The world's top authors and critics join host Pamela Paul and editors at The New York Times Book Review to talk about the week's top books, what we're reading and what's going on in the literary world.
Writing About Illness Without Platitudes
Suleika Jaouad talks about “Between Two Kingdoms,” and Jason Zinoman discusses great memoirs by comedians.
This Land Is Whose Land?
Simon Winchester talks about “Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World,” and Amelia Pang discusses “Made in China.”
Chang-rae Lee on His New Novel: ‘It’s Kind of a Crazy Book.’
Lee discusses “My Year Abroad,” and Maurice Chammah talks about “Let the Lord Sort Them: The Rise and Fall of the Death Penalty.”
Navigating the Maze of Paying for College
Ron Lieber talks about “The Price You Pay for College,” and Michael J. Stephen discusses “Breath Taking: The Power, Fragility, and Future of Our Extraordinary Lungs.”
The Ethics of Adoption in America
Gabrielle Glaser talks about “American Baby,” and Kenneth R. Rosen discusses “Troubled: The Failed Promise of America’s Behavioral Treatment Programs.”
James Comey and Truth in Government
Joe Klein talks about Comey’s “Saving Justice,” and Elisabeth Egan discusses Peter Ho Davies’s “A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself.”
I first have to admit that I fell in love with Pamela Paul‘s voice when I first heard her on the podcast – personal and warm and full of humor, without ever seeming condescending to anyone.
I have been an enthusiastic regular listener for a long time.
Pamela and her colleagues and guests never fail to enlighten me, and anyone who thinks that literary criticism has to be dry and pedantic should listen to these animated discussions with the writers themselves.
I have heard and read the term “a writer’s writer“ again several times recently — and critics like A. O. Scott may have their own particular take on what that exactly means.
But I told my older brother — like me no spring chicken — that the podcast is helping me become what I will call a “writer’s ideal reader.” By that I mean someone who is very, very alive and alert while reading, constantly having a creative inner dialogue with the author.
“Why did you use this word? Why did you give the character this particular trait? Are you trying to help me see the world in a new and different way?”
The podcast helps me become ever more aware of all the choices that writers are making — and the high art that lets the author hide all of these choices so that the reader is left in awe and wonder at this “thing“ that the author has created completely out of her imagination!
Thank you, Pamela and colleagues !!!
PS I could have said something equally complimentary about the way you treat nonfiction books and your discussions with their authors.
My first podcast and love it!
This is my first and favorite podcast! I’ve been listening to it since 2016, never miss an episode. Pamela Paul is a great interviewer, and Parul Sehgal one of my favorite critics (and has the softest and most wonderful voice!)