Episode 113 - Gary Younge: Part 1


Gary Younge is an acclaimed writer and journalist, best known for his reporting on the United States for the Guardian in the United Kingdom. The author of several books, he spoke to This Writing Life podcast about his most recent: Another Day in the Death in America (Faber & Faber). As he explains in the introduction, its premise is tragically simple: every day on average seven children and teens are shot dead by guns in America. Younge decided to tell the story of one day, 23rd November 2013, selected at random, on which 10 young people were killed.

We spoke at the offices of Faber & Faber in the autumn of 2016: hence the red hot topical reference to the imminent debate between Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton (them were the days).

Younge begins by describing the background and thesis of the book, how the stories themselves suggested themes, rather than the other way around, how the demographics of the day differed from the average. From there we moved through:

  • the role of mental health in one of the shootings
  • myths about parenting and African-American fathers
  • fatalism and the poignant refrain of 'If only'...

Part 2 to follow.

Read Gillian Slovo's review of Another Day in the Death of America: here.