Barrett Swanson is the author of the essay collection Lost in Summerland (Counterpoint Press).

 

Swanson is a contributing editor at Harper’s Magazine. He was the recipient of a 2015 Pushcart Prize, and his short fiction and essays have been distinguished as notable in Best American Short Stories (2019), Best American Nonrequired Reading (2014), Best American Essays (2014, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020) and Best American Sports Writing (2017). His work has appeared in many places, including Harper’s, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The New York Times Magazine, The Believer, American Short Fiction, The New Republic, The Atavist, Guernica, The Guardian, Best American Travel Writing 2018, and Best American Travel Writing 2020. He lives in the Midwest.

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Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Life. Death. Etc.

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Gina Frangello is the author of the memoir Blow Your House Down, available from Counterpoint Press.

This is Gina’s second time on the program. She first appeared in Episode 16 on November 9, 2011.

Frangello’s other books include Every Kind of WantingA Life in MenSlut Lullabies, and My Sister’s Continent. Her short fiction, essays, book reviews, and journalism have been published in PloughsharesThe Boston GlobeChicago TribuneHuffPostFenceFive ChaptersPrairie SchoonerChicago Reader, and many other publications. She lives with her family in the Chicago area.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Life. Death. Etc.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

www.otherppl.com

@otherppl

Instagram

YouTube

Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Now playing on Otherppla conversation with Maggie Downs. Her new memoir, Braver Than You Think: Around the World on the Trip of My (Mother’s) Lifetime, is available from Counterpoint Press.

Downs is an award-winning writer based in Palm Springs, California. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Palm Springs Life, and McSweeney’s and has been anthologized in The Lonely Planet Travel Anthology: True Stories from the World’s Best Writers and Best Women’s Travel Writing. This is her first book.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Amanda Goldblatt. Her debut novel, Hard Mouth, is available from Counterpoint Press.

 

Goldblatt’s work can lately be found at NOON, Fence, and Diagram. She was a 2018 National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellow, and teaches creative writing at Northeastern Illinois University.

She lives in Chicago, with her architect partner, and no dog.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Victoria Patterson. Her new story collection, The Secret Habit of Sorrow, is available from Counterpoint Press.

This is Victoria’s second time on the program. She first appeared in Episode 8 on October 12, 2011.

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My mother announces that when she dies, she wants to be buried like the pharaohs. We talk over the phone and I imagine her sitting in what used to be my father’s green chair, surveying the frames and cabinets that crowd the walls, feet bouncing on the footstool, the black poodle perched alertly on her lap. I ask her why and she cackles back: “Because they get to take all their stuff with them!”

Now playing on the Otherppl with Brad Listi podcast, a conversation with Tod Goldberg. His new novel, Gangster Nation, is available now from Counterpoint Press. 

This is Tod’s second appearance on the program. He was the guest in Episode 320, which aired on October 12, 2014.

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Now playing on the Otherppl with Brad Listi podcast, a conversation with Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, author of the debut novel  A Kind of Freedom, available from Counterpoint Press.

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Now playing on the Otherppl with Brad Listi podcast, a conversation with Jared Yates Sexton, author of The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore, available from Counterpoint Press.

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Natashia-Deon-Grace

Now playing on the Otherppl with Brad Listi podcast, a conversation with Natashia Deón, author of the novel Grace. It is available now from Counterpoint Press.

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unnamedWhy did you write Wedding Bush Road?

Because I needed to, and no one else could have.

 

Isn’t that kind of self-involved.

Perhaps, but it’s true.

 

Don’t you write for an audience.

If I start engineering a story to appease some notion of readership, the story risks losing its propulsion and integrity. I want to tell the story that I need to tell, not what I think someone needs to hear. I trust that the novel will find its own readership.

RosnerBYJulia McNealWhat do you love/hate about being a writer?   

I get to do things like this — interview myself, I mean. Which is kind of a love/hate thing right away.  Because in this type of activity there is a temptation toward grandiosity and humility all in a single moment.  Because I have to wonder who really cares what I might ask myself and what the answers might be. Because when I post on Facebook that I’m going to do this and invite some help with questions, I actually receive some really intriguing and compelling suggestions. The point is, I truly enjoy (I am amazed at this!) being given the chance to investigate myself and to know that this is “my job.” Asking myself questions and trying to answer them is in fact a basic description of my full-time employment.

Electric City_FINALBefore the name Electric City there were other names, and before those names there were no names at all. The river carved itself into the valley, remembering everything. Pines thickened and pushed against the sky. Autumn went dark, then ghostly, freezing into the hibernation of winter; spring resurrected the landscape and the creatures that filled it, painting the scenery back to life. Summers shimmered with wet heat until fall erupted into a riot. The story repeated and repeated, the same and yet not the same, year in and year out.

Gangsterland_FINALPrologue

April 1998

When Sal Cupertine was going to kill a guy, he’d walk right up and shoot him in the back of the head. Shoot someone in the face, there’s a good chance they’ll survive. Sal never messed around with a gut shot or trying to get someone in the heart. It was stupid and made a mess. You get told to kill a guy, you killed a guy. You didn’t leave it up to variations in the wind and barometric pressure and all that Green Beret shit he saw on TV. No, Sal knew, you just went up and did it. Be professional about it and no one suffers.

hour-of-leasd-cover-2When the wood grew scarce, Roland directed Matt to a rotted poplar and Matt felled it while Roland watched. The work was the kind Matt favored, muscle and bone, and if you did it properly, you shook thinking altogether and considered only the next blow. When the tree creaked and finally dropped, showering the yard with bark and limbs, he limbed it and cut the trunk into rounds then put diesel to branches and boughs and perched on a fence rail to watch the wood catch and light. The tree burned into the twilight, and Roland sat next to him, content, too, to watch it. Matt was cold and part of him hankered for another chore, but a bigger part was satisfied to sit and gaze at the coals that had started to glisten.