Month: September 2020

S2 E3 – Pet the Whatever: How Essays Become Books (w/George Estreich)

I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
S2 E3 - Pet the Whatever: How Essays Become Books (w/George Estreich)
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In Episode 3, we talk with our friend and colleague, George Estreich–an essayist, memoirist, poet, and Renaissance man–about how essays turn into books. We discuss our own respective experiences with our books’ origins, as well as examples from books we’ve recently read. Also: writing about children, llamas vs. alpacas vs. emus, Comrade Bunny, collectionists, which Beatles we would be, and the lightning round makes its return.

Links to some things we mention:

Check George’s website for more about him and his books: http://www.GeorgeEstreich.com 

George’s Salon essay is here: https://www.salon.com/2014/02/12/when_my_daughter_was_diagnosed/ 

And his NYT piece is here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/27/opinion/i-dont-speak-for-laura.html 

George’s band, Mule on Fire: http://muleonfire.com/music 

Esmé Weijun Wang’s The Collected Schizophrenias: https://www.graywolfpress.org/books/collected-schizophrenias 

Eula Biss’ essay “White Debt”: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/06/magazine/white-debt.html 

Eula Biss’ new book, Having and Being Had: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/580422/having-and-being-had-by-eula-biss/ 

James Baldwin’s book The Evidence of Things Not Seen: https://bookshop.org/books/the-evidence-of-things-not-seen-reissued-edition/9780805039399 

Roy Scranton’s Rolling Stone essay “Back to Baghdad”: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/back-to-baghdad-life-in-the-city-of-doom-99814/ Scranton’s book, We’re Doomed. Now What? https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/567505/were-doomed-now-what-by-roy-scranton/

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

I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
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

I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
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