Search Results for: Bayard

Episode 496. Novelist Louis Bayard

”On April 23, 2016, the New York Times published an obituary of William Shakespeare as it might have appeared when he actually died in 1616. The obituary was written by novelist Louis Bayard, who we had the pleasure to meet on that very same day, and who was gracious enough to […]

Jackie & Me

Louis Bayard’s new novel Jackie & Me tells the story of the courtship of Congressman John F. Kennedy and Jackie Bouvier from the point of view of Kennedy’s oldest friend, a closeted gay man named Lem Billings. It’s a charming and moving imagining of how these events played out that takes us inside the heads and hearts of these real people, and Lou discusses how writing about recent Presidential romance is different from writing about 19th-century Presidential romances; how he embraces the multiverse (and who actually invented it); the fun of Googling while reading; a fascination with closeted love; some great jacket copy; how the types of mysteries he writes about has changed; and an irreverent yet perfect celebration of Pride Month. (Length 25:19)

Grownup Tiny Tim

Louis Bayard’s novel Mr. Timothy, a sort-of sequel to Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol, imagines what happens to Tiny Tim as a grownup. It’s a moving literary thriller, with its own sort of redemption and set in and around the Victorian London underworld, and author Bayard discusses the book’s origins and creation; how A Christmas Carol is a surprisingly angry book; how he realized that Bob Cratchit is not the most reliable narrator; the ways in which Tiny Tim is a Rorschach test; the desperate need to find your own narrative; the struggle of being seen as a symbol, not a person; the importance of purging and exorcizing your demons; not having a good answer to the question of where this sh1t comes from; identifying at least one Dickens descendant (who you may recognize from Game of Thrones); the importance of keeping multiple plates spinning; the fun of finding the story that’s already there; and inside scoop on the upcoming film adaptation of Lou’s novel The Pale Blue Eye, starring Christian Bale. (Length 19:43)

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

Louis Bayard is the author of such novels as Mr. Timothy, Roosevelt’s Beast, and The Pale Blue Eye, the former recapper of Downton Abbey for the New York Times, and the author of the New York Times obituary for William Shakespeare which appeared on the front-page of the April 23rd, 2016 edition, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. HIs new novel Courting Mr. Lincoln is funny, poignant, and fascinating comedy of manners, and Lou discusses the impulses that led to this writing the novel, influences ranging from private letters to the novels of Jane Austen and Henry James, catching Mary Todd at her best, performing rehabilitative acts, spawning (and creating) clickbait-y articles, the glories and challenges of writing on spec, the fun of digging into primary sources, discovering further eerie and ironic Booth/Lincoln interactions, and the privilege of being the novelist who steps in where the historical record falls silent. (Length 26:03)

Other Famous Prequels

With Hamlet’s Big Adventure (a prequel) now being workshopped by Napa Valley College as part of its Emergence Festival, authors Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor consider other famous prequels in different media, and hope for more of a Godfather II than a Star Wars Episodes 1-3 vibe. Featuring being part of a specific cultural moment (we see you, Gary: A Sequel To Titus Andronicus); a form that Shakespeare probably invented; why sequels are more popular than prequels; wanting to know how we got here and discovering more about beloved characters; shout-outs to prequel authors Christopher Moore (Lamb; Fool), Nicole Galland (I, Iago), and Louis Bayard (Mr. Timothy; Courting Mr. Lincoln); creating a more challenging puzzle than “just” continuing the story; the desire to know how it all began; alternate titles (“Elsewhere in Elsinore”, anybody?); insight from Dr. Ronan Hatfull; absolutely no spoilers about Avengers Endgame; and finally a shout-out to Patton Oswalt’s great routine about eliminating certain disappointing prequels forever. (Length 20:21) (Jessica Romero as King Hamlet and Peter Downey as Hamlet, the prince of Denmark in the Napa Valley College workshop production of Hamlet’s Big Adventure (a prequel). Photo by Shelly Hanan. Title graphic by Chad Yarish.)

Pop-up Shakespeare

Illustrated by Jennie Maizels Text by Reed Martin & Austin Tichenor (Hardcover; Walker Books & Candlewick Press; all ages) “Pop up perfection!” The Guardian Christmas Gift Guide “It’s hard to imagine a more entertaining way to get a sense of what these classics are about!” Publisher’s Weekly (starred review) (Read […]