If you’re familiar with the Dear Sugar advice column, you know who Steve Almond is. For the uninitiated, he was the first “Sugar” — a purportedly female advice columnist on The Rumpus. After a while, Almond says, that got weird.
When he was ready to pass the Sugar torch, Almond asked the not-yet-famous author Cheryl Strayed to take over. She agreed to and ran with the column in unique ways. In late 2014, the pair joined forces to launch the Dear Sugars podcast. Their combined efforts in advising all sorts of troubles have attracted a loyal base of “lost, lonely and heartsick” fans. Their promise is an offering of “radical empathy.” The wisdom of their advice is often commented on.
Almond’s new book of essays is “Bad Stories: What the Hell Just Happened to Our Country.” As he explains here, “Trumpism” is a bad outcome of “the bad stories we tell ourselves.” His exploration of what exactly he means by that— e.g. the statement “America is a representative democracy” being a bad story — is worth a listen.
Steve Almond read from “Bad Stories” and chatted with Seattle author Peter Mountford and the audience at The Fireside Room at Hotel Sorrento on February 28. Hugo House hosted the event.
Please note: This recording contains unedited language of an adult nature.