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Between the Covers Podcast

Johanna Hedva : Your Love Is Not Good

What if you gave your fictional main character all of your own biographical details and family history but had them, at every point, choose “wrong”? At every point do the thing you yourself would be against? Johanna Hedva does just that, and their novel Your Love Is Not Good is not just full of sex battles and high-stakes art openings, but also high-stakes moral quandaries. Set in the institutional art world of museums and galleries, Your Love Is Not Good looks at making art (and love) under capitalism, at a mixed-race Korean American painter striving for universality (and whiteness) and yet wanting to be authentic, to build community and solidarity. When forced to choose, where and with whom will she stand?

Johanna Hedva is also a musician and a performance artist. And their contribution to the bonus audio archive is one of the most unique ones ever, and one created specifically with us in mind. After we recorded this conversation they went on book tour and, while traveling from city to city, recorded themselves moaning, grunting, screaming, and breathing; recorded themselves reading text they wrote while touring. They then sent all these voice files to LA audio engineer Henry Glover along with the voices of the universe itself: sonifications of a black hole and the helix nebula, raw audio of the sun, a field recording of the aurora borealis. Hedva explained to Glover the vibe and scenario they imagined as he mixed and mastered a layering of voices, personal and “universal,” into this unique track: “The Saddest Thing of All Is When a Lone Astronaut Falls in Her Suit—Who Is There to Help Her Up?” To learn about how to subscribe to the bonus audio archive and the many other potential benefits of joining the Between the Covers community as a listener-supporter head over to the show’s Patreon page.

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