Jon Wiener on the Life and Work of Mike Davis, plus Constance Debré’s “Love me Tender”
By LARB Radio HourNovember 4, 2022
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In the first half of the show, Kate Wolf and Eric Newman are joined by LARB contributing editor Jon Wiener to remember the historian Mike Davis, who died last week at 76 years old. Jon and Mike were longtime friends and together they wrote Set the Night on Fire: L.A. in the Sixties, Davis’s final book. Then Kate speaks with the writer Constance Debré about her novel, Love Me Tender, the first of her books to be translated in English. It follows a woman, who like Debré was once a lawyer, but has quit her job, and vacated the comforts of her former life to devote herself to her writing. She has a son from her marriage named Paul. After telling her husband, who she’s separated from, that she has decided to be with women, the narrator’s ex starts to turn Paul against her and prevents her from seeing him. The novel takes place over the span of a glacial court case that will decide the narrator’s fate with her son — all the while asking critical questions about the fearsome nature of unconditional love and attachment, the roles of gender and motherhood, and the unassailability of the truth.
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