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Fan's Notes
A Conversation about books and basketball
Category: Literature
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July 07, 2017 09:49 AM PDT

A terrifying stranger appears on the doorstep of 15-year old Connie, in Joyce Carol Oates' classic short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been" (https://www.cusd200.org/cms/lib7/IL01001538/Centricity/Domain/361/oates_going.pdf). We discuss this harbinger of doom, who goes by the name Arnold Friend, and the harm he means to do for the first 36 minutes before turning our attention to the players who'll be popping up in different NBA landscapes after a flurry of free agency signings this week. Join us next week for a look at that hallucinatory adventure that is Las Vegas Summer League as well as a discussion of Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

June 30, 2017 11:24 AM PDT

For this installment of the Short Corner, we read "The Semplica-Girl Diaries," (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/10/15/the-semplica-girl-diaries) from George Saunders' last book Tenth of December. Around the 39 minute mark, we pivot into winners and losers of the Draft and discuss the trade that sent Chris Paul to join James Harden on the Houston Rockets. Join us next week when we discuss Hunter S. Thompson's classic Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and look at the start of Summer League.

June 22, 2017 02:19 PM PDT

It's a megapod today, as we get into one of the greatest novels ever written, Vladimir Nabokov's shocking, exquisite, and nearly satanic Lolita. Around the hour mark, we evaluate the various prospects at the top of this year's draft class, and the ramifications of the massive trade of the first and third picks between Boston and Philly. Join us next week for a discussion of George Saunders' The Semplica-Girl Diaries (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/10/15/the-semplica-girl-diaries).

June 20, 2017 05:38 AM PDT

In today's episode, we discuss Annie Proulx's story "The Half-Skinned Steer" (https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1997/11/the-half-skinned-steer/306168/), about an old man whose return to the ranch where he grew up proves unlucky. At the 41 minute mark we switch to the Finals, in which the Warriors skinned the Cavs, and wonder what, if anything, LeBron can do to beat them going forward. Next up is Vladimir Nabokov's classic novel Lolita, paired with the upcoming NBA Draft.

June 09, 2017 12:42 PM PDT

On this week's installment, we look at Donald Antrim's memoir The Afterlife, about the grip his alcoholic mother had on him both in life and after her death. It's gentle and sad and may mark a turning point for Antrim the writer. Around 42 minutes in, we move on to this lopsided NBA Finals, which should be put down mercifully before too long. Join us next week to read Annie Proulx's short story "The Half-skinned Steer," and in two weeks when we discuss Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita.

June 01, 2017 01:14 PM PDT

Lynwood Robinson makes his return to the pod to help us preview the Finals and genuflect before the awesomeness of LeBron James. Are there limits to his greatness, or can he summon enough to vanquish the Durant-ful Warriors? Before Lynwood pops by, we spend the first 37 minutes or so chatting about the awesomeness of Lorrie Moore, through the lens of her classic story "You're Ugly, Too." Next week we'll be discussing Donald Antrim's memoir The Afterlife, so join us for that!

May 25, 2017 12:46 PM PDT

We're happy to welcome to the pod the poet Emma Catherine Perry, who was kind enough to help us talk through Claudia Rankine's most recent wonderful, challenging work of poetry, as well as situate it within the contemporary world of poetry. We couldn't resist asking Emma, a current denizen of Oakland, what the vibe is like as the Golden State Warriors prepare for their third trip to the Finals in as many years, so stick around for that. Join us next week for a return visit from Lynwood Robinson and a discussion of Lorrie Moore's short story "You're Ugly, Too."

May 19, 2017 07:38 AM PDT

In this second installment of the Short Corner, our biweekly series in which we read a short story instead of a novel, we look at Donald Barthelme's "Concerning the Bodyguard," as well as Barthelme's style more generally. At the 38 minute mark, we switch over to the Draft Lottery, which took place this week, and try and figure out who teams will select based on what they need most. Join us next week for our discussion of Claudia Rankine's Citizen and in two weeks when we read Lorrie Moore's "You're Ugly, Too."

May 12, 2017 07:03 AM PDT

Does art have any political efficacy? What does it mean to have a "profound experience of art?" Are plots overrated in novels? Can the Spurs win without Kawhi? (Bear with us, we recorded this before Game 6.) These are just some of the questions raised in this installment of the Fan's Notes podcast. We discuss Ben Lerner's terrifically funny novel for the first 53 minutes, then switch over to check in on where some of the second round series stand. Next week we'll be reading Donald Barthelme's short story "Concerning The Bodyguard," and in two weeks we'll chat about Claudia Rankine's Citizen. Join us for those!

May 05, 2017 10:19 AM PDT

We're suffering the Round 2 doldrums, with a bunch of series that (at least at the time of recording) seem pretty uncompetitive. But before we get there (i.e. the 46 minute mark,) we pore over Alice Munro's story "Carried Away," which was originally published in The New Yorker. This is the first of our episodes in which we focus in on a single short story; we'll continue to do this every other week at least throughout the playoffs. Next week we're back with Ben Lerner's novel Leaving The Atocha Station, and the week after that we'll read Donald Barthelme's "Concerning the Bodyguard," which can be found online. Join us!

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