James Hannaham’s “Pilot Impostor”

December 3, 2021

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Writer and artist James Hannaham joins Kate Wolf and Medaya Ocher to discuss his most recent book, Pilot Impostor, a mix of prose, poetry, and visual collage. James is the author of the award-winning novels Delicious Foods and God Says No. His short stories have appeared in One Story, Fence, and Bomb, and he was for many years a writer for the Village Voice and Salon. 

Pilot Impostor was partly inspired by a trip to Cape Verde and Lisbon, right after Trump’s election in 2016. The book brings together disparate influences like the work of Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa, the TV show Air Disasters, and current events. Through shifts in form, narrative, and style, Hannaham asks some of the biggest questions about the self, identity, the failure of leadership, history, and the nature of consciousness.

Also, film critic Melissa Anderson, author of Inland Empire, returns to recommend Jean Stein’s depiction of Hollywood, West of Eden.