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LitHouse podcast

LitHouse is the English language podcast from the House of Literature (litteraturhuset) in Oslo, presenting adapted versions of lectures and conversations featuring international writers and thinkers.
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May 22, 2020

The new HBO mini series The Plot Against America is based on the Philip Roth novel (2004) by the same name. The novel tells the counterfactual story of Charles Lindberg’s presidency, based on the real man and what might happen if he, with his fascist sympathies, was elected president of the United States around 1940.The US has become increasingly racist and polarized during Donald Trump’s presidency. What is the current situation, and how does it compare to the works of Philip Roth? In this podcast, the American writer and literary critic John Freeman describes the atmosphere of the USA of today, starting from The Plot Against America and the other works by Philip Roth, as well as the American society. What does Roth’s story tell us about the USA of today and the crisis now facing the country?The actual Charles Lindbergh made a name for himself first and foremost by being the first to fly across the Atlantic ocean alone. He did, however, have a darker, political side, with which the actual F. D. Roosevelt confronted him: How deep did Lindbergh’s nazi sympathies lie? How close was the US to actually turning into a fascist state? In the novel, Lindbergh wins the presidency from Roosevelt in 1940s America, allowing for the emergence of a fascist, anti-Semite US, which affects the Jewish Roth family badly. The story is built on Philip Roth’s own experiences growing up in Newark, New Jersey.

Mar 20, 2020

Njabulo Ndebele grew up during the apartheid, and is one of South Africa's leading writers and intellectuals. He is the former vice principal at the University of Cape Town, and the author of the groundbreaking book The Cry of Winnie Mandela, in which he blends essay and novel, fact and fiction in an exploration of women’s position in the freedom struggle.

Koleka Putuma was born in 1993, and belongs to the generation in South Africa known as «Born Free». She is behind one of the most critically acclaimed poetry collections in years, Collective Amnesia, in which the anger of broken promises is acutely felt. Hear Koleka Putuma and Njabulo Ndebele in conversation with journalist Elise Dybvig. The conversation took place on the 11th of february 2020.

 

LitHouse is the English language podcast from the House of Literature in Oslo (Litteraturhuset), presenting adapted versions of conversations and lectures from our program.

Mar 13, 2020

Through titles such as Cooked, The Omnivore’s dilemma and In defense of Food, Michael Pollan, Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley’ and of the Practice of Non-Fiction at Harvard University, has distinguished himself as one of the world’s foremost feature writers and authors of non-fiction. His latest book How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence is now out in its Norwegian translation, Psykedelisk renessanse. Pollan met Andreas Liebe Delsett in a conversation about food and eating habits that took place at the House of Literature on 11. December 2019. Delsett is the Artistic director at the House of Literature, as well as the author of Kjøkkenveien. En bok om mat og arbeid.

 

LitHouse is the English language podcast from the House of Literature in Oslo (Litteraturhuset), presenting adapted versions of conversations and lectures from our program.

Feb 24, 2020

Mexican poet Gloria Gervitz has been writing the same poem for over forty years. The epic poem Migrations (Migraciones) is one of the greatest poetic projects of our time – a poem in constant movement through family, religion, death and sexuality, but also through perpetual newly published versions. It is based on the history of Gervitz’s own Jewish family that fled persecution in Eastern Europe in the early 1900s. In this episode you can hear the legendary poet in conversation with the Swedish poet Athena Farrokhzad. Gervitz and Farrokhzad met in a conversation at the House of Literature that took place at the 5th of february 2020.

 

Lithouse is a podcast from the House of Literature in Oslo, presenting adapted versions of lectures and conversations featuring international writers and thinkers. Music by Apothek.

Jan 31, 2020
Is the assertion that freedom of expression is under pressure just a myth used to cover up more important political incompatibilities?
 
In this event with the british-Sudanese author and Guardian columnist Nesrine Malik, held at the House of Literature 22.january 2020, Malik opened Litteraturhuset’s Commission on the Freedom of Expression. In her lecture, she talked about freedom of expression. How has the climate for free speech changed over the last twenty years? What kinds of challenges does it create, and what measures are necessary to protect this cornerstone of Norwegian democracy? After the lecture, she talked with Nazneen Khan-Østrem, author of London: Among Gangsters, Rabbis, Oligarchs, Rebels and Other Legitimate Children of the British Empire and member of Stortinget’s Commission on the Freedom of Expression in 1999.
 

Lithouse is a podcast from the House of Literature in Norway, presenting adapted versions of lectures and conversations featuring international writers and thinkers. Music by Apothek.

Oct 11, 2019

In Norway, Rachel Kushner is best known for her 2014 novel The Flamethrowers, set in New York’s art world. In Kushner’s new, critically acclaimed and Booker nominated novel The Mars Room, we are introduced to a very different yet also very American milieu. Here we meet Romy Hall, who is in prison for killing a man who followed and tormented her. Through Hall’s life inside the prison walls, Kushner is able to describe “her country’s fall from grace. This is not the land of the free; no one has choices and everyone is guilty,” as the Guardian pointed out in their review. In this episode Rachel Kushner talks about her authorship with Norwegian author and psychiatrist Finn Skårderud. The conversation took place on October 2nd 2019.

 

Lithouse is a podcast from the House of Literature in Oslo, presenting adapted versions of lectures and conversations featuring international writers and thinkers. Music by Apothek.

Sep 27, 2019

What if your view of the world is based on the experiences of black women, or those of working class, queer or transgendered women, and by that breaks with the way that the white middle class says a feminist is “supposed to be”?

Gay’s collection of essays, Bad Feminist, flew right into The New York Times’ best seller list when it was published in 2014. Her sharp, vulnerable and funny voice has been applauded across genres. She is a visiting Professor at Yale University, she writes fiction, and as a columnist for The New York Times, she has been one of the most distinct voices in the American “Me too”-debate. In her memoir Hunger, she explores the underlying causes of her own overweight: a trauma after being gang raped at twelve.

Gay met author Eline Lund Fjæren, for a conversation about power, feminism and privileges. The conversation took place at the House of Literature on August 21, 2019.

 

Lithouse is a podcast from the House of Literature in Oslo, presenting adapted versions of lectures and conversations featuring international writers and thinkers. Music by Apothek.

Sep 6, 2019

What happens when blackness and whiteness are turned inside out? The Metamorphosis by Kafka is an obvious literary model when the Nigerian writer Igoni Barrett lets the main character of his last novel, Furo Wariboko, wake up on the day of his job interview to discover that his skin color has changed: He has turned white. His ass, however, remains black, and for this reason, the novel bears the title Blackass. There is sharp satire and humor in this nuanced portrait of Lagos, its citizens and the identity of skin color. Barrett met cultural editor of Morgenbladet, Ane Farsethås, for a conversation about black and white bodies, identity and privileges. The conversation took place at the House of Literature on August 20, 2019.

 

Lithouse is a podcast from the House of Literature in Oslo, presenting adapted versions of lectures and conversations featuring international writers and thinkers.

Aug 23, 2019

The American writer Chris Kraus has previously visited The House of Literature to talk about I Love Dick, a semi-autobiographic novel first published in 1997, which still attracts new readers after more than twenty years.

In the House of Literature’s series “literary guiding stars”, authors are asked to talk about a writer they greatly admire. In this lecture Kraus tells about another American writer, Mary McCarthy. McCarthy is best known for her novel The Group, first published in 1959. The novel’s groundbreaking treatment of gender and sexual liberation received a great deal of attention upon publication. How does Kraus read McCarthy today, and in what ways is she still considered innovative? The lecture was held on June 7th 2019.

 

Lithouse is a podcast from the House of Literature in Oslo, presenting adapted versions of lectures and conversations featuring international writers and thinkers.

Jun 21, 2019

In Siri Hustvedt’s new novel Memories of the Future, the grown up and well established writer S.H. enters into dialogue with twenty-year-old S.H., with her reflections, her writing and her experiences. What do we forget, and how can we use our memories? The writer Linn Ullmann is among those who have long followed Hustvedt’s writing, and in her last novel, Unquiet, she also examines the past and how we remember. The conversation took place at the House of Literature on June 12, 2019.

 

Lithouse is a podcast from the House of Literature in Oslo, presenting adapted versions of lectures and conversations featuring international writers and thinkers.

Jun 14, 2019

Several women who have survived brutal imprisonment and sexual violence in Syria are part of lawsuit initiatives against the current government. How may these initiatives contribute to hold the government responsible for their crimes, and to better the situation for Syrian women? Ibrahim Olabi is director of the Syrian Legal Development Program, and works with human rights issues connected to the Syrian conflict, such as sexualized violence against women. Olabi delivered the 2019 Saladin Lecture at the House of Literature, April 5, 2019.

 

Lithouse is a podcast from the House of Literature in Oslo, presenting adapted versions of lectures and conversations featuring international writers and thinkers.

Jun 7, 2019

How can we understand the movement Gilets Jaunes – the Yellow vests? What does this police violence against blacks say about the official French view of black people?

Édouard Louis’s latest novel, Qui a tué mon père, or Who Killed My Father, has recently been published in Norwegian and English translations. Here, Louis writes about his father’s broken body. He recognizes the same broken, French working class body in the Yellow vests movement that have dominated international news since last fall.

Geoffroy de Lagasnerie is a French academic and intellectual, whose 2018 publication Judge and punish came after he for several years had followed a number of trials.

Louis and de Lagasnerie met artistic director at the House of Literature, Andreas Liebe Delsett, for a conversation about bodies, violence and power. The conversation took place at the House of Literature on May 27, 2019.

 

Lithouse is a podcast from the House of Literature in Oslo, presenting adapted versions of lectures and conversations featuring international writers and thinkers.

May 31, 2019

Sara Ahmed is a renowned scholar within fields such as feminist theory, queer theory and critical race theory. In her most recent project, Ahmed has interviewed staff and students about their experiences of making complaints about unequal working conditions or abuses of power such as harassment and bullying. The project has returned her to core questions about the role of emotions not only in how we consent to, but also how we challenge, authority. At the House of Literature, Ahmed gave a lecture on her project, and met sociologist and writer Hannah Helseth in conversation. The event took place on May 22, 2019.

 

Lithouse is a podcast from the House of Literature in Oslo, presenting adapted versions of lectures and conversations featuring international writers and thinkers.

May 16, 2019

There is a longstanding literary tradition of portraying the city of Istanbul in writing, both by Turkish and other writers. Where does Turkish writer Burhan Sönmez place himself within this tradition? In his novel Istanbul, Istanbul, four political prisoners are held captive below the city. Afraid to expose each other under torture, they refrain from telling each other personal details. Instead, they tell each other number of anecdotes, riddles and stories from world literature and from the great city above their heads. The book is both an innovative prison novel and a portrait of a world city. The conversation between Sönmez and critic Janneken Øverland took place at the House of Literature April 4, 2019, during the International Saladin Days.

 

Lithouse is a podcast from the House of Literature in Oslo, presenting adapted versions of lectures and conversations featuring international writers and thinkers.

May 3, 2019

The American writer Kristen Roupenian caused a sensation when her debut short story «Cat Person» was published in The New Yorker in 2017. With #Metoo at its peak, the story’s treatment of bad sex made it The New Yorker’s most-read online fiction text of all time. Roupenian’s debut collection contains horror elements and a fine-meshed humor emerging when humans and power relations are exposed in a light that is far from flattering. Hear Roupenian in conversation with her Norwegian colleague Eline Lund Fjæren. The conversation took place at the House of Literature April 3, 2019.

 

Lithouse is a podcast from the House of Literature in Oslo, presenting adapted versions of lectures and conversations featuring international writers and thinkers. Music by Apothek.

Apr 5, 2019

In French Moroccan Leïla Slimani’s books, the psychological development of the characters is what captures the reader. Lullaby explores the interactions of a small upper middle-class family. What power struggles take place within the walls of this Parisian apartment? What secrets are buried in the nanny’s past? And how do the children end up dead?

Leïla Slimani’s conversation with editor of Vinduet, Maria Horvei, took place on March 27, 2019.

 

Lithouse is a podcast from the House of Literature in Oslo, presenting adapted versions of lectures and conversations featuring international writers and thinkers. Music by Apothek.

Feb 22, 2019

This year marks 101 years since the birth of one of the world’s most influential artists: Ingmar Bergman. The anniversary last year brought renewed focus to his films, but what about his writing?

During his life, Bergman wrote more than 150 plays, film manuscripts, essays, articles and works of fiction. The Best Intentions (1991), Sunday’s Children (1992) and Private Confessions (1996) are often referred to as his “novel trilogy”, being closer in form to novels than texts written for theater or film. But are they novels?

The texts move between memoir, fiction and chamber play, while Bergman explores his own childhood through reminiscence of the past and the dramatic of the everyday.

The novel trilogy has been republished in both English and Norwegian. The American professor, critic, memoirist and translator Daniel Mendelsohn has written the introductory essay to the Norwegian edition, in which he reads the trilogy in light of earlier encounters with Bergman’s works. But what does writer and daughter Linn Ullmann think of Bergman’s novel trilogy? The two meet cultural editor of Morgenbladet and writer Ane Farsethås for a conversation about the author Ingmar Bergman. The conversation took place on February 7th 2019.

 

LitHouse is a podcast from the House of Literature in Oslo, presenting adapted versions of lectures and conversations featuring international writers and thinkers. Music by Apothek.

Oct 19, 2018

How are the Syrian refugees working today to understand and to process what happened before and during the war? What are their thoughts on the current situation?
In her book We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled, Wendy Pearlman has gathered testimonies from some of the many hundred exiled Syrians she has interviewed, after they were forced to flee during the first years of the war.
Wendy Pearlman is the arabist and Palestine scholar who could not help but be moved by the lives and stories of the many hundreds of thousands of refugees who fled to neighbouring Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, and later also Denmark, Sweden and the US. In this podcast, you can hear her in conversation with artistic director at the House of Literature, Andreas Liebe Delsett.The conversation took place on October 10th 2018.

 

LitHouse is a podcast from the House of Literature in Oslo, presenting adapted versions of lectures and conversations featuring international writers and thinkers. Music by Apothek.

Oct 12, 2018

In German Jenny Erpenbeck’s most recent novel, The End of Days, her main character dies a total of five times; first as a baby, then as a young girl in a Europe between two world wars, then as a revolutionary fallen from grace in one of Stalin’s Siberian camps, then as a celebrated East-German writer and lastly as a 91 year old in a nursing home in a reunited Berlin.
Erpenbeck is considered one of Germany’s leading contemporary writers. In an original, sharp and truly characteristic voice, Erpenbeck puts Europe’s recent history into writing. The Jewish pogroms prior to world war two, the choices and fates of individuals in the face of our century’s revolutionary powers, and how the aftermath of these choices plays out in contemporary Germany.
Erpenbeck was first translated into Norwegian in 2017 with the novel Go, Went, Gone, which was recently longlisted for the International Man Booker Prize. The novel tells the story of a retired Classics professor who takes an interest in a group of hunger striking African migrants and their destiny, another piece of central history in a finely tuned literary form.
Hear Erpenbeck in conversation with literary critic Kaja Schjerven Mollerin. The conversation took place on May 30th 2018.

 

LitHouse is a podcast from the House of Literature in Oslo, presenting adapted versions of lectures and conversations featuring international writers and thinkers. Music by Apothek.

Sep 28, 2018

Guatemalan writer Eduardo Halfon is a central voice in the new wave of literature from Central America and the Caribbean.
The episodic and absurd novel The Polish Boxer moves between the university campus in Guatemala City to the Balkan of gypsys via the Nazis’ concentration camps. The traveler is a university teacher searching for a pianist who might be a gypsy. But he is also searching for his own family history: At the center of the story is his grandfather, with a number tattooed on his forearm. Not his own phone number, which he always struggled to remember, as the university teacher was told as a child, but his prison number from a concentration camp. Once, his grandfather’s life was saved by a Polish boxer. Hear Eduardo Halfon in conversation with writer and editor Mattis Øybø. The conversation took place on september 14th 2018.

 

LitHouse is a podcast from the House of Literature in Oslo, presenting adapted versions of lectures and conversations featuring international writers and thinkers. Music by Apothek.

Sep 21, 2018

Valeria Luiselli, translated into more than twenty languages, is a central name in Mexican contemporary literature. Her debut novel, Faces in the crowd, has made critics compare Luiselli to writers such as Ali Smith and Zadie Smith. It has now been published in Norwegian, translated by Ingrid Mefald Hafredal.
In Faces in the crowd, several temporal levels and several story strands are weaved together. In Mexico City, a writer and mother of two is writing about the time she lived in New York. The time she was obsessed with the Mexican poet Gilberto Owen, who lived and worked in 1920s New York, on the fringes of the Modernist movement the Harlem Renaissance. What connections are there between the obscure poet and the writer’s own lives? Listen to Valeria Luiselli in conversation with Maria Horvei, editor of the literary magazine Vinduet.
The event took place August 28, 2018.

 

Lithouse is a podcast from the House of Literature in Oslo, presenting adapted versions of lectures and conversations featuring international writers and thinkers. Music by Apothek.

Sep 14, 2018

In her essay Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions, the Mexican writer Valeria Luiselli explores the fates of Latin American child migrants in and on their way to the US. Luiselli herself lives in the US, and in an acute refugee situation, she volunteered as an interpreter and gained first hand knowledge about the violence and discrimination that the refugees experience.
Photographer, writer and performance artist Teju Cole was born in Nigeria, but has lived in New York and the US for much of his life. On several occasions, he has pointed out parallels in the waves of Latin American immigrants entering the US, and the fates of the refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea.
In her novels, British-Somali writer Nadifa Mohamed has investigated Somali experiences of marginalization and violent structures within the British Empire. Mohamed will moderate this evening’s conversation, that will focus on Trump’s US, but also on the open wounds of history: the legacy of slavery and colonization, as well as on literary affinities with writers like James Baldwin and Claude McKay. The conversation took place August 29, 2018.

 

Lithouse is a podcast from the House of Literature in Oslo, presenting adapted versions of lectures and conversations featuring international writers and thinkers. Music by Apothek.

Jun 22, 2018

A. S. Byatt was named one of Britain’s fifty greatest writers by The Times in 2008. Her literary breakthrough, Possession: A Romance, was awarded the prestigious Booker Prize. Byatt visited the House of Literature in connection with the 2011 Norwegian publication of her novel The Children's Book, which is set in Southern England in the late 19th century. In conversation with Duke University professor Toril Moi, Byatt discusses her writing strategies, her extensive research processes and growing interest for history. The conversation took place June 8. 2011.

 

Lithouse is a podcast from the House of Literature in Oslo, presenting adapted versions of lectures and conversations featuring international writers and thinkers. Music by Apothek.

Jun 1, 2018

Daniel Mendelsohn is a Classics professor, and teaches his students the classic epic The Odyssey. One Spring, his 81 year old father decides to take his class. But what kind of a hero was Oddyseus, really? the father asks critically - a liar who cheated on his wife! This is the starting point for Daniel Mendelsohn’s memoir An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic. In this podcast, Mendelsohn talks with literary critic in Morgenbladet, Bernhard Ellefsen, about following in the footsteps of the classics.
The conversation took place on October 25. 2017.

 

Lithouse is a podcast from the House of Literature in Oslo, presenting adapted versions of lectures and conversations featuring international writers and thinkers. Music by Apothek.

May 11, 2018

Ariel Levy is a successful journalist in The New Yorker, where she often writes about women who break with the traditional expectations in how you express and live gender and sexuality. She has a nice little house and is married to the woman in her life. When she, at 37, also becomes pregnant, her life is perfect. Or not.

The Rules Do Not Apply (translated into Norwegian by Rune R. Moen) is Levy’s memoir, in which the pivot point is those few weeks when the foundation of her life crumbles and she is brought down by the very biological rules she thought herself above. At the house of Literature she met Morgenbladet’s Bernhard Ellefsen for a conversation about biology and lived life. The event took place April 11, 2018.

 

LitHouse is a podcast from the House of Literature in Oslo, presenting adapted versions of lectures and conversations featuring international writers and thinkers. Music by Apothek.

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