• Justin Taylor

    June 22, 2024


    “Other than being wrong about everything,” Justin Taylor says about the followers of Cyrus Teed—the founder of a late nineteenth-century Hollow Earth cult in Florida—“they were right.” This week on the Sewanee Review Podcast, editor Adam Ross joins Justin Taylor to discuss Reboot, Taylor’s new novel, and together they take stock of the particular cultural moment we find ourselves in in America. Reboot follows David, a washed-up actor who sets out to revive the show that made him a child star; through David—and a sweeping satire of internet culture and the entertainment industry—Taylor scrutinizes the promise of redemption that a reboot offers. In their conversation, Taylor and Ross consider the dark allure of nostalgia, the underlying legitimacy of conspiracy theories, and other ways we often struggle to fill the void of imagination and meaning in America. At its core, Reboot is about the search for integrity, connection, and solid ground amid the destabilization of reality that has resulted from our cultural paranoia. In confronting the isolation that marks contemporary life, Taylor offers a way forward.

    Justin Taylor is the author of the story collections Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever and Flings, the memoir Riding with the Ghost, and the novel The Gospel of Anarchy. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, Harper’s, Bomb, and Bookforum, among other publications. He is a regular contributor of both fiction and criticism to the Sewanee Review, as well as a contributing writer to the Washington Post’s Book World, and he is the director of the Sewanee School of Letters. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

    The Sewanee Review Podcast is recorded in the Ralston Listening Room at the University of the South. This episode is produced by Madison Sellers and edited by ProPodcast Solutions with music by Annie Bowers. Don’t miss any of our conversations with some of today’s best writers. Subscribe to the Sewanee Review Podcast on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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