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Podcast Ep.2 : Stories We Tell and Stories We Hide

Catch up with Elena and the team as they talk to Elaine Castillo, Louisa Young Gael Faye, Jonny Geller, JJ Lousberg and Lucy Scholes in the latest podcast. Tune in at the Start of August for the next LoveReading Podcast.


Elena Lappin

With guests: 

Elaine Castillo, Louisa Young, Gaël Faye, Jonny Geller, JJ Lousberg, Lucy Scholes 

Books featured: 

AMERICA IS NOT THE HEART by Elaine Castillo (Atlantic Books), YOU LEFT EARLY: A TRUE STORY OF LOVE AND ALCOHOL by Louisa Young (Borough Press), SMALL COUNTRY by Gaël Faye (Hogarth/Penguin Random House).

In this second episode of our podcast, American author Elaine Castillo discusses the hidden and shared narratives in the lives of Philippino immigrants in her brilliant debut novel AMERICA IS NOT THE HEART. Her writing is so pitch-perfect and assured it is hard to believe this is her first book. But when you hear her talk so engagingly about the lives of her characters, mirroring her own and her family’s experiences, and that 600 page learned book about Greek myths she once wrote and ‘luckily shelved’, you begin to see the fascinating roots of her dazzling writing skill! Our expert reviewer Liz Robinson found this novel ‘poignant and inspiring’. Check out her review here.

Novelist Louisa Young (author of the bestselling MY DEAR, I WANTED TO TELL YOU) reveals the sadness and heartache behind writing her moving memoir YOU LEFT EARLY, about her fiancé Robert Lockhart’s battle with alcoholism, and talks about their shared love of music. In fact, we also feature a song about Robert by her band Birds of Britain, released at the same time as the eponymous memoir. 

In WHERE BOOKS COME FROM, literary agent Jonny Geller (Curtis Brown) and film producer JJ Lousberg (Fat Trout Films/Filmwave) debate the relationship between books and film in the age of Netflix. We also discover how an actor became a literary agent...

Critic and essayist Lucy Scholes returns with her intriguing new Book Post for June, previewing THE FEMALE PERSUASION by Meg Wolitzer (Chatto), FLORIDA by Lauren Groff (William Heinemann) and MY YEAR OF REST AND RELAXATION by Ottessa Moshfegh (Jonathan Cape). 

And finally, I introduce my personal TOP PICK of the month:

SMALL COUNTRY by Gaël Faye, in Sara Ardizzone’s excellent translation (Hogarth), a powerful debut novel about a childhood and family torn apart by Rwandan war and genocide. A literary homecoming for the very talented French rapper, this novel has been celebrating an international success. It was lovely to meet him at his London launch and ask him about the connection between writing fiction and writing rap lyrics. Interestingly, Faye believes there is more freedom in fiction!

Thank you from all of us at LoveReading to our listeners, subscribers and followers on twitter (@LoveReadingPod), Instagram (Lovereadingpodcast) and FB. Do email us on with any thoughts or suggestions. 


Click Here to listen to Episode 2

The Timings

00:00 Teaser

01:01 Intro

01:59 Elaine Castillo

18:44 Louisa Young

33:12  Where Books Come From with Jonny Geller and JJ Lousberg

49:32 Book Post with Lucy Scholes

54:58 Elena Lappin’s Top Pick (Gaël Faye)

65:48 Outro/Credits

Click here to find out more about our other Podcast episodes.

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