Month: August 2013

Maggie O’Farrell (BSS #511)

In 1976, Britain faced the greatest water shortage of the 20th century and the feelings are eerily resonant of current climate change. How can fiction make sense of all this? We talk with Costa-winning author Maggie O’Farrell about her latest novel, INSTRUCTIONS FOR A HEATWAVE, discuss how research often springs from personal experience and the idea of the disappearing patriarch, and get into the thorny realities of families. Read More


Travis Nichols (BSS #510)

How do you sustain a 220 page novel told from the perspective of an online troll leaving an endless blog comment? We discuss the poetics of abuse with Travis Nichols (author of THE MORE YOU IGNORE ME), along with seductive caesuras, family members who disown you by email, and the largely illusory idea of self-declared misunderstood geniuses. Read More


Mark Slouka (BSS #509)

Mark Slouka avoided historical cliche by looking at 1968 from the vantage point of a small town and tapping into unanticipated emotion. We discuss Slouka’s novel, BREWSTER, whether Sherwood Anderson’s influence can be revived in 2013, and get into the subject of leisure — specifically, its current absence from American life. Read More