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19: Writing About Mass Incarceration Across Genres, Part II

Writers Tayari Jones and DaMaris B. Hill talk with V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell in the second of two special episodes on the effects of mass incarceration on American communities and democracy. Jones, author of the New York Times bestseller An American Marriage, discusses the collateral effects of incarceration, the disproportionate financial burden on women, and allowing characters hope. Hill, a scholar and poet, talks about the link between poverty and incarceration,...


18: Our Carceral State, Part I

Poet and memoirist Reginald Dwayne Betts and novelist Zachary Lazar join V.V Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell for the first of two special episodes on the effects of mass incarceration on American communities and democracy. Betts, a poet, memoirist and lawyer who was incarcerated as a young man, talks about writing in different genres, as well as the experience of having friends and colleagues write about his character to support his application to the bar and our collective impulse to...


17: The Return of Socialism in America?

In recent years, socialism has been on the rise—or was it ever really gone? In episode 17, V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell talk to Dana Goldstein of The New York Times about what it’s like to cover teacher walkouts and strikes today, and how today’s actions compare to those she wrote about in her bestselling book, The Teacher Wars, which covers the history of teaching in America. Later in the show, Thomas Frank of Listen, Liberal fame gives us a sneak preview of the final essay in...


16: Fate and Fortune: What Are We Responsible For

Was this episode our destiny? In episode 16, Jess Row and Meghan O’Rourke talk fate and fortune with V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell. Jess Row speaks first about race and fate, his novel Your Face in Mine, and his upcoming essay collection, White Flights. Then Meghan O’Rourke talks about how she saw her poem “My Life as a Subject” back when she wrote it, and how she understands it now, as well as her writing about the #MeToo movement and about illness. What are we responsible for,...


15: So, Who's Funny in the Age of Trump?

In episode 15, V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell ask who’s funny in the age of Trump, and how they’re managing to pull it off. They talk to Sloane Crosley, author of the new essay collection, Look Alive Out There, about the humor of the everyday and the freedom and subversiveness of not writing about the president. The also speak to Alexandra Petri of The Washington Post’s ComPost column, whose column features humorous takes on political news ranging from James Comey’s book release...