Legendary essayist John McPhee joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher to discuss his latest collection The Patch. Reflecting on his long career in creative non-fiction and journalism, McPhee talks about the duty of the writer to get out of the way of the story and bemoans the rise of the branded writer in the age of social media. In place of speed, McPhee extolls the virtue of slowness, the time it takes for a writer to develop his voice, to collect material and to divine the associations and structures through which it might breathe itself into a story.
Also, author Julietta Singh returns to recommend Bhanu Kapil's Humanimal: A Project for Future Children.
Wayetu Moore speaks with host Eric Newman about her debut novel She Would Be King, which interweaves history with magical realism to re-tell Liberia's founding in the 19th century. The Allegorical tale revolves around three characters: an immortal woman Vai, exiled from her indigenous community; an African-American man June Dey, who possesses super-human strength; and Norman Aragon, half-white from Jamaica, with the magical power to vanish. As the three stories merge, Liberia is born. Wayetu tells Eric about her family's history in Liberia, their move to America when Wayetu was five years old during a civil war, her subsequent relationship to Liberia, and what motivated her to write its foundation myth in such a beautiful and mystical form.