Happy holidays, listeners! This week, on a special episode of Fully Booked, host Megan Labrise looks back on another year in conversation with the amazing authors of some of the year’s best and buzziest books and reveals her top two interviews: Ling Ma and Anton Hur.

In this video, Ling Ma joins Labrise to discuss her new story collection, Bliss Montage (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Sept. 13), and reminisce about the surreal experience of receiving the 2018 Kirkus Prize for fiction for her apocalyptic debut novel, Severance—which, coincidentally, began as a short story. Ma shared that several of the stories in Bliss Montage, incorporating “elements of the fantastic” but grounded “in a reality that is more recognizably our own” (starred review), grew from dreams. They delved deeply into collection opener “Los Angeles” and the story “Returning,” and explored what it takes to write fearlessly.

To hear Labrise’s interview with Anton Hur, translator of Violets by Kyung-sook Shin (Feminist Press, April 1), head to kirkusreviews.com/podcast. You can listen to new episodes of Fully Booked every Tuesday on Apple Podcasts and Spotify or at kirkusreviews.com/podcast.