Book Fight

We welcome back guest Justin St. Germain, author of the memoir Son of a Gun and picker of this week's book, a novel largely about the process of writing a novel. We talk about metafiction, audience, writerly paralysis, and Tom's love of shoplifting. For more, including a link to buy Justin's book, check out

Direct download: Ep_44-Salvador_Plascencia_People_of_Paper.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Justin St. Germain, author of the memoir Son of a Gun, joins us to answer questions from listeners, plus a special Book Fight lightning round. Topics include: college admissions essays, reading for literary journals, scorpions vs spiders, whipahol, and Tobias Wolff's mustache.

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

Lots of people on the internet had opinions about this 2010 essay collection by former Gawker editor Emily Gould. The book is essentially a memoir of her early 20s in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Mike kinda liked it, but Tom seemed irritated that he had to read it. Talking points include: expectations for insight in nonfiction, white privilege, haters, the phrase "slice of life," underage sex, and working in shitty bars. For more, visit us online at 

Direct download: Ep_43-Emily_Gould_And_the_Heart_Says_Whatever.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Summer's over, listeners, and this week shit's getting real. We talk about writers in academia, specifically adjunct instructors. How long should you do it? Do the benefits of teaching outweigh the costs, financial and otherwise? Also, we answer a question about the distinctions between fiction and nonfiction, and defend our ratings system against a past guest who thinks we're lousy at math. For more, visit us online at 

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

Tom picked this one because he was interested in reading some sci fi, and Atwood's novel, the first in her MaddAddam trilogy, came highly recommended. We talk about novels rooted in character versus novels rooted in premise, and whether science fiction can ever be capital-L Literature. Plus: children behaving badly, and the inevitable day when the robots rise up and rule us all. For more, visit our site at 

Direct download: Ep_42-Margaret_Atwood_Oryx_and_Crake.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT