Douglas Preston & Emma Donnoghue, FOURTEEN DAYS

We talk with authors Douglas Preston and Emma Donoghue about a collaborative novel whose characters — and their stories — are each written by a different, major literary voice: Fourteen Days: An Unauthorized Gathering.

Then, we remember Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday by airing some of our conversation with Jonathan Eig, about his biography, King: A Life. Listen to the whole interview here.

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Key Words: writer’s voice, podcast, book recommendations, author interview, book podcast, book show, book excerpt, fiction, Douglas Preston, Emma Donoghue, Covid pandemic.

Read The Transcript

During the height of the Covid pandemic, many authors found their calendars suddenly empty: no bookstore readings, no writers’ conferences, no research trips.

That’s when Author’s Guild president Douglas Preston had a brilliant idea: why not reach out to suddenly idle writers and ask them to contribute stories to a novel taking place during that time? He roped in Margaret Atwood as a co-editor, and the book project, Fourteen Days, was off the races.

Set in a Lower East Side tenement in the early days of the COVID-19 lockdowns, Fourteen Days features a collection of diverse characters who are stuck in lockdown because they can’t afford to escape to country houses in the Hamptons or elsewhere.

To ease the boredom, they meet every night on their tenement’s rooftop to tell stories to each other. What they create is more than an antidote to boredom, but a true community.

Each character is written by a different author, including such luminaries as Dave Eggers, Erica Jong, John Grisham, Meg Wolitzer and Scott Turow, as well as my guests Robert Preston and Emma Donoghue.

The proceeds from Fourteen Days are supporting the Author’s Guild fight against book bans, AI attacks on copyright and more protections for authors.

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