Episode 7: Esmé Weijun Wang

Author photo by Kristin Cofer.

Author photo by Kristin Cofer.

Episode 7:

Esmé Weijun Wang is the author of The Border of Paradise: A Novel, named one of NPR's Best Books of 2016, and is the recipient of the 2016 Graywolf Nonfiction Prize for her forthcoming essay collection, The Collected Schizophrenias. She also runs theunexpectedshape.com, which provides resources for ambitious people living with limitations. Born in the Midwest to Taiwanese parents, Esmé was raised in the Bay Area, and happily calls San Francisco home.

Discussed In This Episode:

"Write your way through the story." Writing the granular experience of psychosis. A**-Kicking with Limitations. Frida Kahlo painting in bed. Productivity anxiety. "There's this version of myself I imagine who is completely healthy and who is producing so much." The Graywolf Prize. Plot lines about cults and other dead ends. Reading The Sound and the Fury—then throwing away an entire novel draft. Dreaming as your characters and setting apart distinct first-person voices. Writing residencies. Career "up-leveling." The power of rituals, desktop wallpapers and morning prayers of gratitude. Monetizing writing and creativity. 

Recommended Reading: 

The Border of Paradise, Esmé Weijun Wang (Amazon | IndieBound)
"Perdition Days," Esmé Weijun Wang  
Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy (Amazon | IndieBound)
"I'm Chronically Ill and Afraid of Being Lazy," Esmé Weijun Wang
The Center Cannot Hold, Elyn Saks (Amazon | IndieBound)
Notes From No Man's Land, Eula Biss (Amazon | IndieBound)
The Empathy Exams, Leslie Jamison (Amazon | IndieBound)
The Creative Tarot, Jessa Crispin (Amazon | IndieBound)

Listen below or via: iTunes | Pocket Cast | Overcast

 

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Courtney