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.
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:
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.
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”:
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”:
In Episode 3, we welcome the essayist, professor, and creative community-builder Ander Monson to talk about his two new books, the movie Tron, @marchxness, Tucson, the Memoirizer, and much more.
Essays referenced: Lorrie Moore, “Experiencing the Coronavirus Epidemic as a Kind of Zombie Apocalypse”
In Episode 2, special guests Arlo, Bonnie, and David help us answer the question: What isn’t a literary essay? Also featuring a literary cocktail, our first Blind Item, a profane joke about bears, and more.
On the first episode of I’ll Find Myself When I’m Dead, we welcome our former MFA student, Zoe Bossiere, to discuss her matchup with Elena in the finals of March Badness, the annual essay tournament hosted by Megan Campbell and Ander Monson – http://marchxness.com/#/badness-final/ – as well as why we like the tournament format, the essay form, her promotional strategy, velvet Elvises, why we’re making a podcast, and more.