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390 EpisodesProduced by LongformWebsite

Interviews with writers, journalists, filmmakers, and podcasters about how they do their work. Hosted by Aaron Lammer, Max Linsky, and Evan Ratliff.


Episode 299: Helen Rosner

Helen Rosner is a food correspondent at The New Yorker.

“I believe the things that are really important to me are structure over all and—forgive me, I’ve said this on other podcasts before—if I were going to get a tattoo this is what I would get a tattoo of is that it doesn’t matter what you say, it only matters what they hear. It’s my job to make sure the gulf between those two things is as narrow as possible and there’s as little ambiguity between what I say and what you hear. It’s never easy, but it’s certainly easier in the realm of arguable objectivity. To create emotion in a reader requires a huge amount of really thoughtful work on the part of the writer in a way that forces you as a writer to remove yourself from the emotion you’re creating in the reader. If I to set you up for sadness, I have to create emotional stakes. I have to create investment in whoever I’m talking about or whatever the story’s about. The craft of making stakes and setting up a potential downfall, a potential loss, whatever it may be I think is not something you can do well if you’re feeling the feeling you’re trying to create in the reader.”

Thanks to MailChimp, Read This Summer, and You Can't Make This Up for sponsoring this week's episode. Also: very rare, very exclusive Longform Podcast t-shirts are still available!

  • @helsn
  • Rosner on Longform
  • Helen Rosner's official site
  • Helen Rosner's archive at The New Yorker
  • [06:15] Menu Pages
  • [08:40] Helen Rosner's archive at New York Magazine
  • [12:35] Helen Rosner's archive at Saveur
  • [19:40] "The Exquisite Blankness (and Highly Suspect Guacamole) of Antoni Porowski from 'Queer Eye'" (The New Yorker • Mar 2018)
  • [32:10] "The Best Time I Got a Bikini Wax" (The Hairpin • Mar 2011)
  • [33:15] Helen Rosner's archive at Eater
  • [38:30] "There’s nothing good in cooking, but there are no other options." (Sandra Zhao • Eater • Aug 2016)
  • [40:20] "One Night at Kachka" (Erin DeJesus with Danielle Centoni and Jen Stevenson • Eater • Jun 2015)
  • [49:55] "On Chicken Tenders" (Guernica Mag • Jun 2015)
  • [51:00] The Boundaries of Taste
  • [1:06:10] The Phantom Tollbooth (Norton Juster • Random House • 1961)
  • [1:16:20] "An MSG Convert Visits the High Church of Umami" (The New Yorker • Apr 2018)
  • [1:16:30] "Christ in the Garden of Endless Breadsticks" (Eater • Oct 2017)
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