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The Craft of Fiction: Charles Baxter on Wonderlands with Joshua Henkin

July 21, 2022

The Center for Fiction was pleased to welcome author of Burning Down the House and The Art of Subtext, Charles Baxter, for a discussion of his latest collection of essays, Wonderlands. Wonderlands is a critical and illuminating examination of what makes fiction “work,” drawing upon the prose of Haruki Murakami, as well as Baxter’s own craft talks at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Baxter is a voice at the cutting edge of fiction, tackling subjects from writing charisma to the importance of experimental form.

Baxter joined award-winning author Joshua Henkin in a conversation on this new collection, discussing the craft of fiction and the techniques that imbue it with its undeniable power.

In Conversation

  • American author Charles Baxter

    Charles Baxter

    Charles Baxter

    Charles Baxter is the author of fourteen books, most recently the novel The Sun Collective. His stories have appeared in The Best American Short Stories, the Pushcart Prize anthology, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. He lives in Minneapolis.

    Photo Credit: Keri Pickett

  • Henkin (c) Michael Lionstar - Claire Fennell

    Joshua Henkin

    Joshua Henkin

    Joshua Henkin’s most recent novel, Morningside Heights, was named The Book of the Year by the Chicago Tribune. It was longlisted for the Joyce Carol Oates Prize, selected by the American Booksellers Association as the #1 Indie Next Pick, and named an Editors’ Choice Book by the New York Times. Joshua is also the author of the novels Swimming Across the Hudson, a Los Angeles Times Notable Book; Matrimony, a New York Times Notable Book; and The World Without You, which was named an Editors’ Choice Book by the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune and was the winner of the 2012 Edward Lewis Wallant Award for Jewish American Fiction and a finalist for the 2012 National Jewish Book Award. The film version of The World Without You, directed by Damon Shalit, was released in 2019 and stars Radha Mitchell, James Tupper, PJ Byrne, Perrey Reeves, and Chris Mulkey. Joshua lives in Brooklyn, NY, with his wife and daughters and their huge Newfoundland, and he directs and teaches in the MFA program in Fiction Writing at Brooklyn College.

    Photo Credit: Michael Lionstar