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writers on writing

  • The winner of the Booker Prize 2023, “Prophet Song” by Paul Lynch, presents a terrifying and shocking vision of a country sliding into authoritarianism and a deeply human portrait of a mother’s fight to hold her family together.
  • “Elegy plus comedy is the only way to express how we live in the world today,” says a character in “The Vulnerables,” the ninth novel by National Book Award winner Sigrid Nunez. “The Vulnerables” offers a meditation on our contemporary era, asking how present reality affects the way a person looks back on their past.
  • Ayana Mathis’s new novel, “The Unsettled,” is set in the 1980s and follows three generations of a family divided by a painful past. Ava lives in racially and politically turbulent Philadelphia, struggling to care for her son, Toussaint. Her mother, Dutchess, remains in her historically Black hometown of Bonaparte, Alabama, fighting to save her land.
  • Lydia Davis knows that the small details that make up a life are fascinating. It’s a matter of perspective.In "Our Strangers," Davis’ seventh collection of fiction, peoples’ lives intersect for brief moments on trains, in restaurants, and as neighbors. Conversations are overheard and misheard; a special delivery letter is mistaken for a rare white butterfly; toddlers learning to speak identify a ping pong ball as an egg; mumbled remarks become a series of moments of annoyance in a marriage.
  • The third annual Saratoga Book Festival will take place October 12th -15th, bringing together more than 60 authors from near and far for a celebration of reading.To tell us all about it we welcome festival founder and co-chair, Ellen Beal.
  • Ruta Sepetys is known for creating vivid characters and harrowing plots. After five award-winning works of historical fiction and countless hours of meticulous research, she can affirm that the secret to strong writing is embedded within your life experience."You: The Story" is a powerful how-to book for aspiring writers that encourages you to look inward and excavate your own memories in order to discover the authentic voices and compelling details that are waiting to be put on the page.
  • Jennifer Egan’s new novel, “The Candy House,” is a sibling novel to her Pulitzer-Prize and National Book Critics Circle-winning “A Visit from The Goon Squad.” It asks big questions about the totalizing and flattening effects of digital culture, privacy, and surveillance. It is a place where people can upload their actual memories, and let other people live in theirs.
  • On this episode of The Best of Our Knowledge, we'll learn about a new anthology of creative writings by incarcerated individuals in Northern New York. And, in a seasonal project, attempt pressing apple cider at home.
  • After nearly two years of trying to get published and 178 rejections later, when Coleen Paratore’s first book, "How Prudence Proovit Proved the Truth About Fairy Tales," was published by Simon & Schuster, in 2004, she had learned so much which she thought would be helpful to others. But with just one title to her name, she decided to wait awhile. Coleen’s new book "Dear Writer" offers daily encouragement, seasoned advice, powerful prompts for catching creative sparks and drawing out material, short teachings on a range of topics, publishing world insider tips, and effective practices to move you toward your goals, from an award-winning, bestselling author, writing teacher, and popular book coach.
  • Jennifer Egan’s new novel, “The Candy House,” is a sibling novel to her Pulitzer-Prize and National Book Critics Circle-winning “A Visit from The Goon Squad.” It asks big questions about the totalizing and flattening effects of digital culture, privacy, and surveillance. It is a place where people can upload their actual memories, and let other people live in theirs.