Episode 65, with Natalie Lima, Master Essayist and Chronicler of the Universal and the Personal


          On Episode 65 of The Chills at Will Podcast, Pete has the pleasure to speak with Natalie Lima. The two discuss Natalie’s childhood, her relationship to language and the always-welcoming library, A Separate Peace, Song of Solomon, We the Animals, and other chill-inducing literature, the writers who have inspired her, and the inspirations behind some of her most well-known works.


Show Notes and Links to Natalie Lima’s Work


Natalie Lima's Personal Website


 For a Good Time, Call,” essay for Guernica, September 2020


Snowbound,” essay for Brevity, September 2019


Men Paid Me To Eat,” fiction for The Offing, June 2019


“Fly”-Fiction from Paper Darts, May 2017

Talking Points/Authors/Books Mentioned and Allusions Referenced During the Episode:


At about 2:35, Natalie talks about influences growing up, including her experience speaking Spanish and her ideas of “home”


At about 4:50, Natalie talks about her relationship with the written word growing up and into adolescence, including her love of the public library 


At about 6:50, Natalie discusses the pivotal high school reading years, including a favorite of Pete and Natalie’s, A Separate Peace by John Knowles


At about 10:40, Pete asks Natalie if she saw herself and her various cultures/subcultures in what she read growing up 


At about 12:45, Natalie describes a few of her favorite books, including Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street and White Oleander by Janet Fitch


At about 13:35, Natalie outlines Song of Solomon and Toni Morrison’s impression on Natalie


At about 15:25, Natalie talks about contemporary writers who continue to thrill her, including Roxane Gay and her Bad Feminist and Justin Torres and his We the Animals, Myriam Gurba, Jhumpa Lahiri, T Kira Madden, Esmé Weijun Wang, Michelle Tea, Lindy West, Samantha Irby, and Jaquira Diaz


At about 20:10, Natalie details the moment(s) that made her believe in her ability to write professionally and successfully, including how Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird and Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write helped her rekindle her writing passion and how her professor Colette Sartor gave feedback that energized Natalie


At about 28:35, Natalie discusses her target audience(s) and the success and how she was surprised how many people were moved by “Fat Girl Cries Herself to Sleep” 


At about 30:45, Natalie talks about sharing personal information in her writing, as well as how certain works of her have affected her and her readers


At about 34:35, Natalie discusses “For a Good Time, Call,” her powerful essay about the “party line” and the essay’s many layers; Pete and Natalie make connections to teenage chaos/malaise and to an NPR article about avatars and Walter Thompson Hernández and Yesika Salgado on California Love


At about 42:35, Natalie discusses the background and events and writing of “Snowbound” from Brevity Magazine and the event where college dorm gossip upset Natalie 


At about 49:25, Natalie discusses her fiction piece, “Men Paid Me to Eat” and its inspiration, including its genesis with a class writing prompt


At about 53:10, Natalie reads from “Snowbound” and  “For a Good Time, Call”


At about 58:40, Natalie outlines her upcoming projects



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Be sure to check out the next episode on July 13 with poet extraordinaire Gabrielle Bates.

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