The podcast boom shows no signs of stopping and, these days, it seems like everyone has one—including your favorite author. Writers such as Cheryl Strayed, Elizabeth Gilbert, Barry Lyga, and Malcolm Gladwell have found a whole new creative outlet in the medium and there are countless others that are focused on the craft and industry. Still, in this exciting and rich environment, I find myself wanting more. Specifically, I find myself daydreaming about a day when certain authors I admire take the leap. This is my plea to them. I have distinct formats in mind, so they don’t even have to start from scratch. After a tough year, and in this season of giving, I ask: Can we please make my author podcast dreams come true?
In no order of preference, this is my holiday podcast wish list:
1) Judy Blume Explains How Adulthood Works
If I survived puberty more or less unscathed, it was all due to Judy Blume’s gentle guidance. Her novels were balms for the soul at a tumultuous time when I had too many feelings, too many doubts, and too many bodily secretions to be fully comfortable with myself. Today, I still need Blume’s reassurance to get through the daily travails of being an adult. I may be a 30-something woman, but periods (or lack thereof) still freak me out. This is why I need a podcast where Judy herself takes readers questions about the awkwardness of adulthood, only to have her tell us it’s all going to be ok.
2) Elena Ferrante Punks the World
Actually, the podcast would revolve around the same practical joke: she claims to tell us about her daily life, while leading us further and further away from her real identity. Every episode will have a bit of truth in it but the majority of it will be lies, lies, lies. I can see this evolving into Serial-type obsession (Season 1, obviously), where listeners will drive themselves crazy with theories, diagrams and police-like analysis, which they are woefully unprepared for.
Or, you know, we could just let her be.
3) Junot Díaz and Lin-Manuel Miranda Teach Us Historical Truths
This isn’t just the podcast I want, it’s the podcast we need. Seeing as people will pay attention to history only if it’s turned into infectious, Broadway tunes, I propose that these two powerhouses join forces to educate the masses. Díaz will apply his sharp wit and unflinching criticism to the pesky little sins of the country’s past and Miranda will pepper the narratives with his musical genius. If he can make a song about financial reform iTunes-worthy, imagine what he can do with something really juicy, like the Cuban Missile Crisis.
4) Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman Set You Up
In a time when everyone and their mother have been on dating apps, and have also sworn to never use them again, maybe it’s time for some old-fashioned matchmaking. In this podcast, married authors Chabon and Waldman bring two singles together and coach them through their first date. Why them? To begin, it’s one of the few celebrity couples that does not provoke waves of nausea with their romance. Their own love story began with a blind date and I’m sure they have pointers on how to go from uncomfortable strangers to literati power couple in a few, simple steps. They also seem to have found a way to support each other’s professional goals with nary a tinge of envy in sight. They both have really gorgeous hair too, which is beside the point and bears zero importance on their intellectual and artistic accomplishments. I thought I’d just throw that in there.
5) Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Talks About What We’re Actually Talking About
In this interview podcast show, Adichie invites the biggest names in news to carefully parse their latest rhetoric and hold them accountable for every single statement they’ve made. Armed with fact-checkers, dictionaries and her zero tolerance for bull, Adichie will help us sift through the false equivalencies and seek what is rarely sought after these days: truth.
Lofty goals? For sure. I’ll start hoping for a few Christmas miracles.