Slate’s Culture Gabfest on how to write a children’s book.

The Weirdness of Writing Children’s Lit

The Weirdness of Writing Children’s Lit

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Aug. 31 2016 12:42 PM

The Culture Gabfest “Smart Brick” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Werner Herzog’s Lo and Behold, Sam Anderson’s “David’s Ankles,” and how to write a children’s book.

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Illustration by Robert Neubecker.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 415 with Julia Turner, Stephen Metcalf, and Dana Stevens with the audio player below.


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This week on Slate Plus, the critics answer a listener question from Phil Goldstein: “What is the first or best film you can remember that left you with the feeling that your mind was blown by what you saw?”

On this week’s Slate Culture Gabfest, the critics discuss Werner Herzog’s latest movie, Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World, an exploration into how the internet has become integral to our lives. How does Herzog’s film present what he believes to be “one of the greatest revolutions” humanity has ever experienced? Next up, Sam Anderson joins the hosts to discuss his recent piece, “David’s Ankles” for the New York Times Magazine, and the deeper philosophical matter at hand: his personal quest for perfection. The critics discuss what happens when an artwork is destroyed or expires. Last, Laura Bennett, one of the winners (or nonwinners) of the Slate staff kids’ lit competition, defends her championship title and explains how hard it is to write an illustrated children’s book.


Links to some of the things we discussed this week:

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Dana: Pure Imagination, the documentary on the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory DVD extras.

Julia: Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope


Stephen: The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante

Outro: “Pure Imagination,” written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, and performed by Gene Wilder.

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This podcast was produced by Zack Dinerstein. Our intern is Lizzie Fison.

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Stephen Metcalf is Slate’s critic at large. He is working on a book about the 1980s.

Dana Stevens is Slate’s movie critic.

Julia Turner is the editor in chief of Slate and a regular on Slate’s Culture Gabfest podcast.