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New LikeWise Fiction: "Acknowledgments," by Maggie Shipstead

Episode 10 of LikeWise Fiction features "Acknowledgments," by Maggie Shipstead. On the eve of the publication of his self-referential debut novel, The Canon According to D. M. Murphy, Daniel M. Murphy narrowly avoids a moment of self-awareness.

A more nimble writer than I would find a subtle way to mark this moment as formative, even primal, the ur-accomplishment that would forever lie beyond the green light at the end of the dock. But I will say only this, openly and bluntly: The sound of my own words issuing from the mouth of a pretty woman brought me ecstasy such as I had not known life might contain.

Listen to the story at:

New KTCO: Brandon Taylor

This week on Keep the Channel Open, I'm pleased to welcome writer Brandon Taylor back to the show. Brandon’s debut novel, Real Life, is one of the best books I’ve read in years. Real Life is the story of Wallace, an introverted, black, gay graduate student studying biochemistry. Over the course of a summer weekend, a series of confrontations with his friends and labmates and a confusing encounter with a straight classmate bring all of the unspoken tensions in the group to the surface. In our conversation, Brandon and I talked about the craft of writing a novel, the question of what real life is, the banality of racism, and the hidden selfishness inside altruism. Then in the second segment, we talked about digital communities and how our interactions in those communities have changed over time.

Here are some links to where you can listen to the episode:

You can also listen to the full episode and find show notes and a transcript on the episode page at the KTCO website.

New LikeWise Fiction: "Auspicium Melioris Aevi," by JY Yang

Episode 9 of LikeWise Fiction features "Auspicium Melioris Aevi," by JY Yang. In a future where famous historical leaders are cloned and trained in a mysterious Academy to become advisors to the world’s nations, the fiftieth copy of Harry Lee Kuan Yew tries to buck the system.

Listen to the story at:

You can also listen to the full episode and read the story text at the episode page on the LikeWise Fiction website.

New KTCO: Lilliam Rivera

This week on Keep the Channel Open, I'm talking with YA author Lilliam Rivera. In her young adult novels The Education of Margot Sanchez and Dealing In Dreams,  Lilliam tells familiar stories in new ways—instead of a typical teen  drama or dystopian science fiction, she centers Latina characters in  stories that take on topics like colorism and gentrification. In our  conversation, we talked about why she’s drawn to write stories about  young people, what it means to buy into the American Dream, and whether  violence is actually empowering. Then for the second segment, we  discussed Jeanine Cummins’ recent novel American Dirt and the controversy around it.

Here are some links to where you can listen to the episode:

You can also listen to the full episode and find show notes and a transcript on the episode page at the KTCO website.

 

New LikeWise Fiction: "The Story of the Woman Who Fell in Love With Death," by Chaya Bhuvaneswar

Episode 8 of LikeWise Fiction features "The Story of the Woman Who Fell in Love with Death," by Chaya Bhuvaneswar. A young boy immerses himself in story, trying to find meaning and wholeness after his sister goes missing.

(Content note: contains references to child abuse and gendered violence.)

Listen to the story at:

You can also listen to the full episode and read the story text at the episode page on the LikeWise Fiction website.

New KTCO: Philipp Scholz Rittermann

For this week's episode of Keep the Channel Open, I'm talking with photographer Philipp Scholz Rittermann. In his photographic work, Philipp has long been interested in trying to see the impossible, and in his latest series sight • time • memory, he tries to imagine what it would look like if his gaze could encompass more than just the present moment—using a large-scale projector, he projects a landscape image from a previous season onto the same landscape, then rephotographs the resulting scene. In our conversation, we talked about his fascination with time and memory, the pleasure of figuring out the “puzzle” of an image, and what makes an image “successful.” Then for the second segment, we discussed the decline of hand-making in our culture, the nature of authenticity, and the emotional impact of change.

Here are some links where you can listen to the episode:

You can also listen to the full episode and find show notes and at transcript at the episode page on the KTCO website.

New LikeWise Fiction: "A Nest of Ghosts, a House of Birds," by Kat Howard

Episode 7 of LikeWise Fiction features "A Nest of Ghosts, a House of Birds," by Kat Howard. In this lovely and haunting story, a young woman inherits her grandmothers house. When she arrives, though, she discovers that the house is full of birds—and stories.

Listen to the story at:

You can also listen to the full episode and read the story text at the episode page on the LikeWise Fiction website.

Subscribers to the LikeWise Media Patreon campaign at the $5 level and above can also hear a bonus interview with Kat Howard, in which we discuss the mother-daughter relationships at the core of "A Nest of Ghosts, a House of Birds," as well as her fascination with psychopomps, the mythical figures who guide spirits to the afterlife.

New KTCO: Paula Riff

For this week's episode of Keep the Channel Open, I'm talking with photographic artist Paula Riff. In her work, Paula combines the cyanotype and gum bichromate processes to create unique photograms like the one you see above. The work is bold and colorful, and pushes the boundaries of the photographic medium. In our conversation we talked about her process, how she thinks about photography, and the autobiographical nature of her work.

Here are some links to where you can listen to the episode:

You can also listen to the full episode and find show notes and a transcript on the episode page at the KTCO website.

New KTCO: Rakesh Satyal

Happy New Year! For the first KTCO episode of 2020, I'm pleased to share my conversation with writer and editor Rakesh Satyal. Rakesh’s novel No One Can Pronounce My Name was an utterly delightful read, subverting the stereotypical tropes of the immigrant  story with humor and empathy to create something wonderfully unexpected.  In our conversation, Rakesh and I talked about expanding the notion of what kinds of immigrant stories can be told, using humor to create connection, and writing toward what you want to know. Then in the second  segment we talked about ASMR.

Here are some links to where you can listen to the episode:

You can also listen to the full episode and find show notes and a transcript on the episode page at the KTCO website.

New LikeWise Fiction: "The Friend," by Lindsay Hatton

Episode 6 of LikeWise Fiction features "The Friend," by Lindsay Hatton. In this story, a WWI veteran comes to the Big Sur coast to oversee the construction of an iconic bridge, and strikes up an unlikely friendship with an unusual stranger.

Listen to the story at:

You can also listen to the full episode and read the story text at the episode page on the LikeWise Fiction website.

Subscribers to the Likewise Media Patreon campaign at the $5 level and above can hear my special bonus interview with Lindsay Hatton. In our conversation, Lindsay and I talked about her fascination with masculinity and male interactions, the haunted quality of the Northern California coastline, and the relationship between humanity and landscape in "The Friend."