In this episode of the TANK podcast, Natasha Stallard speaks to American author and critic Lynne Tillman about her latest novel, Men and Apparitions, which was selected by Barbara Epler for TANK's 2018 Summer Reader earlier this year. Tillman is renowned for her technical virtuosity and cutting insight across works of fiction, non-fiction and cultural criticism. Other books in her prolific and versatile oeuvre include Haunted Houses, Motion Sickness, What Would Lynne Tillman Do? and Weird Fucks.
In this episode of the TANK magazine podcast, Jan-Peter Westad speaks with the novelist Patrick deWitt about his latest book French Exit, which was published by Bloomsbury in September. The novel follows the glamorous widow Frances Price, her passive adult son Malcolm and their cat, Small Frank, who Frances believes houses the spirit of her late husband, an infamously immoral lawyer whose gruesome tabloid death leaves the family beset by scandal. Bankrupt and isolated, the trio escape Manhattan for Paris where they soon fall in with a motley crew of outcasts. This genre-bending take on the comedy of manners showcases all of deWitt’s trademark wit and taste for the surreal. The recording begins with a reading from the opening of the novel. ◉
In this episode of the TANK magazine podcast, Jan-Peter Westad speaks with the writer Shaun Prescott about his debut novel The Town. Published by Faber, the novel follows an unnamed narrator in his effort to research the small towns in the New South Wales region of Australia. The unnamed town he settles in is defined by fast food outlets and petrol stations; the bus driver has no passengers and the radio station no listeners. Its inhabitants spend most of their free time drinking and brawling. And when the town starts to physically disappear, none of them seem to notice. Prescott drops us into this ominously banal world with a deadpan humour and nerve that has seen the book compared with Calvino and Kafka. Here he talks about what The Town might reveal of wider Australian society and some of the influences behind the novel. ◉
In this episode of the TANK magazine podcast, Jan-Peter Westad speaks to the poet and academic Mark Ford about his most recent collection Enter, Fleeing, which was published by Faber in May 2018. Ford discusses his autobiographical turn, growing up across the world, being drugged on a train to Madrid, meeting Allen Ginsberg and more. The collection itself takes readers on a journey through London, Nairobi, Lagos, Chicago, Colombo, Hong Kong and many other dreamscapes and stages as Ford engages with his peripatetic upbringing as an expatriate. The result is a thrilling, funny and various collection that captures the final decline of empire and the ways in which we all try to belong. ◉
In this episode of the TANK magazine podcast, Ismail Einashe speaks to the artist Lubaina Himid about the aftermath of winning the Turner Prize, the importance of addressing Europe’s colonial history and the representation of people of colour in art and beyond. Born in 1954 in Zanzibar, Himid was raised in Britain where she became a pioneer of the British Black Arts Movement in the 1980s. She was awarded the Turner Prize in 2017. Einashe met Himid on the occasion of her first major show in France, Gifts to Kings, which was exhibited at MRAC in Sérignan. The text version of this interview is published in the 2018 TANK Summer Reader Issue. ◉
In this episode of the TANK magazine podcast, Natasha Stallard speaks to the artist and writer James Bridle about his new book, New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future. Published by Verso, the book tackles how contemporary technology has led us into a world of ever-increasing incomprehension. From climate change to the nightmarish world of children’s YouTube, we are living in a new Dark Age, which requires, Bridle writes, “acknowledging such contradictions and uncertainties, such states of practical unknowing, in order to move forward.” It is not only technology that changes the world, but how we choose to understand it. ◉
In this episode of the TANK magazine podcast, Ismail Einashe talks to the journalist and editor of New Humanist, Daniel Trilling. Trilling writes on migration, borders and nationalism in Europe and his reporting has appeared in the Guardian, the New York Times, the New Statesman and the London Review of Books. His latest book, Light in the Distance: Exile and Refuge at the Borders of Europe, published by Picador, draws on years of reporting at the heart of the refugee crisis and illuminates the experiences of those crossing Europe’s borders in search of asylum. The text version of this interview can be found in the 2018 TANK Summer Reader Issue. ◉
In this episode of the TANK magazine podcast, Aida Amoako talks with the American novelist Jesmyn Ward. Among her many accolades, Ward was awarded a Macarthur Genius Grant and is the first female author to win two National Book awards for fiction, for Salvage the Bones (2011) and her most recent novel Sing, Unburied, Sing (2017). The subject of this conversation is The Fire This Time, a 2016 collection of essays and poetry that Ward both contributed to and edited, and which was published in the UK in 2018. Inspired by James Baldwin’s essay The Fire Next Time, the collection heralds a new generation of voices speaking out against racism in America in light of recent tragedies and widespread protests across the nation. The text version of this interview can be found in the TANK Summer Reader issue. ◉
In this episode of the Tank Magazine podcast, Adam Bychawski talks with two of the leading writers engaged on the UK’s serious housing issues, Anna Minton and John Boughton. A writer, journalist and reader of architecture at the University of East London, Anna Minton’s most recent book, Big Capital: Who Is London For? (2017) is a piercing survey of the housing shortage in London and looks at how our homes became financial assets. John Boughton’s first book Municipal Dreams (2018) provides a deeply compelling narrative history of Britain’s council housing from the 19th century through to the Grenfell Tower fire. Topics touched on include the origins of council housing and it’s erosion since the 1980s, alongside more optimistic non-market solutions that could prove key to building a more secure future. ◉
In this episode of the TANK magazine podcast, listeners will hear Madeline Miller reading from her new novel Circe and answering some questions about the book. Miller’s first novel The Songs of Achilles, won the 2012 Orange Prize, and Circe offers another vivid and fresh take on Greek mythology, this time centred on the powerful sorceress most often remembered for turning men into pigs in Homer’s Odyssey. Miller tells us what drew her to this character, whom she calls the “first witch of Western literature”, and explains how Greek myth, especially in its feminist retellings, still has much to show us about our world today.