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Literary Friction

An Arts, Books and Arts: Literature podcast
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Episodes of Literary Friction

Regular listeners will know that we love to get a little meta here on LF, and this month author Ruth Ozeki gave us the perfect excuse to indulge ourselves as we slide into the holiday season. Ruth's latest novel, The Book of Form and Emptiness,
In the wake of the COP26 summit in Glasgow we are thinking a lot about climate crisis and the role literature can play in galvanising people to take action. We want to think about how fiction, poetry, and non-fiction writing can approach climat
Social hierarchies and the metrics of status and success are a part of life accepted by some and rejected by others, but whatever your position, they are hard to escape. There are lots of novels about characters climbing proverbial ladders, fro
This minisode we are leaning even further into our autumnal and back to school-ish vibe to talk about The Campus Novel, a genre that includes some beloved books and some much less beloved books, but remains enduring nevertheless. Why is there s
Can 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 fr
School 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
It'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 bo
We'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 in
It’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,
Many 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’r
Inspired 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 i
This 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 a
Book 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? Ca
Our 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
Some people treat books like they are sacred objects, others scribble all over them (or even cut them in half). Of course, books are objects, but they're also portals to other universes, new ways of thinking, adventures, romances, and more. The
Everyone needs a little magic from time to time, and this episode is brimming with it. We spoke to Leone Ross about her sensuous, absorbing new novel, This One Sky Day, which is set in the fictional Carribean archipelago of Popisho, where every
It has - astonishingly - been a year since our first lockdown minisode (Escapism in Quarantine), and here in the UK we are just starting to emerge from the latest restrictions. So, in honour of being able to meet six people outside again, we ar
This month, as spring begins to spring, we're thinking about vulnerability, about the perils and pleasures of opening up. Joining us is author and academic Katherine Angel, whose latest book Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again is a nuanced and thou
For Minisode Nineteen we’re doing something a little different - this episode is sponsored by publisher Serpent’s Tail, who are celebrating their thirty-fifth birthday this year (just like both of us!). We’ve had many of their authors on the sh
Building on our show in 2017 with Dana Spiotta that looked at books about film, this month we want to explore what happens when books turn into films. We’ll be asking why literature is often a source for cinema, thinking about what the best ada
Minisode Eighteen is dedicated to winter reads. Summer reading seems to get all the attention, but as we hunker down into our second month of winter lockdown in the UK, we’ve been thinking about the kinds of books we turn to in the colder month
For our first show of 2021, we bring you this author special with Raven Leilani, who joined Carrie in cyberspace to talk about her smash hit debut novel, Luster. In this extended interview, they discussed making art in precarity, writing so the
It’s our last Literary Friction of 2020, and as usual it's time for our year in review show, packed full of recommendations just in time for your holiday shopping. We'll be looking back over some of the books that got us through this wildly cha
Does the written word really have the power to change things? How do you make a good argument in writing? Does the form of the essay lend itself particularly well to politics? Join us as we talk to the writer Otegha Uwagba about her brilliant e
What with the news of a viable Covid vaccine in the works and a Biden Harris administration on the horizon, you may be having an unusual feeling, one that you vaguely recognise but can’t quite put your finger on... Well, friends, it might just
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