Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

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Writers Ask: Katherine Hill

This week we’re welcoming back our friend Katherine Hill, author of the novel The Violet Hour, out this year from Scribner and endorsed by Oprah! Katherine helps us answer questions about low-residency MFA programs (she went to Bennington) and working a writing-related job while trying to write a novel.


We also talk about YA novels, perpetual adolescence, lightning strikes on Amtrak trains, offensive mascots, Philly vs. Princeton, and why we can’t get more ladies to join us in Tom’s basement.

Please help support the show by clicking on any of the Powell’s links on our page–including the cover image of Katherine’s book above. If you use our site to get to theirs, Powell’s will donate a percentage of any money you spend to our show, helping us keep the metaphorical (and literal) lights on. We’re also gearing up for our annual fund drive, kind of like NPR but with much lower stakes. So get ready for that. We promise not to be too annoying.

As always, you can download the episode here on our site, or stream it by clicking on the little player thingy below. Or check us out in the iTunes store, where you can subscribe (for free) and never miss another episode. Thanks for listening!


Download Writers Ask: Katherine Hill

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Book Friends

Checking in with a rare non-Monday post here to ask you all to check out THE VIOLET HOUR, a new novel by our friend and two-time guest (episodes 4 and 15) Katherine Hill.

Look, we know that if you follow a lot of lit people on Twitter and Facebook and etc, then  you’re being told to buy a dozen books a day, and you’re overwhelmed and probably annoyed. BUT, if you’ve listened to the show, you know she’s really smart and funny and has insightful things to say about literature, and anyway, look at this review in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Or any of these reviews anywhere.  Or read an excerpt.

And then go buy it (if you happen to buy it by first clicking the Powell’s link on this page, that would be okay with us). Buy three copies– one for the office, one for the car in case of traffic jams, one for home. We at Barrelhouse have known for a while now that Katherine is on the verge of becoming a Big Deal and we’re really excited for her and hope you’ll love her book.

Also: stay tuned for her world record-breaking third Book Fight appearance, which will probably post in early October and will be about Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook, because Katherine I guess really thought it would be fun to make us read a 600 page book?