Rachel Kadish

Today’s episode celebrates what guest Rachel Kadish calls the work of “repair”—which refers to a repairing of a history that so often showcases the exploits and successes and stories of men. Writers are increasingly taking on histories that deserve deeper consideration, or historical figures who were overlooked by the history books. With that comes research and also a responsibility to portray things as they might have happened, thus repairing the record and honoring histories both lost and forgotten.


Rachel Kadish’s most recent novel, The Weight of Ink, was awarded a National Jewish Book Award, the Julia Ward Howe Fiction Prize, and the Association of Jewish Libraries’ Fiction Award. Her work has been read on National Public Radio and has appeared in The New York Times, Slate, Salon, Paris Review, Iowa Review, and the Pushcart Prize Anthology. She has been the Koret Writer-in-Residence at Stanford University and a fiction fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. She lives outside Boston and teaches in the Lesley University MFA Program in Creative Writing.

The Takeaway

What is something you can imagine committing yourself to for a decade or more? What subject matter do you care about so much that you would commit hours and weeks and months and years to getting it right?

This week’s takeaway focuses on the incredible care and attention writers give to their books—to be lasting legacies and gifts for readers but also for future generations. We need to tend to our work, to do the hard work, and to honor the process as much as the outcome. The payoff for getting it right is immeasurable.

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