Month: December 2021

S4 E5 – Best American Essays 2021

I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
S4 E5 - Best American Essays 2021
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This week we’re talking about this year’s edition of Best American Essays. We compare it to previous years (spoiler: this one is a bummer), discuss the new subgenre of pandemic essays, and focus on a few selections from the anthology. Also: David makes us a pandemic cocktail, Justin’s dog makes a few barky cameos, we (well, one of us) question the entire Best American Essays enterprise, and we do a year-end lightning news/round. See you next year!

(Note: we don’t mention Joan Didion’s death because it occurred the morning after we recorded, but if you’d like to hear some of our previous thoughts on Didion, we did an episode about her latest book earlier this year: http://www.essaypodcast.com/s3-e2-didion-on-writing/)

Some things we mention:

Best American Essays 2021:

https://www.hmhbooks.com/shop/books/the-best-american-essays-2021/9780358381754

Assay’s interview with Robert Atwan, the series editor of Best American Essays:

https://www.assayjournal.com/interview-with-robert-atwan-31.html

Alexander Chee’s link to BAE 2022 submission guidelines:

S4 E4 – The Address Book

I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
S4 E4 - The Address Book
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This week we discuss our first listener pick, Sophie Calle’s “The Address Book,” which was suggested by Will Howard. Also: lots of “Succession” talk (including a couple of potential spoilers), John McPhee’s inscrutable diagrams, more Chekhov, the kids’ music these days, whether we’d want to be address-booked, what we’d say about each other if it happened, Elena makes up a song about the 1985 Chicago Bears, and more! (Also, send us your favorite essays of 2021 for Pushcart nominations.)

Some things we mention:

Sophie Calle’s The Address Book:

http://sigliopress.com/book/the-address-book/ 

David Searcy’s book of essays, Shame and Wonder: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/221652/shame-and-wonder-by-david-searcy/

The Jeremy Strong profile from the New Yorker:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/12/13/on-succession-jeremy-strong-doesnt-get-the-joke

JM Tyree’s The Counterforce:

The sad and strange case of the Wanda Tinasky letters, which apparently were not written by Pynchon:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wanda_Tinasky

John Vaillant’s book The Tiger:

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/182226/the-tiger-by-john-vaillant/

S4 E3 – Essays About Feelings

I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
S4 E3 - Essays About Feelings
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This week we discuss our feelings, how to write about feelings, our feelings some more, and two essays about feelings: Jerald Walker’s “Breathe,” and Chris Offutt’s “Trash Food.” (Sorry about the rough audio quality, we had some tech issues this week.)

Jerald Walker’s “Breathe” in New England Review: https://www.nereview.com/vol-40-no-3-2019/breathe/ 

Chris Offutt’s “Trash Food” in Oxford American: https://main.oxfordamerican.org/magazine/item/550-trash-food

Allen Gee’s “Old School,” the other essay about James Alan Macpherson that we mention. (Excerpt only):

Allen Gee’s “Old School,” the other essay about James Alan Macpherson that we mention. (Excerpt only):https://blog.pshares.org/index.php/old-school-by-allen-gee/

Stephanie Soileau’s book of short stories, Last One Out Shut Off the Lights: https://stephaniesoileau.com/last-one-out-shut-off-the-lights-2