Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

Episode 262: Winter of Wayback, 1993 (John Edgar Wideman, “Newborn Thrown in Trash and Dies”)

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This week we time-travel back to 1993 to see what was going on in literature, technology, and pop culture. For our reading, we’re diving into the John Edgar Wideman short story, “Newborn Thrown in Trash and Dies,” part of his prize-winning collection All Stories Are True. The story was inspired by a 1991 news report about a baby who had been discarded down the trash chute of an apartment building; Wideman puts the reader inside the head of the child, though its consciousness is a larger, more universal one, as it considers the various lives it could have led.

In publishing news this week, Mike looks at the state of “electronic books” on CD-ROM, which in 1993 were beginning to be sold in some book stores, and Tom has details of a crime novel published on floppy disc (and the surprising outrage that caused). Also: a major San Francisco publisher gets desktop computers in its offices, and a computer programmer teaches his Macintosh to “write” a romance novel.


We’ve also got another 90s Movie Club this week, as Mike rewatches the 1993 film The Thing Called Love, the last completed movie River Phoenix shot before his tragic overdose death outside the Viper Room in L.A. And Tom’s got another installment of Video Game News, this time involving parental outrage over violent street-fighting games.

As always, you can stream the show right here on our site, or download the mp3 file to listen to later. Or check us out in Apple podcasts, where you can subscribe (for free!) and catch up on older episodes. We’re also available on Spotify, Stitcher, or just about any other podcast app. If for some reason you can’t find us in your favorite app, please reach out and let us know!

If you like the show, please consider subscribing to our Patreon, which helps us make a bit of money each month and keep the show going. For just $5 a month, you’ll get access to a monthly bonus episode, Book Fight After Dark, in which we visit some of the weirder, funnier corners of the literary world. Recently, that’s involved reading a paranormal romance novel, the debut novel of Jersey Shore’s Snookie, and the novelization of the movie Battleship (yes, based on the popular board game).

Thanks for listening!

Stream Episode 262:

Download Episode 262


Author: mikeingram25

writer, editor

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