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Between the Covers Podcast

Kate Zambreno & Sofia Samatar : Tone

In Kate Zambreno & Sofia Samatar’s Tone they construct a shared voice, that of the “Committee to Investigate the Atmosphere.” Yes, they do this to investigate tone, in the writings of everyone from Nella Larsen to Clarice Lispector, W. G. Sebald to Franz Kafka, Renee Gladman to Bhanu Kapil. But in chasing the ever-elusive notion of tone, discovering its relational and atmospheric qualities, Zambreno & Samatar end up troubling the notion of selfhood and the individual, and in doing so, they trouble the notion of literary form as well. Tone becomes an investigation not just of tone, but of the collective, of the communal, of the collaborative, and reveals the ways all writing is collaboration.

In the spirit of their collaboration they have created a wonderfully robust 40-minute call & response contribution for the bonus audio archive. One where Kate discusses and reads from works important to their project (everything from Bhanu Kapil’s How to Wash a Heart to Renee Gladman’s Calamities) and after each reading/meditation by Kate, Sofia responds with a reading of her own, speaking to Kate’s reading through her choices (from Nella Larsen’s Quicksand to writing by H. Bustos Domecq, the pseudonym of the collaborative writing of Borges and Casares). The bonus audio archive is only one possible benefit of joining the Between the Covers community as a listener-supporter. Every supporter gets the resource email with each episode and can join our collective brainstorm of who to invite on the show going forward. And then there are many other things to choose from as well, from the bonus audio to the Tin House Early Reader subscription. You can check it all out at the show’s Patreon page.

Lastly, because Tone is engaging with and indebted to so many books, this is the largest Bookshop ever!