Ep. 66 - The Rigorous Refusal to Waste a Reader’s Time, with Jo Ann Beard, author of Festival Days


Manage episode 299731319 series 2849865
Player FM과 저희 커뮤니티의 Book Dreams Podcast, Eve Yohalem, and Julie Sternberg / The Podglomerate 콘텐츠는 모두 원 저작자에게 속하며 Player FM이 아닌 작가가 저작권을 갖습니다. 오디오는 해당 서버에서 직접 스트리밍 됩니다. 구독 버튼을 눌러 Player FM에서 업데이트 현황을 확인하세요. 혹은 다른 팟캐스트 앱에서 URL을 불러오세요.

“It’s a testament to [Jo Ann] Beard, a towering talent, that she ... deliver[s] a book as forceful as it is fine, leaving us both awed and unsettled.” -- New York Times review of Festival Days

In this week’s episode, Eve and Julie talk to Jo Ann Beard about Festival Days, her extraordinary new collection of essays, some of which took decades to write. Jo Ann describes her deeply reflective, painstaking process and shares why so many of the pieces in Festival Days involve life and death moments and the kinds of reminiscences that emerge from thoughts about death. She discusses, too, her most famous essay, “The Fourth State of Matter” and wonders aloud about herself, “Why are you talking about this essay that you never talk about?” Published in The New Yorker in 1996, “The Fourth State of Matter” depicts a mass shooting at the University of Iowa lab where Jo Ann worked. “How do you take something like that, which is essentially meaningless, and infuse it with meaning?” Jo Ann asks during this Book Dreams episode. And she offers an answer to that heartbreaking question.

Jo Ann has received a Whiting Foundation Award and nonfiction fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She’s the author of the groundbreaking collection of autobiographical essays The Boys of My Youth and the novel In Zanesville. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, Best American Essays, and the O. Henry Prize anthologies. She teaches writing at Sarah Lawrence College.

Find us on Twitter (@bookdreamspod) and Instagram (@bookdreamspodcast), or email us at contact@bookdreamspodcast.com.

We encourage you to visit our website and sign up for our newsletter for information about our episodes, guests, and more.

Book Dreams is a part of Lit Hub Radio and the Podglomerate network, a company that produces, distributes, and monetizes podcasts. For more information on how The Podglomerate treats data, please see our Privacy Policy.

Since you’re listening to Book Dreams, we’d like to suggest you also try other Podglomerate shows about literature, writing, and storytelling like Storybound and The History of Literature.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

121 에피소드