Footnotes to a Novel

A look at the work that goes into that novel on your bookshelf. On Footnotes to a Novel, I talk with authors about the inspiration and research behind their writing, and dive into the history that makes some books so hard to put down.

Donovan Hohn

On this episode, an interview with essayist Donovan Hohn, author of The Inner Coast: Essays and Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea.


On this episode, an interview with novelist Natalie Bakopoulos, author of Scorpionfish and The Green Shore.

The Mountain

On this episode of Footnotes to a Novel, a look back into our distant past, when stories and death were still new. I talk with archaeologist Timothy Taylor, author of The Buried Soul: How Humans Invented Death.
Music: "Further discovery," and "Watching tower," by Blear Moon, from Expanding Lands ( )

Karen Outen

On this episode, I'm joined by author Karen Outen, who will be reading her essay "Fear Will Not Save Us." We talk art, the perils of mountain climbing, and the long difficult path toward racial justice in America.

A review of Jonathan Buckley's latest novel The Great Concert of the Night (New York Review Books)



Music: Indigo Blocks by Daniel Birch (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
(CC BY-NC 4.0)

On this episode, an interview with best-selling novelist Elizabeth Kostova, author of The Historian, The Swan Thieves, and The Shadow Land.



Music: "Self Driving," by Sro

A review of Richard Ford's latest short story collection, Sorry for Your Trouble (Ecco).



Music: "Away," by Meydän, from Ambient Works

On this episode of Footnotes to a Novel, a two thousand year old murder mystery. Take a walk into Tollund Fen, but be warned: You might just meet a monster. I talk with archaeologist Miranda Aldhouse-Green, author of Bog Bodies Uncovered.

On today's episode, I sit down with Peter Ho Davies, author of Equal Love, The Ugliest House in the World, and The Welsh Girl. His latest novel is The Fortunes.

An interview with historian John Tosh, author of The Pursuit of History, on the limits of history, why history matters so much, and what history can teach us about ourselves and our past.

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App