Episode 125 - Meena Kandasamy - Part 1 (This Writing Life Revisited)

30Aug

This Writing Life podcast extracts an interview from its vaults. Back when we had the energy to attempt an actual introduction, even when we mispronounce the author's name, we talked to the extraordinary Meena Kandasamy about her extraordinary debut novel, The Gypsy Goddess.

Part 2 to follow.

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Episode 124 - Rick Bass: Part 5 - For a Little While

4Aug

The final part of This Writing Life's conversation with Rick Bass, award winning writer and respected environmental activist, begins where the last podlet ended. 'Obey little, resist much.' From there, we consider time and how art can help breed a sense of empathy. Bass bashes the de-humanising effects of corporate existence, the apathy and 'altered truths' that make up contemporary life. The pod ends with more Trump, some lighter discussion of Bass's writing day, his family, and finally - with one eye on the audio-audience, so to speak - some chat about Montana.

For a little more about Bass' superb collection For a Little While, visit.

You can listen to Rick read The Hermit's Story here.

Thank you for listening.

 

 

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Episode 123 - Rick Bass: How do we protest Donald Trump, Scott Pruitt and the rest?

1Aug

In this short but inspiring podlet, This Writing Life attempts its best impersonation of Pod Save America and asks: what can we do to organise resistance against Donald Trump, destroyer of worlds, ruiner of all things good and wholesome and green and free? Where does Bass draw the line when resisting: the picket line, the jail cell? What would he say to anyone tempted to welcome the frackers?

Part five of five to follow.

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Episode 122 - Rick Bass: Part 4 - For a Little While

28Jul

In part four of This Writing Life's conversation with Rick Bass, whose new book For a Little While (Pushkin) on 2017's Story Prize, we talk about his love of the short story, and why it is the most human of literary forms. We return to the relationship between Bass's environmentalism and his writing, before skipping off again onto nature writing and finally the difference between optimism and hope in Bass's conception of humankind. Buried somewhere in all this, Bass refuses to talk about his new novel. 'It's an old writer's taboo...'

The fifth and final part to follow next week.

 

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Episode 121 - Rick Bass: are you optimisitic about human nature?

27Jul

A short trailer for part 4 of This Writing Life's conversation with Rick Bass. In which Rick answers the question: are you optimisitic about human nature?

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Episode 120 - Rick Bass: Part 3 - For a Little While

18Jul

Part three of This Writing Life's transatlantic chat with a Montana-bound Rick Bass takes in the material in Episode 119: in which Rick discusses reviewing his short story career in For a Little While (Pushkin), and attempting to describe what it feels like to be lost in a story.

In between he discusses the connections between writing and geology, about following his imaginative nose through a story. To finish, we talk about his story 'Elk', which first appeared in the New Yorker, images of substrata and blue in his work, and the mysteriousness of his own characters.

Part 4 to follow.

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Episode 119 - Rick Bass on his collection For a Little While (and getting lost in writing)

15Jul

'You are a stranger inhabiting this blazing dream and you barely get out with your life...yeah, and then you go to the bar for a drink.'

A Writing Life podlet, in which Rick Bass recalls what's like to review your career (to date) in his superb collection of stories, For a Little While (Pushkin Press), which won 2017's Story Prize. From here Bass tries to explain what it feels like when inspiration strikes and fades.

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Episode 118 - Rick Bass: Part 2 - For a Little While

12Jul

Part two of This Writing Life's transatlantic conversation with Rick Bass, novelist, activist, award-winning short story writer, begins with a question referencing Philip Larkin, Romanticism and Transcendentalism and continues with an answer discussing fiction, geology, humans and time: 'We are new to this world. We don't know how to be in this old world.' Keep reading →

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Episode 117 - Rick Bass: Part 1 - For a Little While

3Jul

'I am working on a new novel...and an op-ed for the Los Angeles paper about Trump and his reign of terror.' Here in one line is This Writing Life's lengthy podcast conversation with Rick Bass - novelist, award-winning short story writer, and environmental activist. In future episodes we discuss For a Little While, a collection of his best short fiction, which a week after we spoke won the prestigious Story Prize.

We began however with Rick Bass the Environmental Activist - in his home state of Montana and elsewhere across the United States and disunited world. You can read more about his work to save the natural world and fight the powers that seek to denude it at his excellent website: rickbass.net/projects

Keep reading →

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Episode 116 - Gary Younge: Part 4

26Jun

'I quite liked it.' So says Gary Younge about America in the final part of This Writing Life podcast's conversation about his  wonderful new book, Another Day in the Death of America. We began by asking asking Younge about his decision to leave the country and return to his home in Hackney, east London. A description of his feelings on departing the United States leads into a meditation on his Barbadian family background, and what it means to grow up black in Britain. 'There is an element of outsiderness here that I carry with me.'

Keep reading →

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