Between The Covers : Author Interviews : Today's Best Writers in Fiction, Nonfiction & Poetry -host David Naimon KBOO 90.7FM

Between The Covers : Author Interviews : Today's Best Writers in Fiction, Nonfiction & Poetry -host David Naimon KBOO 90.7FM : A radio podcast on creative writing, craft & books (literary, genre-bending, experimental, fantastical, science fiction)


Author interviews with today's best writers — established & up-and-coming — in fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Hosted by David Naimon, KBOO 90.7 FM, Portland, Oregon. --The Guardian's 10 Best Book Podcasts --Book Riot's 15 Outstanding Podcasts f...Show More

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Cheston Knapp : Up Up Down Down

1:38:55 | Apr 10th, 2018

“Cheston Knapp’s Up Up, Down Down has the uncanny, welcome ability to make so-called mainstream or dominant culture—white, masculinist, Christian, frat boy, & so on—appear newly strange, & newly open to analysis. He has the eye & ear of an anthropolo...Show More

Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore : Sketchtasy

1:49:11 | Feb 12th

“Sycamore paints an unsparing and unsentimental portrait of survival in a homophobic era, and her writing is beyond beautiful. Sketchtasy is a powerful firecracker of a novel; it’s not just one of the best books of the year, it’s an instant classic o...Show More

Alicia Jo Rabins : Fruit Geode

1:39:06 | Feb 1st

“How does a body do what it does: make love, mistakes, create life, exist after life; how does a body evolve, celebrate, regret, reconsider its big and small moments: these are the passionate concerns of Alicia Rabins’ Fruit Geode, a book that I coul...Show More

Genevieve Hudson: Pretend We Live Here

1:32:25 | Jan 13th

“A terrific collection of stories. There are echoes here of Flannery O’Connor, Barry Hannah, and Denis Johnson, but Genevieve Hudson is her own writer—impressively and gloriously so. Her eye for the clinching detail is unnerving and her sympathies ar...Show More

Jeffrey Yang : Hey Marfa

1:38:00 | Jan 2nd

“Yang rebuilds for the reader a town that is notable for its many stark contrasts: restored & ruined buildings, wealth & poverty, international art & border enforcement. Hey, Marfa makes a remarkable poetic accounting of the ways imagination is curre...Show More

Chaya Bhuvaneswar : White Dancing Elephants

1:50:15 | Dec 17th, 2018

“Bhuvaneswar is unflinching about the lives of those for whom identity is a constant battle & the act of being is an unavoidable challenge, but she doesn’t ignore the beauty in their strength…White Dancing Elephants is a necessary book — & one that i...Show More

Layli Long Soldier : Whereas

1:53:22 | Dec 2nd, 2018

“Long Soldier reminds readers of their physical and linguistic bodies as they are returned to language through their mouths and eyes and tongues across the fields of her poems.”—Natalie Diaz for The New York Times Book Review;  “Layli Long Soldier’s ...Show More

Diane Williams: The Collected Stories of Diane Williams

1:14:18 | Nov 14th, 2018

“Williams’s short precise, & emphatic sentences build a strange society whose denizens are not quite familiar to us & not quite comfortable with their own quietly disturbing evolutions. Not a single moment of the prose here is what you expect, & even...Show More

R.O. Kwon : The Incendiaries

1:11:18 | Nov 1st, 2018

“Every explosive requires a fuse. That’s R. O. Kwon’s novel, a straight, slow-burning fuse. To read her novel is to follow an inexorable flame coming closer & closer to the object it will detonate—the characters, the crime, the story, &, ultimately, ...Show More

Tommy Pico : Junk

1:19:20 | Oct 14th, 2018

“Reading Tommy Pico’s Junk I kept thinking of Heather McHugh’s pronouncement that the main discipline of poetry is “to keep finding life strange.” Pico is the master of making the stone stony, or returning the sheer absurdity of being to everything, ...Show More

Dubravka Ugrešić : Fox & American Fictionary

1:45:05 | Oct 1st, 2018

Dubravka Ugrešić is considered one of Europe’s most distinctive novelists and essayists.  She is the 2016 winner of Neustadt International Prize for Literature for her body of work, joining literary luminaries from Gabriel Garcia Marquez to Elizabeth...Show More

Anna Moschovakis : Eleanor or The Rejection of the Progress of Love

1:51:34 | Sep 24th, 2018

“Anna Moschovakis takes the reader straight to the terrifying edge: that moment where one ages out of youthfulness & begins to flutter in the debris of middle living, flattened out by technology, wild-goose chasing one’s data. Yet, the deeper we look...Show More

Dao Strom : You Will Always Be Someone From Somewhere Else

1:55:13 | Aug 22nd, 2018

In Dao Strom’s collection of poetic fragments, You Will Always Be Someone From Somewhere Else, translated by Ly Thuy Nguyen as Mình sẽ luôn là người nọ đến từ nơi nọ, the fragments are wholly filled– with text: English, Vietnamese, drifting, entwined...Show More

Catherine Lacey : Certain American States

1:29:25 | Aug 7th, 2018

“Lacey captures with eerie precision the strangeness of being a person in the world, living alongside other human beings with unknowable thoughts and feelings . . . Reading Lacey’s fiction feels like walking through a dark apartment in someone’s mind...Show More

Forrest Gander : Be With

1:25:46 | Jul 19th, 2018

“Forrest Gander’s life partner, the poet C.D. Wright, died suddently a little more than two years ago, and this book is one result or record of the aftermath of that loss. In poems that are utterly naked and bereft, elegies, apologies, could-have-bee...Show More

Chelsea Hodson : Tonight I’m Someone Else

1:26:41 | Jul 6th, 2018

“Hodson’s essays have such a sexy drama to them—and ultimately it’s the romance of just getting through life; the passion that comes from being a wholly alert woman and living to tell about it. I had a real romance with this book.” —Miranda July;  “C...Show More

Molly Crabapple : Brothers of the Gun – A Memoir of the Syrian War

1:37:34 | Jun 12th, 2018

“From the anarchy, torment, and despair of the Syrian war, Marwan Hisham and Molly Crabapple have drawn a book of startling emotional power and intellectual depth. Many books will be written on the war’s exhaustive devastation of bodies and souls, an...Show More

Sheila Heti : Motherhood

1:28:54 | Jun 1st, 2018

“This book is going to change how we think about life and women forever; like ancient Greek philosopher level of describing reality in a way that creates it. So, go or don’t go, read the book or don’t — either way your life will be changed by this th...Show More

Azareen Van Der Vliet Oloomi : Call Me Zebra

1:37:53 | May 15th, 2018

“Not many authors are compared to Borges, Cervantes, and Kathy Acker all in one breath, but that is exactly what we’re dealing with here: Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi is a twisted, twisty genius.”–Nylon Magazine; “Van der Vliet Oloomi captures the sh...Show More

Jen Bervin : Silk Poems

1:33:36 | May 1st, 2018

“Jen Bervin’s work—all of it—engages the eye, the hand, the ear, and the mind. Her artistry is vast and inclusive, by finesse and intelligence, by curiosity, forbearance, and vision. She knows the unexpected wonder of pattern is everywhere and that t...Show More

John Keene : Counternarratives, Playland, and Grind

1:37:11 | Apr 1st, 2018

“In Counternarratives, John Keene undertakes a kind of literary counterarchaeology, a series of fictions that challenge our notion of what constitutes “real” or “accurate” history. His writing is at turns playful and erudite, lyric and coldly diagnos...Show More

Vi Khi Nao : Umbilical Hospital & A Brief Alphabet of Torture

1:48:09 | Mar 11th, 2018

“These pieces are elaborate piecework—perforated, whip stitched, and distressed field-dressed dissections of language. Tortured? Maybe. But lusciously junked &  juxtaposed, turned inside out & every which way but…No, in every way they make way.”—Mich...Show More

Micheline Aharonian Marcom : The Brick House

1:36:14 | Mar 1st, 2018

Micheline Aharonian Marcom’s The Brick House is a place where people dream of love and loneliness, of the world’s beauty, and of ongoing environmental degradation. Travelers confront their lives in the strange, elemental language which dreams allow f...Show More

Terese Marie Mailhot : Heart Berries

1:21:02 | Feb 13th, 2018

“Heart Berries is an epic take—an Iliad for the indigenous. It’s the story of one First Nation woman & her geographic, emotional, & theological search for meaning in a colonial world. It’s disturbing & hilarious. It contains sentences of such poetry ...Show More

Carmen Maria Machado : Her Body and Other Parties

1:28:38 | Feb 1st, 2018

“Cross-pollinating fairy tales, horror movies, TV shows, & a terrific sense of humor, Machado’s work reminds me at different times of such wildly divergent figures as David Lynch, Jane Campion, Maggie Nelson, & Grace Paley; which is a way of saying, ...Show More

Eunsong Kim : Gospel of Regicide

1:43:34 | Jan 14th, 2018

“In Gospel of Regicide, Eunsong Kim develops a thrilling method for unwriting lyric even as she reimagines it, creating a socially engaged poetry of & for our time. Anticapitalist, feminist & anti-racist yet critical of non-intersectional understandi...Show More

Leni Zumas : Red Clocks

1:20:03 | Jan 5th, 2018

“Leni Zumas here proves she can do almost anything. Her tale feels part Melvillian, part Lydia Davis, part Octavia Butler—but really Zumas’s vision is entirely her own. RED CLOCKS is funny, mordant, political, poetic, alarming, and inspiring—not to m...Show More

David Biespiel : The Education of a Young Poet

1:38:46 | Dec 1st, 2017

“Biespiel’s supple memoir of becoming a poet will surely inspire other writers to embrace the bodily character of writing & feel the power &, sometimes, the emptiness of the act of writing poetry.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review) “Whether he is w...Show More

Rae Armantrout : Partly -New & Selected Poems

1:17:37 | Nov 1st, 2017

“For nearly 40 years Armantrout has made a poetics of not finding the right words–of finding, in fact, the ‘wrong’ ones … Armantrout restores the strangeness of experiences we take for granted.”—Michael Robbins, Chicago Tribune;  “Hoopskirts, star ja...Show More

Eileen Myles : Afterglow

1:27:31 | Oct 19th, 2017

“What is a dog if not god? In Afterglow, Eileen Myles steps up to the challenge for writers to function as prophets. Ghostwritten in part by deceased pit bull Rosie, this ‘dog memoir’ explores—among other things—geometry, gender, mortality, evil, agi...Show More

Celeste Ng : Little Fires Everywhere

1:11:11 | Oct 5th, 2017

“I read Little Fires Everywhere in a single, breathless sitting. With brilliance and beauty, Celeste Ng dissects a microcosm of American society just when we need to see it beneath the microscope:  how do questions of race stack up against the comfor...Show More

Peter Rock : Spells

1:24:44 | Sep 21st, 2017

“Spells is a fascinating hybrid text, not simply illustrated by a collection of photographs but created in response to them, a collaboration between Peter Rock and five photographers. The result is a novel unlike any I’ve read before, that weaves ele...Show More

Safiya Sinclair : Cannibal

1:21:33 | Sep 10th, 2017

“Sinclair crafts her stunning debut collection around the beauty & brutality of the word cannibal, whose origins derive from Columbus’s belief that the Carib people consumed human flesh. Attacking this dehumanizing judgment born from white entitlemen...Show More

Matthew Zapruder : Why Poetry

1:30:56 | Aug 21st, 2017

In Why Poetry,  award-winning poet, translator and editor, Matthew Zapruder argues that the way we have been taught to read poetry is the very thing that prevents us from enjoying it. Anchored in poetic analysis & steered by Zapruder’s personal exper...Show More

Yanara Friedland : Uncountry

1:25:00 | Aug 7th, 2017

“As a descendent of Chantal Akerman and Unica Zürn—among others—Yanara Friedland reimagines the origin myth. Friedland’s permeable pages allow the reader entryway into a “mirror [that] becomes an open door,” a door through which we hear the echo of A...Show More

Mary Ruefle : My Private Property

1:13:03 | Jul 22nd, 2017

“Mary Ruefle’s careful, measured sentences sound as if they were written by a thousand-year-old person who is still genuinely curious about the world… She combines imagistic techniques from surrealism with narrative techniques to create surprising, h...Show More

Yuri Herrera : Kingdom Cons

1:17:36 | Jul 11th, 2017

“A powerful & memorable meditation on the social & economic value of art in a world ruled by the pursuit of power.”-Publisher’s Weekly; In the court of the King, everyone knows their place. But as the Artist wins hearts & egos with his ballads, uncom...Show More

Gregory Pardlo : Digest

1:31:54 | Jun 26th, 2017

Gregory Pardlo “explores what is American, what is African American, what is the Other, what is city, what is suburban, what is personal & what is persona. Digest offers a changing, rich landscape of verse both haunting, funny, & rigorously intellect...Show More

Dani Shapiro : Hourglass

1:31:15 | Jun 7th, 2017

What are the forces that shape our most elemental bonds? How do we make lifelong commitments in the face of identities that are continuously shifting, and commit ourselves when the self is so often in flux? What happens to love in the face of the une...Show More

Jeff Vandermeer : Borne

1:09:52 | May 23rd, 2017

“Here is the story about biotech that VanderMeer wants to tell, a vision of the nonhuman not as one fixed thing, one fixed destiny, but as either peaceful or catastrophic, by our side or out on a rampage as our behavior dictates–for these are our chi...Show More

Thalia Field : Experimental Animals

1:18:25 | May 2nd, 2017

“Thalia Field has now composed what very well might be her life’s work–a tragic, comical, & utterly fascinating tale of a marriage that vividly encapsulates not only the origins of experimental medicine, but an entire age that spirited experiments in...Show More

Sallie Tisdale : Violation

1:15:29 | Apr 19th, 2017

“That Sallie Tisdale’s a treasure comes as no secret to lovers of the essay, and yet this happy gathering that spans the decades is revelatory, a fascinating look at the epic wanderings of a life mapped by curiosity. Here we get elephants and housefl...Show More

Morgan Parker : There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé

1:10:31 | Mar 29th, 2017

Morgan Parker uses political & pop-cultural references as a framework to explore 21st cent. black American womanhood & its complexities: performance, depression, isolation, exoticism, racism, femininity & politics. Parker explores this in the contemp...Show More

Melissa Febos : Abandon Me

1:20:32 | Mar 15th, 2017

“Abandon Me is, in many ways, a story about how a woman’s body & the body of literature hold memory. In other ways, Abandon Me is a story about stories. Febos weaves familial stories, feminist stories, communal stories, literary stories & love storie...Show More

Ursula K. Le Guin : Words Are My Matter

1:13:17 | Feb 14th, 2017

“Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society & its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, & even imagine real grounds for hope. We’l...Show More

Susan DeFreitas : Hot Season

1:26:20 | Jan 18th, 2017

An outlaw activist on the run. A pipeline set to destroy a river. And 3 young women who must decide who to love, who to trust, & what to sacrifice for the greater good. Based in part on real events in the Northwest & Southwest in the early 90s & mid-...Show More

Solmaz Sharif : Look

1:01:13 | Jan 4th, 2017

In this virtuosic array of poems, lists, shards, & sequences, Sharif assembles fragmented narratives in the aftermath of war. Those repercussions echo in the present day, the grief for those killed in America’s invasions of Afghanistan & Iraq, the di...Show More

Sofia Samatar : The Winged Histories

1:02:29 | Dec 13th, 2016

“If you love stories but distrust them, if you love language & can also see how it is used as a tool or a weapon in the maintenance of status quo, then read The Winged Histories.”— Marion Deeds, Fantasy Literature;  “Told by four different women, it ...Show More

Tyehimba Jess : Olio

1:16:01 | Nov 16th, 2016

“This 21st century hymnal of black evolutionary poetry, this almanac, this theatrical melange of miraculous meta-memory. Tyehimba Jess is inventive, prophetic, wondrous. He writes unflinchingly into the historical clefs of blackface, black sound, hum...Show More

Eliot Weinberger : The Ghosts of Birds

1:04:42 | Nov 2nd, 2016

A new collection from “one of the world’s great essayists” (The New York Times), The Ghosts of Birds offers 35 new essays by Eliot Weinberger.  He chronicles a 19th century journey down the Colorado River, records the dreams of people named Chang, & ...Show More

Pauls Toutonghi : Dog Gone

1:00:58 | Oct 27th, 2016

“You can’t write about dogs without writing about people. They chose long ago to be our good company in the adventure of being alive, and ever since they’ve served as our mirrors, our teachers, and the most stubbornly loyal of friends. Pauls Toutongh...Show More

Monica Drake : The Folly of Loving Life

45:05 | Sep 28th, 2016

Following her acclaimed novels Clown Girl and The Stud Book, Monica Drake presents her long-awaited first collection of stories. “What can I say about Monica Drake’s stories? They are brilliant, sure. They are hilarious, yes. Each one is a marvel. Bu...Show More

Alexis Smith : Marrow Island

1:02:41 | Sep 14th, 2016

“A faltering journalist returns to an island abandoned after an earthquake released a toxic spill. That’s the beautifully wrought setting of this novel, which reunites two childhood friends, one of whom has joined a sect claiming it can heal the land...Show More

Jesse Ball : How to Set a Fire and Why

1:07:02 | Aug 17th, 2016

Jesse Ball’s blistering novel tells the story of a teenage girl who has lost everything—and will burn anything. Lucia’s father is dead, her mother in a mental hospital, and now she’s been kicked out of school—again. She makes her way through the worl...Show More

Rikki Ducornet : Brightfellow

1:04:37 | Jul 20th, 2016

A feral boy comes of age on a campus decadent with starched sheets, sweating cocktails, & homemade jams. Stub is the cause of that missing sweater, the pie that disappeared off the cooling rack. Then Stub meets Billy, who takes him in, & Asthma, who ...Show More

Lina Meruane : Seeing Red

1:07:33 | Jun 30th, 2016

This powerful autobiographical novel describes a young Chilean writer recently relocated to New York for doctoral work who suffers a stroke, leaving her blind & increasingly dependent on those closest to her. Fiction & autobiography intertwine in an ...Show More

Rob Spillman : All Tomorrow’s Parties

51:53 | Jun 15th, 2016

“Truly exceptional memoirs have to do something more than recount a good origin story: they have to test the author’s youthful understanding of the world, and break down that world, even as it’s being built upon the page. All Tomorrow’s Parties is su...Show More

Brian Blanchfield : Proxies

1:14:48 | May 18th, 2016

“Into what some are calling a new golden age of creative nonfiction lands Brian Blanchfield’s Proxies, which singlehandedly raises the bar for what’s possible in the field. This is a momentous work informed by a lifetime of thinking, reading, loving,...Show More

Idra Novey : Ways to Disappear

55:35 | May 4th, 2016

“Idra Novey, an acclaimed poet & translator of Spanish & Portuguese literature, has written a debut novel that’s a fast-paced, beguilingly playful, noirish literary mystery with a translator at its center. Ways to Disappear explores the meaning behin...Show More

Ursula K. Le Guin : Late in the Day

54:13 | Apr 20th, 2016

Late in the Day, Ursula K. Le Guin’s new collection of poems (2010–2014) seeks meaning in an ever-connected world, giving voice to objects that may not speak a human language but communicate with us nevertheless through and about the seasonal rhythms...Show More

Brian Evenson : A Collapse of Horses

59:03 | Mar 30th, 2016

A stuffed bear’s heart beats with the rhythm of a dead baby; Reno keeps receding to the east no matter how far you drive; and in a mine on another planet, the dust won’t stop seeping in. In these stories, Brian Evenson unsettles us with the everyday ...Show More

Laila Lalami : The Moor’s Account

47:26 | Mar 16th, 2016

In this stunning work of historical fiction, Laila Lalami brings us the imagined memoirs of the 1st black explorer of America, a Moroccan slave whose testimony was left out of the official record. In 1527, the conquistador Narváez sailed with a crew ...Show More

Lacy M. Johnson : The Other Side

59:40 | Feb 17th, 2016

Lacy M. Johnson’s “powerfully moving and brilliantly structured memoir, The Other Side, asks, “How is it possible to reclaim the body after devastating violence?” Her intense desire and demand for a life lived in the body is triumphant. Johnson’s str...Show More

Keith Lee Morris : Travelers Rest

42:48 | Jan 20th, 2016

“It won’t take long–a page, maybe two–before you feel wondrously disquieted by Keith Lee Morris’s Travelers Rest. The novel traps its characters in the town of Good Night, Idaho, and the reader in its shaken snow globe of a world. The language dazzle...Show More

Mary Gaitskill : The Mare

44:06 | Dec 16th, 2015

From the author of the National Book Award–nominated Veronica: Mary Gaitskill’s The Mare—the story of a Dominican girl, the white woman who introduces her to riding, and the horse who changes everything for her “Gaitskill takes a premise that could h...Show More

Valeria Luiselli : The Story of My Teeth

1:05:39 | Nov 19th, 2015

Written in collaboration with the workers at a Jumex juice factory, The Story of My Teeth is a witty, exhilarating romp through the industrial suburbs of Mexico City and Luiselli’s own literary influences.  Protagonist Gustavo “Highway” Sanchez Sanch...Show More

Amelia Gray : Gutshot

53:29 | Oct 28th, 2015

NPR calls Gutshot “a book brimming with blood, sexual deviance, mucus and madness.” The New York Times says “reading Gutshot is a little like being blindfolded and pelted from all sides with fire, Jell-O and the occasional live animal.”  And Vice Mag...Show More

Ursula K. Le Guin : Steering The Craft

58:23 | Oct 1st, 2015

Ursula K. Le Guin believes we cannot restructure society without restructuring the English language, and thus her book on the craft of writing inevitably engages class, gender, race, capitalism and morality, all of which are not separate from grammar...Show More

Liz Prato : Baby’s On Fire

35:47 | Sep 23rd, 2015

“Liz Prato’s stories are filled with the lost, the lonely, and the damned, and she makes all of them sing with a haunting grandeur. Baby’s on Fire is a lamentation brimming with wit, candor, and the eternal possibility of mercy,”  says writer Steve A...Show More

David Biespiel : A Long High Whistle

1:18:53 | Aug 19th, 2015

Library Journal calls David Biespiel’s A Long High Whistle one of the best books about reading poetry you will ever find. Biespiel is a poet, editor, essayist, critic and teacher, and also the writer of the longest running newspaper column on poetry ...Show More

Rebecca Makkai : Music For Wartime

40:43 | Aug 5th, 2015

Rebecca Makkai, whose stories have appeared in four consecutive editions of The Best American Short Stories, discusses her much-anticipated story collection Music for Wartime. A reality show producer manipulates two contestants into falling in love, ...Show More

Maggie Nelson : The Argonauts

54:46 | Jul 29th, 2015

An intrepid voyage out to the frontiers of the latest thinking about love, language, and family. Maggie Nelson binds her personal experience, the story of her relationship with the fluidly-gendered artist Harry Dodge, to a rigorous exploration of wha...Show More

Lidia Yuknavitch : The Small Backs of Children

49:31 | Jul 15th, 2015

In a war-torn village in Eastern Europe, an American photographer captures a heart-stopping image: a young girl flying toward the lens, fleeing a fiery explosion that has engulfed her home and family. The image wins acclaim and prizes, becoming an ic...Show More

Mary Ruefle : An Incarnation of the Now

1:01:47 | Jun 3rd, 2015

Beloved and critically-acclaimed poet, essayist and erasure artist, Mary Ruefle, talks about her life as an artist, her approach to poetry, the questions she comes back to, and the artists that influence her.  Ruefle is the author of ten books of poe...Show More

Neal Stephenson : Seveneves

49:04 | May 20th, 2015

A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.  O...Show More

Viet Thanh Nguyen : The Sympathizer

41:55 | Apr 29th, 2015

It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a general of the South Vietnamese army is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his trusted captain, drawing up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of the coun...Show More

Sarah Manguso : Ongoingness

38:54 | Apr 2nd, 2015

In Ongoingness, Sarah Manguso confronts a meticulous diary that she has kept for 25 years. “I wanted to end each day with a record of everything that had ever happened,” she explains. But this simple statement belies a terror that she might miss some...Show More

Kelly Link : Get in Trouble

52:28 | Mar 4th, 2015

Kelly Link has been hailed by Michael Chabon as “the most darkly playful voice in American fiction” and by Neil Gaiman as “a national treasure.” Link has won an ardent following for her ability, with each new short story, to take readers deeply into ...Show More

Sarah Gerard : Binary Star

30:29 | Feb 25th, 2015

The language of stars is the language of the body. Like a star, the anorexic burns fuel that isn’t replenished; she is held together by her own gravity.  With luminous, lyrical prose, Binary Star is an account of a young woman struggling with anorexi...Show More

Miranda July : The First Bad Man

41:47 | Jan 28th, 2015

Here is Cheryl, a tightly-wound, vulnerable woman who lives alone, with a perpetual lump in her throat. She is haunted by a baby boy she met when she was six, who sometimes recurs as other people’s babies. Cheryl is also obsessed with Phillip, a phil...Show More

Leslie Jamison : The Empathy Exams

49:28 | Dec 18th, 2014

Beginning with her experience as a medical actor who was paid to act out symptoms for medical students to diagnose, Leslie Jamison’s visceral and revealing essays ask essential questions about our basic understanding of others: How should we care abo...Show More

Claudia Rankine : Citizen

1:00:10 | Nov 13th, 2014

Claudia Rankine, chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, speaks about her much awaited follow-up to her groundbreaking work Don’t Let Me Be Lonely. A provocative meditation on race (and short-listed for the National Book Award), Citizen: An Amer...Show More

William Gibson : The Peripheral

1:02:30 | Nov 5th, 2014

Where Flynne and her brother, Burton, live, jobs outside the drug business are rare. Fortunately, Burton has his veteran’s benefits, for neural damage he suffered from implants during his time in the USMC’s elite Haptic Recon force. Then one night Bu...Show More

David Mitchell : The Bone Clocks

46:03 | Oct 1st, 2014

“No one, clearly, has ever told Mitchell that the novel is dead. He writes with a furious intensity and slapped-awake vitality, with a delight in language and all the rabbit holes of experience…In his sixth novel, he’s brought together the time-capsu...Show More

Ben Parzybok : Sherwood Nation

37:25 | Sep 10th, 2014

In drought-stricken Portland, Oregon, a Robin Hood-esque water thief is caught on camera redistributing an illegal truckload of water to those in need. Nicknamed Maid Marian—real name: Renee, a twenty-something barista and eternal part-time college s...Show More

Karen Russell : Sleep Donation

53:15 | Aug 13th, 2014

A crisis has swept America. Hundreds of thousands have lost the ability to sleep. Enter the Slumber Corps, an organization that urges healthy dreamers to donate sleep to an insomniac. Under the wealthy and enigmatic Storch brothers the Corps’ reach h...Show More

Dinaw Mengestu : All Our Names

29:25 | Jul 30th, 2014

All Our Names is the story of two young men who come of age during an African revolution, drawn from the safe confines of the university campus into the intensifying clamor of the streets outside. But as the line between idealism and violence becomes...Show More

Jo Walton : My Real Children

51:05 | Jun 25th, 2014

It’s 2015, and Patricia Cowan is very old. “Confused today,” read the notes clipped to the end of her bed. She forgets things she should know—what year it is, major events in the lives of her children. But she remembers things that don’t seem possibl...Show More

Roxane Gay : An Untamed State

36:10 | Jun 11th, 2014

An Untamed State is a novel of privilege in the face of crushing poverty, and of the lawless anger that corrupt governments produce. It is the story of a willful woman attempting to find her way back to the person she once was, and of how redemption ...Show More

Leni Zumas & Luca DiPierro : A Wooden Leg

57:43 | May 28th, 2014

There is a long, if lesser known, history of fictions (and fictive illustrations) that invite reader participation, where the reader co-creates the story with the authors.  These stories often utilize an element of chance and/or suggest multiple poss...Show More

Lorrie Moore : Bark

39:44 | Apr 23rd, 2014

Harper’s Magazine may have said it best when describing today’s guest, Lorrie Moore: “Fifty years from now, it may well turn out that the work of very few American writers has as much to say about what it means to be alive in our time as that of Lorr...Show More

Kyle Minor : Praying Drunk

52:01 | Apr 9th, 2014

The characters in Praying Drunk speak in tongues, torture their classmates, fall in love, hunt for immortality, abandon their children, keep machetes beneath passenger seats, and collect porcelain figurines. From Kentucky to Florida to Haiti, these s...Show More

Helen Oyeyemi : Boy, Snow, Bird

30:30 | Mar 27th, 2014

In the winter of 1953, Boy Novak arrives by chance in a small town in Massachusetts, looking, she believes, for beauty—the opposite of the life she’s left behind in New York. She marries a local widower and becomes stepmother to his winsome daughter,...Show More

Gina Frangello: A Life In Men

28:50 | Mar 12th, 2014

The friendship between Mary and Nix has endured since childhood, a seemingly unbreakable bond, until the mid-1980s, when the two young women reunite for a summer vacation in Greece. It’s a trip instigated by Nix, who has just learned that Mary has be...Show More

Chang-rae Lee : On Such A Full Sea

37:21 | Feb 20th, 2014

“The most striking dystopian novels sound an alarm, focus our attention and even change the language. The Handmaid’s Tale crystallized our fears about reproductive control; Fahrenheit 451 still flames discussions of censorship; and 1984 is the lens t...Show More

Gary Shteyngart : Little Failure

46:39 | Jan 23rd, 2014

“Gary Shteyngart has written a memoir for the ages. I spat laughter on the first page and closed the last with wet eyes. Unputdownable in the day and a half I spent reading it, Little Failure is a window into immigrant agony and ambition, Jewish angs...Show More

Veronica Gonzalez Peña : The Sad Passions

55:12 | Dec 19th, 2013

Told by six women in one family, Veronica Gonzalez Peña’s The Sad Passions captures the alertness, beauty, and terror of childhood lived in proximity to madness. Set against the backdrop of a colonial past, spanning three generations, and shuttling f...Show More

Kevin Sampsell : This Is Between Us

28:37 | Nov 21st, 2013

There may be no author more integral to the Portland literary scene than Kevin Sampsell.   Kevin is not only the small press curator and events coordinator at Powell’s books, he’s also the editor of the Portland Noir fiction anthology,  curated this ...Show More

Lucy Corin : One Hundred Apocalypses

31:20 | Oct 31st, 2013

We seem to be in the midst of an upsurge in dystopian art and end times anxieties.  If we as a culture don’t have a sense of impending doom, we do at least have trouble imagining the future being bright and promising.   Today’s guest Lucy Corin is he...Show More

Jonathan Lethem : Dissident Gardens

36:47 | Oct 2nd, 2013

Jonathan Lethem is a man of many lives. For one, because of his repeated return to New York as both setting and muse in novels such as Motherless Brooklyn, Fortress of Solitude and Chronic City, he may be New York’s closest thing to having a bard.  B...Show More

Robert Boswell : Tumbledown

38:00 | Sep 19th, 2013

“When most of us think of today’s great American novel, we think of Franzen’s Freedom or Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad—sprawling stories that comment on contemporary society as we live it. Tumbledown, Robert Boswell’s latest, is just such a book...Show More

Jami Attenberg : The Middlesteins

34:24 | Aug 8th, 2013

For more than thirty years, Edie and Richard Middlestein shared a solid family life together in the suburbs of Chicago. But now things are splintering apart, for one reason, it seems: Edie’s enormous girth. She’s obsessed with food–thinking about it,...Show More

Matt Bell : In the House Upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods

29:03 | Jul 10th, 2013

Matt Bell’s novel is so unlike anything else you’ll read this year that people are struggling to describe just what it is. The Washington Post says it’s like a magical realist story chanted by druids on mushrooms, The Stranger says it feels like a To...Show More

NoViolet Bulawayo : We Need New Names

28:06 | Jun 27th, 2013

Born and raised in Zimbabwe, NoViolet Bulawayo earned her MFA at Cornell University where she was the recipient of the Truman Capote fellowship. In 2011 she won the biggest literary prize in Africa, the Caine Prize for African Writing for her short s...Show More

Lenore Zion : Stupid Children

26:47 | May 30th, 2013

Host David Naimon talks with Lenore Zion about her debut novel, Stupid Children, a book Thomas Michael Duncan of Necessary Fiction calls “a bildungsroman of twisted proportions told with startling clarity through the filter of a smart, psychoanalytic...Show More

Benjamin Percy : Red Moon

28:32 | May 15th, 2013

They live among us.
 They are your neighbor, your mother, your lover.
 They change.  Every teenage girl thinks she’s different. When government agents kick down Claire Forrester’s front door and murder her parents, Claire realizes just how different ...Show More

Karen Russell : Vampires in the Lemon Grove

31:10 | Apr 24th, 2013

Karen Russell is one of today’s most celebrated and vital writers—honored in The New Yorker’s list of the twenty best writers under the age of forty, Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists, and the National Book Foundation’s five best writers unde...Show More

Monica Drake : The Stud Book

29:04 | Apr 18th, 2013

In the hip haven of Portland, Oregon, a pack of unsteady but loyal friends asks what it means to bring babies into an already crowded world. A smart, edgy and poignantly funny exploration of the complexities of what parenthood means today, Monica Dra...Show More

Sam Lipsyte : The Fun Parts

26:28 | Mar 14th, 2013

A hilarious collection of stories from the writer The New York Times called “the novelist of his generation”   Returning to the form in which he began, Sam Lipsyte, author of the New York Times bestseller The Ask, offers up The Fun Parts, a book of b...Show More

George Saunders : Tenth of December

29:52 | Feb 14th, 2013

“George Saunders Has Written the Best Book You’ll Read All Year,” declared the cover of the New York Times Magazine several weeks ago. Since then the world has rushed to agree that Saunders’ new story collection, Tenth of December, is a remarkable li...Show More

Chris Kraus : Summer of Hate

27:13 | Nov 30th, 2012

Writer, filmmaker and art critic, Chris Kraus, talks with host David Naimon about her latest book, Summer of Hate. “Chris Kraus cuts a new and insatiably clever line in this explosive new work, breaking down big themes like art writing, romance, and ...Show More

Alexis Smith : Glaciers

28:00 | Nov 15th, 2012

Portland author, Alexis Smith,  talks with host David Naimon about Glaciers, her debut novel from Tin House books. Glaciers follows Isabel through a day in her life in which work with damaged books in the basement of a library, unrequited love for th...Show More

Jess Walter : Beautiful Ruins

29:34 | Oct 25th, 2012

Host David Naimon talks with Jess Walter about his sixth novel, Beautiful Ruins, a deeply human, roller coaster of a novel, spanning fifty years and nearly as many lives.  “…a blockbuster, with romance, majesty, comedy, smarts, and a cast of thousand...Show More

Junot Diaz : This Is How You Lose Her

34:01 | Sep 27th, 2012

Host David Naimon speaks with Junot Diaz, a writer The New Yorker calls one of the top 20 writers for the 21st century. He’s the Pulitzer Prize winning author of the novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, a creative writing professor at MIT, th...Show More

Sheila Heti : How Should A Person Be?

0:00 | Aug 31st, 2012

Is How Should a Person Be? a novel, a memoir, a self-help manual, or a book of philosophy? It is all of these things and more.  Host David Naimon talks with Sheila Heti about her new book, “a raw, startling, genre-defying novel of friends, sex, and l...Show More

Karen Thompson Walker : The Age of Miracles

27:31 | Jul 14th, 2012

On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow.The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affect...Show More

Vanessa Veselka : Zazen

29:05 | Jun 22nd, 2012

A war has either started or is about to. Bombs are going off in the city. But people seem strangely disengaged. Della’s activist friends seem more concerned about the next sex party or the finer points of vegan ideology, and customers at the vegan ca...Show More

Adam Levin : Hot Pink

29:09 | Jun 14th, 2012

Adam Levin’s debut novel, The Instructions, published by McSweeney’s in 2010, arrived with a lot of buzz. An inventive, experimental book of over one thousand pages, its protagonist was Gurion ben-Judah Maccabee, a 10 year old genius from Chicago, wh...Show More

Jon Raymond : Rain Dragon

29:27 | May 24th, 2012

Host David Naimon talks with Portland author, Jon Raymond, about his new novel Rain Dragon.  Raymond is the author of the novel Half-life, and the short story collection, Livability, which won the Oregon Book Award and contained two stories that beca...Show More

Nathan Englander : What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank

29:47 | Mar 14th, 2012

Englander burst on the literary scene in 1999 with For The Relief of Unbearable Urges, a story collection that earned him the PEN/Faulkner Malamud Award and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Sue Kauffman Prize.   His first novel, The Ministry ...Show More

Ben Marcus : The Flame Alphabet

25:47 | Mar 1st, 2012

What if the words your children spoke to you actually made you sick? Physically sick. And what if the children themselves relished in this newfound power over their parents? This is the setting of Ben Marcus’ new dystopian novel The Flame Alphabet. B...Show More

Colson Whitehead : Zone One

21:06 | Dec 29th, 2011

Host David Naimon speaks with award-winning writer Colson Whitehead about his new novel, “Zone One,”  described as a “wry take on the post-apocalyptic horror novel.” The world has been devastated by a plague. There are two types of survivors. the uni...Show More

Justin Torres : We The Animals

25:40 | Nov 3rd, 2011

Host David Naimon interviews debut novelist Justin Torres.  His book, We the Animals, has been heralded for its beautiful, concentrated prose. NPR likened it to a diamond, brilliant and brilliantly compressed.  Esquire magazine called it a “knock to ...Show More

China Mieville : Embassytown

28:18 | Jul 21st, 2011

Science fiction and fantasy writer China Mieville has won nearly every award in the genre and has caught the attention of mainstream publications from the New York Times to the Guardian with the depth of his imagination and the height of his eruditio...Show More

Scott Sparling : Wire to Wire

28:07 | Jun 30th, 2011

Host David Naimon interviews Portland writer Scott Sparling about his debut novel, Wire to Wire, from Tin House Books.   A pick of the week by Publisher’s Weekly, they call Wire to Wire “well crafted and thrilling, tying together an obvious love for ...Show More

Anthony Doerr : Memory Wall

26:20 | Jan 13th, 2011

Host David Naimon speaks with writer Anthony Doerr about his latest book, Memory Wall. Doerr is the author of three other books, The Shell Collector, About Grace, andFour Seasons in Rome. Doerr’s short fiction has won three O. Henry Prizes and has be...Show More

Nicole Krauss : Great House

25:12 | Dec 14th, 2010

Host David Naimon speaks with Nicole Krauss about her newest novel, Great House, which tells a story haunted by questions: What do we pass on to our children and how do they absorb our dreams and losses? How do we respond to disappearance, destructio...Show More