In this episode of The Archive Project, we feature one of the highlights of the 2022 Portland Book Festival. It’s a conversation between two of our most accomplished fiction writers, George Saunders and Jess Walter. Their conversation is by turns hilarious, caustic, tender, and profound. Our interviewer for the event was OPB’s own Geoff Norcross, who does his usual masterful job moderating.
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George Saunders is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of eleven books, including A Swim in a Pond in the Rain; Lincoln in the Bardo, which won the Booker Prize; Congratulations, by the Way; Tenth of December, a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the inaugural Folio Award; The Braindead Megaphone; and the critically acclaimed collections CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, Pastoralia, and In Persuasion Nation. His most recent book is Liberation Day. He teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University.
Jess Walter is the author of ten books, most recently the short story collection The Angel of Rome. His other nine include the national bestseller The Cold Millions and the #1 New York Times bestseller, Beautiful Ruins; The Zero, the finalist for the National Book Award; and Citizen Vince, winner of the Edgar Award. His work has been published in 35 languages and his short fiction has appeared three times in Best American Short Stories.
Geoff Norcross is the Morning Edition host at Oregon Public Broadcasting. Before coming to Oregon, he was the program director at the NPR-affiliate KNAU in Flagstaff, Arizona. A 25-year radio veteran, Geoff has been on air in New York, Florida, Missouri, Illinois, and West Virginia. He joined OPB in 2008. Geoff has received awards from the Public Radio News Directors Inc. for best interview, the Edward R. Murrow Award for best feature reporting, and the Florida Associated Press Award for the best newscast. Geoff graduated from Bradley University with a degree in communications. Geoff lives in Portland with his wife. When he’s not on the air, you can find him rowing on the Willamette River or running and biking around the southwest hills. If you get up early enough, you might catch him hiking the nearby mountains.