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Poured Over is a show for readers who pore over details, obsess over sentences and ideas and stories and characters; readers who ask a lot of questions, just like Poured Over’s host, Miwa Messer, a career bookseller who’s always reading. Follow us here for surprising riffs, candid conversations, a few laughs, and lots of great book recommendations from big name authors and authors on their way to being big names. New episodes land Tuesdays and Thursdays (with occasional bonus episodes on Sat ...
 
We're no longer producing new episodes of this show, but you can find us now at Poured Over on Apple Podcasts. Every author has a story beyond the one that they put down on paper. The Barnes & Noble Podcast goes between the lines with today's most interesting writers, exploring what inspires them, what confounds them, and what they were thinking when they wrote the books we’re talking about.
 
Explore the stories behind the young adult books you love with the B&N YA Podcast. Join host Melissa Albert, editor of the B&N Teen Blog and bestselling author of The Hazel Wood, as she sits down with fellow YA authors to talk about books, life, their teen years, their pop cultural obsessions, and how they came up with the stories that keep us up at night. Subscribe to listen in on fascinating new conversations every other week.
 
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“I love finishing reading a book and thinking, I feel privileged to have read that, I feel dignified. I feel like that book sort of thought of me as sacred… I want to write the kind of books that I most love to read.” From Paul Harding, author of Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Tinkers, comes This Other Eden — an intricate novel inspired by the fasci…
 
“At any given time, there's a choir of ideas and nagging voices in my head — chatter that I had to contend with I guess — in the end it ends up with this model of working and living in which everything is happening simultaneously.” Aleksandar Hemon, author of National Book Award Finalist The Lazarus Project, has no shortage of accomplishments, incl…
 
This Double Shot episode features two authors, one familiar and one who soon will be, each tackling similar themes. Through fiction and essays these authors explore social politics and sexual freedom — listen in as both talk separately with Poured Over’s host, Miwa Messer. A Guest at the Feast is a collection of essays by Colm Tóibín on topics rang…
 
“I wanted to spend time with a family and haunted house books are always about families.” Grady Hendrix’s bone-chilling novels The Final Girl Support Group and Horrorstör will have fans knocking at the door for his newest book, How to Sell a Haunted House. This new take on a classic horror story forces readers to confront one of the most frightenin…
 
Two witty novels, two funny women, and two engaging interviews await you in this Double Shot episode of Poured Over. This pair of authors and their stories of relationships and what happens when they end fit so well together - if you’re a fan of one, you’re sure to love the other. Listen in as both authors talk separately with host Miwa Messer. Sch…
 
“That's one of those epiphanies - I realized if I wanted to be taken seriously, I needed representation. And who better than to do it than a man who doesn't exist, who's really me? Yeah, it was the perfect decoy.” You’ve heard her plucking guitar strings & heartstrings – now Margo Price sits down with guest host Allyson Gavaletz to talk about her n…
 
“I remember being in an English class in high school (12th grade actually). We were reading The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot, and I announced to the teacher that I could have written a better ending … And I remember the look of shock on the teacher's face because she probably thought I was so arrogant and presumptuous. I don't know how I would…
 
“And I always tend to start a book with a very popcorn sensibility, like, oh, well, this’ll be fun, we're gonna have a little romp. And then to tell the story, honestly, you tend — especially when you're talking about things like institutional power and social influence and economic influence — you're going to bump up against some pretty heavy them…
 
“But now, with the rise of new money, it's like there's this moment in India, when new money was eclipsing old money. And that's the moment that I basically find really interesting because I happen to be right there observing, and just talking to people and listening and picking up stories.” You might have missed Deepti Kapoor’s debut, A Bad Charac…
 
Our January Discover and B&N Book Club picks have lots in common: both are debut novels with indelible characters and an unforgettable story, both are graduates of UT’s Michener Center for Writers — think of this episode as an audio boxed set, as both authors sit down separately with Poured Over’s host, Miwa Messer. Tracey Rose Peyton knew she was …
 
We're closing out 2022 with something new: A Poured Over Double Shot with host Miwa Messer. Cormac McCarthy doesn’t really do interviews — If you want to know about the work, it’s on the page, he says. Jenny Jackson and Chip Kidd are part of the team that publish McCarthy; Jenny’s been his editor for the last eight years, and Chip has designed McCa…
 
“They have traveled for most of the day using what little daylight the season offers leaving Ferrara Dawn and riding out to what he had told her was a hunting lodge, far in the northwest of the province. 'But this is no hunting lodge' is what Lucrezia had wanted to say when they reach their destination, a high walled edifice of dark stone flanked o…
 
“It is an amazing, amazing translation experience….But it took a long time to get to the point where the language started moving because you have to start out sort of in English laying down a rock, rocks, and then a rock and a rock, building a wall. It doesn't move, and it's just right, right next to the ground. And because you can't obviously star…
 
“One of my favorite places to take a little walk around is the public cemetery, which is on a little hill that overlooks the bay. And you know, if you ever wanted to be buried somewhere, that's the place to be buried. And right across the street from it, and a little ways down the road is this beautiful canyon you can walk up. The trees are covered…
 
“Storytelling can just be you understanding yourself, but it turns into something else when it's a shared piece — so much of anything in life is practice, and just pure showing up…I think that's just important to remember, you're not always going to feel inspired or inspirational, or you're not going to feel you've done your best. And you just have…
 
“I loved it more than everybody. And afterwards, I thought for the first time, whatever I do, I've got to get as close to that as I can. Not the noise or the music or being a rock star, but the creativity of it and the energy of it and the way that you affect people, and I knew that my life wouldn't be the same. And it's kind of always been like th…
 
“I grew up in a blue-collar neighborhood. And you know, nobody was expected to be a novelist — that was not a thing, that was not a choice in my neighborhood. And when I made that choice, it was very strange to people. And it was a really hard thing for people to accept and my father and my grandfather did not understand that at all. And they disco…
 
"One of the ways you can get into my cast of characters is by leaving a very detailed written record. Because that's what we historians have to work from, you're not allowed to make stuff up like a novelist can… And, of course, it skews, to some extent, the way history is written. Because the rich leave more records than the poor, men leave more re…
 
"When I was a kid, I was super, super geeky, it was so nerdy. And all I read was dragon books, or ghost books, or elf books…someone tried to give me a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird, and I just remember thinking, Where are the dragons? And when I went to do my doctorate in creative writing and literature —especially at the time, and even now, they k…
 
“They're rooted in our culture as well. And because of all that, I think they feel a little bit more real, even though they are fantastical magical realms…and there's also this timeless quality in a way as well….I do think also there is a lot of room for imagination to grow in these stories.” Sue Lynn Tan joins guest host Kat Sarfas on the show to …
 
“We are writing our stories to the world, as opposed to just reading the old stories. And somehow, some way accidentally, intentionally, desperately on the case and caught off guard, Art is Life captures this huge sweep and ends about where we are now in the present—which is an epic place as well.” Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Jerry Saltz (How to …
 
“I'm really driven by poetry. I'm really driven by language. But also, I'm driven by a desire to connect with the people. So I could have been a teacher. I could have been a politician. I could have been anyone that communicates with people verbally because I liked that. I wound up a performer, but it was all rooted in poetry. And as a book person,…
 
“It's hard to be funny, you can't really plan on — you don't know what will land with people…. absurdity just exists constantly in the world that we live in. And to my mind, the humor comes from the way different people traverse absurdity, how they try to normalize it, or how they freak out because they want to build their own weirdness on top of i…
 
“I had never known what it was like to feel full. And I know that sounds like really odd, but because most people can — I would be with friends and a friend would stop eating. She's like, I'm full. And I'm like, What's wrong with me that I don't know what it feels like to feel full? And I don't know what the answer to that question is, to this day.…
 
“I always feel like as a reader, I always want to go in ready to be changed, ready to be transformed by what I'm reading, ready to be expanded. And that's what I love about books, they work on you kind of like magic.” Madeline Miller’s novels, The Song of Achilles and Circe, keep working their magic on readers everywhere. She joins us on the show t…
 
“More people than we realize are works in progress, are trying to figure out a way to think about the world… As Beyoncé said in her new album, they're contradicted. They're internally contradicted more than we think. We can make the kind of change we seek, we deserve in this country, if we allow the idea that more of us are contradicted, more of us…
 
“…The idea just kind of spun itself into existence in my head, the world started to form almost immediately — when my creative brain kind of immediately kicks in like that, I've learned to listen to it, because usually, that means something, something good is trying to come out.” N.K. Jemisin — winner of three consecutive Hugo Awards for Best Novel…
 
“…It was at the end of an exhibition called The Art of The Troubles. And that had been a little controversial (as these things very often are in post-conflict societies). Some people felt it had gone too far. Other people felt that it hadn't gone far enough. It just made me think about how maybe art could be used to say things that are really unsay…
 
"We don't know our parents, I mean, we think we do; you know, all of us have a practice of dealing with contained worlds. And that practice begins with our families, it begins with our parents, because these are individuals that we don't fully understand, but we are completely dependent on for our survival... And so it creates this really interesti…
 
“I was always writing, and I think it goes back to that Charlotte's Web thing when I had that experience of something taking me out of this world. It was mysterious, and transcendent, and glorious. And I'm still searching for that every day — if I can find a story that will do that to me and just kind of mystify me and leave me a slightly different…
 
“People write medical histories, people write personal case histories, I didn't want to do either. People write memoirs; I wanted to do all of them in the same book. And I wanted to do that without blurring the boundaries between any and all of those… I consider those parts of living history.” Siddhartha Mukherjee is an oncologist, a professor, a b…
 
“We were doing all of this for people we did not know and could not imagine. And as is the case, too, like, when you're planting trees, you hope that they're gonna outlive you. And the trees that were planted have outlived some of the people who are deeply involved in that project. Which is, you know…it's both this sorrow and it's a gratitude. We w…
 
“When I came back, I was thinking about how to tell the story. And I wanted to meet people who, in one way or another, resembled the young people who I'd known as a kid and I was talking to various people, and I had some ideas. And then I got a call from a lawyer, whose name is Ken. And he called up and he said, You know, I've heard about what you'…
 
“By making a certain voice, then I'm going to force myself to do new things in that story. The voice is for me, very measured and realistic and regular, regular. But it's almost like DNA. Once you do that, then you're committed to continuing to do it, which means you're committed to finding some kind of power, even in that somewhat limited mode, wh…
 
“There's kind of an aspect of melancholy that I love as a reader… But I can't write a book that I wouldn't want to read… Although I am interested in just sadness and like a certain beautiful quality…I can't write books that I don't want to live in, and I don't really want to live in just a depressed book. I don't want to just live in a depressed wo…
 
“I was always in a play, always in rehearsals. And if I wasn't in a play, I was counting the hours ‘til I could be in a play. Because it was the first time I felt a sense of belonging, a sense of community.” In Making a Scene, actress Constance Wu (Lyle, Lyle Crocodile) takes readers backstage in her own life in often hilarious — and always real an…
 
"I think the knee-jerk reaction to pandemic literature — that I think a lot of readers might have as well, I don't want to read that because it's going to be triggering, it's going to be about, you know, CDC scientists brushing against the clock — there are actually very few pandemic novels that I can think of that actually operate on that level. T…
 
“I want to tell stories. I hate the whole, don't tell, show mantra because it's not true—it has its like moments like, you know, when the reader finishes something of mine, I want them to feel as if it's something they had experienced, as if it's like a memory for them. Because like, for me, that's always been the best stuff. And like that can be s…
 
“He thinks of himself as a character in a fairy tale in a way who's going on a quest. And there's so many stories like that about a character who's going in search of a lost loved one, whether it's a daughter, a mother, a son, there's this sense of I'm going off to find you. And that's really powerful.” Celeste Ng follows her massive hit Little Fir…
 
“I want to escape into these like incredible, immersive situations, really. But I think I try and balance this kind of creation of a world or this world building with the dialogue. And that's where things like the humor come in. And particularly with this one, because it's quite a gritty subject. But it was really important to have that joy and hav…
 
“So you know, something that is a big part of my project…is actually this idea that we deserve pleasure. I think that pleasure and care, these are antidotes against various kinds of violence and degradation that we're all beset with. And so for me, when I wrote this novel, I did not write it for a critic at The New York Times, you know. I wrote it …
 
“I think I figured a lot of things out literally as I was writing the book. I'm usually an obsessive methodical writer, or I have everything, if not mapped out, I kind of know spatially, what's going to happen in a piece of writing. But with this, I just kind of had to write it to figure out what it was. For years, friends knew that I was working o…
 
“I feel like very often when we have stories about womanizing characters, whether we piece those stories out, so we see each woman—individually or not, they don't really have stories. They don't really have lives except as they relate to that main character. So, it was always going to be each woman steps forward, each woman gets a chapter.” Laura W…
 
“I did nothing but read the entire time I was writing this….literally every waking moment, I was doing some type of research and a lot of research I did for this book was on joy and celebration and on community. Because, yes, we're going through all of these things, but there's a reason the cover is bright and celebratory, because that's also where…
 
“I think I made a shrewd pick when I chose this character. Because the last thing you want is to be able to say—I understand everything about you—is a character with a lot of ambiguity. And I think some of that is calculated ambiguity. And some of it is probably caused by the fact that the historical record is erased in one way or another. But ther…
 
“Ever since we left, when I was 13, it's a place that I think about constantly. I think about it in hypothetical terms. It's something that I just sort of lose myself in all the time. I left before things really got complicated. I left when I was 13. What if I had stayed until now? And what if I had left and gone back? You know, the book kind of st…
 
“I already had a kind of Don Quixote set up in mind. And so I was like, Wouldn't it be funny if Arthur was the sort of Sancho Panza in this? I'll just barely touch on it and see where it goes. And I thought he needs someone totally full of himself to shake him up…” Readers fell in love with Arthur Less — and Andrew Sean Greer took home a Pulitzer P…
 
“This book feels very much…drawing from the Black Saints: Whitney Houston, Paul Mooney, Little Richard, Luther Vandross, almost my own canon, my own tradition, my own history, to make sense of what's happening now. I’m not going back to Homer, necessarily. I'm kind of trying to create a new lineage, because I feel that we've been betrayed by our pr…
 
"Well, home is a complicated concept....So you've shaken me awake at three o'clock in the morning. Where's home? I’ll say Zanzibar without hesitation. Oh, but then on the other hand, I've been living here and working here for 50 years, my family, my children, and my grandchildren live here. The idea that this is not my home, it's just ridiculous. I…
 
“I'm heading into my mid 70s and I really want to just get into a novel and live inside it. No sense of hurry. No deadline, no sense that anyone's waiting for this. I don’t want to talk to anyone about it, but I just want to inhabit it.” Award-winning author Ian McEwan’s new novel, Lessons, takes readers on an emotional journey through the life of …
 
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