Jun 13, 2018
How does a young person take the raw material of their life experiences — painful, funny, exhilarating, confusing — and make them into lasting art? The writer Alexander Chee drew deeply on his own childhood experiences in his riveting debut novel Edinburgh — and then turned to his fascination with masks, artifice and reinvention for his second work, the historical epic The Queen of the Night. Along the way he's made his mark as a master of the personal essay, and his new collection How to Write an Autobiographical Novel takes us with him on wonderful brief journeys — into a young man's experience of drag, into the homes of the rich and famous, and into confrontations with the most painful aspects of memory. In this episode, Alexander Chee joins us for an in-depth conversation about those journeys and where he finds himself now.