Mon, 31 August 2020
Welcome to our new fall season! Yes, we know that technically it's not fall, but school's back in session, and there are some brown leaves on the tree in front of one of our houses (it's possible the tree is dead). For the next several weeks, we're going to be delving into the world of creative nonfiction, with a particular eye towards teaching that genre in a classroom. We're both college professors who have taught both undergrad and grad classes, and this semester we both have occasion to teach some creative essays in our classes.
We're also interested in exploring the genre lines. What makes something "creative" nonfiction? What all fits under that broad umbrella? And where does creative nonfiction bump up against (and borrow from) other genres?
For this first week, we're discussing an essay by Joshua Wheeler, "Parachutes," Gulf Coast. The essay would later appear in his collection, Acid West.
If you like the show, and would like more Book Fight in your life, please consider joining our Patreon. For $5, you'll get access to three bonus episodes each month, including Book Fight After Dark, where we explore the many, many sub-genres of romance novels. We've also recently begun a new series of Patreon-only mini-episodes called Reading the Room, in which we offer advice on how to navigate awkward, writing-related social situations. How do you talk to a writer whose work you like after a reading? How do you promote your own writing without annoying people? Should you force your spouse or significant other to read your work? We've got the answers to these and many other pressing questions.
You can check out all our Patreon content here: https://www.patreon.com/BookFight
Mon, 24 August 2020
This week we're discussing a Deb Olin Unferth story about an adjunct professor who knows when people will die, "Wait Till You See Me Dance," which prompts a discussion of our own brief tenure as adjuncts, and our current tenure as (non-tenure-track) professors, and how we're feeling about the upcoming semester. Also: dark humor, reading for surprise, and falling down wells.
Unferth's story first appeared in Harper's, in 2009, and was the title story of her 2017 story collection.
You can read the story here, via Electric Lit: https://electricliterature.com/a-story-of-a-murderous-adjunct-professor-by-deb-olin-unferth/
If you like the show, and would like more Book Fight in your life, you can join our Patreon and get bonus episodes every month. For $5, you'll get access to our regular series Book Fight After Dark, where we read steamy (and sometimes very weird!) romance novels. We're also putting out other bonus content, including Reading the Room, where we give writers advice on navigating their lives. The $5/month also helps us keep making the show, which we enjoy doing but also don't get paid for.
Join up here: https://www.patreon.com/BookFight
Thanks for listening! Come on back next week!
Mon, 17 August 2020
This week we're talking about an essay by Britni de la Cretaz about her complicated relationship with both the Miami Marlins and her hometown. That leads to a discussion of what makes sports-related writing interesting to non-sports fans, and how to unlearn some of the writing lessons taught to you in school. We also take another dive into #bookstagram, to try to figure out whether book influencers have actually read any books. Plus: Tom waits for a team of men to deliver his fancy new desk.
Here's a link to the essay in Catapult: https://catapult.co/stories/miami-marlins-florida-baseball-coming-home-britni-de-la-cretaz
If you like the show, and would like more Book Fight in your life, please consider joining our Patreon. For $5, you'll get access to three bonus episodes each month, including Book Fight After Dark, where we read some of the world's weirdest--and steamiest!--novels. We've also recently begun a new series of Patreon-only mini-episodes called Reading the Room, in which we offer advice on how to navigate awkward, writing-related social situations. How do you talk to a writer whose work you like after a reading? How do you promote your own writing without annoying people? Should you force your spouse or significant other to read your work? We've got the answers to these and many other pressing questions.
Mon, 10 August 2020
This week we're reading a short story from Nick White's debut collection that was recommended by author Alissa Nutting. White's story prompts a discussion of the book business, specifically the rarity of short story collections published by big presses and how both the hype machine for young authors and the pushback against the hype machine for young authors can grow quickly tiresome.
Also this week: We begin what will surely be a multi-week exploration of book influencers (book-fluencers?) on Instagram.
Here's a link to the story, and Alissa Nutting's recommendation of it, via Electric Lit: https://electricliterature.com/alissa-nutting-recommends-a-story-about-the-aftermath-of-abuse-nick-white/
Thanks for listening!
Mon, 3 August 2020
We ran into some technical difficulties with the book-based episode scheduled to release this week, so instead we're bringing you this free bonus episode, which was slated to be behind the Patreon paywall. We hope you enjoy it! We talk about what writers owe--and do not owe--to readers who reach out to them with questions, comments, or a desire to continue the conversation started by their work. How can you be kind and generous to your readers, but also set boundaries so that you don't wind up giving away too much of your time and labor?
This episode was inspired in part by responses Mike's been getting to an essay he wrote about reckoning with his racist fraternity. Lots of people have reached out with kind comments, and interesting questions, but he's also gotten requests that feel like a bridge too far.
Thanks for listening, and we hope you enjoy the bonus episode! We do a couple of these a month for our Patreon subscribers, along with a bonus book episode, usually about a goofy romance novel or something else outside our usual reading patterns. If you want more of that content, you can subscribe for just $5 a month. And we'll be back next week with another regular episode.