Book Fight!

Tough love for literature


Episode 300: Quest Stories

This week, you might say that we’re on a quest to find the best quest story to teach in a creative writing class. For years, both of us have taught Sherman Alexie’s “What You Pawn I Will Redeem,” but for a variety of reasons–including accusations of sexual harassment against the author–we’re looking for something new. Will it be Charles Yu’s story “Fable,” or Chris Offutt’s “Out of the Woods”?

Mike had read (and taught!) another Charles Yu story in the past, and this one was recommended by one of our listeners on Twitter. Tom, meanwhile, has periodically taught Offutt’s story of a man sent on a mission to pick up a body. Both Mike and Tom studied a little with Chris Offutt in grad school, too, and have long been admirers of his writing. So this week’s contest might be a tough one!

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