A monthly conversation about books and ideas on NTS Radio hosted by friends Carrie Plitt, a literary agent, and Octavia Bright, a writer and academic. Each show features an author interview, book recommendations, lively discussion and a little music too, all built around a related theme - anything from the novella to race to masculinity. Listen live on NTS Radio www.nts.live
Literary Friction - Constraint with Maggie Nelson
1:11:02Can you have freedom without constraint? What role does it play in creativity, and can it be productive as well as limiting? This month our guest is the thinker and writer Maggie Nelson, whose latest book, On Freedom, explores the concept of freedom via four wide-ranging essays about art, sex, drugs and climate. Its subtitle is Four Songs of Care and Constraint, so we thought we’d make this month’s show about the boundaries that are often the counterpoint to freedom. Tune in for Maggie’s thoughts on – to borrow a phrase from Judith Butler – ‘working the trap’, our favourite books about constraint, plus all the usual recommendations. Recommendations on the theme, Constraint: Octavia: The Mad Women’s Ball by Victoria Mas, translated by Frank Wynne Carrie: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison General Recommendations: Octavia: Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden-Keefe Maggie: My Brother by Jamaica Kinkaid Carrie: Train Dreams by Denis Johnson Find a list of all recommended books at: https://uk.bookshop.org/lists/october-2021-constraint-with-maggie-nelson Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/litfriction Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org Tweet us & find us on Instagram: @litfriction This episode is sponsored by Picador: https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador
Minisode Twenty-Four: Back to School
40:54School is a loooong way in our past, but the imprint of that new start in September cycle runs deep, so in this minisode we are leaning into that back-to-school feeling. It also feels like there are more brilliant books on the horizon than ever this autumn, and we want to pay homage to our big and exciting to-read piles by telling you about some of the books we’re most jazzed to read in the coming months. Get your pencils out and take some notes!
Literary Friction - Writing For Change With Shon Faye
1:14:50It's September, the leaves are starting to turn, and we're kicking off our Autumn season with a vital conversation about the power of writing for change. Our guest is the author Shon Faye, who joined us to discuss her hotly anticipated first book, The Transgender Issue: An Argument for Justice. It's a necessary and inspiring text in which she argues that we're having the wrong conversation about trans people, and that the struggle for trans liberation is all of our struggle. In honour of Shon's book, which aims to change the terms of a cultural conversation, we'll talk more widely about books that seek to shift perspectives, including the ones that shifted ours. It's good to be back! Recommendations on the theme, Writing for Change: Octavia: The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud Carrie: Ways of Seeing by John Berger General Recommendations: Octavia: Paul by Daisy Lafarge Shon: The Right to Sex by Amia Srinivasan Carrie: Circe by Madeline Miller Find a list of all recommended books at: https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/litfriction Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/litfriction Email us: email@example.com Tweet us & find us on Instagram: @litfriction This episode is sponsored by Picador: https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador
Literary Friction - RE-RUN: Memoir with Viv Albertine
59:11We're on our summer break, which gives us a chance to re-run this brilliant conversation we had with punk superstar Viv Albertine when she dropped by the studio a few years ago to talk about her memoir, To Throw Away Unopened. Nothing grants insight into lived experience quite like a memoir, but the form can accommodate so much more than that, and Viv's book takes in many things alongside its descriptions of her experiences growing up as a working-class kid in London, and her complicated relationship with her extraordinary mother. So, tune in for a show celebrating memoirs that take us from the experience of giving birth to coming out to what it’s like to be in a world-famous band, via all the richness and thorny issues that this form promises, and we'll be back with a new episode in September.
Minisode Twenty-Three: The Sea, the Sea!
38:39It’s hot here, the sky is blue, the air smells sweet, and we are about to take our summer break, so we wanted this last minisode of the season to be a little ode to one of our very favourite things about this time of year: the ocean. Of course, the sea is for all seasons, but there is something magical about it in the summer - swimming in it, gazing at it, dreaming of it... that shimmery, glittery blue and green stretching all the way to the horizon. Writers and poets have been enthralled by it forever, so listen in as we ponder what it is about the ocean that will always be so captivating, and we'll be back with a new show in September.
Literary Friction - Grandparents with Anuk Arudpragasam
1:00:52Many of us have significant relationships with our grandparents, but is this reflected in literature? From Grandpa Joe in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Olive Kitteridge, which fictional grandparents have stayed with you? This month, we’re really excited to welcome the author Anuk Arudpragasam to talk about his second novel, A Passage North. It's a beautiful, meditative book about a young man named Krishan, who must take a train from Colombo to Northern Sri Lanka to attend a funeral. His relationship with his grandmother is a central part of the story, so we're dedicating this show to the elders of literature. We'll be asking what grandparents symbolise in family dynamics, and wondering why there seem to be so few grandparents in contemporary literature, so put the kettle on, get comfy, and imagine we're offering you a Werther's original for the next hour of Literary Friction. Recommendations on the theme, Grandparents: Octavia: The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende Carrie: Olive Kitteridge and Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout General Recommendations: Octavia: Milk Fed by Melissa Broder Anuk: A Book of Memories by Peter Nadas Carrie: Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny Find lists of all recommended books at: http://uk.bookshop.org/shop/litfriction. Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/litfriction Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org Tweet us & find us on Instagram: @litfriction This episode is sponsored by Picador: https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador
Minisode Twenty-Two: Pets
45:17Inspired by Deborah Levy's recommendation of The Friend by Sigrid Nunez - about the surprising friendship between a woman and a Great Dane named Apollo - this show is dedicated to: pets! Furry best friends or unfairly subjugated creatures? Is it ever possible to love animals ethically? Which pets from the pages of literature have stuck in our minds, and why? Tune in for odes to the animals in our lives, plus a cameo from an irascible peacock named Oberon. If you'd like to suggest themes for us to explore, and get an extra minisode each month, you can subscribe to our Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/litfriction
Literary Friction - Real Estate with Deborah Levy
1:04:03This month, our guest is the inimitable author Deborah Levy, whose latest book, Real Estate, is the third instalment in her acclaimed living autobiography trilogy. It's a book about a lot of things - being a writer, being a woman, how we make and remake a life, and what we ultimately leave behind. But it's also about real estate, which got us thinking about the importance of buildings, houses and homes in literature. How can books help us understand where and how we make our homes? Why is the haunted house such an enduring symbol? And how is the value of property different for 'generation rent'? So if you want to check out some hot property, join us for all this plus the usual recommendations. Recommendations on the theme, Real Estate: Octavia: In The Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado Carrie: The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters General Recommendations: Octavia: Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters Deborah: The Friend by Sigrid Nunez Carrie: The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas Find lists of all recommended books at: http://uk.bookshop.org/shop/litfriction, where you can order books online while supporting independent bookshops. Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/litfriction Email us: email@example.com Tweet us & find us on Instagram: @litfriction This episode is sponsored by Picador: https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador
Minisode Twenty-One: Book Criticism
45:06Book criticism - it’s a divisive topic, and one people feel very strongly about. Do you secretly relish a hatchet job, or think there's only space for glowing reviews?What actually is the function of criticism, and what makes it good or bad? Can it ever be truly impartial? This month's theme was recommended by our patron Angelique, and it's one we really enjoyed digging into. Tune in for Carrie's favourite critics, O's favourite Rilke quote, plus a cultural recommendation from the actual outside world! If you'd like to suggest themes for us to explore, and get an extra minisode each month, then you can subscribe to our Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/litfriction
Literary Friction - Hard Crowds with Rachel Kushner
1:10:53Our guest this month is the novelist Rachel Kushner, who we have been huge fans of ever since we read her novel The Flamethrowers. Rachel’s latest book is a collection of essays, The Hard Crowd. Though it covers a lot of ground, the collection returns often to the rebels and misfits and outsiders living on the edge of society - a theme in her fiction too. Inspired by Rachel's work, for this show we're talking about ‘hard crowds’ in literature, from the ultraviolent gang in Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange to musicians living on the edge in their memoirs. So, climb on the back of our hogs and take a ride with us for the next hour of Literary Friction… Recommendations on the theme, Hard Crowds: Octavia: Nicotine by Nell Zink https://harpercollins.co.uk/products/nicotine?variant=32557710442574 Carrie: Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson https://us.macmillan.com/author/denisjohnson/ General recommendations: Octavia: No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/no-one-is-talking-about-this-9781526629760/ Rachel: The Copenhagen Trilogy by Tove Ditlevsen https://www.penguin.co.uk/authors/138738/tove-ditlevsen.html Carrie: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carre https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/306/306246/tinker-tailor-soldier-spy/9780241330890.html Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/litfriction Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org Tweet us & find us on Instagram: @litfriction Find lists of our recommendations at: http://uk.bookshop.org/shop/litfriction, where you can also order books while supporting independent bookshops This episode is sponsored by Picador: https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador