Interviews with writers, journalists, filmmakers, and podcasters about how they do their work. Hosted by Aaron Lammer, Max Linsky, and Evan Ratliff.



Episode 412: Nicholson Baker

Nicholson Baker is the author of 18 books of fiction and nonfiction. He has written for The New Yorker, Harper’s, and many other publications. His latest book is Baseless: My Search for Secrets in the Ruins of the Freedom of Information Act.

"In the end, I don’t care how famous you get, how widely read you are during your lifetime. You’re going to be forgotten. And you’re going to have five or six fans in the end. It’s going to be your grandchildren or your great-grandchildren are going to say, Oh, yeah, he was big. … So I think the key is, write what you actually care about. Because in the end, you’re only doing this for yourself. … So maybe do your best stuff for yourself and for the three, four, five people who know in the coming century that you ever existed. That’s all you need to do."

Thanks to Mailchimp for sponsoring this week's episode.

Show notes:

The Mezzanine (Grove Press • 1988)
Baseless (Penguin Press • 2020)
10:00 Human Smoke (Simon & Schuster • 2009)
10:00 "Wrong Answer" (Harper's • Sept 2013)
11:00 Room Temperature (Grove Press • 2010)
11:00 U and I (Random House • 2000)
11:00 The Fermata (2000)
12:00 "The Projector" (New Yorker • Mar 1994)
12:00 The Size of Thoughts (Vintage Contemporaries • 1996)
13:00 "The Author vs. the Library" (New Yorker • Oct 1996)
19:00 Double Fold (Vintage • 2002)
30:00 Lab 257 (Michael Carroll • Willam Morrow Paperbacks • 2005)
33:00 Longform Podcast #192: Seymour Hersh
33:00 The Killing of Osama Bin Laden (Seymour Hersh • Verso • 2017)
33:00 Longform Podcast #321: Nicholas Schmidle
33:00 "Getting Bin Laden" (Nicholas Schmidle • New Yorker • Aug 2011)
46:00 Baker's New Yorker archive



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 2020-09-30  1h5m