Novelist Vanessa Veselka discusses myth, craft, and The Great Offshore Grounds.
On this week’s episode, sponsored in part by Amazon Crossing, Veselka discusses The Great Offshore Grounds (Knopf, Aug. 25), an exquisite, freewheeling character-driven affair that ponders the possibility of reinvention, the meaning of family, and the American Dream.
Kirkus: “Veselka takes a kitchen-sink approach to the novel: Points of view shift kaleidoscopically, passages of history and politics are woven into the questlike narratives of the characters. The result is a fiery and occasionally luminous chaos that feels true to the experiences of those for whom each day is lived at the edges of mainstream society.”
Veselka and host Megan Labrise talk about origin myths, the histories we’re given and the histories we claim, advocating for your art, characters who withhold important information from each other, writing party scenes, and the phrase “the great American novel.”
Then editors Laura Simeon, Eric Liebetrau, Laurie Muchnickjoin with their reading recommendations for the week.
Agent Sonya: Moscow’s Most Daring Wartime Spy by Ben Macintyre (Crown)
What Are You Going Through by Sigrid Nunez (Riverhead)
Also mentioned in this episode:
Zlata’s Diary by Zlata Filipovic (Viking)
Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal by Ben Macintyre (Harmony)
A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal by Ben Macintyre (Crown)
The Friend by Sigrid Nunez (Riverhead)
My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh (Penguin Press)
Fully Booked is produced by Cabel Adkins Audio and Megan Labrise.