Truth From Fiction: Adam Gidwitz on Plato, the Devil, and the BFG

JAN 10, 202336 MIN
The Reading Culture

Truth From Fiction: Adam Gidwitz on Plato, the Devil, and the BFG

JAN 10, 202336 MIN


On Today's Show

  • "The world is so complex, right? No theory that anyone has can be accurate because the only accurate model of the world is the world. There are too many complexities. ... And so what literature does is it catalogues the unique and particular truths of the world and a really great writer, a Jane Austin, Chekhov, Kate DiCamillo, will take one of those truths and reveal it to you in a narrative way that's just so deeply satisfying." - Adam Gidwitz

As a young adult, Adam Gidwitz was on a hunt for the truth. He searched in philosophy and religion, but eventually found literature to be the ultimate source for the small truths this world can provide. Despite being a natural storyteller since childhood, Adam didn't understand view himself as a writer. It wasn’t until he was a teacher and began writing to entertain his students that he saw this potential in himself.

After finding success in A Tale Dark and Grimm, The Inquisitor's Tale, and various other stories, Adam is preparing to release a new children's novel that will dive into a monstrous setting to tell a particularly hard truth: bad people are still human, and their motivations are endless. In today's episode, he joins to share more about his approach to telling this story, how he found his unique voice and why he believes fiction is the best vehicle for learning about the world.


Chapter 1 -  Writers Don’t Always Write (2:36) 
Chapter 2 - Adam's House (5:10) 

Chapter 3 - Slow and Steady (9:36)

Chapter 4 - The BFG (12:15)

Chapter 5: Not Johnny Tremain (17:10)

Chapter 6: Discovering Truths (22:06)

Chapter 7: Thinkers, Poets, and Monsters (26:39)

Chapter 8: I Wish I Was Cast As… (31:37) 

Chapter 9: Grimmly Ever After (32:49)

Chapter 10: Beanstack Featured Librarian (34:17)

This episode's Beanstack featured librarian is Jenny Lee Ryan, the program coordinator for Farmington Public Library in New Mexico, and also a former radio show host. She gave us some of her best tips for getting readers engaged in their programming.