Episode 14: Jennifer Haigh

Author photo by Rob Arnold.

Author photo by Rob Arnold.

Episode 14

Jennifer Haigh's novel Heat and Light won a 2017 Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and was named a Best Book of 2016 by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and NPR. Her previous books have won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Massachusetts Book Award and the PEN New England Award in Fiction, and have been published in sixteen languages. Her short stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Granta, The Best American Short Stories and many other places. She lives in Boston and at www.jennifer-haigh.com.

Discussed In This Episode

Small-town storytelling and growing up in a mining community. Appalachia. Do writers belong anywhere? Writing in countries where you don't speak the language. Losing your accent. Secret writing studios, blank walls and ear plugs. Morning writing versus afternoon writing. Keep moving forward. Permission. Joan Didion and Don LeLillo, patron saints of courageous writing. Chatting with oil drillers and writing about fracking. Novel-writing as an exercise in empathy. "I was a hardcore realist as a child." Not getting that recommendation letter. Short stories versus novels: "It's kind of like the difference between dating and a long, bad marriage." Loving writing more mid-career. You can only pop the cork on the champagne bottle once. 

Recommended Reading

Jennifer Haigh
Joan Didion
Don DeLillo
Robert Olmstead

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Courtney