When Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, and Ella Morton set out to write Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide To The World's Hidden Wonders, their goal was to create a catalog of all the places, people, and things that inspire wonder (after all, when you can buy a plane ticket and be in Borneo in less than a day, the world can feel awfully small).
Atlas Obscura reveals the world's deepest places, hidden tunnels, greatest self-made castles, notable arbotecture (the art of shaping a living tree in order to create art or furniture), giant Buddha statues, abandoned film sets you can visit, murder houses, dinosaur parks, lake monsters of the USA, historical methods of preventing premature burial, a guide to psychotropic drugs used to enhance religious experiences, abandoned nuclear power plants, and much, much more.
MICHAEL CHABON is the bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, A Model World, Wonder Boys, Werewolves in their Youth, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Summerland, The Final Solution, The Yiddish Policemen's Union, Maps & Legends, Gentlemen of the Road, Telegraph Avenue, and the picture book The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man. He lives in Berkeley, California with his wife, the novelist Ayelet Waldman, and their children.
RICHARD PRICE is the author of several novels—including Clockers and Lush Life—all of which have won universal praise for their vividly etched portrayals of urban America. He is the creator/writer of HBO's acclaimed show The Night Of. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, the novelist Lorraine Adams.
Today's guest is novelist, essayist, poet, and as of late, comic-book writer Margaret Atwood. She's also got some really funny mini-comics about bad interviews, so Jason tries extra-hard to bring his a-game here. She's the Booker prize winning author of The Blind Assassin, Oryx & Crake, The Handmaid's Tale, and around 40 other beloved books. Her latest, Hag-Seed, is a total and delightfully wicked reimagining of Shakespeare's The Tempest.
In this episode Margaret talks with Jason about genomes in the cloud, Bob Dylan's Nobel prize, the elusiveness of dead authors, and why technology's a three-edged sword.