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.

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Thanks for listening!

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