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Literary Friction

Literary Friction

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96
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Literary Friction

Literary Friction

Literary Friction

42
Followers
96
Plays
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About Us

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

Latest Episodes

Literary Friction - Luxury With Shola Von Reinhold

What does it mean to write luxuriously? How can books be rich and generous? This month we’re talking about luxury in literature - and no, we don’t mean books about the 1% having spa days or flying first class. Instead, we’re talking about writing that explores the aesthetic, opulent, baroque and decadent. Through writers including Oscar Wilde, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Sylvia Plath, we’ll be thinking about what makes writing luxurious, and why engaging with luxury can be a subversive act of resistance for marginalised communities. Our guest today is Shola von Reinhold, whose debut novel Lote is about present-day narrator Mathilda's fixation with the forgotten Black Scottish modernist poet, Hermia Druitt. It's also a beautiful meditation on aesthetics and beauty and who is allowed access to them. Listen in for all the usual recommendations, and a chance to find out if you're an Arcadian or a Utopian. So, come indulge with us in a little literary friction. Recommendations on the theme, Luxury: Octavia: Ariel by Sylvia Plath https://www.faber.co.uk/9780571236091-ariel-the-restored-edition.html Carrie: The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst https://www.panmacmillan.com/authors/alan-hollinghurst/the-line-of-beauty/9781447275183 General Recommendations: Octavia: The Glass Hotel by Emily St John Mandel https://www.panmacmillan.com/authors/emily-st-john-mandel/the-glass-hotel/9781509882809 Shola: Race, Sexuality and Identity in Britain and Jamaica: the Biography of Patrick Nelson by Gemma Romain https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/race-sexuality-and-identity-in-britain-and-jamaica-9781472588654/ Carrie: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett https://britbennett.com/the-vanishing-half Email us: litfriction@gmail.com Tweet us & find us on Instagram: @litfriction This episode is sponsored by Picador https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador

63 MIN5 d ago
Comments
Literary Friction - Luxury With Shola Von Reinhold

Literary Friction - Behind Closed Doors With Carmen Maria Machado

This month, we're going behind closed doors with Carmen Maria Machado, who dialled in from the States to talk to us. Her innovative memoir, In The Dream House, is about her experience of domestic abuse, something that is so often hidden from view, and even more so when it happens in a queer relationship. What does it mean to write into archival silence? How do we tell the most difficult stories? As usual, our theme is inspired by our guest, so join us as we talk about literature that looks at what happens behind closed doors, both in the literal sense - domestic spaces that are not what they seem, or hold secrets - but also those books that show us narratives that are usually left out of literature and culture. Plus, of course, our usual book recommendations - so sit back, and let us open YOUR door on Literary Friction. Recommendations on the theme, Behind Closed Doors: Octavia: The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/40771/the-year-of-magical-thinking-by-joan-didion/9781400078431/readers-guide/ Carrie: We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/133/133431/we-have-always-lived-in-the-castle/9780141191454.html General Recommendations: Octavia: The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter https://www.bl.uk/20th-century-literature/articles/an-introduction-to-the-bloody-chamber-and-other-stories Carmen: Milk Fed by Melissa Broder http://www.melissabroder.com/about/ Carrie: Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor https://www.ndbooks.com/book/hurricane-season-1/#/ Email us: litfriction@gmail.com Tweet us & find us on Instagram: @litfriction This episode is sponsored by Picador https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador

63 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Literary Friction - Behind Closed Doors With Carmen Maria Machado

Literary Friction - RE-RUN: Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge and Kishani Widyaratna

We're in the midst of an international protest movement, sparked by the murder of George Floyd by a member of the Minneapolis police. As a result, it didn’t feel right to put out a new show, so instead we wanted to re-run a show from 2017 during which we talked about race with Reni Eddo-Lodge, the author of Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race and Kishani Widyaratna, an editor at Picador Books in London. In her now best selling book, Reni takes a thorough and passionate look at the UK's long and complicated relationship with structural racism. This show comes with the caveat that we recorded this conversation three years ago. Our thinking has evolved since then as we’ve all continued to read and listen and learn about race. For white people in particular, anti-racist work is an ongoing journey. However, it’s sad and frustrating that most of the issues we were discussing then remain the same. It’s important to point out that we were talking about race generally o...

66 MINJUN 9
Comments
Literary Friction - RE-RUN: Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge and Kishani Widyaratna

Minisode Fourteen: More Intimacy

We're still stuck on the theme of intimacy, because we haven't been able to stop thinking about it. The demands of this crisis are forcing us to rethink so much that used to be instinctive, including how we connect with other people - physical contact has never been more loaded, and we're having to rely on other ways to bridge the gaps between us. In our last show with Garth Greenwell we were thinking about how books can be a tool for intimacy in themselves, and in this minisode we continue that conversation. How does reading and talking about books create intimacy? Has the way we think about intimacy changed during lockdown? Can books ever be a substitute for intimacy IRL? Plus, the usual (extremely inside) cultural recommendations. This episode is sponsored by Picador https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador @picadorbooks

49 MINMAY 26
Comments
Minisode Fourteen: More Intimacy

Literary Friction - Intimacy With Garth Greenwell

Like a lot of people, lockdown has made us think about intimacy. As separation from our loved ones drags on, we're all having to find different ways to connect, and in this socially distant reality, intimacy feels more necessary than ever - however we can get it (hot tip: books are good!). Writing and reading can be intimate acts, so for this episode we'll be discussing what intimacy means in literature, which writers - from Henry James to Sally Rooney to Maggie Nelson - have been able to capture it, and what it means to write in an intimate way. Our guest this month is Garth Greenwell, a writer whose work chronicles and explores intimacy in many forms, so he couldn't be a better person to talk to. His second book, Cleanness, follows an American teacher living in Sofia, Bulgaria as he navigates relationships with his students, love and sex. Listen in for our interview with Garth, our thoughts about intimacy in literature, and all the usual recommendations. Come closer, let us put ou...

71 MINMAY 12
Comments
Literary Friction - Intimacy With Garth Greenwell

Minisode Thirteen: Inside Our Minds

In the absence of an outside world, and because we are missing our loved ones, our friends, our acquaintances, even strangers on trains, for Minisode Thirteen we're going inside our minds: we want to talk about the characters from literature that have stayed with us and taken root in our imaginations long after finishing the books that brought them to us. Which literary characters would be good quarantine buddies? Which would be full blown nightmares? Who has been unforgettable, for good or bad reasons? In this strangely liminal tine where our imaginations and subconscious minds have been sent into overdrive, we’re staying in because we can’t go out, so join us as we unpack a bunch of internal boxes, plus the usual recommendations. This episode is sponsored by Picador https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador @picadorbooks

51 MINAPR 28
Comments
Minisode Thirteen: Inside Our Minds

Literary Friction - Obligatory Note Of Hope With Jenny Offill

How do you hold onto hope in the dark? This question feels more pertinent than ever right now, and we couldn't think of anyone we'd rather ask than author Jenny Offill, who we spoke to from our various quarantine locations this month. Her new novel Weather is a sharp, insightful meditation on how regular humans process catastrophe, and while it's particularly about the climate crisis, as you might imagine it’s become weirdly relevant in our current situation too. But listen, rather than bring you a show about catastrophe, we also wanted to make a show about hope. ‘Obligatory note of hope’ is an expression a character uses in Weather, and it’s also a website that Jenny set up with resources she found during her research (https://www.obligatorynoteofhope.com/). So, as well as talking to Jenny and giving all the usual recommendations, we’ll be thinking about what it means for a book to be hopeful, and talking about which books and authors have personally given us hope over the yea...

70 MINAPR 14
Comments
Literary Friction - Obligatory Note Of Hope With Jenny Offill

Minisode Twelve: Escapism In Quarantine

How are you finding reading at the moment? Are you struggling to drag your eyes away from Twitter or endlessly scrolling news sites? What does escapism really mean? What's working, and what isn't working in these anxious times? We are currently about sixty miles apart from one another, but very pleased to be bringing you Minisode Twelve from our isolation stations. We want to offer a little escapism, but we also want, maybe even need to talk about what's going on right now. So we're going to talk about literature in quarantine, which also means talking about not being able to read at all. We hope you're all doing ok, and we remain at your service through whatever's on the horizon, and as always, thank you for listening. This episode is sponsored by Picador https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador @picadorbooks

47 MINMAR 28
Comments
Minisode Twelve: Escapism In Quarantine

Literary Friction - Social Media with Kiley Reid

Has anyone written a great social media novel yet? Is Twitter destroying our ability to read novels in the first place? How worried should we be about bookstagrammers? Why are you listening to this podcast instead of reading a book? What even is the point of podcasting?? On this month’s show we’re asking these not at all panicked questions and talking about social media in literature. As usual, our theme has been inspired by our guest: Kiley Reid dropped by the studio to talk about her debut novel Such a Fun Age, a fun, sharp story about babysitting, racial politics, class and privilege. Listen in to hear our interview with Kiley, our thoughts about the theme of social media in literature, plus all the usual recommendations. Thankfully, we recorded with Kiley before Covid-19 travel restrictions came into play, and before the virus spread, so if you want an hour to escape into a time before reality got turned around then open your mind, ignore twitter - at least for the next hour -...

61 MINMAR 17
Comments
Literary Friction - Social Media with Kiley Reid

Literary Friction - Minisode Eleven: We Heart EU...ropean Literature

However you feel about Brexit, there’s no denying that it’s going to change the relationship that people in the UK have with the European Union and the twenty-seven countries that make it up. But we are not here to dwell in the misery of all that! One of the most beautiful things about literature is that, unless things get fully fascistic, no political machine can restrict your movement in your imagination. This minisode is a bit of a celebration of the European literature and culture we’ve loved, the stuff we want to read, and the power of reading to create and maintain connections where politics has failed us. So it’s Brexit, but make it optimistic? Tote bags: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/758247545/literary-friction-canvas-tote-bag?ref=shop_home_active_1&crt=1 Email us: litfriction@gmail.com Twitter & Instagram: @litfriction This episode is sponsored by Picador https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador

39 MINMAR 4
Comments
Literary Friction - Minisode Eleven: We Heart EU...ropean Literature

Latest Episodes

Literary Friction - Luxury With Shola Von Reinhold

What does it mean to write luxuriously? How can books be rich and generous? This month we’re talking about luxury in literature - and no, we don’t mean books about the 1% having spa days or flying first class. Instead, we’re talking about writing that explores the aesthetic, opulent, baroque and decadent. Through writers including Oscar Wilde, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Sylvia Plath, we’ll be thinking about what makes writing luxurious, and why engaging with luxury can be a subversive act of resistance for marginalised communities. Our guest today is Shola von Reinhold, whose debut novel Lote is about present-day narrator Mathilda's fixation with the forgotten Black Scottish modernist poet, Hermia Druitt. It's also a beautiful meditation on aesthetics and beauty and who is allowed access to them. Listen in for all the usual recommendations, and a chance to find out if you're an Arcadian or a Utopian. So, come indulge with us in a little literary friction. Recommendations on the theme, Luxury: Octavia: Ariel by Sylvia Plath https://www.faber.co.uk/9780571236091-ariel-the-restored-edition.html Carrie: The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst https://www.panmacmillan.com/authors/alan-hollinghurst/the-line-of-beauty/9781447275183 General Recommendations: Octavia: The Glass Hotel by Emily St John Mandel https://www.panmacmillan.com/authors/emily-st-john-mandel/the-glass-hotel/9781509882809 Shola: Race, Sexuality and Identity in Britain and Jamaica: the Biography of Patrick Nelson by Gemma Romain https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/race-sexuality-and-identity-in-britain-and-jamaica-9781472588654/ Carrie: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett https://britbennett.com/the-vanishing-half Email us: litfriction@gmail.com Tweet us & find us on Instagram: @litfriction This episode is sponsored by Picador https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador

63 MIN5 d ago
Comments
Literary Friction - Luxury With Shola Von Reinhold

Literary Friction - Behind Closed Doors With Carmen Maria Machado

This month, we're going behind closed doors with Carmen Maria Machado, who dialled in from the States to talk to us. Her innovative memoir, In The Dream House, is about her experience of domestic abuse, something that is so often hidden from view, and even more so when it happens in a queer relationship. What does it mean to write into archival silence? How do we tell the most difficult stories? As usual, our theme is inspired by our guest, so join us as we talk about literature that looks at what happens behind closed doors, both in the literal sense - domestic spaces that are not what they seem, or hold secrets - but also those books that show us narratives that are usually left out of literature and culture. Plus, of course, our usual book recommendations - so sit back, and let us open YOUR door on Literary Friction. Recommendations on the theme, Behind Closed Doors: Octavia: The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/40771/the-year-of-magical-thinking-by-joan-didion/9781400078431/readers-guide/ Carrie: We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/133/133431/we-have-always-lived-in-the-castle/9780141191454.html General Recommendations: Octavia: The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter https://www.bl.uk/20th-century-literature/articles/an-introduction-to-the-bloody-chamber-and-other-stories Carmen: Milk Fed by Melissa Broder http://www.melissabroder.com/about/ Carrie: Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor https://www.ndbooks.com/book/hurricane-season-1/#/ Email us: litfriction@gmail.com Tweet us & find us on Instagram: @litfriction This episode is sponsored by Picador https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador

63 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Literary Friction - Behind Closed Doors With Carmen Maria Machado

Literary Friction - RE-RUN: Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge and Kishani Widyaratna

We're in the midst of an international protest movement, sparked by the murder of George Floyd by a member of the Minneapolis police. As a result, it didn’t feel right to put out a new show, so instead we wanted to re-run a show from 2017 during which we talked about race with Reni Eddo-Lodge, the author of Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race and Kishani Widyaratna, an editor at Picador Books in London. In her now best selling book, Reni takes a thorough and passionate look at the UK's long and complicated relationship with structural racism. This show comes with the caveat that we recorded this conversation three years ago. Our thinking has evolved since then as we’ve all continued to read and listen and learn about race. For white people in particular, anti-racist work is an ongoing journey. However, it’s sad and frustrating that most of the issues we were discussing then remain the same. It’s important to point out that we were talking about race generally o...

66 MINJUN 9
Comments
Literary Friction - RE-RUN: Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge and Kishani Widyaratna

Minisode Fourteen: More Intimacy

We're still stuck on the theme of intimacy, because we haven't been able to stop thinking about it. The demands of this crisis are forcing us to rethink so much that used to be instinctive, including how we connect with other people - physical contact has never been more loaded, and we're having to rely on other ways to bridge the gaps between us. In our last show with Garth Greenwell we were thinking about how books can be a tool for intimacy in themselves, and in this minisode we continue that conversation. How does reading and talking about books create intimacy? Has the way we think about intimacy changed during lockdown? Can books ever be a substitute for intimacy IRL? Plus, the usual (extremely inside) cultural recommendations. This episode is sponsored by Picador https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador @picadorbooks

49 MINMAY 26
Comments
Minisode Fourteen: More Intimacy

Literary Friction - Intimacy With Garth Greenwell

Like a lot of people, lockdown has made us think about intimacy. As separation from our loved ones drags on, we're all having to find different ways to connect, and in this socially distant reality, intimacy feels more necessary than ever - however we can get it (hot tip: books are good!). Writing and reading can be intimate acts, so for this episode we'll be discussing what intimacy means in literature, which writers - from Henry James to Sally Rooney to Maggie Nelson - have been able to capture it, and what it means to write in an intimate way. Our guest this month is Garth Greenwell, a writer whose work chronicles and explores intimacy in many forms, so he couldn't be a better person to talk to. His second book, Cleanness, follows an American teacher living in Sofia, Bulgaria as he navigates relationships with his students, love and sex. Listen in for our interview with Garth, our thoughts about intimacy in literature, and all the usual recommendations. Come closer, let us put ou...

71 MINMAY 12
Comments
Literary Friction - Intimacy With Garth Greenwell

Minisode Thirteen: Inside Our Minds

In the absence of an outside world, and because we are missing our loved ones, our friends, our acquaintances, even strangers on trains, for Minisode Thirteen we're going inside our minds: we want to talk about the characters from literature that have stayed with us and taken root in our imaginations long after finishing the books that brought them to us. Which literary characters would be good quarantine buddies? Which would be full blown nightmares? Who has been unforgettable, for good or bad reasons? In this strangely liminal tine where our imaginations and subconscious minds have been sent into overdrive, we’re staying in because we can’t go out, so join us as we unpack a bunch of internal boxes, plus the usual recommendations. This episode is sponsored by Picador https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador @picadorbooks

51 MINAPR 28
Comments
Minisode Thirteen: Inside Our Minds

Literary Friction - Obligatory Note Of Hope With Jenny Offill

How do you hold onto hope in the dark? This question feels more pertinent than ever right now, and we couldn't think of anyone we'd rather ask than author Jenny Offill, who we spoke to from our various quarantine locations this month. Her new novel Weather is a sharp, insightful meditation on how regular humans process catastrophe, and while it's particularly about the climate crisis, as you might imagine it’s become weirdly relevant in our current situation too. But listen, rather than bring you a show about catastrophe, we also wanted to make a show about hope. ‘Obligatory note of hope’ is an expression a character uses in Weather, and it’s also a website that Jenny set up with resources she found during her research (https://www.obligatorynoteofhope.com/). So, as well as talking to Jenny and giving all the usual recommendations, we’ll be thinking about what it means for a book to be hopeful, and talking about which books and authors have personally given us hope over the yea...

70 MINAPR 14
Comments
Literary Friction - Obligatory Note Of Hope With Jenny Offill

Minisode Twelve: Escapism In Quarantine

How are you finding reading at the moment? Are you struggling to drag your eyes away from Twitter or endlessly scrolling news sites? What does escapism really mean? What's working, and what isn't working in these anxious times? We are currently about sixty miles apart from one another, but very pleased to be bringing you Minisode Twelve from our isolation stations. We want to offer a little escapism, but we also want, maybe even need to talk about what's going on right now. So we're going to talk about literature in quarantine, which also means talking about not being able to read at all. We hope you're all doing ok, and we remain at your service through whatever's on the horizon, and as always, thank you for listening. This episode is sponsored by Picador https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador @picadorbooks

47 MINMAR 28
Comments
Minisode Twelve: Escapism In Quarantine

Literary Friction - Social Media with Kiley Reid

Has anyone written a great social media novel yet? Is Twitter destroying our ability to read novels in the first place? How worried should we be about bookstagrammers? Why are you listening to this podcast instead of reading a book? What even is the point of podcasting?? On this month’s show we’re asking these not at all panicked questions and talking about social media in literature. As usual, our theme has been inspired by our guest: Kiley Reid dropped by the studio to talk about her debut novel Such a Fun Age, a fun, sharp story about babysitting, racial politics, class and privilege. Listen in to hear our interview with Kiley, our thoughts about the theme of social media in literature, plus all the usual recommendations. Thankfully, we recorded with Kiley before Covid-19 travel restrictions came into play, and before the virus spread, so if you want an hour to escape into a time before reality got turned around then open your mind, ignore twitter - at least for the next hour -...

61 MINMAR 17
Comments
Literary Friction - Social Media with Kiley Reid

Literary Friction - Minisode Eleven: We Heart EU...ropean Literature

However you feel about Brexit, there’s no denying that it’s going to change the relationship that people in the UK have with the European Union and the twenty-seven countries that make it up. But we are not here to dwell in the misery of all that! One of the most beautiful things about literature is that, unless things get fully fascistic, no political machine can restrict your movement in your imagination. This minisode is a bit of a celebration of the European literature and culture we’ve loved, the stuff we want to read, and the power of reading to create and maintain connections where politics has failed us. So it’s Brexit, but make it optimistic? Tote bags: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/758247545/literary-friction-canvas-tote-bag?ref=shop_home_active_1&crt=1 Email us: litfriction@gmail.com Twitter & Instagram: @litfriction This episode is sponsored by Picador https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador

39 MINMAR 4
Comments
Literary Friction - Minisode Eleven: We Heart EU...ropean Literature

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