Mary Gaitskill, one of the most distinctive and celebrated contemporary American writers, spoke with Tom Lutz and Laurie Winer at a special LARB event in Silver Lake last month. Mary opened the evening with a reading from her new collection of essays, Somebody with a Little Hammer. The conversation flowed through countless subjects from there: the psychology of Mary’s most celebrated characters; drugs, alcohol, and writing; Linda Lovelace; the question of cultural appropriation; Mary’s scathing take on Donald Trump, and more. Also, Janet Sarbanes, author of The Protester Has Been Released returns to recommend two books: The Censors by Luisa Valenzuela; and a book of poetry The Wasp Queen by Claudia Cortese.