Episode 496. Novelist Louis Bayard

The Historical Gap

Gaps in the historical record are treasure troves for playwrights and novelists, and this week we talk to novelist Louis Bayard (Mr. Timothy, Courting Mr. Lincoln) about two of his historical novels, The School of Night and The Pale Blue Eye. Lou discusses how he stumbles into these historical gaps and how he excavates what he does or doesn’t find there, and he reveals the pain of eliminating unnecessary characters; the difficulty in finding the heart of your mystery; meditations on both Dupin and Lupin; fan fiction about artists, scientists, and thinkers; the delight of dropping Easter eggs; the rewards of going on Google crawls; finding the balance in his promiscuous mix of fact and fiction; and what’s coming next down the Bayard pipeline. (Length 23:30)

Courting Mr. Lincoln

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