Lit Up

Join host Angela Ledgerwood as she discusses books, writers, life, love and all things literary with the authors she loves.


  • Jia Tolentino on self-reflection

    Aug 07 2019

    Self reflection is one of the hardest things we can do to ourselves and Jia Tolentino covers this in her new book of essays Trick Mirror: Reflections of self delusion. Host Angela Ledgerwood talks with Jia on what inspires her essays and how we can learn to sit within the knowledge of things we've done in the past without changing ourselves.

  • Kathleen Alcott on searching for America

    Aug 01 2019

    There were a lot of events that shaped America in the 1960’s – the Vietnam war, the first moon landing. Host Angela Ledgerwood talks with Kathleen on how she researched these events and the consequences of our actions for her new multi-generational novel – America was hard to find.

  • Lisa Taddeo on the effects of past relationships

    Jul 24 2019

    Our past is made up of relationships, both good and bad, and these relationships shape who we are. Lisa Taddeo reveals to host Angela Ledgerwood the real-life experiences that inspired the three main characters of her new book, Three Women, and what she has learned about desire.

  • Ocean Vuong on inheriting our values

    Jul 17 2019

    Ocean Vuong explores race, class and masculinity within his storytelling. Better known for his honest and beautiful poetry, Ocean speaks to host Angela Ledgerwood about his debut novel: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, and the power of breaking the silence for those less fortunate.

  • Elizabeth Gilbert on exploring our desires and sexual freedoms

    Jul 04 2019

    Eat. Pray. Love’s portrayal of the inner-struggles we deal with and the raw emotions that come with these struggles is part of what made her book hugely successful. Elizabeth shares with host Angela Ledgerwood how taking a deep dive into your own emotions and your own character and its’ flaws can help you form these relatable characters in books.

  • Mickey Rapkin on writing a Hollywood hit

    Jun 19 2019

    Getting a publisher to agree to print a book about the world of acapella singing groups was not an easy task for Author Mickey Rapkin, but he stuck with it and this risk let to the hugely successful trilogy of Pitch Perfect films. Host Angela Ledgerwood speaks to Mickey about where he got the idea from, how slow the process is when transitioning a book to a film and why he has chosen children's' books as his latest writing challenge.

  • Ceridwen Dovey on the privilege and vulnerability of being a young woman

    Jun 12 2019

    What does the relationships look like between an artist and their patron and what is expected of one from the other? Ceridwen Dovey speaks to host Angela Ledgerwood about the power, privilege and vulnerability of being a young, talented woman, how she found her voice as a writer and why she is exploring new voices.

  • Alison Bell and Sarah Scheller on co-writing the letdown TV series

    Jun 05 2019

    The Letdown TV series is a comedy which follows new mum Audrey as she tries to come to terms with her new identity as a mum and contend with the oddballs in mothers' group. Writers Alison Bell and Sarah Scheller speaks to host Angela Ledgerwood about how their collaborative relationship worked when trying to write this series based on their own experiences, why they shunned the polished aesthetics of other tv shows and how Alison Bell came to act in the series as well as write it.

  • Stan Grant reflects on the privilege of nostalgia

    May 29 2019

    How does a country's history weigh on its' people? Journalist Stan Grant exiled himself from Australia in order to seek to understand Australia, what it means to be Australian and his own struggle for belonging and identity as an indigenous Australian man. Stan speaks to host Angela Ledgerwood about his book 'Australia Day,' the moment in his childhood that changed his outlook on the world, and why he believes philosophers hold the key to understanding culture.

  • Monica Tan on understanding Australia

    May 15 2019

    A 30,000km trip around Australia was the journey Monica Tan took to discover who she was in relation to the country she lived in, Australia. From the role Chinese Australians played in colonisation to segregation in Australia in the 70s and how Australia history is taught now, Monica's novel Strange Country explores all facets of Monica's identity as a Australian Born Chinese person and she shares what she has learned with host Angela Ledgerwood.

  • Bret Easton Ellis on the danger of so-called thought-crime

    May 08 2019

    Presenting an avatar of virtuousness online instead of presenting your real self is a danger to exploring the nuances of life and how people think, and that's what Bret Easton Ellis calls out in his first non-fiction book White. Bret explores the fame that he gained from American Psycho with host Angela Ledgerwood and how it informed his understanding of people as well as the narrative media build around celebrities. He also discusses why he believes that novels lead to a greater understanding o...more

  • Taylor Jenkins Reid on women not aspiring to be merely the muse

    May 01 2019

    In the novel Daisy Jones & The Six, Taylor Jenkins Reid wanted to build a female character who was not conditioned to be pleasing and likeable and would react and say things that Taylor could never say herself. Taylor chats to host Angela Ledgerwood about how important female friendships build the frameworks for relationships and how some people enjoy the feeling of shame and self-sabotage.

  • Hermione Hoby is seeking to understand people

    Apr 24 2019

    In a world of click bait and jarring headlines journalist Hermione Hoby believes that the key to empathy and connection is in reading novels and getting the entire character of a person in order to understand their actions. Hermione speaks to host Angela Ledgerwood about her debut novel Neon in Daylight, the boundaries to searching for someone's humanity and the strange world of dialling up your specific fantasies through craigslist.

  • Trent Dalton on what makes a good man

    Apr 17 2019

    Finding meaning in sadness, defining the different types of love and looking at the complexities of masculinity, are the overarching themes in Trent Dalton's novel, Boy Swallows Universe. Trent shares with host Angela Ledgerwood how he used this book to put a positive spin on some of the sadness of his past and how he used his character, Eli, to explore what a do-over on his life would have looked like.

  • Natalka Burian on writing about family dynamics

    Apr 10 2019

    Through her book 'Welcome to the Slipstream' Natalka explores how sickness can complicate family dynamics. She discusses with host Angela Ledgerwood the freedom she found in placing her characters in the Nevada dessert, why she co-founded her feminist fundraising reading series The Freya Project and how the advice of her grandmother set her up for who she is today.

  • Sheila Heti on the ties between female identity and motherhood

    Apr 03 2019

    Is it desire, duty or expectation that leads someone to become a mother? This is the question Sheila Heti explores in her book Motherhood. Sheila discusses the ties between the female identity and motherhood with host Angela Ledgerwood, as well as her theory as to why female artists seem to get a pass for being child-less when women in other professions don’t.

  • Mary Gabriel on placing females artists back into art history

    Mar 27 2019

    Art historian Mary Gabriel has re-written history to include the incredible women who changed modern art in her book ‘9th street women.’ Mary tells host Angela Ledgerwood how the idea for the book arose out of a conversation she had with painter Grace Hartigan 30 years ago. Mary dispels a lot of the misconceptions around the rivalry of female artists during the male-dominated world of twentieth-century abstract painting.

  • Rachel Kushner on Understanding Stalkers

    Mar 20 2019

    Rachel Kushner's existing relationships with people in the American penal system led to an understanding of, and sympathy for, the people involved in prison life, from workers to inmates. Rachel chats to Angela Ledgerwood about how she came to understand people's 'logic' surrounding murders they'd committed and how stalkers perceive their stalking actions and how this informed the writing of her book 'The Mars Room.'

  • Kerry O'Brien on the importance of investing in journalism

    Mar 13 2019

    Six-time Walkley Award winner Kerry O'Brien has worked in newspapers, television and the wire service as a journalist. Having been at the helm of Australian news programs This Day Tonight, Four Corners, Lateline and the 7.30 Report for 15 years, Kerry shares with host Angela Ledgerwood who his favourite interviewees were and how to spot a good story.Having turned his journalistic eye on his own life, Kerry discusses his memoir 'Kerry O'Brien, A Memoir' and why he fears for the future of investig...more

  • Courtney Maum on the importance of touch

    Mar 06 2019

    What does touching look like in the future or do people even touch? In her book 'Touch', Courtney Maum looks to a world where romantic touching and spontaneous touch don't happen anymore and discusses, with host Angela Ledgerwood, the issues that touch deprivation can cause amongst people and how our body language skills are getting rusty because of social media.

  • Lucie Greene on forecasting desire through data

    Feb 27 2019

    Are 'Big Tech' companies taking over governmental roles? The birth of technology as a consumer project and the value of the data we freely give away is at the heart of what Lucie Greene's ‘Silicone States’ is about. Lucie speaks to host Angela Ledgerwood about the conscious expectations we have of tech companies and how our reliance on these companies is effecting government services.

  • Georgia Clark on representing someone else's experience

    Feb 20 2019

    Research is key for author, performer and screenwriter Georgia Clark when writing characters that represent an experience that she has not had herself. Georgia speaks to host Angela Ledgerwood about her book 'The Bucket List' and the importance of respecting your friends and of having a strong support system around you.

  • Olivia Laing and dealing with the contradictions of the world

    Feb 13 2019

    Olivia Laing's agitation about the political events of 2017 led her to keep a diary that became the basis for her novel Crudo. In it she becomes a hybrid of h2erself and late author Kathy Acker as topics that were relevant in the 80s crop up again in the modern day like Nazism, body-autonomy and hyper-violence. Olivia discusses with host Angela Ledgerwood her difficulty in reconciling the fact that the pain of others can co-exist alongside the minor pleasures you take from life.

  • R.O. Kwon and the cult of religion

    Feb 06 2019

    Getting rid of distractions and daily choices like what to eat and what to wear helped R.O. Kwon focus on her debut novel, The Incendiaries. This novel took her 10 years to write and she shares with Angela Ledgerwood how changes in her personal life, her stance on religion and her obsession with cults all found it's way into the final evolution of the novel.

  • Rebecca Traister and the positive power of female rage

    Jan 30 2019

    Journalist Rebecca Traister writes about women in politics, media, and entertainment from a feminist perspective. Rebecca catches up with host Angela Ledgerwood to speak about her book 'Good and Mad' and how women's rage is portrayed negatively even though it is often the catalyst for big social change and movements.

  • Glory Edim on representation in literature

    Jan 23 2019

    When did you first see yourself in the character of a book? Glory Edim speaks to host Angela Ledgerwood about her book Well-Read Black Girl and the importance of being represented in literature. Glory started her Instagram and Brooklyn-based book club, Well-Read Black Girl, to celebrate the uniqueness of Black literature and sisterhood. Now, having established a literature festival of the same name, her goal is to the expand the definition of what it means to be 'well-read' and to showcase the u...more

  • James Frey wants to burn the world down

    Jan 16 2019

    *Explicit language warning* Controversial American author James Frey doesn't care if he enrages you or breaks your heart, as long as his writing makes you feel something. James speaks to host Angela Ledgerwood about using his book, Katerina, to examine his past and what could have been.

  • Ingrid Fetell Lee and the aesthetics of Joy

    Jan 09 2019

    Design affects our health and happiness whether it be in our home, work or our natural surroundings. Designer an author of Joyful - The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness, Ingrid Fetell Lee, speaks to host Angela Ledgerwood about how to inject joy into your everyday surroundings.

  • Parker Posey compares acting to writing

    Jan 02 2019

    The solitary life of a writer. Actor Parker Posey chats to host Angela Ledgerwood about how her dog, Gracie, got her through the tough times when she was writing her memoir, ‘You’re on an Airplane,’ and the similarities between researching an acting role and writing.

  • Meg Mason on Motherhood's effect on her writing

    Dec 26 2018

    The loneliness of motherhood is the theme explored by Aussie author and journalist Meg Mason in her novel You Be Mother. Meg chats to friend and Lit Up host Angela Ledgerwood about how she uses the characters in her books to examine complicated family dynamics and the struggles she experienced when becoming a mother in her early 20s.

  • Neil Gaiman and Norse Gods

    Dec 19 2018

    Comic books, graphic novels, films and audio theatre...English author Neil Gaiman has done it all! Gaiman discusses his novel, American Gods, with Lit Up host Angela Ledgerwood. As well as, what Norse Gods taught him about modern humanity and some handy tips for designing your own religion.

  • Caitlin Moran on sexual shame and gender boundaries

    Dec 11 2018

    British journalist and author Caitlin Moran chats to host Angela Ledgerwood about her book 'How to be Famous.' Caitlin calls on men to break down gender boundaries and to start their own equivalent of feminism and suggests how women can take back the power when it comes to sexual shame.

  • Viet on the Vietnamese-American refugee experience

    Jul 22 2018

    Last year's Pulitzer Prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen, joined us to talk about the renowned collection of stories that took him nearly two decades to perfect: The Refugees. Throughout the stories, Viet gives voice to the Vietnamese communities in Southern California (where he grew up) and to those living in the country he fled. In 1975, he and his family came to The United States as refugees in the wake of the Vietnam War. His debut novel, The Sympathizer, winner of last year's Pulitzer Prize, rev...more

  • Trevor Noah live at NeueHouse

    Jul 22 2018

    Trevor Noah, host of the Daily Show, joins Angie to discuss his newly released memoir, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood. It was a packed room at NeueHouse and an incredibly timely conversation in this era of post-election confusion.

  • Tom Perrotta on porn addiction, suburban America and exploring gender norms

    Jul 22 2018

    Tom Perrotta, the author of Election, Little Children and The Leftovers talks to Angie about his latest novel Mrs. Fletcher, which explores sexuality in America, empty nest syndrome and the universal longing for human connection.

  • The way forward with Lidia Yuknavitch

    Jul 22 2018

    In a particularly emotional episode, Lidia Yuknavitch joins Angela to discuss all of her work, which blurs the lines between fiction and non-fiction.

  • The inimitable roxane gay

    Jul 22 2018

    Prolific writer Roxane Gay joins Angie to discuss her collection of short stories, Difficult Women; Madonna; and her forthcoming book, Hunger.

  • The ever introspective Mary Louise Parker

    Jul 22 2018

    Sometimes, rarely, you meet someone whose energy radiates and fills the whole room. Mary Louise Parker is that person. She joins Angie to discuss her gorgeous first book, Dear Mr. You.

  • Stephanie Danler on coming of age in NYC

    Jul 22 2018

    Stephanie Dandler and Angie sit down to discuss her novel Sweetbitter

  • Samantha Irby on intentional dating, epic sexual mishaps and redefining family

    Jul 22 2018

    Irby's raw and relatable book of essays "We Are Never Meeting in Real Life" will make you LOL for real. Irby shares her hilarious application to be a contestant on The Bachelorette, the life lessons she learned from her 14 years at the animal hospital, and what she's willing to do for love.

  • Salman Rushdie on how life is Stranger Than Fiction

    Jul 22 2018

    Angie sits down with Salman Rushdie at Random House’s “Off the Page” event to talk about his new novel “The Golden House,” the chaos of Trump’s America, and how he scored a role on “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

  • Mohsin Hamid on immigration, life in Pakistan, and Donald Trump

    Jul 22 2018

    Angela sits down with Mohsin Hamid to discuss his newest novel, "Exit West."

  • Min Jin Lee on the history of Korean families in Japan

    Jul 22 2018

    This week, Angela sits down with author of Free Food for Millionaires, Min Jin Lee, to discuss her newest novel, Pachinko.

  • Max Porter on love through grief

    Jul 22 2018

    Max Porter joins Angie to discuss his first novel, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers.

  • Maria Semple on friendship, city living, and coping mechanisms

    Jul 22 2018

    Angela and best-selling author, Maria Semple, sit down and discuss her new book, Today Will Be Different.

  • Maggie Nelson reflects on her work

    Jul 22 2018

    Maggie Nelson joins Angie to discuss her work, including The Argonauts and The Red Parts.

  • Karl Ove Knausgaard on fate, shame, prolonging pleasure, and iconic memories

    Jul 22 2018

    Karl Ove Knausgaard, best known for his six-volume sensation My Struggle, talks to Angie about his new book, Autumn, addressed to his unborn daughter and the first in a quartet based on the four seasons.

  • Jennifer Egan on Manhattan Beach, gangsters and following her instincts

    Jul 22 2018

    Angie talks to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jennifer Egan about her latest novel "Manhattan Beach," which was 15 years in the making. They also talk about Jennifer's first solo European trip that helped forged her writing life, her intensive research for the book, and much more.

  • Jami Attenberg on being a woman in NYC and finding success

    Jul 22 2018

    Angela sits down with Jami Attenberg to chat about her newest novel, "All Grown Up".

  • Esther Perel on rethinking infidelity

    Jul 22 2018

    Psychotherapist Esther Perel joins Angie to talk about her latest book "The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity," the provocative follow up to her New York Timesbest-seller "Mating in Captivity." This conversation, like Esther's book, will no doubt push some buttons and leave you questioning--and perhaps rethinking--the boundaries of your romantic relationships!

  • Claire Messud on long-lost friendships

    Jul 22 2018

    Claire Messud and Angie talk about her new novel "The Burning Girl," as well as Claire's childhood years in Australia, and how childhood friendships can haunt and define us.

  • Ann Patchett on opening up in fiction

    Jul 22 2018

    Ann Patchett joins Angie from Nashville to discuss her not-to-be-missed novel, Commonwealth.

  • Alain de Botton on keeping love alive

    Jul 22 2018

    If you've ever been in love, had your heart broken, been in a relationship, or yearned for one, this week's episode is for you -- in other words, if you're a human, you'll benefit from listening to the wise words of world-renowned philosopher and writer Alain de Botton.