Toronto’s annual Hot Docs Podcast Festival is a chance to gather podcast and literary enthusiasts for an unforgettable night of storytelling. This year, Hot Docs partnered with podcast The New Yorker: Fiction for a live episode featuring literary icon Margaret Atwood.
The New Yorker: Fiction is a beloved monthly podcast hosted by fiction editor Deborah Treisman. It consists of both a reading and discussion of stories from the magazine’s archives with current New Yorker Fiction writers. The recent event allowed listeners to explore Atwood’s influence on her favourite New Yorker story, “Varieties of Exile,” by Mavis Gallant.
During a discussion about Atwood’s influence in her story choice, listeners learned why this particular story is meant to be shared, dissected and celebrated collectively. The esteemed author shared a personal connection with Gallant’s body of work and common themes of displacement and identity.
In Atwood’s final words, she shared a testament to all literary podcasts providing a sanctuary for those seeking a deeper and more involved connection with literature. The growing popularity of literary podcasts is unfolding in many different ways and shows that readers can celebrate their love for reading through different forms of media.
While podcasts continue to flourish across various genres, their impact provides a platform for literary appreciation, making literature more accessible to a broader audience. Listeners can listen at their convenience, whether during their daily commute, while completing school work or during their evening walks. This flexibility allows listeners to partake in literary discussions and storytelling at the palm of their hands.