This week we’re discussing a Zadie Smith essay, “Fascinated to Presume: In Defense of Fiction,” originally published in the New York Review of Books in 2019. The piece wrestles with how novelists can practice their craft–particularly when it comes to writing characters unlike themselves in some fundamental way–in an age when attempts at writing across racial, ethnic, gender, or other lines are often seen as problematic, or at least ill-advised.
Later in the show, we try out a new segment in which Tom explores his old CD collection and rates his former self.
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Until next time: thanks for listening!
Stream Episode 325: