Rebecca Makkai

Creative empathy is no longer enough of a foundation when it comes to what kinds of characters and situations novelists can or should write, and yet permission to write is the foundation of this week’s how featuring Rebecca Makkai. In this wide-reaching conversation Brooke and Grant talk with Rebecca about the value of research, the challenges all writers face in prioritizing their writing, and getting it right when it’s so easy to get it wrong.


Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the novels The Great Believers, The Hundred-Year House, and The Borrower, as well as the short story collection Music for Wartime. The Great Believers was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and received the ALA Carnegie Medal and the LA Times Book Prize, among other honors. Makkai is on the MFA faculties of Sierra Nevada College and Northwestern University, and she is Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago.

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