Phillip B. Williams’s “Ours”

By LARB Radio HourFebruary 23, 2024

Phillip B. Williams’s “Ours”
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Eric Newman speaks with Phillip B. Williams about his debut novel, Ours. A surrealist epic largely set in the American midwest both pre- and post-emancipation, the book tells the story of Saint, a conjure woman who uses her supernatural powers to liberate slaves and keep them safe in a magically secluded town near St. Louis. But as Saints magic begins to falter and newcomers appear in the town, the residents chafe at her power over them, eager for freedom, identity, and community forged on their own terms. In the interview, Williams discusses his novels blend of diasporic traditions and spirituality, how his characters repair themselves and each other, and what it means to read—and write—with love.

Also, Lucy Sante, author of I Heard Her Call My Name: A Memoir of Transition, returns to recommend April Ashleys Odyssey by Duncan Fallowell and April Ashley.

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The LARB Radio Hour is hosted by Eric Newman, Medaya Ocher, and Kate Wolf.


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