Book Fight

We wrap up our Spring of Success series by checking out the first published story of Jennifer Weiner, which appeared in a 1992 issue of Seventeen Magazine. We talk about Weiner's path to success, her 10-point advice to aspiring novelists, and her much-publicized beef with Jonathan Franzen.

For more, visit us online at bookfightpod.com

Direct download: Ep133_Spring16_Weiner.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

Kanan Makiya is probably best known for his 1989 book, Republic of Fear, a nonfictional account of Iraq under Saddam Hussein. He's also known as one of the key Iraqi agitators for the U.S. invasion, arguing to America's political elite that Hussein's regime needed to be toppled. It was Makiya, in fact, who told White House officials that the U.S. would be greeted with "flowers and sweets" by the Iraqi people.

That prediction turned out to be wildly inaccurate. Now, a decade after Saddam Hussein's execution, Makiya has written a novel that serves as an examination of what went so terribly wrong.

We talk about whether a book can succeed if it's trying to advance a particular political argument. Or is that project doomed from the start, as many of us learned in creative writing classes? Plus: Mike takes a deep dive into the life of a prolific Amazon reviewer.

For more, visit us online at bookfightpod.com

 

Direct download: Ep132_Makiya_TheRope.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

Welcome to the Franzone! This week we're reading the first published story of celebrated author Jonathan Franzen, which was featured in a 1987 issue of Fiction International. We also talk about Franzen's path to success: his early ambitions, his writing habits, and his self-conscious pivoting toward a different kind of fictional project. We also talk about why so many people seem to hate on Franzen, and whether the criticisms are deserved. 

For more, check us out online at bookfightpod.com

Direct download: Ep131_Spring16_Franzen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

One of us read this famous WWII coming-of-age novel in high school, while the other is encountering it for the first time. Will it hold up to adult scrutiny? Should today's high school students still be forced to read it? And are the two main characters totally gay for each other?

Answers to these and other pressing questions on this week's Book Fight!

For more, visit us online at bookfightpod.com

Direct download: Ep130_ASeparatePeace.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

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