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American Rambler with Colin Woodward


Sep 3, 2019

A self-described blasphemer and bewildered pilgrim, writer and novelist James Morrow was doing long-form fiction at age seven. But it was a high school literature class in his native Abington, Pennsylvania, that changed his life. There, he read greats such as Dostoevsky, Flaubert, and Camus. He went on to study at Penn and Harvard. After dabbling in film-making, he began publishing novels in the early 1980s.

In such books as Blameless in Abaddon. The Last Witchfinder, and Shambling towards Hiroshima, Jim's fiction has made religion and history central themes, while incorporating elements of sci-fi and fantasy. He has also taken a Vonnegut-style approach to lampooning the absurdities of capitalism, mass media, politics, and modern American life. His latest novel is Lazarus is Waiting, which he is hoping to get published soon.

A disciple of Jonathan Swift, and a man who had the good fortune to take a class with Joseph Heller, Jim's work has woven together philosophy and satire while taking on subjects dealing with evil, human nature, and the meaning of life. His talk with Colin covers everything from St. Augustine and Martin Heidegger to Mad Men and The Good Place. Aspiring writers: take good notes!