Jim Shepard Speaks


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It’s here. At last. My interview with Jim Shepard, author of Like You’d Understand, Anyway, the inaugural selection of the Radio Galaxy Book Club. Many thanks to Laura Conaway for technical support.

Shepard was an incredibly gracious interview subject. We talked for nearly an hour about the stories in the book—whose protagonists include an executioner during the French Revolution, a soldier in Hadrian’s army, and an engineer at the Chernobyl disaster. Shepard fielded questions from some of our loyal book club members, including Kymm in Barcelona and Seth in Kansas. I asked him about the prevalence of male suffering and ineptitude in his stories (he thinks women have a reason to care about this, too, despite Rebecca in Berlin’s opinions to the contrary). And he spoke compellingly about the writer’s duty to go out in the world and report on what he or she finds. “Part of the project of literature,” says Shepard, “is empathy.”

The piece is between 12 and 13 minutes long. Enjoy.

I’m working on a new selection, and will keep you posted.

-- Filed by Sarah Goodyear

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