700-Page Novels, Agent Misunderstandings, And The Best Food Descriptions The NYT Has Ever Read

We are so happy to introduce today’s podcast guest. The  New York Times Book Review calls her work, SEARCH, “A wicked pleasure… Huneven is a wise storyteller…this novel has plot, character, structure and a delicious, deeply human pettiness that I think most honest readers will relate to… [Huneven’s] descriptions of food are the best I’ve ever read.”

We loved our conversation with Michelle! Not only did her career start with a 700-page novel—and a great misunderstanding that lead to getting her agent—but she’s now had the freedom to explore her passions in her (many) successful books.

We talk with Michelle about the line between memoir and fiction, how she got her agent, and what she’s learned along the way.

Plus, if you’re looking for it, the salmon recipe is below.

Learn more about her here: www.michellehuneven.com/

Michelle says:

I was born in Altadena, California just a mile from where I live now. I college-hopped (Scripps, Grinnell, EWU) and landed at the Iowa Writer¹s Workshop where I received my MFA.

My first two books, Round Rock (Knopf 1997) and Jamesland (Knopf 2003), were both New York Times notable books and also finalists for the LA Times Book Award. My third novel, Blame, (Sarah Crichton Books, FSG, 2009), was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and also a finalist for the LA Times Book Award. My fourth novel, Off Course, (Sarah Crichton Books, FSG, 2014) was New York Times Editor’s Choice. My fifth novel, Search, comes out April 26, 2022.

Along the way, I’ve received a GE Younger Writers Award, a Whiting Award for Fiction, and a Guggenheim fellowship. For many years my “day job” was reviewing restaurants and writing about food for the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly and other publications. I’ve received a James Beard award (for “feature writing with recipes”) and an assortment of other awards for food journalism.

I’m presently teaching creative writing to undergraduates at UCLA, working on my next novel and writing the occasional bit about food. I live in Altadena with my husband Jim Potter, our dog (Tatty Jane), the memory of our cat (Mr. Pancks), a talkative African Grey parrot (Helen) and nine chickens (names on request).

As Promised, The Salmon! Click here to view and print: docs.google.com/document/d/1q6eZZ…/edit?usp=sharing