Episode #16: "Nostalgia Is an Inherited Trait"
with Jess Walter and Amor Towles
On this episode, we're excited to bring you Jess Walter in conversation with Amor Towles.
On this episode we are excited to bring you former National Book Award finalist and winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award, Jess Walter, author of the number one NY times bestseller The Beautiful Ruins, which spent more than a year on the bestseller list, as well as the national bestselling novel Cold Millions, and his latest short story collection The Angel of Rome and Other Stories. Jess is joined by Amor Towles, the NY Times bestselling author of Rules of Civility, A Gentleman From Moscow, and his latest novel, The Lincoln Highway that debuted at number one on the NY Times best seller list and was on the annual book recommendation lists of Bill Gates and Barack Obama. These two friends compare their early story-telling inspirations from Hollywood and music, parse the merits of timely vs timeless writing and examine their yearning to have lived in other eras.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Ruins and The Cold Millions comes a stunning collection about those moments when everything changes—for the better, for the worse, for the outrageous—as a diverse cast of characters bounces from Italy to Idaho, questioning their roles in life and finding inspiration in the unlikeliest places.
We all live like we’re famous now, curating our social media presences, performing our identities, withholding those parts of ourselves we don’t want others to see. In this riveting collection of stories from acclaimed author Jess Walter, a teenage girl tries to live up to the image of her beautiful, missing mother. An elderly couple confronts the fiction writer eavesdropping on their conversation. A son must repeatedly come out to his senile father while looking for a place to care for the old man. A famous actor in recovery has a one-night stand with the world's most surprising film critic. And in the romantic title story, a shy twenty-one-year-old studying Latin in Rome during “the year of my reinvention” finds himself face-to-face with the Italian actress of his adolescent dreams.
Funny, poignant, and redemptive, this collection of short fiction offers a dazzling range of voices, backdrops, and situations.
With his signature wit and bighearted approach to the darkest parts of humanity, Walter tackles the modern condition with a timeless touch, once again “solidifying his place in the contemporary canon as one of our most gifted builders of fictional worlds” (Esquire).
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
More than ONE MILLION copies sold
A TODAY Show Read with Jenna Book Club Pick
A New York Times Notable Book, and Chosen by Oprah Daily, Time, NPR, The Washington Post and Barack Obama as a Best Book of the Year
“Wise and wildly entertaining . . . permeated with light, wit, youth.” —The New York Times Book Review
The bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility and master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction returns with a stylish and propulsive novel set in 1950s America
In June, 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the juvenile work farm where he has just served fifteen months for involuntary manslaughter. His mother long gone, his father recently deceased, and the family farm foreclosed upon by the bank, Emmett's intention is to pick up his eight-year-old brother, Billy, and head to California where they can start their lives anew. But when the warden drives away, Emmett discovers that two friends from the work farm have hidden themselves in the trunk of the warden's car. Together, they have hatched an altogether different plan for Emmett's future, one that will take them all on a fateful journey in the opposite direction—to the City of New York.
Spanning just ten days and told from multiple points of view, Towles's third novel will satisfy fans of his multi-layered literary styling while providing them an array of new and richly imagined settings, characters, and themes.
We are proudly supported by:
The Book Club
What'd you think about the episode?
Have you read the books discussed in this episode?
What authors would you like to hear on future episodes?