Hosted by Cheryl Strayed, produced by Kelly Prime and Austin Mitchell, and edited by Sara Sarasohn.

Cheryl Strayed calls the author George Saunders to chat through the uncertainties of this moment.

So I have this wonderful mentor, the writer George Saunders. He’s the author of so many beautiful books. “Lincoln in the Bardo” is his most recent one, “Tenth of December,” “CivilWarLand in Bad Decline,” “Pastoralia” and several others. He was my professor when I was getting my M.F.A. at Syracuse University. Now it was more than 20 years ago that I met George. And I didn’t really even read his writing before I applied there. What’s interesting about it is so many people were applying there because they wanted to work with George. And I didn’t. I hadn’t read his work. But what happened is he called me up and he accepted me into the program. And we had these long conversations, and I was so struck by how wonderful he was that I went and read his books. And I was like, oh, he is a great writer. I’d love to work with him. So I did that. I accepted. – Cheryl Strayed