@

 

Rosie Schaap is the guest. She is a contributor to This American Life and npr.org, and she writes the monthly “Drink” column for The New York Times Magazine. Her memoir, Drinking With Men, will be published on January 24, 2013 by Riverhead Books.

Kate Christensen raves

This book will be a classic. There is so much joy in this book! It’s a great, comforting, wonderful, funny, inspiring, moving memoir about community and belief and the immense redemptive powers of alcohol drunk properly.

Listen here:

There is something equally freeing and unsettling about the wide-open desert—the horizon stretching out forever is both unattainable and inspiring. In Battleborn, a collection of stories by Claire Vaye Watkins, we get to explore all aspects of Nevada, from the sad allure of a brothel to nights out in Vegas that can only lead to trouble, told in an honest and yet lyrical voice. We bear witness to those moments in time beyond which there is no return. And what comes after this tipping point—that is our salvation.

Consider this from the character Sophie in the short story Fly-Over State, “our house was the only rental on the block.Maybe something unseemly happened there: adultery, Judaism, modern dance” from Emma Straub’s brilliant debut story collection OTHER PEOPLE WE MARRIED (Five Chapter Books, 2011).This sharp, evocative sentence encapsulates the way Emma Straub sees the world through her characters: a little bit normal, with shades of absurdity, and a kind of irony that causes you to smirk.

Imagine what it must be like to be surrounded by strangers, never recognizing the face of your spouse, the face of your children, your co-workers and students, or even your own features when revealed in a photo or in film? At first, it sounds amusing. Most of us have trouble remembering names and faces so this couldn’t be that big of a deal. Right? But amusement quickly turns into a nightmare, losing your son in a grocery store, ignoring people you’ve worked with for years, walking past your students as if they are strangers. Add to that an unreliable, alcoholic father with a nasty temper, and a paranoid, schizophrenic mother, and you have the life and times of Heather Sellers. Her memoir is titled You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know (Riverhead Books), and it is her true story of face blindness, and the way her world has been shaped since childhood.