Philip Roth died last month at age 85. To help us make sense of his place in American writing, we invited our friend Ben Felton, who last joined us to talk Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad, to come back on to discuss The Ghost Writer, as well as Roth's work more generally.
00:00-00:35 The Ghost Writer
00:35-00:57 Roth and the question of misogyny
00:57-01:07 Roth as a Jewish writer
01:07-01:20 Roth's legacy as a writer
We'll be back in a few weeks to talk about The Collected Stories of Richard Yates, another 20th Century titan, as well as the start of NBA free agency.
For the first time in the history of the podcast, we agree on who is the best prospect in this center-heavy draft. But there are still disagreements to be had further down the list, as we weigh the potential for booms and busts. We'll be back next week for our discussion of Philip Roth's The Ghost Writer.
Another all-basketball pod, as former Tar Heel Lynwood Robinson joins us to say goodbye to the Sixers, Pelicans, Jazz, and Raptors. (He even reprises his singing of "The Great Pretender" in the Raps section!) Then we discuss the Conference Finals, with each series knotted at two games apiece at the time of recording. Next week it's back to book-chat when we tackle Roberto Bolaño's The Savage Detectives.
This week we go to infinity and beyond with literature's most beguiling librarian, Jorge Luis Borges. After a discussion of his story "The Garden of Forking Paths," we move (at the 39 minute mark) to a check-in on the 1st and 2nd rounds of the NBA playoffs. Join un in a few weeks as we tackle Roberto Bolaño's The Savage Detectives.
No booktalk this week. Instead, we are joined by Lynwood to run down the matchups and results of the NBA playoffs. Take a listen, if only to hear which team inspired Lynwood to burst out in song. If basketball's not your thing, we'll be back in a week or two to discuss Jorge Luis Borges' classic story "The Garden of Forking Paths." Join us!
We finally get around to discussing A Manual for Cleaning Women, the collection of exquisite Lucia Berlin stories that was published posthumously in 2015. In a nod to the years she spent living in South America, next up we'll be reading "The Garden of Forking Paths," by the great Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges. (A pdf of the story is available here: http://mycours.es/gamedesign2012/files/2012/08/The-Garden-of-Forking-Paths-Jorge-Luis-Borges-1941.pdf)
Do you own this book? Because you should. Everyone should, really. It's exquisite, and it's back in print now, and hopefully will stay that way. Seriously, these stories are wonderful. Read them, re-read them, and then join us in two weeks for more lovely linked short stories, as we discuss Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson.
We're split on George Saunders' novel Lincoln In the Bardo: is it a heavenly masterpiece or a hellaciously sloppy slog? The truth probably resides in some purgatorial middle, alongside this season's Cleveland Cavaliers, the Los Angeles Clippers' tenuous future, and Mario Hezonja's career prospects. Join us in two weeks as we read "Dog Heaven" (https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1989/01/09/dog-heaven) from Stephanie Vaughn's superlative short story collection Sweet Talk. Track the whole collection down if you can -- you'll thank us later.