Heard On The Podcast
The Dead Rabbits Podcast has hosted numerous authors over the episodes and we’ve now made it easier for you listeners to find and purchase their work. We highly recommend each of the books listed below. Give them a try & let us know what you think!
Love Marriage by V. V. Ganeshananthan (Episode 35)
In this globe-scattered Sri Lankan family, we speak of only two kinds of marriage. The first is the Arranged Marriage. The second is the Love Marriage. In reality, there is a whole spectrum in between, but most of us spend years running away from the first toward the second. [p. 3] The daughter of Sri Lankan immigrants who left their collapsing country and married in America, Yalini finds herself caught between the traditions of her ancestors and the lure of her own modern world. But when she is summoned to Toronto to help care for her dying uncle, Kumaran, a former member of the militant Tamil Tigers, Yalini is forced to see that violence is not a relic of the Sri Lankan past, but very much a part of her Western present. While Kumaran's loved ones gather around him to say goodbye, Yalini traces her family's roots-and the conflicts facing them as ethnic Tamils-through a series of marriages. Now, as Kumaran's death and his daughter's politically motivated nuptials edge closer, Yalini must decide where she stands. Lyrical and innovative, V. V. Ganeshananthan's novel brilliantly unfolds how generations of struggle both form and fractures families.
The Good Lieutenant by Whitney Terrell (Episode 35)
On the outskirts of Baghdad, Lieutenant Emma Fowler’s platoon unwittingly rolls into a buried maze of IEDs―and their Humvee is blasted into a shrapnel-torn wreck. From this catastrophic moment, The Good Lieutenant unspools backward in time as Fowler and her platoon are guided into disaster by suspicious informants and questionable intelligence, their mission the result of a previous snafu in which a soldier was kidnapped by insurgents. The novel unfolds from points of view that are not customarily included in war coverage―a tenacious female officer, jaded career soldiers, and Iraqis both innocent and not so innocent. Brilliantly told by an acclaimed writer at the top of his form, Whitney Terrell's The Good Lieutenant is a gripping, insightful, and necessary novel about a war that is proving to be the defining tragedy of our time.
Busted Models by Meher Manda (Episode 34)
Meher Manda is a poet, short story writer, and journalist from Mumbai, India currently exploring the literary possibilities in New York City. She earned her MFA in Fiction from the College of New Rochelle and is the founding editor-in-chief of the college’s first MFA curated literary journal, The Canopy Review.
Swapping Purples for Yellows by Matthew Duffus (Episode 30)
Homecoming celebrations and big donor gifts don’t always mean high spirits as a troubled university couple each seek divergent paths to heal their damaged household. When a billionaire grad school dropout unveils plans for a major gift, the Sutherlands must endure the bizarre rituals of rich alumni and reunion receptions. Rob drinks and rants. Molly rolls dice and dreams of winning her own identity. Their gifted teenage daughters push and pull at the rules in opposite directions. Over the course of the weekend, they each confront their deepest secrets and undeniable flaws. A splendid debut novel that navigates a twisted trail of comical regrets and heart-wrenching uncertainty.
The Skin Artist by George Hovis (Episode 30)
The morning Bill Becker awakes to find the butterfly tattoo bleeding on his chest, his upwardly mobile life begins its downward spiral. Exiled from a corporate career and from the failed marriage he left behind in a gated Charlotte community, Bill becomes obsessed with a tattooed dancer named Lucy, who is running from a trauma buried deep in her own past. Lucy and Bill wrap themselves in new skins of ink, wrought by the same artist, a shaman who convinces them that every design will alter their future. Ultimately, both Bill and Lucy must leave the city and return to the Carolina countryside to confront the skins they have shed many years ago.
Mr. Either/Or by Aaron Poochigian (Episode 29)
Aaron Poochigian’s Mr. Either/Or is an ingenious debut, a verse novel melding American mythology, noir thriller, and classical epic into gritty rhythms, foreboding overtones, and groovy jams surrounding the reader in a surreal atmosphere. Imagine Byron’s Don Juan on a high-stakes romp through a Raymond Chandler novel. Think Hamlet in Manhattan with a license to kill.
The Unbnd Verses by Kwame Opoku Duku (Episode 25)
Kwame Opoku-Duku's poetry tells us that what is holy is more real than it is ephemeral, that so much of who we are is who and what we are capable of losing. And then loving. When I read Kwame's work, I recognize the presence of the divine. The divine questioning and the divine longing, the divine whose "definition of holy / changes with each loss," who understands that "rules are only fun when you are the punisher." If there is a god, I want that god to be like the poet moving through this book. Bitter, and real, and kind. The kind of god who sometimes has a hard time being. The kind of god who's got a little bit of the devil. The kind of god who stops to watch a game of pickup basketball somewhere, hands laced through the chainlink fence. I want that god, that Kwame god, because that god would want to know me as much as I want to know myself. And would be as scared of the answer as I perpetually am. Yes, that god, so that when Kwame asks "how much / of beauty is really real," I can show him this book he made.
The Parlor Girl’s Guide by Steve McCondichie (Episode 24)
A hard-edged country girl enlists the living and the dead to guide her past family tragedy and forge her escape from a secluded Southern brothel. After her father’s murder and mother’s abonnement, a merciless landowner forces Molly Lingo to work in a rural Alabama hunting lodge that doubles as an exclusive whorehouse. Molly, the feisty tough teenage daughter of a hand-to-mouth tobacco farmer, employs a mysterious specter and a troubled gambler, “Cotton” Arnold, to assist her in breaking away from the unrelenting grip of the sharecropper culture. Set at the beginning of the Jazz Age’s promising sweep across America, Molly’s story depicts both the shocking brutality of the landlord class and a young woman’s determination not to be treated as a second-class citizen. This energetic historical fiction offers supernatural thrills and the poignant transformation of a metaphysical coming-of-age tale.
I’m Trying To Tell You I’m Sorry by Nina Boutsikaris (Episode 21)
Literary Nonfiction. Women's Studies. "No one is safe from Nina Boutsikaris' gaze in this book--she looks at the world and people around her just as intensely as she turns her gaze inward, questioning her desires, her actions, and asking what it means to see something for what it truly is. I'M TRYING TO TELL YOU I'M SORRY pairs art with experience, youth with introspection, and gender with power--the dance between these topics makes for an utterly absorbing read."--Chelsea Hodson
Let It Die Hungry by Caits Meissner (Episode 20)
Poetry. Women's Studies. LGBTQIA Studies. Art. Contrary to the book's title, LET IT DIE HUNGRY is a collection of poems bursting with life. Recklessly sensual, provocative and profoundly curious, Meissner's coming-of-age poems seek to anchor their place in a messy world, blurring the edges of hard borders and disparate identities. Finding joy, connection and determination in desperate spaces, as well as the slippery terrain of a changing self, Meissner's voice is at once a reckoning, a proclamation, and an open question. Sprinkled with the author's illustrations, the book's multidisciplinary approach also includes lesson plans, originally utilized in a women's prison, that invite the reader to write their own way out of polarizing dichotomies—and into the vast grey space of what it means to be alive.
Blood Atlas by Elae [Lynne Desilva-Johnson] (Episode 20)
Blood Atlas charts body, mind and geography across and through each other. This short collection of texts written by non-binary artist and scholar Lynne DeSilva-Johnson between 2007-2012 marks the longitude and latitude of each poem's writing, charting too our challenged relationship measures of timespace.
Work by Bud Smith (Episode 19)
WORK is a portrait of Bud Smith’s years working construction. It’s about his hilarious blue-collar family. It’s about growing up in a campground in NJ, skipping college, and moving to NYC on a drunken whim. It’s about making art even if that means writing a novel during 1000 consecutive lunch breaks.
This Is Not A Confession by David Olimpio (Episode 18)
Through these powerful and insightful essays, David Olimpio explores the residual effects of sexual abuse, divorce, and grief. With surprising candor and a disarming sense of humor, Olimpio takes on the outwardly wholesome landscape of his suburban Houston childhood and the complex sexual relationships in his adult life. Both poignant and poetic, This Is Not a Confession, leaves us with a sense that our identities have the power to transcend our circumstances.
Everyday People: The Color of Life--a Short Story Anthology - Edited by Jennifer Baker (Episode 17)
Everyday People is a thoughtfully curated anthology of short stories that presents new and renowned work by established and emerging writers of color. It illustrates the dynamics of character and culture that reflect familial strife, political conflict, and personal turmoil through an array of stories that reveal the depth of the human experience.
The Unified Field of Loneliness by Jared Marcel Pollen (Episode 13)
After a series of unpublished books, a novelist becomes obsessed with the idea of uploading his consciousness into a cloud and asks a former student to document his efforts (?Encomium of Glass?). A brilliant but melancholy young architect travels to Ukraine with a colleague after the fall of the iron curtain and finds himself in a graveyard of Soviet monuments (?Suedehead?). And after being released from an Egyptian prison, a deprogrammed Islamist has a strange encounter one night at the MoMA (?The Lovers?). These are just a few of the pieces that make up The Unified Field of Loneliness. From Paris, to New York, to Vienna, to London, these ten stories locate characters living in a condition of terror, solipsism and displacement in the technological age.
Lost Empress: A Novel by Sergio De La Pava (Episode 8)
Led by a renegade young owner out for revenge against her traitorous family, the Paterson Pork—New Jersey’s only Indoor Football League franchise—is challenging the Dallas Cowboys for championship glory.
Meanwhile, a brilliant and lethal mastermind has gotten himself intentionally thrown into prison on Rikers Island with plans to commit the most audacious crime of all time.
And is the world ending? Maybe.
These Things Do Happen by Ian Anderson (Episode 6)
A couple who bets it all on the ponies, a visit from a traveling salesman, a grocer who has to pick up the pieces of his ransacked store and his life, a son whose mother is trying to burn down a city with a few gallons of gas, and a man who travels to Topeka, Kansas to learn about the death of his estranged father…
Consisting of five stories, These Things Do Happen, is the first collection from Ian Anderson. Each story in this debut collection focuses on characters who believe their best days are either ahead of them or behind them, but certainly not today, and how these feelings affect their immediate relationships.
In This Quiet Church of Night, I Say Amen by Devin Kelly (Episode 0)
“In her interview with The Paris Review, Joan Didion offered this credo: ‘The writer is always tricking the reader into listening to the dream.’ To read Devin Kelly’s poetry collection, In This Quiet Church of Night I Say Amen is to privilege the dream. This book is an elegy for the living, the simple difficulty within and behind departure: ‘Who we let go & how—I want to tell you this means more than who we stay beside.’ The hard geographic lines in this collection, as we move through the industrial landscape of Appalachia to the coffee-studded sidewalks of Brooklyn, draw parcels of memories and non-memories. Such proximities ask us who we are when we are here and not here. Kelly is a poet of infinite feeling, a poet who is not afraid to bewilder his capacity to love. This book hurts the way life hurts, and Kelly promises us thus: ‘Life will have, I think, its punishment for all of us.’ If you grow dizzy as you read this book, it’s because you haven’t been breathing. These are gorgeous poems.” --Natalie Eilbert, author of Indictus and Swan Feast