Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Candace Jane Opper, author of the debut memoir Certain and Impossible Events. It was selected by Cheryl Strayed as the winner of the Kore Press Memoir Award.

 

Opper is a writer, a mother, and an occasional visual artist. She grew up in the woods of Southern Connecticut. Her essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Longreads, Guernica, Creative Nonfiction, LitHub, Narratively, Brevity, and Vestoj, among others. She is a Creative Nonfiction Foundation Fellowship recipient and a member on the advisory council for Write Pittsburgh, a program collective that empowers writers to amplify their voices and strengthen their communities. Certain and Impossible Events is her first book.

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Now playing on Otherppla conversation with Ahmed Naji. He is the author of three novels, including Using Life (University of Texas Press), which led to his imprisonment in Egypt—and then led to the writing of a new memoir, Rotten Evidence: Reading and Writing in Prisoncurrently excerpted in The Believer magazine.

 

In 2016, Naji was sentenced to 2 years in prison after a reader complained that an excerpt of Using Life published in a literary journal harmed public morality. His imprisonment marked the first time in modern Egypt that an author has been jailed for a work of literature. Writers and literary organizations around the world rallied to support Naji, and he was released in December 2016. His original conviction was overturned in May 2017.

His other books include the novels Rogers and And Tigers to My Room.

Throughout his career, he has won several prizes, including the 2016 PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award.

He is now a fellow at the Black Mountain Institute in Las Vegas, where he lives with his small family.

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Now playing on Otherppla conversation with Michael Bible. His new novel, The Ancient Hours, is available from Melville House.

 

Support independent booksellers! Get your copy of The Ancient Hours here.

Bible’s other books include Empire of Light and Sophiaalso from Melville House. He is originally from North Carolina. His work has appeared in the Oxford AmericanThe Paris Review DailyAl-Jazeera AmericaESPN The Magazine, and New York Tyrant Magazine. He is a former bookseller at Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi, and lives in New York.

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Now playing on Otherppla conversation with Rob Doyle. His new book, Threshold, is available from Bloomsbury.

 

Doyle’s debut novel, Here Are the Young Men, was published in 2014 by Bloomsbury and the Lilliput Press. It was selected as one of Hot Press magazine’s ‘20 Greatest Irish Novels 1916-2016’, and has been made into a film starring Dean Charles Chapman and Anya Taylor Joy. This is the Ritual, a collection of short stories, was published in 2016 to widespread acclaim.

Doyle is the editor of the anthology The Other Irish Tradition (Dalkey Archive Press), and In This Skull Hotel Where I Never Sleep (Broken Dimanche Press). He has written for the Guardian, TLS, Vice, Sunday Times, Dublin Review, Observer and many other publications, and throughout 2019 he wrote a weekly column on cult books for the Irish Times. 

He lives between Ireland and Berlin.

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Now playing on Otherppla conversation with George Saunders. His new book, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, is available from Random House.

 

This is George’s second time on the program. He first appeared in Episode 100, on August 29, 2012.

Saunders is the author of eleven books, including Lincoln in the Bardo, which won the 2017 Man Booker Prize for best work of fiction in English, and was a finalist for the Golden Man Booker, in which one Booker winner was selected to represent each decade, from the fifty years since the Prize’s inception. The audiobook for Lincoln in the Bardo, which featured a cast of 166 actors, won the 2018 Audie Award for best audiobook.

His stories have appeared regularly in The New Yorker since 1992. The short story collection Tenth of December was a finalist for the National Book Award, and won the inaugural Folio Prize in 2013 (for the best work of fiction in English) and the Story Prize (best short story collection).

He has received MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships, the PEN/Malamud Prize for excellence in the short story, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2013, he was named one of the world’s 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. In support of his work, he has appeared on The Colbert ReportLate Night with David LettermanAll Things Considered, and The Diane Rehm Show.

Saunders was born in Amarillo, Texas and raised in Oak Forest, Illinois. He has a degree in Geophysics from the Colorado School of Mines and has worked as a geophysical prospector in Indonesia, a roofer in Chicago, a doorman in Beverly Hills, and a technical writer in Rochester, New York. He has taught, since 1997, in the Creative Writing Program at Syracuse University.

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Now playing on Otherppla conversation with Alex Branson. His new novel, Water, Wastedis available from Rare Bird Books. It is the official December pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

 
Branson works for a non-profit in South Jersey. Before that, he worked at group homes in rural Missouri and Chicago for eight years. He is one of the hosts of E1 Podcast.

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Now playing on Otherppla conversation with Travis Hoewischer. He is the author of the Two Dollar Radio Guide to Naming Your Baby, available now from Two Dollar Radio.

Hoewischer has spent twenty years as a journalist, standup comedian, and non-profit leader. This is his first book. He was almost called Andrew.

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Now playing on Otherppla conversation with Kasey Thornton. Her debut novel-in-stories, Lord the One You Love is Sick, is available now from Ig Publishing. It is the official November pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

 

Thornton attended both the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and North Carolina State University for her MFA in Fiction. She lives with fellow author Kevin Kauffmann in Durham County, North Carolina, where members of her family have resided for over two hundred years. Her creative work has been featured in the Masters Review, TJ Eckleberg Review, tinyjournal, Colonnades Literary & Art Journal, and Apeiron Review.

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Now playing on Otherppla conversation with Andrew Weatherhead. His latest book, $50,000, is available from Publishing Genius.

 

Weatherhead is a writer and artist from Chicago, Illinois. His other books include the poetry collections TODD and Cats and Dogs — and a chapbook, The Kids I Teach, with Mallory Whitten. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Now playing on Otherppla conversation with Sebastian Castillo. His new book, Not I, is available from Word West Press.

 

Castillo is the author of 49 Venezuelan Novels (Bottlecap Press). You can find his writing in Hobart, Peach Mag, X-R-A-Y, and elsewhere. He lives in New York, where he teaches writing.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Jared Yates Sexton. His new book, American Rule, is available from Dutton.

 

This is Jared’s second time on the program. He first appeared in Episode 478 on August 23, 2017.

Sexton is the author of The Man They Wanted Me to Be and The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore. His political writing has appeared in publications including The New York Times, The New Republic, Politico, and Salon.com. Sexton is also the author of three collections of fiction and is an associate professor of creative writing at Georgia Southern University.

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Now playing on Otherppla conversation with Anne Helen Petersen. Her new book, Can’t Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation, is available from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It is the official October pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

 

A former senior culture writer for BuzzFeed, Petersen now writes her newsletter, Culture Study, as a full-time venture on Substack. She received her PhD at the University of Texas at Austin, where she focused on the history of celebrity gossip. Her previous books, Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud and Scandals of Classic Hollywood, were featured in NPR, Elle, and the Atlantic. She lives in Missoula, Montana.

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Now playing on Otherppla conversation with Laura Bogart. Her debut novel, Don’t You Know I Love You, is available from Dzanc Books.

Bogart is also a non-fiction writer who focuses on personal essays, pop culture, film and TV, feminism, body image and sizeism, and politics (among other topics). She is a featured contributor to The Week and DAME magazine; her work has also appeared in The Atlantic, The Guardian, SPIN,The AV Club, Vulture, and Indiewire (among other publications). She lives in Baltimore.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Lynn Steger Strong. Her new novel, Want, is available from Henry Holt.

Strong was born and raised in South Florida. Her first novel, Hold Still, was released by Liveright/WW Norton in 2016. Her nonfiction has been published by GuernicaLos Angeles Review of Books, Elle.com, Catapult, Lit Hub, and others. She teaches both fiction and non-fiction writing at Columbia University, Fairfield University, and the Pratt Institute.

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Now playing on Otherppla conversation with Amy Shearn. Her new novel, Unseen City, is available from Red Hen Press. It is the official September pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

Shearn is the author of the novels The Mermaid of Brooklyn and How Far Is the Ocean From Here. She has an MFA from the University of Minnesota, and currently lives in Brooklyn.

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