The Agony Column

North American Lake Monsters


full-seaNathan Ballingrud talks about his collection of short stories, North American Lake Monsters; Pulitzer prize finalist Chang-rae Lee discusses his new novel, On Such a Full Sea; and John Rizzo, the CIA lawyer who signed the infamous torture memos – all join host Rick Kleffel for talk and interview.

About Ballingrud, Rick Kleffel wrote:

In ‘North American Lake Monsters’ Nathan Ballingrud demonstrates the power of portrait. He gives us people so real that though they may be unpleasantly so, they are nonetheless compelling. We are immersed in their very real lives and very intense stories before they encounter the fantastic, so deeply captivated by character, that the strange is brushed aside. But not without consequence. More

About Chang-rae Lee, Rick Kleffel wrote:

Lee has a lot of fun in this novel, mixing up genres and voices and perspectives. First-person plural is not common, but Lee manages the trick of claiming the elegance and lyricism it evokes while keeping it readable. There are nicely turned bits of humor throughout if you keep a sharp, dark eye for them. This style of address also offers Lee the opportunity to do some crafty things with his world-building in terms of pacing revelations. Approach the narrative here with an eye for the lighthearted aspects of the work, enjoy the majesty on display and let the world around you disappear — sort of. More