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Episodes

Aug. 2, 2021

340 Forgotten Women of Literature 5 - Constance Fenimore Woolson

When she died tragically at the age of 53, Constance Fenimore Woolson was ranked with the greatest female writers of all time, including Jane Austen, George Eliot, and the Brontes. What happened to her reputation after that? ...

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July 26, 2021

339 Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) was one of the most famous American writers of the mid-twentieth century. As a key member of a group of writers known as the "Beat Generation," his works explored the role of the individual in post-wa...

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July 19, 2021

338 Finding Yourself in Hollywood (with Meg Tilly)

Jacke talks to actress and novelist Meg Tilly about her unusual childhood, her life as a ballet dancer and Hollywood star, and her current life writing thrillers in the peaceful Pacific Northwest. THE RUNAWAY HEIRESS is the p...

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July 12, 2021

337 Oscar Wilde, Ovid, and the Myth of Narcissus (with A. Natasha Jou…

Debut novelist A. Natasha Joukovsky ( The Portrait of a Mirror ) joins Jacke for a discussion of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray , Ovid's myth of Narcissus, the fascinating power of recursions, and a life lived in …

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July 5, 2021

336 Painting the Paintings in Literature (with Charlie Stein)

German artist Charlie Stein joins Jacke for a discussion of art in literature, including her series 100 Paintings Imagined by Authors , in which she and her partner Andy Best use textual clues and historical context to reimag...

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June 28, 2021

335 Machado de Assis (with Cláudia Laitano)

Finally! At long last, Jacke responds to years of requests from his Brazilian listeners to take a closer look at Machado de Assis, the novelist whom critic Harold Bloom called simply "a miracle." In this episode, author and B...

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June 21, 2021

334 Katherine Mansfield

Born into a well-to-do family in New Zealand, Katherine Mansfield began writing fiction at the age of 10. But it was in England and continental Europe that her writing took flight, as she drew upon Chekhov and the new spirit …

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June 17, 2021

333 Tristram Shandy

It's the OG of experimental literature! (In English, anyway...) In this episode, Jacke takes a look at the wild and woolly Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne. And in spite of Dr. Johnson's famous claim that "nothing odd will ...

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June 14, 2021

332 Hamlet (with Laurie Frankel)

Novelist Laurie Frankel joins Jacke to talk about her writing, her theater background, and her new novel One Two Three . Then Jacke and Laurie geek out on Shakespeare and choose the Top 10 Things To Love About Hamlet . …

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June 10, 2021

331 "The World Is Too Much With Us" by William Wordsworth

As the world struggles to emerge from a global pandemic, Jacke takes a look at our relationship with nature, turning to William Wordsworth's classic sonnet "The World Is Too Much With Us" to see if its concerns are applicable...

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June 7, 2021

330 Middlemarch (with Yang Huang)

Yang Huang, author of the new novel My Good Son , joins Jacke for a discussion of her childhood in China, how censorship restricted her ability to imagine stories, and how George Eliot's Middlemarch helped her break free from...

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June 3, 2021

329 Miguel de Cervantes

Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) was a soldier, a civil servant, a playwright, and a poet. He was kidnapped by pirates and held prisoner for almost five years. Later in life, he turned to writing novels, and through his master...

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May 31, 2021

328 Aristophanes (with Aaron Poochigian)

Often called the Father of Comedy, the satirical playwright Aristophanes (c. 450 BCE - 388 BCE) used his critical eye and sharp tongue to skewer politicians and philosophers alike. In this episode, poet and classicist Aaron P...

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May 24, 2021

327 Natalia Ginzburg

Italian writer Natalia Ginzburg (1916-1991) lived a fascinating life full of politics, war, exile, tragedy, love, loss, and literature. In her novels, short stories, poetry, plays, and essays, she drew upon her experience and...

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May 20, 2021

HoL Presents The REAL Little Women (from the Book Dreams Podcast)

In this special guest episode, scholar Anne Boyd Rioux joins Eve and Julie, the hosts of the Book Dreams podcast, to talk about why the Little Women we grew up with is not, in fact, Alcott’s original text--and why Little …

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May 17, 2021

326 Rimbaud

Jacke takes a look at the astonishing life and writings of the ultimate enfant terrible of poetry, Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud (1854-91), Symbolist poet, literary bad boy, and eventual mercenary arms dealer, who gave up liter...

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May 10, 2021

325 Philip Larkin

During his life, Philip Larkin (1922-1985) was a beloved national figure, a bald and bespectacled librarian by day who spent his evenings writing smart, accomplished, and hilariously self-deprecating poems. After his death, h...

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May 6, 2021

HoL Presents The Graduate (from the Overdue Podcast)

The Graduate ! Dustin Hoffman! Mike Nichols! Simon and Garfunkel! Mrs. Robinson! Plastics! Elaaaaaaaaine.... The movie version of The Graduate is one of the most beloved films of the twentieth century...but have you ever read...

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May 3, 2021

324 Ralph Ellison | Blocked! (Top 10 Cases of Writer's Block)

Ralph Waldo Ellison (1913-1994) began life as an infant in Oklahoma City and ended it as one of the most successful and celebrated novelists in the world. And this reputation was largely due to one book, the masterpiece Invis...

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April 26, 2021

323 Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie (1947- ) became famous in the literary world in 1981, when his second novel Midnight's Children became a bestseller and won the Booker Prize. By the end of that decade, he was perhaps the most famous author in …

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April 19, 2021

322 Djuna Barnes

Djuna Barnes (1892-1982) was a journalist, an author, an artist, a poetic novelist, a beacon of modernism, an icon and an iconoclast. She was also a pioneer; a famous wit; an expatriate in Paris in the 1920s (where she befrie...

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April 12, 2021

321 Thucydides

Jacke and Mike take a look at the life and works of Thucydides (c. 460 to c. 400 B.C.), an Athenian general whose History of the Peloponnesian War has earned him the title of "the father of scientific history" or …

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April 5, 2021

320 Henry James

Jacke takes a look at the life and works of American novelist Henry James (1843-1916). Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop . (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature...

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March 29, 2021

319 Frances (Fanny) Burney

She was admired by Dr. Johnson, revered by Jane Austen, and referred to as "the mother of English fiction" by Virginia Woolf. In this episode, Jacke takes a look at the life and works of Frances Burney (1752-1840), author of …

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