Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Saskia Vogel. Her debut novel, Permission, is available from Coach House Books.

Vogel was born and raised in Los Angeles and now lives in its sister city, Berlin, where she works as a writer and Swedish-to-English literary translator.

Previously she worked as Granta magazine’s global publicist and as an editor at the AVN Media Network, where she reported on pornography and adult pleasure products. She volunteers her time as the honorary secretary of SELTA and as part of the team that organizes Viva Erotica, an annual film festival in Helsinki that explores the art, history, and culture of sex on film.

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Balli Kaur Jaswal is the guest. Her new novel, The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters, is available from William Morrow. It is the official April 2019 pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

 

Jaswal is the author of Inheritance, which won the Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Young Australian Novelist Award in 2014 and was adapted into a film at the Singapore International Festival of the Arts in 2017. Her second novel Sugarbread was a finalist for the 2015 inaugural Epigram Books Fiction Prize and the 2018 Singapore Literature Prize.

Her third novel Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows (Harper Collins/William Morrow) was released internationally to critical acclaim in March 2017. Translation rights to this novel have been sold in France, Spain, Italy, Israel, Poland, Germany, Sweden, Greece, China, Brazil and Estonia. Film rights to Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows have been acquired by Ridley Scott’s production company, Scott Free Productions and Film Four in the UK. Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows was also picked by Reese Witherspoon’s book club and The Girly Book Club in 2018.

Jaswal’s short fiction and non-fiction writing have appeared in the UK Sunday Express, Cosmopolitan MagazineThe New York Times, Harpers Bazaar, Conde Nast Traveller and Best Australian Short Stories, among other publications and periodicals. She has travelled widely to appear in international writers festivals to conduct workshops and lectures on creative writing, pursuing an artistic career, the power of storytelling, global citizenship and social justice advocacy through literature. A former writing fellow at the University of East Anglia, Jaswal has taught creative writing at Yale-NUS College and Nanyang Technological University where she is currently pursuing a PhD.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Chloe Aridjis. Her new novel, Sea Monsters, is available from Catapult Press.

 

Aridjis is a Mexican-American writer who was born in New York and grew up in the Netherlands and Mexico. After completing her Ph.D. at the University of Oxford in nineteenth-century French poetry and magic shows, she lived for nearly six years in Berlin. Her debut novel, Book of Clouds, has been published in eight languages and won the Prix du Premier Roman Étranger in France. Aridjis sometimes writes about art and insomnia and was a guest curator at Tate Liverpool. In 2014, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives in London.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Steve Anwyll. His debut novel, Welfare, is available from Tyrant Books.

Anwyll’s work has appeared in Hobart and Tyrant Magazine, among other places. He lives in Montreal.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Sam Lipsyte. His new novel, Hark, is available from Simon & Schuster.

 

This is Sam’s second time on the podcast. He first appeared in Episode 154, on March 6, 2013.

His other books include the story collections Venus Drive (named one of the top twenty-five books of its year by the Voice Literary Supplement) and The Fun Parts, and three other novels: The Ask, The Subject Steve, and Home Land, which was a New York Times Notable Book and received the first annual Believer Book Award. He is also the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship. He lives in New York City and teaches at Columbia University.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Madhuri Vijay. Her debut novel, The Far Field, is available now from Grove Press.

A graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop, Vijay was born in Bangalore. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, and her writing has appeared in Best American Non-Required Reading, Narrative Magazine and Salon, among other publications. The Far Field is her first book.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Brad Phillips. His new story collection, Essays and Fictions, is available from Tyrant Books.

 

The late Anthony Bourdain calls it: “Searingly honest, brilliant and disturbing. [Phillips] peels back the skin and bone and stares right into the human soul.”

Born in 1974, Phillips is also an accomplished visual artist  known for dark work that engages with themes of eroticism, depression, and mortality. His paintings display stylistic breadth, from text-based to photorealist, referring in many cases directly to his daily life. He lives in Toronto.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore. Her new novel Sketchtasy is available from Arsenal Pulp Press.

 

This is Mattilda’s second time on the podcast. She first appeared in Episode 237 on December 25, 2013.

Described as “startlingly bold and provocative” by Howard Zinn, “a cross between Tinkerbell and a honky Malcolm X with a queer agenda” by the Austin Chronicle, and “a gender-fucking tower of pure pulsing purple fabulous” by The Stranger, Sycamore is the author of a memoir and three novels, and the editor of five nonfiction anthologies.

Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Anita Felicelli. Her debut story collection, Love Songs for a Lost Continent, is available from Stillhouse Press. It is the winner of the 2016 Mary Roberts Rinehart Award.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Daniel Gumbiner. He is the managing editor of The Believer magazine, and his debut novel The Boatbuilder (McSweeney’s) was nominated for the National Book Award.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Laura van den Berg. Her new novel, The Third Hotel, is available from Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.

This is Laura’s second time on the program. She first appeared in Episode 224 on November 10, 2013.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Mark Leidner. His new story collection, Under the Sea, is available from Tyrant Books.

 

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So, obvious question, but what’s up with the dragonflies? Why dragonflies?

Well, I’m not traditionally religious, so after my mom’s death, it was very hard to see any way to connect with her. There was just this incredible feeling of goneness. But dragonflies, maybe because of their surprisingly short life span once they transform into gorgeous, iridescent flying creatures, were what appeared to me. It got pretty intense right after she died—so many dragonflies. Because I’m such a hardcore realist, it was hard for me to accept these “visits” from my mom at first, but grief cracks you open in a whole new way. I now understand there’s something out there much bigger than us, and that you simply have to be receptive, porous, and open, and you will receive.

Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with T. Greenwood. Her new novel, Rust & Stardust, is available from St. Martin’s Press. It is the official September pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club

This is Tammy’s second time on the program. She first appeared in Episode 267 on April 9, 2014.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Amber Tamblyn. She is an author, actress and director. She’s been nominated for an Emmy, Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Award for her work in television and film. She is the author of three books of poetry including the critically acclaimed bestseller, Dark Sparkler. And her debut novel, Any Man, is available from Harper Perennial.

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