Contrasting Interiors: Christine Smallwood’s “Life of the Mind” and Sara Davis’s “Scapegoat”

The narrator, N, leaves his laboratory job to investigate the circumstances of his estranged father’s death, which is clouded in uncertainties of history, identity, and reality. Sara shares how she approached writing such a challenging and rewarding work. Contrasting Interiors: Christine Smallwood’s “Life of the Mind” and Sara Davis’s “Scapegoat”
By LARB AV –  March 12, 2021

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Kate and Medaya speak with two heralded debut novelists. First up is Christine Smallwood, author of The Life of the Mind, about Dorothy, a failing adjunct professor in New York City, who suffers a miscarriage, and struggles to maintain her resilience in an unwelcoming world. Christine explains how the novel came to be and reflects on why Dorothy’s travails so successfully capture the texture of our time. Then Sara Davis joins Kate and Daya to talk about her novel The Scapegoat, which also centers around an academic in crisis.