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My Conversation with Emily St. John Mandel

Summary:
I am a fan of her two latest novels Station Eleven (about a post-pandemic world) and The Glass Hotel, and many other smart people like them too.  Here is the audio and transcript.  Here is the CWTeam summary: She joined Tyler to discuss The Glass Hotel, including why more white-collar criminals don’t flee before arrest, the Post Secret postcard that haunts her most, the best places to hide from the Russian mob, the Canadian equivalent of the “Florida Man”, whether trophy wives are happy, how to slow down time, why she disagrees with Kafka on reading, the safest place to be during a global pandemic, how to get away with faking your own death, how A Canticle for Leibowitz influenced her writing, the permeability of moral borders, what surprised her about experiencing a real pandemic, how her

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I am a fan of her two latest novels Station Eleven (about a post-pandemic world) and The Glass Hotel, and many other smart people like them too.  Here is the audio and transcript.  Here is the CWTeam summary:

She joined Tyler to discuss , including why more white-collar criminals don’t flee before arrest, the postcard that haunts her most, the best places to hide from the Russian mob, the Canadian equivalent of the “Florida Man”, whether trophy wives are happy, how to slow down time, why she disagrees with Kafka on reading, the safest place to be during a global pandemic, how to get away with faking your own death, how influenced her writing, the permeability of moral borders, what surprised her about experiencing a real pandemic, how her background in contemporary dance makes her a better writer, adapting for a miniseries, her contrarian take on , and more.

By the way, I would fake my own death by going on a cargo vessel and bribing them to claim I fell overboard.  Here is one bit about the pandemic:

COWEN: Have people been more or less cooperative than you had thought?

ST. JOHN MANDEL: My impression — and the problem is, we don’t see people anymore — but my overall impression is they’ve been more cooperative.

Definitely in the literary community, I’ve seen a lot of people really trying to support their independent bookstores, which has always been a thing. But I think there’s been a greater awareness that if you don’t buy your books from your independent bookstore — and by the way, they do all sell online mostly — then that store might not be there when all of this ends. So I see people pulling together like that, to try to support the businesses they love. That’s been a major one.

I wish I could see people and bring back a report from actual humanity, [laughs] but that is my impression. There’s been more cooperation.

And:

COWEN: In so many postapocalyptic novels, it seems that people wander a lot. Do they wander too much? Should they just stay put?

ST. JOHN MANDEL: I had this conversation with another postapocalyptic novelist. Would everybody stop walking? Why is everybody wandering endlessly in a postapocalypse?

And:

COWEN: How good is Frozen II, if I may ask?
ST. JOHN MANDEL: It’s pretty good.
COWEN: Pretty good?
ST. JOHN MANDEL: Yeah. This is a controversial statement. I know a lot of parents who hate it, but I find it more interesting than Frozen I.

Perhaps I like The Glass Hotel a wee bit better than Station Eleven, but maybe Station Eleven is better to read first?

The post My Conversation with Emily St. John Mandel appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

Tyler Cowen
Tyler Cowen is an American economist, academic, and writer. He occupies the Holbert C. Harris Chair of economics as a professor at George Mason University and is co-author, with Alex Tabarrok, of the popular economics blog Marginal Revolution. Cowen and Tabarrok have also ventured into online education by starting Marginal Revolution University. He currently writes the "Economic Scene" column for the New York Times, and he also writes for such publications as The New Republic, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Newsweek, and the Wilson Quarterly.

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