AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB 195: OYINKAN BRAITHWAITE or CRIME/FICTION/FORGIVENESS

11 Aug

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Friends,
This is the last fiction writing episode for a bit, so I needed someone to talk with me about mediating the creation of dark art. So I asked another writer who’s been there to talk about violence, murder, and forgiveness in fiction: My Sister the Serial Killerauthor, Oyinkan Braithwaite

SHOW NOTES

WHAT BOOK YOU SHOULD READ?
One of my very favorite novels is also a sort-of-sort-of-not crime novel: Narrow Rooms by James Purdy. It’s absolutely ruthless, and bizarre. Imagine if John Waters wrote a serious novel. This would be it. It’s a nice blend of the tonally challenging aspects of both my and Oyinkan’s novels.

WHAT OTHER AEWCH EPISODE YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO?
I talked about crime fiction in depth with another writer – and a master of the genre – Liz Nugent, back on AEWCH 104. Bonus: It was recorded just before the pandemic, and we talk about it with hope and trepidation.

MORE ON OYINKAN
There’s plenty to explore, including illustrations and short works, on Oyinkan’s website. My favorite story there is “One Choice“, which has illustrations including the one below, made out of the words of the text.

See you soon, friends.
CH

Why (horror) fiction matters with Caitlin Doughty and Mark O’Connell on the latest Against Everyone With Conner Habib!

2 Aug

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Do you enjoy the show? Does it inspire new thoughts and conversations in your life?
If so, SUPPORT THIS PODCAST via Patreon

Friends,
So happy to share an extended contemplation about fiction and this podcast, and then one of my very favorite book tour events with you: a live conversation about horror, transhumanism, and Hawk Mountain in Dublin with your fav death expert Caitlin Doughty and nonfiction writer/cultural critic Mark O’Connell.

It was a sold out event and one of my favorite on the tour, which will continue in the UK in September. (I’ll also post one of the other tour dates as exclusive content for patreon patrons only.)

SHOW NOTES

WHAT BOOK YOU SHOULD READ?
One of the greatest horror novels – which, like Hawk Mountain is also not really a horror novel – is Disgrace by JM Coetzee. Don’t read anything about it, just get it and read it. It’s incredible.4

WHAT OTHER AEWCH EPISODE YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO?
I talked about the horrors of technologies – as well as its occult promise and beauty – with anthroposophist writer Andrew Linnell on AEWCH 183.

MORE ON CAITLIN AND MARK
If you follow the links to their respective AEWCH episodes you’ll find lots there -here’s Caitlin Doughty on AEWCH 174 and Mark O’Connell on AEWCH 105.

More soon, friends,
CH

EVENTS: Three (very different!) Dublin HAWK MOUNTAIN happenings! With special guests Caitlin Doughty, Sarah Maria Griffin, Una Mullally, and Mark O’Connell

25 Jul

Hey there friends,
Wanted to let you know that there are three Hawk Mountain events coming up in Dublin, and each one is very different.

1. A book launch at the legendary Hodges Figgis with my friend Una Mullally on WEDNESDAY, JULY 27 This is a reading in the standard sense. I read the book, I answer a few questions, we hang out, we drink wine! To go to this FREE event, email ldermody@penguinrenadomhouse.ie and say you’re coming by! (you can cut and paste/ use this text – just include your name: Hi I’m excited to attend the Conner Habib event on the 27th. Thanks!)

2. I’ll be talking horror and darkness in fiction with author, podcaster, and tarot reader Sarah Maria Griffin, on FRIDAY, AUGUST 5 at  Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI). Here’s the link! The event is FREE and will be awesome.

3. My event on THURSDAY, JULY 28 with Caitlin Doughty and Mark O’Connell is SOLD OUT! But go to one of the other two with the also awesome AEWCH guests here!

The poetry of everday life. I talk with Swedish journalist and author, Marit Kapla on AEWCH 193!

16 Jul

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Friends,

In the midst of the Hawk Mountain book tour, visiting cities and longing for the pastoral. In Swedish journalist Marit Kapla’s absolutely stunning book Osebol, she chronicles the lives of the 42 people who live in Osebol, a tiny village in Sweden. And she transmutes their words – already poetic – into poetry. Line breaks, important pauses, stray and lovely observations. In Osebol, you get the slow life beauty of the remote, where a chance meeting on the road can be a day’s major event. Marit shares what she’s learned from talking to all of Osebol’s inhabitants, and we talk time, depth of experience, nature, and more.

I hope you love this episode as much as I loved having this conversation.

SHOW NOTES

WHAT BOOK YOU SHOULD READ?
I read a poem on the episode from Arun Kolatkar’s absolutely beautiful book, Jejuri – and I highly recommend you get and read it.

WHAT OTHER AEWCH EPISODE YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO?
Before he was a Twitch sensation, Hasan Piker and I talked about growing up surrounded by bullies on AEWCH 36. I’m reminded of it here as a flipside to the romanticism of small town life.

MORE ON MARIT
Here’s a good interview with Marit/review of the book. And a lovely consideration of all of it in The Times Literary Supplement. Most of Marit’s work is in Swedish, so the best thing to do is just look her up and read via google translate.

Until next time, friends, find Osebol, read it, and pay loving attention to your neighbors. CH

HAWK MOUNTAIN IS NOW AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE IN THE US! Listen to Una Mullally interview me about it on the latest episode of AEWCH!

5 Jul

Friends,
Hawk Mountain is now available in the US in book and audio formats!

(Irish/UK/Australian readers, you have a couple more weeks to preorder/wait until it comes out on the 21st!)

So…I made myself the guest, and my friend and collaborator Una Mullally, who is an expert interviewer, asked me the questions. This was an extremely satisfying conversation — the kind of experience I always hope my guests will end the show feeling — and I’m honored to have had it. What comes up? The horror of high school, Kate Bush, the mystical presence of animals, Meister Eckhart, the soundtrack to my novel, time and manipulation, and more.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a better interview, to be honest.

And? THERE ARE NO SPOILERS! Somehow she managed to turn this into a great conversation about literature without messing with it.

The US tour starts next week, and I’ll post a normal ep then too. Until then, enjoy, and go get the book and come to the readings and tell your pals and say hello!

Love, CH

ORDER HAWK MOUNTAIN

Bookshop.org US  • Amazon US  • Barnes & Noble • IndieBound • Hudsons

PREORDER HAWK MOUNTAIN in IRELAND/UK/AUSTRALIA RELEASE DATE, JULY 21

Amazon UK • bookshop.uk  • The Gutter Bookshop

COME SEE ME ON TOUR:

PRAISE FOR HAWK MOUNTAIN

Starred reviews in Kirkus  • BookPage  • Publisher’s Weekly  • BookList

One of the New York Times’s 12 Books To Read in July 2022

Hawk Mountain is a suspenseful, shocking and ultimately poignant study of anguished conflict, both domestic and internal. Incisively written and intensely imagined, it’s the novelistic debut of a real original.” – Ramsey Campbell

“The opening lines of Hawk Mountain plummet you into an atmosphere of creeping dread and precarious restraint that won’t let up until the final, shocking moments.” – Caitlin Doughty

“A moving and unflinching portrayal of a man caught in a trap of his own making, but willing to do almost anything―to almost anybody―if it will keep him from having to face up to himself. Hawk Mountain is a wonderfully bleak and beautifully written debut.” – Brian Evenson

“A brilliantly disturbing, expertly crafted literary noir that will stick with you long after you put it down. Conner Habib has written a flawless meditation on the fruitless, but eternally human, effort to kill off the parts of ourselves we cannot love―literally and metaphorically. I love this book.” – Sara Gran

Hawk Mountain is deft horror, made of precise strikes into our most vulnerable psychic terrain… Finally, a horror story that knows cisheteropatriarchy is the villain!” – Andrea Lawlor

“Tender, horrifying, utterly transfixing.” – Kelly Link

“Dripping with menace from the first page, this story of childhood enemies meeting up fifteen years later is utterly enthralling. Brilliantly written with homoerotic undertones, this savage tale is uncompromising in its reflection of teen friendships and isolation, and unflinching in its examination of the delicacy of the human body. There is gold among the gore. I found it compelling, shocking, and beautiful.” – Liz Nugent

“Conner Habib writes with an hallucinatory precision, and a kind of merciless humanity, about the poisonous work of repression. His forebears-Poe, Highsmith, even classical tragedy-are clear, but his originality is clearer still. Hawk Mountain is a work of strange, glittering darkness.” – Mark O’Connell

“A deeply disturbing yet, somehow, soaring novel I won’t soon forget. It plumbs the depths of traumatized characters trapped within our damaging culture. I couldn’t look away, even when I was looking from between my fingers.” – Paul Tremblay

Come see me + special guests on the USA and Ireland/UK HAWK MOUNTAIN BOOK TOUR!

21 Jun

FRIENDS –
They’re here! My Hawk Mountain tour dates!

Well, most of them, anyway. There will be a few updates to this schedule, and the Ireland/UK dates are not yet all sorted (but they will be!)

Come hang out, get a book signed, listen to me read, and in some instances hear a great conversation!

All events are free unless otherwise noted. Please do come out!

Also, I should have some exclusive Hawk Mountain merch.

Are you coming to any of these? Let me know in the comments below and please do say hi to other patrons who are coming, too!
XO
CH

USA TOUR DATES

IRELAND/UK TOUR DATES

  • JULY 28 – Dublin, Ireland – The Fumbally Stables – The horror of the body – with Caitlin Doughty. Details TBA
  • AUGUST 5 – Dublin, Ireland – Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) – First Fridays – with Sara Maria Griffin – Details TBA
  • AUGUST – London –  details TBA
  • AUGUST – Edinburgh – details TBS

I talk with Memorial author Bryan Washington about process, identity, curation, and fiction on AEWCH 190!

17 Jun

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Against Everyone With Conner Habib is funded exclusively by listeners like you.
Do you find value in this show? If so, support the podcast.
SUPPORT THIS PODCAST via
Patreon

Friends,

As I get ready for the release of Hawk Mountain, I find myself wanting to talk to writers more and more. For advice, for good company, and honestly just because I’m so excited.

So for this episode, I talk to the much-celebrated author of the novel Memorialand story collection Lot, Bryan Washington! Memorial is a sort of negative universe version of Hawk Mountain – it uses time in a similar way (but different!) and examines the unsaid in a similar way (but different!) and the outcomes for the characters are very, very different (but similar!). After reading it, I felt enlivened and heartbroken at once. So then I read his story collection, Lot. Then, right away, I invited him onto the show. 

Bryan and I talk about desire, identity in fiction, the way writers are asked about process all the time, the productiveness of marginalization, movies, and more. This is one of my very favorite episodes.

What a great conversation.

SHOW NOTES

WHAT BOOK YOU SHOULD READ?
Bryan and I are both deeply influenced by film. One filmmaker I bring up on the show is Rainer Werner Fassbinder, the notorious and deeply driven melodramatic auteur. I love his work, and I love this book of interviews with him, The Anarchy of the Imagination.

WHAT OTHER AEWCH EPISODE YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO?
There are some deep parallels on this episode with themes touched on on AEWCH 149 featuring Carmen Maria Machado, although Carmen and I go at it in an entirely different way!

WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK INTO FURTHER?
I talked with Samuel Delaney about fiction, sexual identity, and philosophy years ago, before I had a podcast. Here’s the whole conversation! 

MORE ON BRYAN
Bryan’s website has a ton of links to his essays, including one we discuss on the episode, about the Montrose neighborhood in Houston. Memorial is being made into a TV show, and here’s a podcast featuring Bryan talking about it with poet and novelist Ocean Vuong. And here’s a video (one of several) of Bryan cooking and talking about food. Finally, here’s his essay on going to gay bars.

Until next time, friends, I suggest reading Memorial in the park on a sunny day like I did!
CH

In praise of obscurity: I talk with mystery and horror writer Sara Gran on AEWCH 189!

10 Jun

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EVENT NEWS: Sara and I will be in discussion live on July 18 at Book Soup in LA. Admission is free. Come hang out!

Friends,

As I get ready for the release of Hawk Mountain, I find myself wanting to talk to writers more and more. For advice, for good company, and honestly just because I’m so excited.

So I asked one of my favorite thriller and mystery writers – Sara Gran – on the show to talk about publishing, mystery. being famous versus being artistically free, occultism, symbols, and more.

Sara was last on the show way back on AEWCH 61, and we talked a lot about detective fiction and crime. This time around, we talk about occultism, sex, and obscurity, circling around her latest novel, The Book of the Most Precious Substance and my forthcoming novel, Hawk Mountain. Sara’s book is about a mysterious grimoire and a rare books dealer, and if that’s not enough to pull you in, I’ll also say there’s sex magick, murder, and tech billionaires in it. There. Now you want to read it. It’s great.

Sara is always an enthralling conversation partner; I’m so excited to show this episode with you.

SHOW NOTES

WHAT BOOK YOU SHOULD READ?
A great book on sex magick (and revolution) is Hugh Urban’s Magia Sexualis: Sex, Magic, and Liberation in Modern Western Esotericism. It’s pricey, but absolutely worth it. It’s enthralling.

WHAT OTHER AEWCH EPISODE YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO?
Another episode with a dark fiction writer, also an old episode, also one of my very favorites: AEWCH 23 with postmodern horror master, Brian Evenson. We talk about obscurantism on a different level. 

WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK INTO FURTHER?
You probably know plenty about occultist, teacher, and trickster, Robert Anton Wilson already, but if not, do look into him. One of my favorite RAW lines? “I used to be an atheist, then I realized I didn’t have anything to say during a blowjob.” His website is outdated and very geocities-esque – but so full of info and links – which is kind of perfect, to be honest. Also, you may or may not know that I took a class with him many years ago. So there’s that. Wink.

MORE ON SARA
Here’s Sara’s wesbite and her publishing house website, Dreamland Books. Link to AEWCH 61 for lots more on Sara’s amazing work!

Until next time, friends! CH

A big box of…MY FIRST NOVEL! arrived today!

9 Jun

Holy shit friends it’s my BOOOOOOK! It comes out from Norton on July 5 (Doubleday/Penguin in Ireland/UK/Australia July 21), so preorder to have it delivered on pub date and be the coolest literary horror reader on your block.  Here’s how to order from Amazon and indie booksellers!

Politics, geomantic magic and the elemental kingdom – Legendary artist Marko Pogačnik joins me on AEWCH 188!

24 May

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Friends,

Something that we do on this show a lot is express the way the spiritual, economic, and political interpenetrate. Usually when people or podcasters do that, they look at magical and occult parapolitics; and that invariably becomes funneled into messages of conspiracy.

But that rabbit hole is almost always just a variation of materialism because they privilege material conditions, material conspiracies. They focus on the manipulation of the world as it is by political agents instead of reflecting on the spiritual reality.

What if, instead, we moved past a focus on material conspiracies with spiritual dimensions and into the way true artists are working with the constitutive forces of being human, and the artistic presence of nature, and the invisible consciousnesses that sustain everything?

To talk about all of this I invited Marko Pogačnik onto the show*. He’s best known as being appointed as one of the few UNESCO Artists For Peace, and also for founding the OHO art Movement in former Yugoslavia – a group that included such iconic figures as Tomaž Šalamun and Slavoj Žižek.

Marko’s artistic work is a conscious communication with the elemental beings and the places they are intertwined with and co-create. He practices something called lithopuncture, which seeks to calirfy the presence of elemental beings and heal the spiritual being of the earth using cosmograms. He also offers spiritual exercises in the form of Gaia Touch exercises… and if you don’t know what any of that means, we talk about it extensively on the episode,

It’s also all present in his books. The best two to start with are Dancing with the Earth Changes: A Guide Through the Challenges of the Twenty-First Century and Universe of the Human Body: With Gaia Touch Body Exercises

But his publications also include Nature Spirits & Elemental Beings: Working with the Intelligence in Nature and Christ Power and Earth Wisdom: Searching for the Fifth Gospel and many others.

His books are filled with exercises you can, and should, engage with as you read.

Enjoy this wonderfully bizarre and love-filled episode.

(*While I’m taking a little break from the series on Irish magic, since it’s proved even more trickstery than my other series, this still touches on Ireland and fairies. They pop up and express their importance. That series will be ongoing, so expect more to pop up soon.)

SHOW NOTES

WHAT BOOK YOU SHOULD READ?
A parallel to Marko’s work can be found in director and comic book writer Alejandro Jodorowsky’s healing work, which I mention on this episode. And the best introduction to that work is his book, Psychomagic: The Transformative Power of Shamanic Psychotherapy. It’s a fantastic, bizarre, and thrilling tour into Jodorowksy’s workings.

WHAT OTHER AEWCH EPISODE YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO?
An episode about spiritual art and technology informing each other is AEWCH 113 with sculptor and radionics practitioner, Duncan Laurie (he wrote a great book on the subject or radionics, too!). This recording is from years ago that I turned into an AEWCH ep, and it didn’t get as much attention as it deserved, I don’t think. So it’s a bit of a hidden gem amongst the episodes.

WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK INTO FURTHER?
What would a science that engages with the elemental kingdom look like? Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s method of science is brought forward at The Nature Institute in New York State, and though it often doesn’t recognize, explicitly, the elementals, it definitely goes all the way into spiritual perception. It’s a beautiful and vital initiative.

MORE ON MARKO
The best place to find more on Marko is, of course, his website, which has extensive links to his books, his public events, and his biography. Marko is a founder of the legendary OHO Movement, an art movement which also had Tomaž Šalamun and Slavoj Žižek as members. And here’s an interview with Marko about his work in Art Margins.

Until next time, friends!
CH