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 Otherppla conversation with Erin Hosier. Her new memoir, Don’t Let Me Down, is available from Atria Books.

Hosier is also the coauthor of Hit So Hard by Patty Schemel (Da Capo, 2017). She has been a literary agent since 2001 (currently with Dunow Carlson & Lerner), and was an original co-host of the Literary Death Match. As an agent, she primarily works with authors of nonfiction and has a special interest in popular culture, music biography, humor, women’s history (and untold stories of all kinds). She lives in Brooklyn.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Karen Stefano. Her new book, What a Body Remembers: A Memoir of Sexual Assault and Its Aftermath, is available from Rare Bird Books. It is the official June pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

 

Stefano’s other books include the short story collection The Secret Games of Words (1GlimpsePress 2015) and the how-to business writing guide, Before Hitting Send (Dearborn 2011). Her work has appeared in Ms. Magazine, The Rumpus, Psychology Today, California Lawyer, The South Carolina Review, Tampa Review, Epiphany, Volume 1 Brooklyn, and many other journals and magazines.

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Now playing on Otherppla conversation with Jennifer Pastiloff. Her new book, On Being Human: A Memoir of Waking Up, Living Real, and Listening Hard, is available from Dutton.

 

Pastiloff travels the world with her unique workshop On Being Human, and has been featured on Good Morning America, New York Magazine, Health Magazine, CBS News, and others for her unique style of teaching, which she has taught to thousands of women in sold-out workshops all over the world.

Jen is also the guest speaker at Canyon Ranch and Miraval Resorts, and she leads Writing and The Body workshops with author Lidia Yuknavitch, as well as retreats with Emily Rapp Black. Founder of the online magazine The Manifest Station, when Jen is not traveling she is based in Los Angeles with her husband and son.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with David Shields. His two most recent books are The Trouble with Men: Reflections on Sex, Love, Marriage, Porn, and Power (Mad Creek Books) and Nobody Hates Trump More Than Trump: An Intervention (Thought Catalog Books).

This is David’s third time on the podcast. He first appeared in Episode 26 on December 14, 2011, and again in Episode 454 on February 22, 2017.

He is the internationally bestselling author of twenty-two books, including Reality Hunger (named one of the best books of 2010 by more than thirty publications), The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead (New York Times bestseller), Black Planet (finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award), and Other People: Takes & Mistakes (NYTBR Editors’ Choice). The film adaptation of I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel was released by First Pond Entertainment in 2017.

A recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships and a senior contributing editor of Conjunctions, Shields has published essays and stories in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Esquire, Yale Review, Salon, Slate, A Public Space, McSweeney’s, and Believer. His work has been translated into two dozen languages. He lives in Seattle.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with T Kira Madden. Her new memoir, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls, is available from Bloomsbury. It was the official March pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

T Kira Madden is a lesbian APIA writer, photographer, and amateur magician living in New York City. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College and an BA in design and literature from Parsons School of Design and Eugene Lang College. She is the founding Editor-in-chief of No Tokens, a magazine of literature and art, and is a 2017 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in nonfiction literature from the New York Foundation for the Arts. She has received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Hedgebrook, Tin House, DISQUIET, Summer Literary Seminars, and Yaddo, where she was selected for the 2017 Linda Collins Endowed Residency Award. She facilitates writing workshops for homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals and currently teaches at Sarah Lawrence College. There is no period in her name.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Lori Gottlieb. Her new memoir, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed, is available from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Gottlieb is a psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author who writes the weekly “Dear Therapist” advice column for The Atlantic. She has written hundreds of articles related to psychology and culture, many of which have become viral sensations all over the world. A contributing editor for the Atlantic, she also writes for The New York Times Magazine, and appears as a frequent expert on relationships, parenting, and hot-button mental health topics in media such as The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Dr. Phil, CNN, and NPR.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Eva Hagberg Fisher. Her new book, How to Be Loved: A Memoir of Life-Saving Friendship, is available from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Eva’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, Tin House, Wallpaper*, Wired, and Dwell, among other places. She holds degrees in architecture from UC Berkeley and Princeton as well as a PhD in Visual and Narrative Culture from UC Berkeley.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Sarah McColl. Her debut memoir, Joy Enough, is available from Liveright Publishing.

 

McColl’s essays have appeared in Paris Review, McSweeney’s, StoryQuarterly, and elsewhere. She has been the recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, where she was named the 2017 Mary Carswell Fellow, the Millay Colony for the Arts, Ucross Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Wrangell Mountains Center.

She teaches creative writing and is based in Los Angeles, California.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Brittany Ackerman. Her debut memoir, The Perpetual Motion Machine, is available from Red Hen Press.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Christopher Zeischegg. A former adult film performer under the name Danny Wylde, his new memoir, Body to Job, is available from Rare Bird Books.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Leah Dieterich. Her debut memoir, Vanishing Twins: A Marriage, is available from Soft Skull Press.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Andre Dubus III. He is the author of seven books, including House of Sand and FogThe Garden of Last Days, and the memoir Townie. His new novel is called Gone So Long. It is available from W.W. Norton & Company.

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For the kids reading this, coming of age in the 90s wasn’t for the faint of heart. It was like the 70s but with pushup bras instead of no bras. Nobody watched their language – twelve-year-olds might as well have been twenty-one. Families were broken; “dysfunctional,” we called them. Dads were disappointing, dads were nonexistent, dads took us aside and told us our mothers were crazy. Moms were over it; moms did their best; we blamed our moms for not protecting us from our dads, from the world. Tanya Marquardt grew up in Vancouver; I grew up in Ohio; you grew up in Oklahoma; New York, Kentucky, Oregon, Texas; it’s all the same pain with a different accent. Teen angst, abuse, abandonment. In Stray, Tanya tells the story of an angry young woman just discovering that her voice is a rebel yell. She hit the road at sixteen against a soundtrack of weird industrial noise bands like Skinny Puppy, and found that a BDSM dungeon can sometimes be a better option than home bitter home. Managing to stay in high school despite it all, with Stray and her work in the theater, Tanya Marquardt has turned trauma into art.

 

You famously talk in your sleep. Can you talk about the process of recording yourself and the most surprising thing you learned? 

Alongside the book, I’ve been working on a performance piece called Some Must Watch While Some Must Sleep, which is about my experience as a lifelong sleeptalker. In 2015, I started recording my sleeping self on my iPhone and discovered that I have an entirely different ‘person’ that rolls around in my head. She has her own desires; she talks to herself, to me, to people I don’t recognize, and to the people that are sleeping next to me. And when I listen to the recordings, this sleeping self sounds like a younger version of me, a cup ½ full little creature walking around in my brain when I am unconscious. Sometimes she talks like a child, other times she seems to have some kind of mysterious, poetic knowledge.