1.4 Feral Fiction: Catherine Lacey and Martin Puchner (JP)

Novel Dialogue sends Martin Puchner (polymathic author of The Written World and most recently The Language of Thieves) out to speak with Pew author Catherine Lacey. They go a-wandering. Lacey’s earlier works include a 2018 collection of short stories,  Certain American States, and two  novels: The Answers in 2017 and 2014’s Nobody is Ever Missing, a delightful road novel set in New Zealand–always a sure way to win John’s admiration. Martin starts by noticing the feral through-line in Catherine’s work, a way that people escape or withdraw from socialization. And things go rapidly uphill and downhill from there. In short a rollicking rhythm prevails–you may want to listen while out rambling yourself. Even though Catherine proclaims “we are all housecats now.”

Mentioned in the Episode

Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping (1980)
Jen George, The Babysitter at Rest (The Dorothy Project)
Tove Ditlesen, The Copenhagen Trilogy (very dark, very wintry, very icy-but elegant)
P.G. Wodehouse
Haruki Murakami

Listen to the Episode

image credit (coffee pot): Indrajit Das – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Published by plotznik

I teach English (mainly the novel and Victorian literature) at Brandeis University, and live in Brookline.

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