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Medaya Ocher talks with renowned essayist and fiction writer Jo Ann Beard, whose latest collection is Festival Days. Near the beginning of the book, Beard writes that there’s an element of fiction in her essays and of essays in her fiction — an idea she elaborates on during the conversation. She shares much about her own life and development as a writer, while addressing many of the central themes of the work: death, illness, childhood, memory, and, of course, her often professed love of animals.
Also, Chanda Prescod-Weinstein returns to recommend one of Jane Austen’s later novels, Mansfield Park.