short stories,  Certain American States, and two  novels: The Answers in 2017 and 2014’s Nobody is Ever Missing, a delightful roadContinue reading “1.4 Feral Fiction: Catherine Lacey and Martin Puchner (JP)”

1.2 That Demonic Novelistic Impulse: Orhan Pamuk with Bruce Robbins (JP)

In Episode Two of Novel Dialogue, critic and scholar Bruce Robbins sits down with Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk. They have taught classes on the political novel together at Columbia for years, and it shows. They ask how the novel can ever escape its roots in middle-class sensibility and perspective: Joseph Conrad comes up, but so does modern BrazilianContinue reading “1.2 That Demonic Novelistic Impulse: Orhan Pamuk with Bruce Robbins (JP)”

1.1 Do Great Novels Set the Standard or Challenge it? Kelly Rich and Teju Cole (AV)

Novel Dialogue kicks off with the writer and photographer Teju Cole and literary critic Kelly Rich of Harvard University talking about “saying yes to the text” as the first rule of good literary critical reading. But they also consider what happens when the urge to affirm a text gets swept up in the larger social andContinue reading “1.1 Do Great Novels Set the Standard or Challenge it? Kelly Rich and Teju Cole (AV)”

1.0 Introducing a New Podcast: Novel Dialogue with Aarthi Vadde and John Plotz

Novel Dialogue : where unlikely conversation partners come together to discuss the making of novels and what to make of them. Join Aarthi Vadde, a scholar of contemporary literature and Victorianist John Plotz as they take a four-continent journey (ok, fine a virtual four-continent, Zoomish journey….) to talk turkey with novelists and critics the worldContinue reading “1.0 Introducing a New Podcast: Novel Dialogue with Aarthi Vadde and John Plotz”