Episode 83 — Joshua Henkin

   

Joshua Henkin is the guest.  He is the author of several books, the most recent of which is a novel called The World Without You, now available from Pantheon.  He is also the director of the MFA program in Fiction Writing at Brooklyn College.

Kirkus, in a starred review, raves:

When conventionalists claim, ‘They don’t write novels like that anymore,’ this is the sort of novel they mean. Yet the very familiarity and durability of the setup suggests that the traditional novel remains very much alive and healthy as well, if the narrative momentum and depth of character here are proof of vitality. . . . A novel that satisfies all expectations.

And Commentary magazine raves:

Few American novelists, living or dead, have ever been as good as Henkin at drawing people.

Topics of conversation include:  New York City, moving, Jerusalem, Boston, Berkeley, Ann Arbor, Brooklyn, teaching, Sarah Lawrence, Columbia, Morningside Heights, the Sixties, idealism, suburbs, Los Angeles, parenting, education, Orthodox Judaism, writing workshops, autobiography, invention, truth, stories, time, compression, character, discipline, work ethic, editing, analytical thinking, quality, will, loss, grief, divorce, family, politics in fiction, book clubs, likeable characters, war, luck, reviews, and pressing on.

Monologue topics:  my desk, work, the creative process, the Internet, distractions, Ralph Steadman, Google, Wittgenstein, unexpected insight and enjoyment.