Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Adrienne Brodeur. Her memoir, Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me, is available from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It was the official October pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

 

Brodeur has spent the past two decades of her professional life in the literary world, discovering voices, cultivating talent, and working to amplify underrepresented writers. Her publishing career began with founding the fiction magazine, Zoetrope: All-Storywith filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, where she served as editor in chief from 1996-2002. The magazine has won the prestigious National Magazine Award for best fiction four times. In 2005, she became an editor at Harcourt (later, HMH Books), where she acquired and edited literary fiction and memoir. Adrienne left publishing in 2013 to become Creative Director — and later Executive Director — of Aspen Words, a literary arts nonprofit and program of the Aspen Institute. In 2017, she launched the Aspen Words Literary Prize, a $35,000 annual award for an influential work of fiction that illuminates a vital contemporary issue and demonstrates the transformative power of literature on thought and culture.

She splits her time between Cambridge and Cape Cod, where she lives with her husband and children.

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Now playing on Otherppla conversation with Mimi Lok. Her debut story collection, Last of Her Name, is available from Kaya Press.

 

Lok is the recipient of a Smithsonian Ingenuity Award and an Ylvisaker Award for Fiction, and was a finalist for the Susan Atefat Arts and Letters Prize for nonfiction. Her work can be found in McSweeney’sElectric Literature, LitHub, NimrodLucky PeachHyphen, the South China Morning Post, and elsewhere. She is currently working on a novel.

Lok is also the executive director and editor of Voice of Witness, an award-winning human rights/oral history nonprofit she cofounded that amplifies marginalized voices through a book series and a national education program.

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Now playing on Otherppla conversation with Ashley Wurzbacher. A 5 Under 35 honoree, her debut story collection, Happy Like This, won the 2019 John Simmons Short Fiction Award. It is available from the University of Iowa Press.

 

Wurzbacher’s writing has appeared in The Iowa Review, The Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, The Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Gettysburg Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She earned her BA from Allegheny College, her MFA from Eastern Washington University, and her PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston.

Originally from Titusville, Pennsylvania, she currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama and teaches creative writing at the University of Montevallo.

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Now playing on Otherppla conversation with Steph Cha. Her new novel, Your House Will Pay, is available from Ecco.

This is Steph’s second time on the program. She first appeared in Episode 319 on October 8, 2014.

Cha is also the author of the Juniper Song crime trilogy. She’s an editor and critic whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. A native of the San Fernando Valley, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two basset hounds.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Jarett Kobek. His new novel, Only Americans Burn in Hell, is available from We Heard You Like Books.

 

This is Kobek’s third time on the program. He first appeared in Episode 399 on February 3, 2016, and in Episode 476 on August 2, 2017.

Kobek is an internationally bestselling Turkish-American writer who lives in California. His work has been translated into nine languages and published in twelve countries. His previous books include ATTA, I Hate the Internet, and Do Every Thing Wrong!: XXXTentacion Against the World.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Zulema Renee Summerfield. Her debut novel, Every Other Weekend, is available in trade paperback from Back Bay Books.

 

Summerfield holds an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, and her work has appeared in a number of literary journals. She is also the author of a book of flash fiction, Everything Faces All Ways At Once (Fourteen Hills Press).

In addition to her writing, Summerfield is an educator and creative coach and is one half of Thoughts & Feelings. She lives in Portland, Oregon, where she is at work on a collection of short stories and a new novel.

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Elizabeth Cantwell is the guest. Her new poetry collection, All the Emergency-Type Structures, is available from Inlandia Institute.

 

Cantwell lives in Claremont, CA, where she teaches Humanities at The Webb Schools. She has a B.A. from Yale University and a Ph.D. in Literature & Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. Her poetry has appeared in a variety of journals, including DIAGRAM, The Cincinnati Review, The Los Angeles Review, Hobart, and The Missouri Review.

Her first book of poems, Nights I Let The Tiger Get You (Black Lawrence Press, 2014), was a finalist for the 2012 Hudson Prize; she is also the author of a chapbook, Premonitions (Grey Book Press, 2014).

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Adam Popescu. His debut novel, Nima, is available from Unnamed Press.

 

Popescu is a writer and journalist whose work has appeared in The New York TimesWashington PostBloomberg BusinessweekVanity FairNational GeographicPlayboyFast CompanyScientific AmericanOutside, The GuardianNew ScientistLos Angeles Magazine, and others.

In 2018, Popescu spent weeks in Ladakhin search of snow leopards in India’s Himalayas, sailed to the edge of the globe in the Russian High Arctic and into the deceptively placid Pacific waters of the Galapagos, on assignment for Bloomberg, the Washington Post and New York Times. A year later, he returned to Ladakh and saw a leopard with the naked eye.

Popescu holds a master’s degree in journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, and a BA in creative writing from Pitzer College. He lives in Los Angeles.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Robin Page. Her debut novel, Small Silent Things, is available from Harper Perennial.

Page was raised in Cincinnati and has degrees from UCLA and UC Irvine’s MFA program. She is married, has two daughters, and lives in Los Angeles.

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Belén Fernández is the guest. Her new book, ExileRejecting America and Finding the World, is available from OR Books. It is the official September pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

After growing up in Washington, D.C. and Texas, and then attending Columbia University in New York, Fernández ended up in a state of self-imposed exile from the United States. From trekking—through Europe, the Middle East, Morocco, and Latin America—to packing avocados in southern Spain, to close encounters with a variety of unpredictable men, to witnessing the violent aftermath of the 2009 coup in Honduras, the international travel allowed her by an American passport has, ironically, given her a direct view of the devastating consequences of U.S. machinations worldwide. For some years Fernández survived thanks to the generosity of strangers who picked her up hitchhiking, fed her, and offered accommodations; then she discovered people would pay her for her powerful, unfiltered journalism, enabling—as of the present moment—continued survival.

In just a few short years of publishing her observations on world politics and writing from places as varied as Lebanon, Italy, Uzbekistan, Syria, Mexico, Turkey, Honduras, and Iran, Belén Fernández has established herself as a one of the most trenchant observers of America’s interventions around the world, following in the footsteps of great foreign correspondents such as Martha Gellhorn and Susan Sontag.

Fernández is a contributing editor at Jacobin and graduated from Columbia with a BA in political science. She frequently writes for Al Jazeera, Middle East Eye, and Jacobin, and is also the author of The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work.

Now playing on Otherppla conversation with Sarah M. Broom. Her debut memoir, The Yellow House, is available from Grove Press.

 

Broom began her writing career as a newspaper journalist working in Rhode Island, Dallas, New Orleans and Hong Kong (for TIMEAsia). She also worked as an editor at O, The Oprah Magazinefor several years. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times MagazineO, The Oprah Magazineand elsewhere. In 2016, she received the prestigious Whiting Award for Creative Nonfiction.

Broom has an undergraduate degree in anthropology and mass communications from the University of North Texas and a Master’s degree in Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.

A native New Orleanian, she is the youngest of twelve children, and now makes her home in New York City.

Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Dora Malech. Her most recent poetry collection, Stet, is available from Princeton University Press.

 

Malech’s other collections include Say So (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2011), and Shore Ordered Ocean (Waywiser Press, 2009). Her fourth collection, Flourish, will be published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in 2020.

Malech has been the recipient of an Amy Clampitt Residency Award from the Amy Clampitt Fund, a Mary Sawyers Baker Prize from the Baker Artist Awards, a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, and a Writing Residency Fellowship from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and she has served as Distinguished Poet-in-Residence at Saint Mary’s College of California. She is a co-founder and former director of the arts engagement organization the Iowa Youth Writing Projects, and she is currently an assistant professor in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Kimberly King Parsons. Her debut story collection, Black Light, is available from Vintage.

 

Born in Lubbock, Texas, Parsons earned a BA in English and an MA in Literary Studies (emphasis on the works of William Faulkner) from the University of Texas at Dallas. She later moved to New York City, where she earned an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and served as the editor-in-chief of Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art.

A recipient of fellowships from Columbia University and the Sustainable Arts Foundation, her fiction has been published in The Paris ReviewBest Small Fictions 2017Black Warrior ReviewNo TokensKenyon Review, and elsewhere.

She lives with her partner and sons in Portland, OR, where she is completing a novel about Texas, motherhood, and LSD.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Josh Gondelman. His new book, Nice Try: Stories of Best Intentions and Mixed Results, is available from Harper Perennial (Sept. 17, 2019).

Gondelman is a writer and comedian who incubated in Boston before moving to New York City, where he currently lives and works as a writer and producer for Desus and Mero on Showtime. Previously, he spent five years at Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, first as a web producer and then as a staff writer. In 2016, he made his late night standup debut on Conan (TBS), and he recently made his network television debut on Late Night With Seth Meyers (NBC).

He is the winner of two Peabody Awards, three Emmy awards, and two WGA Awards for his work on Last Week Tonight. He is also the co-author (along with Joe Berkowitz) of the book You Blew Itpublished October 2015 by Plume. His writing has also appeared in publications such as McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, New York Magazine, and The New Yorker.

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Now playing on Otherppla conversation with R.O. Kwon. Her bestselling debut novel, The Incendiaries, is available in trade paperback from Riverhead Books.

Named a best book of the year by over forty publications, The Incendiaries was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Award for Best First Book, Los Angeles Times First Book Prize, and Northern California Independent Booksellers Association Fiction Prize. The book was also nominated for the Aspen Prize, Carnegie Medal, and the Northern California Book Award. Kwon’s next novel, as well as an essay collection, are forthcoming.

Kwon’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Paris Review, Buzzfeed, NPR, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Yaddo, MacDowell, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Born in Seoul, Kwon has lived most of her life in the United States.

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