Unraveling Nonfiction Research and Writing: Episode 353 with Peggy Orenstein

Unraveling Nonfiction Research and Writing: Episode 353 with Peggy Orenstein

“There's No Way I'm Going to Get a Book Out of This.”

This week, Jess and KJ talk to journalist, author, and lifelong knitter Peggy Orenstein about research, nonfiction writing, expertise, and examining the unexamined in ordinary life. Peggy’s newest book is , Unraveling: What I Learned About Life While Shearing Sheep, Dyeing Wool, and Making the World’s Ugliest Sweater.

Peggy’s TED Talk: What Young Women Believe About Their Own Sexual Pleasure

Why Fish Don’t Exist, by Lulu Miller

Etymology of the term “woolgathering

Etymology of the term “spinster

The Revolutionary Power of a Skein of Yarn, Unraveling excerpt in the New York Times.

Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind and Omnivore’s Dilemma


Peggy: KJ’s Playing the Witch Card, David Copperfield by Charles Dickens and Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

Jess: Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz and The Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo

KJ: Geneology of a Murder: Four Generations, Three Families, One Fateful Night by Lisa Belkin

Also mentioned: The Puzzler by A.J. Jacobs

If you love a good writing retreat—especially one that comes with good solid coaching and the chance to meet others who are working on similar projects—here’s one to check out. This fall, three Author Accelerator certified book coaches are offering Mainely Memoir, a retreat for women writers in historic Biddeford, Maine, held over three days in the gorgeous Maine woods in September, with one-on-one coaching both before and after the retreat. It’s the perfect opportunity to give yourself the gift of time and focus so that you can make real progress on your memoir this year. Find out more at www.mainelymemoir.com

Have you followed Jess on IG yet? You really should!

Find her here!

Out of #AmWriting episodes and in need of another podcast? Check out A Bookish Home. I’ve been a guest, and it’s a delight.  Librarian and writer Laura Szaro Kopinski interviews a different author each week, so you can  Add to your TBR list while getting the inside scoop on the winding road to publication.  Coming up this spring will be Amy Poeppel, Sarah Penner, Maggie Smith and many more. Find it here on Apple podcasts or search it on your pod player of choice.

Show me A Bookish Home

Entertaining, actionable advice on craft, productivity and creativity for writers and journalists in all genres, with hosts Jessica Lahey, KJ Dell'Antonia and Sarina Bowen.