Acclaimed memoirist Leigh Newman returns with eight bracing stories set in Alaska.
On this week’s episode, Leigh Newman discusses Nobody Gets Out Alive (Scribner, April 12), a standout debut story collection set in Anchorage and the Alaskan wilderness. Newman is the author of the memoir Still Points North (2013), a memoir about growing up in Alaska that was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle’s inaugural John Leonard Prize. Her stories have appeared in the Paris Review, Harper’s, Best American Short Stories 2020, Tin House, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern,and Electric Literature.
Here’s a bit from Kirkus’ starred review of Nobody Gets Out Alive:
“The women in this absorbing debut collection are larger than life, perhaps because this is what the harsh Alaska landscape demands.…The fabled frontier is often depicted as a redemptive space, but Newman’s characters can’t outrun their problems. In ‘Slide and Glide,’ a standout, a father takes his family on an epic ski trip to a cabin in the middle of nowhere, hoping to rekindle his marriage only to realize how powerless he is. That’s also true for Genevieve, a rebellious heiress who discovers that early-20th-century Alaska is every bit as socially restrictive as Milwaukee. These stories are rich with wit and wisdom, showing us that love, marriage, and family are always bigger and more perilous adventures than backcountry trips.…Bighearted stories of domestic discord by a writer with a cleareyed view of Alaska’s romance and hardscrabble realism.’
Newman and host Megan Labrise discuss the book’s opening story, “Howl Palace,” and what inspired it; descriptive language, and the difference word order can make; a family as a constellation, and what happens when one of its stars implodes; why the Arctic Circle is not the best place to have an existential crisis; human interdependence; and much more.
Then editors Laura Simeon, Mahnaz Dar, and Eric Liebetrau share their top picks in books for the week.
Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl by Joya Goffney (HarperTeen)
Jennifer Chan Is Not Alone by Tae Keller (Random House)
Sicker in the Head: More Conversations About Life and Comedy by Judd Apatow (Random House)
Also mentioned on this episode:
Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots by Deborah Feldman (Simon & Schuster)
Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs To Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear by Carrie Goldman (HarperOne)
And Away… by Bob Mortimer (Simon & Schuster)
Sex Power Money by Sara Pascoe (Faber & Faber)
Fully Booked is produced by Cabel Adkins Audio and Megan Labrise.