S4 Ep. 6: Hope on the Horizon: Charles Baxter and Mike Alberti on Despair and Renewal in Fiction


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In this special live episode of Fiction/Non/Fiction, presented by Moon Palace Books in Minneapolis, acclaimed novelist and teacher Charles Baxter and his former student, short story writer Mike Alberti, join co-hosts Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan to discuss their new books. Upon the release of his seventeenth book, the much-anticipated The Sun Collective, Baxter reflects on how time and place factor into his work and talks about writing about politics in his hometown. Then Alberti discusses his searing debut short story collection Some People Let You Down, and how he finds inspiration and hope in teaching incarcerated writers through the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop. The two also provide a rare window into their ongoing conversations about teaching and the craft of fiction, and answer questions from audience members and readers, including incarcerated writers.

To hear the full episode, subscribe to the Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast through iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app (include the forward slashes when searching). You can also listen by streaming from the player below. And check out video excerpts from our interviews at LitHub’s Virtual Book Channel and Fiction/Non/Fiction’s YouTube Channel.

This podcast is produced by Andrea Tudhope.

Selected readings:

Charles Baxter:

Mike Alberti:


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