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Christopher Beha on Fresh Air!

Christopher Beha is on Fresh Air today talking with Terry Gross about his debut novel, What Happened To Sophie Wilder. This feels like a coup for our little press, and we couldn’t be more excited for Chris. Along with writing some freakishly gorgeous prose, Chris talks about literature, faith, and illness with more depth and intelligence than anyone I’ve heard in a long, long time. I’m really looking forward to the interview, and highly recommend tuning in. Here’s a sneak preview…

On religion

“One of the things that I find dissatisfying about a lot of modern or contemporary versions of religion is the extent to which they’re geared towards the therapeutic. If you look at say, the Prosperity Gospel, religion is supposed to make you feel good about the things you naturally want already. And I’m interested in religion as a challenge. The Jesus bringing us ‘not peace but the sword.’ So I had an idea of having a character who is converted, but that conversion doesn’t necessarily lead to peace, doesn’t end her struggle — but rather leads to a new struggle.”

On irony

“I read a lot of David Foster Wallace in college. People who are familiar with his work will know that [irony] is something he thought a lot about — the way that irony, which had once been a subversive gesture, had basically been co-opted. So it is very common to see what used to be corrosive literary irony used in television commercials, for example. And what once had a good purpose — to break down old, outdated norms — was not very good for building something back up in their stead and perhaps, had outlived its usefulness. This is all very broadly speaking. And then the struggle is: What comes next?”

To listen to the full interview, visit NPR.

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