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What do Edith Wharton, Haruki Murakami, Raymond Chandler, John Fowles, Alfred Hitchcock, and Wong Kar-wai have in common? All are known for their ability to generate a particular mood and atmosphere – and all were selected by our guest, Professor Vu Tran of the University of Chicago, as being particularly inspirational as he wrote his novel Dragonfish. In this episode, Vu and Jacke discuss what makes these works so compelling, how the works helped Vu write his novel, and how a certain American city produces an intense feeling of endless hope and melancholy, twenty-four hours a day.
VU TRAN is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at the University of Chicago and the author of Dragonfish: A Novel (2015). Professor Tran has been described as “a fiction writer whose work thus far is preoccupied with the legacy of the Vietnam War for the Vietnamese who remained in the homeland, the Vietnamese who immigrated to America, and the Americans whose lives have intersected with both.”
“Richly satisfying work….[Has] a place on the top shelf of literary thrillers.” —Gerald Bartell, San Francisco Chronicle
Dragonfish: A Novel by Vu Tran
The Magus by John Fowles
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
Vertigo (dir. Alfred Hitchcock)
In the Mood for Love (dir. Wong Kar-wai)
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You can find more literary discussion at jackewilson.com and more episodes of the series at historyofliterature.com.
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“Handel – Entrance to the Queen of Sheba” by Advent Chamber Orchestra (From the Free Music Archive / CC by SA).