Lightning Rods by Helen DeWitt

The second novel by by literary wunderkind, Helen DeWitt, Lightning Rods is probably the most challenging book we’ve yet featured on Backlisted. Usually described as a satire on American capitalism, it is the diasarmingly upbeat and funny tale of Joe, a struggling salesman, who develops a new office product that he believes serves an urgent need in modern corporate life. Quite what that product is and how it works requires a delicacy in description and a warning for listeners: this is not one for family listening. We are joined by returning guests, novelist and playwright Marie Philips and writer and performer, Ben Moor. The episode also features Andy rediscovering a lost folk horror classic from the 1970s – The Autumn People (also known as The Autumn Ghosts) by Ruth M. Arthur while John is blown away by the force of Sarah Churchwell’s incandescent and incisive account of an American classic: The Wrath to Come: Gone With the Wind and the Lies America Tells

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