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 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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Now playing on Otherppla conversation with Nick Flynn. His new memoir, This is the Night Our House Will Catch Fire, is available from W.W. Norton & Co. It is the official August pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

 

Flynn is the author of three previous memoirs, including the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award–winning Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, and four volumes of poetry. A professor on the creative writing faculty at the University of Houston, he lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Now playing on Otherppla conversation with Jean Kyoung Frazier. Her new novel, Pizza Girl, is available from Doubleday. It is the official July pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

 

Jean lives in Los Angeles. This is her debut.

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Now playing on Otherppla conversation with Joseph Di Prisco. His new novel, The Good Family Fitzgerald, is available from Rare Bird Books. It was the official May pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

 

Di Prisco has published four other novels (Confessions of Brother Eli, Sun City, All for Now, and The Alzhammer), three books of poetry (Wit’s End, Poems in Which, and Sightlines from the Cheap Seats), two books on childhood and adolescence co-written with psychologist and educator Michael Riera (Field Guide to the American Teenager and Right from Wrong), and two memoirs (Subway to California and The Pope of Brooklyn). His book reviews, essays, and poems have appeared in numerous journals and newspapers, and his poetry has been awarded prizes from Poetry Northwest, Bear Star Press, and Bread Loaf.

He lives with his wife, photographer Patti James, and their two whippets (Raylan and Ava—yes, their names straight out of Elmore Leonard) in Lafayette, California.

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Now playing on Otherppla conversation with Natalie Diaz. Her new poetry collection, Postcolonial Love Poem, is available from Graywolf Press. It is the official June pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club

 

Diaz was born and raised in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California, on the banks of the Colorado River. She is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. Her first poetry collection, When My Brother Was an Aztec, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2012. She is 2018 MacArthur Foundation Fellow, a Lannan Literary Fellow and a Native Arts Council Foundation Artist Fellow. She was awarded a Bread Loaf Fellowship, the Holmes National Poetry Prize, a Hodder Fellowship, and a PEN/Civitella Ranieri Foundation Residency, as well as being awarded a US Artists Ford Fellowship. Diaz teaches at the Arizona State University Creative Writing MFA program.

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Now playing on Otherppla conversation with Rowan Hisayo Buchanan. Her new novel, Starling Days, is available from The Overlook Press. It is the official April pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

 

Buchanan is also the author of Harmless Like You, winner of The Authors’ Club First Novel Award and a Betty Trask Award. It was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and an NPR 2017 Great Read.

Her short work has appeared in several places, including Granta, Guernica, The Guardian, The Harvard Review, and NPR’s Selected Shorts.

She lives in London.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Deb Olin Unferth. Her new novel Barn 8 is available from Graywolf Press. It is the official March pick of the TNB Book Club.

 

This is Deb’s second time on the program. She first appeared in Episode 178 on May 29, 2013.

Unferth is the author of six books, including Wait Till You See Me Dance and Revolution. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and three Pushcart Prizes, and was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. Her work has appeared in Granta, Harper’s, McSweeney’s, and The Paris Review. She lives in Austin, Texas.

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Steffie Nelson, Heather John Fogarty, and Sarah Tomlinsonare the guests. All are contributors to a new essay anthology called Slouching Towards Los Angeles: Living and Writing by Joan Didion’s Light.The collection is edited by Steffie Nelson and is available from Rare Bird Books. It is the official January pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

 

In The White Album, Joan Didion famously wrote that “a place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively…loves it so radically that he remakes it in his image.” Cruising in her Daytona yellow Corvette Stingray, taking it all in behind dark glasses, Joan Didion claimed California for all time. Slouching Towards Los Angeles is a multi-faceted portrait of the literary icon who, in turn, belongs to us.

This collection of original essays covers the turf that made Didion a sensation—Hollywood and Patty Hearst; Malibu, Manson and the Mojave; the Summer of Love and the Central Park Five—while bringing together some of the finest voices of today’s Los Angeles and beyond. Slouching Towards Los Angeles is a love letter and thank you note; personal memoir and social commentary; cultural history and literary critique. Fans of Didion, lovers of California, and fellow writers alike will all find something to dig into, in this rich exploration of the inner and outer landscapes Joan Didion traveled, shaping our own journeys in the process.

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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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In December, the TNB Book Club will be reading You Can See More From Up Here (Golden Antelope Press), by Mark Guerin.

 

Sign up by November 15th to get your copy and join the club!

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.

The TNB Book Club is reading Exile this month, available from OR Books. Join us! Get your copy now!

And stay tuned for Belén’s appearance on the Otherppl podcast later this month.

About the book:

Che Guevara left Argentina at 22. At 21, Belén Fernández left the U.S. and didn’t look back. Alone, far off the beaten path in places like Syria and Tajikistan, she reflects on what it means to be an American in a largely American-made mess of a world.

After growing up in Washington, D.C. and Texas, and then attending Columbia University in New York, Belén 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.

Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Juliet Escoria. Her debut novel, Juliet the Maniac, is available from Melville House. It was the official May pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

This is Juliet’s second time on the program. She first appeared in Episode 273 on April 30, 2014.

She also wrote the short story collection Black Cloud, which was originally published in 2014 by Civil Coping Mechanisms. In 2015, Emily Books published the ebook, Maro Verlag published a German translation, and Los Libros de la Mujer Rota published a Spanish translation. Witch Hunt, a collection of poems, was published by Lazy Fascist Press in 2016.

Escoria was born in Australia, raised in San Diego, and currently lives in West Virginia.

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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