The History of Literature

61 In the Mood for a Good Book – Wharton, Murakami, Chandler, and Fowles (with Vu Tran)

Sept. 30, 2016

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 Works Discussed: 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) Show Notes: We have a special episode coming up – listener feedback! Contact the host at [email protected] or by leaving a voicemail at 1-361-4WILSON (1-361-494-5766). You can find more literary discussion at and more episodes of the series at Check out our Facebook page at Music Credits: “Handel – Entrance to the Queen of Sheba” by Advent Chamber Orchestra (From the Free Music Archive / CC by SA).   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit neither hosts nor alters podcast files. All content © its respective owners.