Knowing I’d be driving 5 hours to and from Defuniak Springs for work, I downloaded a bunch of podcasts and grabbed some new albums to listen to (Iceage, Holopaw, etc.). One of the podcasts was The Book Show with Stewart O’Nan discussing his book, The Odds. The following exchange struck me as probably the reason O’Nan is my favorite author these days (in addition to his being a die hard Red Sox fan).

Joe Donahue: You look at this book and these characters even in your past work and you do look at hope, you do look at that word and that feeling and that desire of wanting something. That there is the hope that the situation that these characters are currently in will improve.

Stewart O’Nan: Oh, undoubtedly. That seems to be my focus. The books have wildly different settings, wildly different time frames, wildly different literary effects in terms of voice and style and all that, but it’s always keying on how do we hang on to some sort of hope, how do we keep going in the face of whatever loss we have to deal with. How do we do it? Because people do it. And what are the consequences when we don’t do it? What are the consequences when we give up?