“The Marginalia” is a new podcast featuring interviews with intellectuals, storytellers and artists. Why another podcast? Many books, because of their global perspective or perceived intellectualism, don’t receive as close attention as they should. I wanted to create a podcast that would serve as “marginalia” or liner notes to those books and prompt a larger conversation around subjects I find interesting.
On a more personal note, as a litigator for eight years, I was able to exercise my curiosity nonstop during discovery and depositions; as a writer, I have far fewer opportunities to do that. “The Marginalia” gives me an excuse to do two of my favorite things: ask questions and listen to other people’s perspectives.
For the inaugural episode, I spoke with Amitava Kumar about his forthcoming essay collection “Lunch with a Bigot” (excerpted here). Kumar is also the author of A Matter of Rats: A Short Biography of Patna, A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb, and Nobody Does the Right Thing.
Among the topics Kumar and I discuss are his lunch with an ultra-right Hindu fundamentalist that placed him on a death list, the craft of writing, South Asian Americans post-9/11, authors such as Salman Rushdie and Arundhati Roy, the possibility of an “authentic” representation of India, Orientalism, and translating India for diasporic kids.
You can listen to The Marginalia here.
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Anita Felicelli is a Bay Area novelist, working writer and an associate editor at The Aerogram. Say hello to her on Twitter (@anitafelicelli) if you like.