This interview is part of an ongoing LARB A.V. series from this year’s LA Times Festival of Books. Go to the LARB A.V. homepage to see more interviews with Daniel HandlerT.C. BoyleMona Simpson and Leslie Jamison, and keep checking in for upcoming interviews with Walter Kirn, Terry McMillan, and many, many more.

Literary Death Match is an ongoing event / competition series that brings four writers to a stage to read their work and then be judged by a panel of all-star judges in categories of literary merit, performance and intangibles. According to its own website, the show “marries the literary and performative aspects of Def Poetry Jam, rapier-witted quips of American Idol’s judging (without any meanness), and the ridiculousness and hilarity of Double Dare.”

The show’s co-creator and emcee Adrian Todd Zuniga spoke with LARB A.V. at this year’s LA Times Book Festival about the show’s genesis, its highlights over the last 8 years, and the genius of Stephen Tobolowsky.

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