Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

Episode 288: Thom Jones, “The Pugilist at Rest”


Thom Jones graduated from the Iowa Writers Workshop in the late 70s, but didn’t truly find his voice–and critical success–until “The Pugilist at Rest,” which was published in The New Yorker in 1991. After that story, Jones published pieces in other big-name magazines and pretty quickly had a story collection out in the world. Journalists really latched onto the late-bloomer story, as well as the fact that Jones was working as a janitor when “The Pugilist at Rest” was published.

We talk about the story, and also about the mythology around Jones, who died in 2016.

Also this week: Mike’s continuing quest to eat a good donut, and why Tom is so tired of reading stories about the 60s.

As always, you can stream the show right here on our site, or download the mp3 file to listen to later. Or check us out in Apple podcasts, where you can subscribe (for free!) and catch up on older episodes. We’re also available on Spotify, Stitcher, or just about any other podcast app. If for some reason you can’t find us in your favorite app, please reach out and let us know!

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Thanks for listening!

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Author: mikeingram25

writer, editor

2 thoughts on “Episode 288: Thom Jones, “The Pugilist at Rest”

  1. Hi, gents!

    Here are three literary writers of recent/current wars whose military experience reflects in their writing:

    Eliot Ackerman’s Green on Blue, Dark at the Crossing, and Waiting for Eden.
    Brian Turner’s My Life as a Foreign Country.
    Phil Klay’s Redeployment.

  2. Awesome podcast guys. Keep up the good work.
    Another author tackling the subject of recent wars, and who has real experience, is Kevin Powers.
    He has released 2 books, both excellent.
    The Yellow Birds (2012)
    A Shout in the Ruins (2018)
    The Yellow Birds has been developed into a movie (but don’t let that turn you off).

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