They say you can never go home again, but no one told that to Andrew Ridker. During the height of the Covid 19 pandemic, Andrew left his apartment in Brooklyn, NY to head back to his childhood home in Brookline, MA. It was being back in his hometown, sharing his childhood home with his wife and sister, where his latest novel, Hope, started to take shape.

Meet Andrew Ridker

Andrew’s debut novel, The Altruists, was a New York Times Editors’ Choice, a Paris Review Staff Pick, and a People Book of the Week. He is the editor of Privacy Policy: The Anthology of Surveillance Poetics and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, Esquire, Le Monde, and Bookforum, among other publications. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and joined me on Uncorking a Story to talk about his latest book, HOPE, an intimate portrait of the undoing of a seemingly-perfect family in an era of waning American optimism.

Key Takeaways

1. The importance of perseverance: Listeners will learn that Andrew Ridker encourages aspiring writers to keep going despite self-doubt and the challenges of the writing career. His own experiences with self-doubt and the need to overcome obstacles will inspire listeners to persevere in their own creative pursuits.

2. The power of connection: Ridker emphasizes the value of connecting with readers and engaging in correspondence with them. By sharing his website as a means of contact, he demonstrates the importance of building relationships with readers and fostering a sense of community around his work.

3. The impact of personal experiences on storytelling: Ridker’s novel, “Hope,” explores the undoing of a seemingly perfect family in an era of waning American optimism. Listeners will learn how Ridker draws from his own experiences and observations to create intimate and relatable narratives that resonate with readers.

4. Balancing artistic passion with practicality: Ridker discusses the pressure he feels to choose a practical career path versus pursuing his artistic passions. Listeners will gain insight into the challenges faced by artists who strive to balance their desire to create meaningful art with the need to make a living.

5. The role of humor in art: Ridker reflects on the importance of humor in his writing and the influence of Jewish humor on his work. Listeners will learn how humor can be a powerful tool for engaging readers and exploring complex themes, as well as how personal experiences and cultural influences shape an author’s artistic voice.


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