Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

Episode 93: Rachel B. Glaser, Paulina & Fran


We welcome special guest Helen McClory this week, who came all the way from Scotland to make us read Rachel B. Glaser’s new book, Paulina & Fran. While she was in the U.S., she also managed to go on an East Coast book tour and inspect our grocery stores for weird foodstuffs.


Glaser’s novel, which came out just last week, is about a circle of art-school classmates who all orbit around a woman named Paulina, who might be most charitably described as “difficult.” Helen tells us why she’s drawn to books about relationships between women, particularly those featuring problem characters like Paulina. We also talk about cool art-school kids, Helen’s own college experiences at St. Andrews, her obsession with monsters, and her own book, On the Edges of Vision.

You can read more from Helen about the creation of her book, here on the website of her publisher.

Finally, if you want to check out Tom’s recent sad mascot stories, here’s one about a pig, and here’s one about a gorilla.

As always, we’re happy to hear what you think about the stuff we talked about this week. You can email us directly, hit us up on Twitter, or just leave a comment here on the site. Also: we’re on Facebook, and gradually getting better about posting studio pics and links and such. So come visit us over there, like our page, etc. etc.

You can stream today’s episode by clicking on the little player thingy below, or download the mp3 file to play on your favorite device. Or visit us in the iTunes store, or wherever you normally get your podcasts, where you can download back episodes and subscribe (for free) so that you never miss another weekly installment.

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Author: mikeingram25

writer, editor

9 thoughts on “Episode 93: Rachel B. Glaser, Paulina & Fran

  1. St. Andrews is for people who are smart enough to go to Oxford and Cambridge but a bit lazy? Fuck off, St Andrews is for entitled private school kids who think they’re better than everyone else because they were lucky enough to get an easy ride. Case in point, it’s the uni the royal family’s kids go to – what more do you need?

    • sorry that came across meaner than I intended. I did not mean to imply that your guest is an entitled private school kid etc., just that that is definitely the reputation St Andrews has as a uni outside of the elite St. Andrews / Oxbridge / Durham community – a community that is still built at least as much on class as on merit.

      • Hey glasgowuni4lyfe, Helen here. I would like to say though that laziness IS a factor that goes with entitlement- when handed everything on a plate, some people will do just well enough to get into a good university and no more (while others will really struggle because they lack that support). That was what I was trying to get across.

        I went to a state school by the way. I also went to Glasgow Uni later.

      • Hey Helen, thanks for the reply and for taking that in the spirit it was intended – after I hit post I was really worried that I came across as pretty rude haha. Really interesting discussion btw.

      • No bother at all – I wasn’t the clearest I think! Glad you enjoyed the podcast otherwise.

  2. RE: “I’m sure we’ll get emails about this.”

    I’m reminded of a great quote I read on reddit:

    “Knowledge is knowing Frankenstein wasn’t the monster.
    Wisdom is knowing Frankenstein was the monster.”

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