EPISODES

S2 E2 – Don’t Write Checks Your Facts Can’t Cash

S2 E2 – Don’t Write Checks Your Facts Can’t Cash

 
 
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In Episode 2, we talk about a thorny issue in nonfiction: the fact check. We discuss a recent essay on the subject by Emma Copley Eisenberg in Esquire, among other things relevant and not: our fact-checking experiences, recent controversies on the subject, John D’Agata, facts vs. truth, journalistic standards vs. creative nonfiction standards, Hanif Abdurraqib’s 68to05 project, Sylvester Stallone’s oeuvre, and more.

Links to some things we mention:

Emma Copley Eisenberg’s essay: https://www.esquire.com/entertainment/books/a33577796/nonfiction-book-fact-checking-should-be-an-industry-standard/ 

Eisenberg’s book: https://www.hachettebooks.com/titles/emma-copley-eisenberg/the-third-rainbow-girl/9780316449205/ 

Benjamin Dreyer’s book: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/232363/dreyers-english-by-benjamin-dreyer/ 

John D’Agata’s Lifespan of a Fact: https://wwnorton.com/books/The-Lifespan-of-a-Fact/ 

David Hayes & Sarah Weinman’s essay “The Worthy Elephant,” from Hazlitt: https://hazlitt.net/feature/worthy-elephant-truman-capotes-cold-blood 

Janet Malcolm’s recent essay in the New York Review of Books: https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2020/09/24/jeffrey-masson-trial-second-chance/ 

Hanif Abdurraqib’s 68to05 project: https://www.68to05.com/about 

Joe Berlinger’s Cold Blooded doc series: https://www.sundancenow.com/series/watch/cold-blooded-the-clutter-family-murders/a8eab7e25278eb00

Season 2 premiere — Bad Idea Essays

Season 2 premiere — Bad Idea Essays

 
 
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To kick off Season 2, we discuss what essayistic things we’ve been up to over the summer–including our spinoff podcast–before moving on to the “Bad Idea Essay,” a term coined (we think) by S1E3 guest Ander Monson. Our example essay is David LeGault’s “On Excess” (link below), an essay we both wound up liking, for reasons we try to explain. Also: our own attempts at Bad Idea Essays, famous examples of the form, and more.

Links to some things we mention:

David LeGault’s essay, “On Excess”: https://thespectacle.wustl.edu/?p=262

David’s book, 10,000,000 Maniacs: http://outpost19.com/OneMillionManiacs/

Follow David on Twitter: https://twitter.com/legaultd

Sex in the Living Room: https://sex-the-living-room.pinecast.co

the Great Outdoors Steak Scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gc_5tx7xRlg

Elena’s “bad idea essay” about the Stella shouting contest: https://www.oxfordamerican.org/magazine/item/1154-this-is-yelling

Justin’s “bad idea essay” about Capote: https://tinhouse.com/murder-tourism-middle-america/

Will Slattery’s essay about Elena’s March Fadness essay: https://www.essaydaily.org/2017/04/a-close-reading-of-essayist-under-self.html

Episode 11 — Publishing Paid Us/The Fire This Time

Episode 11 — Publishing Paid Us/The Fire This Time

 
 
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In Episode 11, we discuss the recent #PublishingPaidMe conversation, talk about our own advances and experiences with the publishing industry, and discuss a few essays from The Fire This Time, a recent anthology edited by Jesmyn Ward.

Episode 10 – I’m Your Huckleberry

Episode 10 – I’m Your Huckleberry

 
 
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For our tenth episode extravaganza, we discuss Val Kilmer’s memoir I’m Your Huckleberry (and other parts of the Kilmer corpus, including his poetry, art, and music), the movie Tombstone and related trivia, David’s Old Western cocktail, Frank Stallone, fake memoirs, and much, much more.

The deleted scene from Tombstone mentioned in the episode:

And our outro song is a Val Kilmer original:

Episode 9 – The Best American Podcasts

Episode 9 – The Best American Podcasts

 
 
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In Episode 9, we discuss podcasts: whether they’re essays, our favorites, and how they relate to creative nonfiction. Also we drink the best beer in the world, possibly start yet another podcast, and Elena coins the term “bike diapers.”

The podcasts we discuss (click for links): Wind of Change, Book Fight!, and Mystery Show.

Episode libation: Westvleteren 12.

We didn’t pick a song, but I guess it has to be this:

Episode 8 — Best American Essays 2003, Part 2

Episode 8 — Best American Essays 2003, Part 2

 
 
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This week, in part 2 of our Best American Essays 2003 episode, we discuss Adam Gopnik’s “Bumping Into Mr. Ravioli,” André Aciman’s “Lavender,” as well as the 2003 Billboard charts, imaginary friends, bong-hit essays, and more. Our outro song is also from 2003:

Episode 7 – Best American Essays 2003, Part 1

Episode 7 – Best American Essays 2003, Part 1

 
 
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This week’s episode is a five-guest, five-essay, four-microphone, two-part show we recorded (mostly) outside on David & Elena’s patio. In Part 1, your co-hosts welcome regular guests David, Bonnie, and Arlo to discuss selections from Best American Essays 2003, a volume Elena happened upon in her neighborhood little free library. We talk about Atul Gawande’s essay “The Learning Curve,” Ian Frazier’s “Researchers Say” (not online, unfortunately)–both first published in the New Yorker–and the Rachel Cohen essay “Lost Cities,” originally from Threepenny Review. Also, David makes a 2003-specific cocktail, we discuss where we were in 2003, and more.

Episode 6 – J.D. Daniels, “Letter From Majorca”

Episode 6 – J.D. Daniels, “Letter From Majorca”

 
 
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In Episode 6, we discuss J.D. Daniels’ essay “Letter from Majorca,” from Best American Essays 2013 (first published here at the Paris Review). Also the first essays we ever wrote, a literary cocktail from old San Francisco, and this outro song by Curtis Eller:

Episode 5 – Daum, Didion, and the Leaving NYC Essay

Episode 5 – Daum, Didion, and the Leaving NYC Essay

 
 
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In Episode 5, we discuss recent essay-adjacent events including a major loss in the literary world, Meghan Daum’s essay about leaving NYC during quarantine, and the tradition of essays about leaving New York, including Joan Didion, Eula Biss, and others.

Essays discussed:

Claire Fallon, “Please Stop Writing ‘Why I Left New York’ Pandemic Essays

Meghan Daum, “I Left New York for Greener Pastures–and a Puppy

Joan Didion, “Goodbye to All That

Eula Biss, “Goodbye to All That

And Elena’s outro song is Randy Newman’s “Louisiana 1927”:

Episode 4 – Joy & Death in the Cascadia Subduction Zone

Episode 4 – Joy & Death in the Cascadia Subduction Zone

 
 
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In this episode, we discuss Zadie Smith’s essay “Joy,” the Mount Eerie song “Real Death,” the state of our brains in pandemic isolation, Elvis, Capote, Cardi B, Arizona’s kinship with Australia, and much, much more. Halfway through, David, our resident bartender, serves us his latest literary cocktail, the Cascadian Subduction Zone, a high-proof, face-heating concoction that enlivens the conversation.

Smith’s essay is available here: “Joy”

Mount Eerie’s “Real Death”: