Book Fight

Low-residency MFA programs. Revisiting your old work. And should writers go to AWP? We also debate some new catch phrases, Mike alienates everybody, and we create a new iteration of MTV's Real World franchise.

Direct download: WritersAsk-TGIT.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

A novel that prompts a discussion of how we pick books, and why certain books stress us out. Talking points include: story structure, penis length versus penis girth, athletes versus writers, Mexican vacations, and Mike's junior tennis career. We also debut a new feature at the end of the show, tentatively titled Mike and Tom Recommend, in which we ... well, recommend stuff (and bicker about said recommendations, as it turns out).

Direct download: Ep_27-Jami_Attenberg_The_Melting_Season.mp3
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We answer questions about writers who don't read, the best jobs for writers, and why literature isn't a commodity. Also: naps! And why Tom lives like an old person.

Direct download: WritersAsk-MarryRich.mp3
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We talk about Portis's picaresque road novel (his first), why we appreciate humor in books, and why it's so hard to do comedy well. Also: another installment of Judge a Book By Its Cover.

Direct download: Ep_26-Charles_Portis_Norwood.mp3
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How to stand out from the crowd when applying for MFA programs, what's wrong with citing Pushcart Prize nominations in your cover letter, and how to find decent books at a Barnes and Noble.

Direct download: Writers_Ask-Goofus_and_Gallant.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

A Dalkey translation of Serbian writer Svetislav Basara's novel basically landed in Tom's lap, so we figured we might as well read it. And it's crazy in all the best ways. Talking points include: white slave merchants, surrealism, literature as a black box, comedy as rapid-fire truth telling, and The Silver Linings Playbook.

Direct download: Ep_25-Svetislav_Basara_Chinese_Letter.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EDT

We tackle questions about Duotrope's recent decision to charge for its services, how to give a good literary reading, and whether it's okay to drink while writing.

Direct download: WritersAsk-MythOfGanymede.mp3
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It's the most wonderful time of the year! This week we put aside our usual reading schedule and tackled two Christmas-themed novels: John Grisham's 'Skipping Christmas' (source material for the Tim Allen movie 'Christmas with the Kranks') and Glenn Beck's 'The Christmas Sweater' (source material for a 'live movie event' that earned 1.9 out of 10 stars on IMDB). Will we deem them New Holiday Classics? Or will we consign them to the dustbin of Christmas history, along with our old pogs and parachute pants and cassingles? Only one way to find out!

Direct download: Ep_24-Christmas_Special.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

This week's a Mike pick: George Singleton's new story collection, which is set in small-town South Carolina and populated by men who use their intelligence toward questionable ends. Plus a monkey, and lots of dogs. We also bring back our Judge A Book By Its Cover feature, take a couple potshots at Tucker Max, and read blurbs for a few more supporters of our fund drive. The episode is spnsored by Cobalt; you can get their new print issue for 1/2 price at the following link:

Direct download: Ep_23-George_Singleton_Stray_Decorum.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Special guest Paul Lisicky (Unbuilt Projects, Lawnboy, Famous Builder) helps us get a handle on one of his favorite novels, and discusses his own relationship to structure and linearity. And his love of Lil' Wayne.

Direct download: Ep_22-Jane_Bowles_Two_Serious_Ladies.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT