Professor Aarthi Vadde Debuts New Podcast “Novel Dialogue”

Logo for Novel Dialogue Podcast

Professor Aarthi Vadde will welcome esteemed writers like Teju Cole (author of Open City), Orhan Pamuk (winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature), and George Saunders (author of Lincoln in the Bardo) to her new podcast “Novel Dialogue,” which premieres today. Each episode pairs a novelist and a critic for lively, fun, and sophisticated dialogues about the art of novel writing.

Vadde will serve as a co-host on the show alongside John Plotz, the Barbara Mandel Professor of the Humanities at Brandeis University. They will take turns guiding each discussion to bring out the different perspectives of the artist and the critic on writing versus reading novels, on publishing in the literary marketplace, and on the novel’s place in today’s media landscape. The various viewpoints open up new and different ways of thinking about the novel, creative writing, and criticism.

The concept for “Novel Dialogue” was birthed from a conversation the hosts had at a “Society for Novel Studies” conference about the need to expose the humanities to a larger audience in an accessible way. The podcast is intended to foster friendly and honest conversation, and to give listeners a taste of what it would be like to have drinks with these writers rather than simply hearing them give talks or speeches. Discussions will be ideas-driven, but also filled with personal anecdotes and funny revelations about guilty pleasures and pandemic comfort foods.

The first episode, featuring novelist Teju Cole and literary critic Kelly Rich, is available now at the “Novel Dialogue” website, as well as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher. Their wide-ranging discussion touches on what happens when novels get swept up in political debates, whether great novels set standards or challenge them, and why good reading starts with “saying yes to the text.”

The schedule of future “Novel Dialogue” episodes is available at the podcast’s website. New episodes will be released every Thursday for the next eight weeks, and you can follow “Novel Dialogue” on Twitter at @noveldialogue.