S5 Ep. 33: The Politics of Craft: Charles Baxter on How His Essays on Writing Respond to a Changing World


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Writer and professor Charles Baxter joins Fiction/Non/Fiction hosts V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell to discuss his new essay collection Wonderlands: Essays on the Life of Literature, and how his thoughts on craft are linked to the times in which we live. He defines concepts he has used, including “wonderlands,” “Captain Happen,” “request moments,” and “toxic narratives,” and offers illustrations from literature and the world around us to show how these can inform the writing of fiction. For example, he explains, Donald Trump rejects his loss in the 2020 presidential election as a toxic narrative because it would change his understanding of who he is.

To hear the full episode, subscribe through iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app (include the forward slashes when searching). You can also listen by streaming from the player below. Check out video versions of our interviews on the Fiction/Non/Fiction Instagram account, the Fiction/Non/Fiction YouTube Channel, and our show website: https://www.fnfpodcast.net/.

This podcast is produced by Anne Kniggendorf.

Selected Readings:

Charles Baxter


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