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Mat Johnson is today’s guest. His new novel Loving Day is available now from Spiegel & Grau.
Very happy to have had the chance to talk with Mat, particularly at this moment in his career, with Loving Day just featured on the cover of the New York Times Book Review and enthusiasm for his work seeming to reach new heights after the big success of his previous novel, Pym.
As I mentioned in a recent episode, I’m making the shift to in-person interviews only (better sound quality, etc) and was lucky enough to catch Mat as he swung through town. We talked about a variety of things, among them early failures, depression and humility, false summits and false nadirs, work ethic, liberation from expectation, how he deals with book reviews (good and bad and in between), police violence, race, identity, and more.
I also took a few minutes to interview my four-year-old daughter during today’s monologue. As many of you know, I’ve checked in with her periodically over the past several months, as my wife has gotten increasingly pregnant and the arrival of our second child (a boy) has grown imminent. As we’re now into mid-June and the official due date is August 2nd, shit is getting real, and preparations are starting to ramp up: crib assembly, closet organizing, and so on.
And I’ll be honest, there’s also a sense of dread when it comes to sleep. I’m not a great sleeper to begin with, but in the coming months it’s gonna be particularly intense. Sorta girding myself for that. And in a way I feel fascinated about what it will mean for the podcast. Which is to say: it’s one thing to put yourself on the microphone in your normal, disheveled state; it’s another thing entirely to do it in a state of maximal newborn sleep deprivation. But of course I will try.