Episode 32: The Winter in Anna by Reed Karaim
Eric Valery is 20 years old when he drops out of college and finds a job with a newspaper in small-town North Dakota. There’s a full-time staff of three, and one of the three is Anna, a quiet, pretty single mother in her early thirties. “We would like to think we will recognize the people who come to matter to us at first sight, but of course that’s absurd,” Eric tells us. “They often slip into the corners of our lives, unnoticed, then taken for granted, until one day, if we are lucky, we see them anew with startled comprehension.” The story of Eric’s one year in this town, at this paper, before he moves on to the rest of his life, is not a romance, but a meditation on the people who change us and the scars we all bear, on the many forms love can take, and on whether or not we are doomed to a future that is written in our past.
Host Cyd Oppenheimer talks with author Reed Karaim about why he chose to begin at the end ("the question is really not what happened, but why it happened"); about how to revise ("It's not genius. It's not inspiration. It's being willing to work at it"); and why he writes fiction in today's America ("I've got to believe the stories we tell ourselves still matter").