What relationship, if any, does the anticolonial novel of ideas bear to the contemporary “theory novel”? Nguyen’s novels expose the tension between the two forms.
“Writing is a community practice,” Garza says. “When we write, we write with others. We always write with materials that are not our own.”
ND stages a trialogue this week with MacArthur “Genius” Cristina Rivera Garza and Notre Dame critics Kate Marshall and Dominique Vargas. Professor Rivera Garza recalls roadtripping through Mexico in a bochito (a Volkswagen). For her, such drives became the mother of literary invention: there was no car radio and when family conversations died down, the windowContinue reading “2.6 Dreaming or Thinking: Cristina Rivera Garza with Kate Marshall and Dominique Vargas (AV)”
“I write only when I have something to say” — How should a Caribbean writer of my generation take this? Moreover, Is it a good advice for a teacher to give her writing students?
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)”
“Home is a place where I exist at every age.”
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)”
Novels, she says, should provide a “vision of life” rather than a “fascinated horror” of it.
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)”
“Who do we, as writers, choose not to leave behind?”
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)”
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)”
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”.
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”
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)”
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)”
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)”
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)”
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)”
Pamuk plays scholar and novelist both. He reads the cheekily postmodernist final page of his novel Snow, while also talmudically interspersing comments on the text. Listen to the Bonus here: