Ep 65: Giacomo Lichtner talks to Pip Adam about his essay ‘One hundred years of Primo Levi’

July 31, 2019 is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Italian Jewish chemist, writer, and Holocaust survivor Primo Levi.

On the occasion of Levi’s centenary, Giacomo Lichtner has written ‘One Hundred Years of Primo Levi’, an essay offering ten reasons to ‘re-read and re-consider the empathy, rage and understated greatness’ of If This is a Man the memoir which describes Levi’s arrest as a member of the Italian anti-fascist resistance during the Second World War, and his incarceration in the Auschwitz concentration camp (Monowitz) from February 1944 until the camp was liberated on 27 January 1945. Published in 1947, If This is a Man seems sadly relevant to our present moment.

You can read Giacomo’s essay online at Overland Journal

Giacomo Lichtner is Associate Professor of History and Film at Victoria University of Wellington and serves on the board of the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand. He is the author of Film and the Shoah in France and Italy (2008, 2015) and Fascism in Italian Cinema Since 1945: the Politics and Aesthetics of Memory (2013).

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Ep 65: Giacomo Lichtner talks to Pip Adam about his essay ‘Ten fragments of Primo Levi’:

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Ep 64: Sharon Lam and publisher Murdoch Stephens talk to Pip Adam about Sharon Lam’s novel ‘Lonely Asian Woman’

This episode I spoke to Sharon Lam and her publisher Murdoch Stephens about Sharon’s novel Lonely Asian Woman – it’s writing and publication.

Sharon’s work also appears on Episode 40 of Better off Read where we showcased some writing from Starling magazine

Sharon's book

Lonely Asian Woman is the debut novel of Sharon Lam. It ruthlessly skews stereotypes of Asian-New Zealanders at the same time as it offers a fantastical Wellington-centric bildungsroman.

The novel is set in contemporary Wellington and follows Paula, a lazy young woman who is stuck in a rut. Deep in stagnation, the sight of a spam ad for ‘lonely Asian women looking for fun’ becomes a moment of profound realisation that she, too, is but a lonely Asian woman looking for fun. Paula’s new outlook leads her to shoplift a cheesecake-laden supermarket trolley. The trolley contains an unexpected attachment. Lonely Asian Woman is not the story of a young woman coming to her responsibilities in the world. Instead, Lam defies the expected and leads the reader and her characters to a deft climax against the grain of the titular lonely Asian woman.Sharon Lam was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, and the UK. She has masters degrees in both creative writing and architecture from Victoria University of Wellington. She began writing as a staff writer for SalientThe Pantograph PunchStarlingHeadland, and Turbine Kapohau, amongst others. Her work has been read on Radio New Zealand, appeared in a vending machine, and she has appeared at the NZ Writers and Readers Festival and Litcrawl.

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Ep 64: Sharon Lam and Murdoch Stevens talk to Pip Adam about Sharon Lam’s novel ‘Lonely Asian Woman’:

Ep 63: Sora Kim-Russell talks to Pip Adam about Bae Suah’s novel ‘Nowhere to Be Found’

Nowhere to Be Found by Bae Suah is one of my favourite novels.

Cover NTBF

In this episode I spoke with Sora Kim-Russell who translated Bae Suah’s novel from Korean to English. Sora is an amazing literary translator who has translated some of my other favourite books including The Hole by Pyun Hye-young and a book I can’t wait to read The Plotters by Un-Su Kim

We spoke about translation, Korean literature and Bae Suah’s stunning novel.

Better off Read is available on iTunes where you can subscribe by clicking here

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Or you can listen to it here:

Ep 63: Sora Kim-Russell talks to Pip Adam about Bae Suah’s novel ‘Nowhere to Be Found’

Ep 62: Brandy Scott talks to Pip Adam about her novel ‘Not Bad People’

In this episode I talk to Brandy Scott, a radio presenter based in Dubai. Her 20-year journalism career has seen her work across radio, newspapers and magazines in several countries. We talked about her first novel Not Bad People.

Not Bad People is a clever, compelling debut novel with a unique premise of what happens when three best friends engage in what seems to be a harmless act, but instead results in tragedy, leading the women to confront buried resentments, shattering secrets, dark lies, and the moral consequences that could alter their lives forever.

Three friends, thirty years of shared secrets, one impulsive gesture…and a terrible accident. When friendship goes bad, someone has to pay.

It’s New Year’s Eve. Three thirty-something women—Aimee, Melinda and Lou—best friends for decades, let off sky lanterns filled with resolutions: for meaning, for freedom, for money. As the glowing paper bags float away, there’s a bright flare in the distance. It could be a sign of luck—or the start of a complete nightmare that will upend their friendships, families, and careers.

The day after their ceremony, the newspapers report a small plane crash—two victims pulled from the wreckage, one a young boy. Were they responsible? Aimee thinks they are, Melinda won’t accept it, and Lou has problems of her own. It’s a toxic recipe for guilt trips, shame, obsession, blackmail, and power games.

They’re not bad people. But desperate times call for desperate measures.

Ep 62: Pip Adam talks to Brandy Scott about her novel Not Bad People

Ep 61: The New Animals SPOILER Episode

In this episode Pip Adam (that’s me) answers questions about The New Animals

This episode contains SPOILERS!!

sPOILED

Thanks everyone for an awesome year!

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Ep 61: The New Animals SPOILER Episode

Ep 60: Pip Adam talks to Anne Kennedy about ‘The Ice Shelf’ at Unity Books Wellington

It’s hard to explain why Anne Kennedy’s The Ice Shelf is so incredible – I think the only way to find out is to read it.

Image result for the ice shelf anne kennedy

The Ice Shelf by Anne Kennedy. Cover illustration: Ant Sang. Victoria University Press (2018)

I was lucky enough to speak with Anne about her amazing work at Unity Books in Wellington last week.

Thanks to Anne, Unity Books Wellington and Victoria University Press for the great event and for letting me record it.

In December I’m recording a New Animals spoiler episode. We’d love your questions. You can ask them at this Survey Monkey link or contact me on Twitter @PipAdam 

Better off Read is available on iTunes where you can subscribe by clicking here

Better off Read is also available on PodBean where you can subscribe by clicking here

Or you can listen to it here:

Ep 60: Pip Adam talks to Anne Kennedy about ‘The Ice Shelf’ at Unity Books Wellington