The Nonfiction Podcast
By Matt Pusateri
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The Nonfiction Podcast digs into the art and science of nonfiction writing. We look at one nonfiction article a week and break it down, talking with the writers about how they researched, reported, and put their stories together.
||CleanEpisode 21: "His American Dream died. His town got over it" by Robert Samuels||In this episode, I talk with Robert Samuels about his story for the Washington Post: “His American Dream died. His town got over it.” The story explores what he found when he went to Granger, Indiana one year after a popular local restaurant...||8/17/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 20: "This Is How They Saved Me" by Neda Semnani||“This is How They Saved Me” is writer Neda Semnani's narrative story about how she escaped Iran with her family in 1982, and how close they came to not making it at all. In this episode, I talk with Neda about the unique challenges of...||8/1/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 19: "The Making of a Mexican-American Dream" by Sarah Menkedick||“The Making of a Mexican-American Dream” looks at how one young woman faces the challenges of assimilation, identity, and acceptance in modern American culture. In this episode, I talk with author Sarah Menkedick about her story and...||3/24/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 18: "How's Amanda" by Eli Saslow||I talk with Washington Post reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner Eli Saslow about his story, “How’s Amanda,” which ran in July 2016. The story takes a close, personal look at a woman fighting to overcome drug addiction, and...||2/24/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 17: "Truther Love" by Sabine Heinlein||In today’s show, I talk with Sabine Heinlein about her story, “Truther Love,” which appeared at Longreads.com in November 2016. Sabine Heinlein is the author of the narrative nonfiction book Among Murderers: Life...||12/23/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 16: "Telling JJ" by John Woodrow Cox||On this episode, I talk with John Woodrow Cox about his story, “Telling JJ,” which appeared in the Washington Post in September 2015. "Telling JJ” is the story of a 10-year-old girl who is about to learn that she has been HIV positive...||12/9/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 15: "Fear of the Light" by Amanda Pertrusich||On this episode, I talk with Amanda Petrusich, author of “Fear of the light: why we need darkness.” The story appeared in the Guardian in August 2016. It explores the cultural impact of our increasing inability to see the night sky....||11/22/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 14: "The Tamir Rice Story" by Sean Flynn||On this episode, I talk with Sean Flynn, author of “The Tamir Rice Story: How to Make a Police Shooting Disappear” The story appeared in GQ Magazine in July. The story looks at the aftermath of the tragic shooting of Tamir Rice in Cleveland on...||11/7/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 13: "13, Right Now" by Jessica Contrera||This week, we look at “13, Right Now,” written by Jessica Contrera for The Washington Post in May 2016. “13, Right Now” explores how teenagers use social media and the mobile web, focusing one 13-year-old girl who lives in the suburbs of...||10/12/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 12: "The Minecraft Generation" by Clive Thompson||On this episode, I talk with Clive Thompson, author of “The Minecraft Generation,” which appeared in the New York Times Magazine. It explores the phenomenon of the third-best-selling video game in history — a game that has more than 100...||7/28/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 11: "My Autistic Brother’s Quest for Love" by Danielle Bacher||This week, I’ll be talking with Danielle Bacher about her story for Esquire: “My Autistic Brother’s Quest for Love." She explores her brother's challenges in finding a relationship that can last. Danielle Bacher...||7/11/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 10: "My Son’s Mystery Medical Condition and Our Family’s Brave New World" by Taylor Harris||This week, we take a look at “My Son’s Mystery Medical Condition and Our Family’s Brave New World“ written by Taylor Harris for Narratively. Taylor Harris is a writer and stay-at-home mom living in Charlottesville, Virginia. Her work has been...||6/10/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 9: "Coyote Bros" by Flinder Boyd||“Coyote Bros” by Flinder Boyd is about three hard-partying young men from Corpus Christi, Texas who made a small fortune smuggling illegal immigrants into the United States. Flinder and I talk about how he found this story and put it together for...||5/19/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 8: "The Revolutionary Routine of Life as a Female Trucker" by Jessica Ogilvie||This week we look at “The Revolutionary Routine of Life as a Female Trucker," written by Jessica Ogilvie for BuzzFeed in March 2016. She profiles Melissa Rojas, a third-generation trucker who drives thousands of miles every week. We talk about how...||5/9/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 7: "Crowd Source" by Davy Rothbart||This week, we're taking a look at “Crowd Source," written by Davy Rothbart for The California Sunday Magazine, and published in March 2016. The story looks at a company that provides crowds to clients. For a fee, it can deliver a mob of...||4/26/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 6: "Fight" by Dan Barry||This week, we look at “Fight," written by Dan Barry for The New York Times in March 2016. “Fight” tells the story of two fighters who faced off for their first professional boxing match, and the tragic result that followed. We talk...||4/18/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 5: "The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous" by Gabrielle Glaser||"The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous" looks at AA (and related treatment programs for alcohol and drug addiction) and asks tough questions about whether it works as well as many believe, and if there are better, more effective...||3/28/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 4: "A Million Little Boxes" by Oliver Roeder||"A Million Little Boxes" looks at the 39th Annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament and the battle between two of the greatest puzzle solvers of all time. I talk about the story with writer Oliver Roeder from FiveThirtyEight.com Oliver Roeder is a...||3/21/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 3: "The Long Fall of Phoebe Jonchuck" by Lane DeGregory||This week’s episode looks at “The Long Fall of Phoebe Jonchuck,” by Lane DeGregory for the Tampa Bay Times in January 2016. The story looks at the life and tragic death of Phoebe Jonchuck, a five-year-old...||3/14/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 2: "The Wreck of Amtrak 188" by Matt Shaer||This week’s episode looks at “The Wreck of Amtrak 188,” written by Matt Shaer for the New York Times Magazine in January 2016. The story examines one of the worst rail disasters in American history, which occurred just north of...||3/7/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 1: "The Lonely Death of George Bell" by N.R. Kleinfield||"The Lonely Death of George Bell" tells the story of a man who died, alone, in his apartment in Queens, New York, and wasn't discovered until nearly a week later. It looks at what happened next, how people were affected by his death, and lastly,...||2/29/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
Great for readers/writers/interesting people
The podcast dives into great nonfiction writing with smart, incisive questions posed to the authors. The interviews allow listeners to see into the writers' processes and gain appreciation for their craft. A must-listen for anyone who writes, reads, or is interested in the world.
A thoughtful and well articulated interview with Ms. Harris. There are many key points that I'm still simmering on. As a mother I wonder how I would feel and if I could handle Christopher's medical mystery with as much grace as Ms. Harris. Also, as a teacher I wonder how and if many teachers would even have the appropriate space in their lexicon to even begin to understand. Thank you for this poweful story and interview.
I enjoy this podcast immensely
What a wonderful listen on important pieces to read that are fresh, interesting, and current. It is always a pleasure to listen to. Thanks Matt!