Book Fight!

Tough love for literature


Episode 57: Ben Lerner, Leaving the Atocha Station

Well, we’ve reached the end of March, and finally we’re getting a Mike pick: Ben Lerner’s much-celebrated 2011 novel, Leaving the Atocha Station, about a poet in Spain on a Fullbright struggling through a series of major and minor existential crises. We talk about poetry and “poetry,” people having “profound experiences of art” (or pretending to), and what distinguishes interesting books about writers from self-indulgent ones.


We’ve also got another installment of Mike’s Fan Fiction Corner, much to Tom’ chagrin. This week Mike’s looking at fan fiction written about characters from canonical works of literature. If you liked Of Mice and Men but found it too depressing, or if you always wanted to know more about Gatsby’s sex life, we’ve got you covered.

There’s still time to register for this weekend’s Conversations and Connections conference in D.C., which includes a full day of panels, a box-wined happy hour, and a chance to hang out with your Book Fight hosts (as long as you don’t do anything to creep us out too much).

As always, we’d love your feedback. Drop us a line, or hit us up on Twitter, or just leave a comment here on the site. Thanks for listening!


Download Episode 57 (right-click, save-as)