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I’m Ezra Klein. This is “The Ezra Klein Show.”


Before we activate today, we’re accepting accessible to almanac the abutting Ask Me Annihilation episode. So if you accept anything, annihilation at all you’d like to ask me, accelerate it to [email protected] — again, [email protected] — with “AMA” in the headline.

But for today, I appetite to go aback to a atypical that has meant a lot to me, that I apprehend afore the pandemic, that I reread afterwards the pandemic, and that I’m not abandoned in advancing aback to and advancing aback to. And that is “Station Eleven,” by Emily St. John Mandel. “Station Eleven” is appear in 2014. It imagines the apple afterwards a communicable has wiped out about anybody — about 99 percent of the animal race. And it has this accurate affecting adeptness as a book. It helps you ache a action you still have. It helps you feel how abundant could be taken away.

But six years afterwards Mandel appear “Station Eleven,” a absolute communicable hit — not, acknowledge god, as baleful as the one she imagined, but a appealing abstruse disruption of animal life, globally, nevertheless. And so her book, which was already this admired all-embracing bestseller, it activate a additional life. She became accepted as the communicable writer, as a affectionate of communicable profit. “Station Eleven” became an HBO Max bound series, one of the year’s best shows by avant-garde agreement.

And clearly, like the blow of us, Mandel is still cerebration about that book. Because her new novel, “Sea of Tranquility,” is actual abundant a brainwork on both the accommodation of “Station Eleven,” but additionally what it was like to accept accounting that book and afresh to accept lived through what we all lived through — but what she lived through, too — to somehow be apparent as addition who predicted what you didn’t absolutely predict, and should accept acumen on what you additionally are now artlessly trapped in.

So in “Sea of Tranquility,” she is a appearance who says, afterwards a continued altercation about why we adulation post-apocalyptic fiction so much, “My claimed acceptance is that we about-face to post-apocalyptic fiction, not because we’re fatigued to adversity per se, but because we’re fatigued to what we brainstorm adeptness appear next. We continued secretly for a apple with beneath technology in it.” “Sea of Tranquility” is somewhat about pandemics, but it additionally takes abode on a moon antecedents that bodies accept congenital afterwards a huge bulk of ecology adversity on Earth. Like “Station Eleven,” there’s an black affection to the novel. It makes you feel what you could lose. It makes you absence what you already accept or what you currently have.

But abnormally than “Station Eleven,” it’s a book arena with actual abstruse account about the abject attributes of reality. It’s a time biking book, a book that suggests you adeptness animate in a simulation, and a book that wonders what, if anything, would be altered if we did. And so it larboard me cerebration about variants of the catechism Mandel brought up about post-apocalyptic novels. Why are there so abounding simulation plots appropriate now? Why are there so abounding multiversal plots? What are we aggravating to ache or adapt or brainstorm a action without? Why are we so bedeviled with these mechanisms for absolutely action the accident of our own lives? As always, my email, [email protected]

Emily St. John Mandel, acceptable to the show.

Thank you so abundant for accepting me. It’s a amusement to be here.

So acquaint me about one of my admired accommodation — the simulation hypothesis. What is it, and how did you get captivated in it?

I accept I activate it a cardinal of years ago, aloof in one of those late-night internet aerial holes. You know, you’re account an absorbing commodity about the Hadron Collider or whatever, and afresh you chase a link, and chase a link, and chase a link. And then, it’s 1:00 AM, and you’re account about the simulation hypothesis. So for anybody who’s not familiar, it’s what it sounds like. It’s the abstraction that all of our absoluteness is a simulation. Article I adulation about the abstraction is that you can acquisition actual acute bodies who will foolishly altercate either ancillary of that position.

For myself, I booty no abutting stance, but it was a way for me to accomplish a time biking anecdotal assignment already I accomplished that my new atypical was action to be a time biking novel. Because the botheration with time biking narratives is, how does it not consistently aloof actualize an absolute loop? You know, if I accomplishment this account and footfall into a time apparatus that takes me to Denver in 1910, I was consistently action to footfall into that time machine, and consistently action to go to 1910 and appear back, and it goes about and around.

So a way for me to abstain that as a biographer was to band on this accomplished added akin of weirdness, and accept a appearance say, in the year 2400 or whatever it is in the new book, we don’t apperceive why time biking works at all. Shouldn’t it consistently actualize a loop? The acumen we anticipate it works is that we adeptness be active in a simulation. So that was a way for me to address a time biking novel.

And so in a way, afresh time biking in your apple — in the simulation apple — it works a little bit like an columnist alteration a document. You go back, you change a paragraph, and it doesn’t actualize a recursive time loop. Your certificate aloof changes. The abstracts accumulator artlessly updates.

Yes, exactly. And you can fix the anecdotal afterwards on. Whatever you did in affiliate 1 doesn’t accept to adapt the timeline of affiliate 14.

But I appetite to breach in our — like, the benumbed 1:00 a.m. internet reading. What do you booty to be the best arguments for simulation? Because as you say, actual austere bodies accept this. Elon Musk — I’ve been in a allowance with him aback he said that he believes we’re apparently active in a simulation. And I would say he absolutely lives his action as if he’s maybe the capital appearance of a apish video game.


I absolutely anticipate it maybe explains added about him than bodies realize. But what are the arguments for and adjoin it, as you booty it?

My anamnesis is that it has to do with the apple behaving in a computer-like way. You know, the abstraction that there are too abounding similarities amid the way our apple works and the way we would apprehend a computer-generated apple to work. The counterargument is, there is not abundant accretion adeptness in the cosmos to run the simulation.

I don’t apperceive about that. I mean, our alien technologies are undiscovered, so that’s not absolutely acceptable to me. But it was a fun affair to apprehend about at 1:00 a.m. bristles years ago.

So to adapt for this, we reread Nick Bostrom, the philosopher at Oxford.

Oh, I accept a PDF of that somewhere.

It’s very, actual good. It’s actual fun. But I consistently anticipate his altercation is absorbing in actuality both a acceptable altercation for it and a admirable altercation adjoin it, which is — his basal altercation is, brainstorm societies get actual advanced, abundant added so than ours.

We like authoritative video games. I’m simplifying him here. We like authoritative video games. If we could accomplish video amateur that were cosmos simulations, we absolutely would. If it was costless to do it, we’d accomplish a lot of them. And so the allowance are that there’s added simulations than abject realities.

And what I’ve consistently activate absolutely funny about that, though, is all these philosophers and computer programmers, I think, anticipate they’re actual rational, avant-garde people. But it’s aloof folk monotheism on some level, right? You go from old monotheism actuality that god is a guy with a white bristles in the sky, array of us but bigger — the cosmos is actual accustomed in the way it works — to the computer programmer adaptation of that, which is —

Right, god is this bro from the Silicon —

God is a computer programmer, but bigger.


And he would do what we would do, and I would accomplish added simulations, so it’s — I acquisition it sweet, the abstraction that absoluteness would be so comfortingly familiar.

Yeah. Absolutely. No, you’re assimilate article there. It is appealing funny. You know, what I ultimately came to is, so what? Which is not to abstain the conversation. It’s an absorbing one. But what is a simulation?

You could say that a burghal is a abundant added apish ambiance in the acceding of actuality unnatural, than, say, the country — you know, the way baptize aloof comes to you through pipes, and all the blow of it. That doesn’t beggarly that your action is beneath absolute in a burghal than it is in the woods.

And if you extrapolate that, well, would your action be beneath absolute in, say, a moon antecedents with you know, a absolutely apocryphal atmosphere than it would be on Earth? Well, of advance not. It’s still a life. I don’t apperceive that our lives are beneath absolute in a simulation than they are in — I alternate to use the term, “real life,” because that’s not absolutely what I beggarly here. But you apperceive what I beggarly — than in a non-simulation. I anticipate our choices still matter, fundamentally. So yeah, it was a absolutely absorbing anticipation experiment, autograph this novel.

Something your book got me cerebration about was that at addition level, we’re absolutely all in a simulation. So aback I’m attractive at you here, my eyes are in a window into the world. They’re accepting light. The ablaze gets angry into electrical impulses, which get angry into information, which my academician decodes in some awe-inspiring way that we apperceive is predictive and not absolutely what is absolutely out there. And that’s accurate for every faculty I have. Like, this is a bankrupt box, basically, that’s accepting electrical impulses.

Yeah, absolutely.

And so my absoluteness is consistently simulated. And that doesn’t assume to me to change its meaning. In some agency — and this is maybe action to cilia through our chat — that mysteriousness of it, the actuality that I can’t adept it, consistently seems to me to be a antecedent of some meaning.

Yeah, and the way that, right, we’re all active our own centralized simulations, so to speak. And I accept the bodies with whom you’re best accordant — accompany and acquaintances you like — accept abundant of a Venn diagram overlap on the simulations, that you see the apple in abutting abundant of a way, admitting bodies at the adverse end of the political spectrum, for example, they’re active a absolutely altered simulation and you fundamentally do not animate in the aforementioned reality. Yeah, it’s an absorbing idea. I like it.

One of the fun things about “Sea of Tranquility,” to me, was this catechism of how abounding simulations do we all animate in simultaneously? You’ve mentioned [ cities is a simulation, but the moon colonies are a affectionate of simulation in there. And so you, of course, spent some time cerebration about what would and wouldn’t be altered about active in a antecedents with apish skies and apish atmosphere. What did you appear to on that?

It would not be that different. You know, I mean, how altered is that than — this is a abhorrent example, but breach with me here. If you’ve anytime had the accident of actuality on the band in Las Vegas with the alfresco air conditioning jetting bottomward from abaft the abridged plants, it doesn’t feel that altered than how I brainstorm that array of bogus atmosphere would feel.

I anticipate you would aloof be active your action in a way bugged from action in any added abode or any added city. I don’t apperceive how generally you would anticipate about the arch over your head. That would aloof be allotment of your apple that would alloy in with ambience that you’d absolutely booty for granted, in the aforementioned way you booty sidewalks for granted.

But on the catechism of what is a simulation, the book opens in 1912, area there’s this appearance who’s actual anxiously modeled on one of my great-grandfathers who comes over to Canada from the U.K. Is colonialism a affectionate of simulation? That’s article I activate myself cerebration about.

Because it seems to me that the tragedy of colonialism has to do with a apocryphal narrative, which, in Canada, area I’m from, that was the anecdotal of the abandoned acreage — this abstraction that actuality was a acreage aloof there for the taking. And it was the falseness of that abstraction aural which bodies were operating that angry it into a bloodbath and this aloof abominable tragedy, because, of course, there were bodies already there.

So yeah, if you’re active in the account of a apocryphal idea, is that a affectionate of simulation? That was article I activate myself cerebration about a lot with, particularly, the actual fiction sections in this book.

And not to amplify the analogy, but aren’t we active through a adaptation of that appropriate now? Article we’ve been accoutrement a lot on the appearance — and obviously, everybody in the apple is advantageous absorption to — is Putin’s aggression of Ukraine, which is actual abundant based on a apish adaptation of history, a alternation of acceptance that he is telling, that whatever his akin of accurate acceptance in them is, he has absolutely acclimated them to adapt reality. Bodies are now active in the apish absoluteness —

Right, right.

— of Ukraine belongs to Russia, and as such, Russia is acting like Ukraine belongs to Russia and its ascendancy there for the taking. So I anticipate there’s absolutely article to that — I mean, this abstraction that acceptance become a simulation and we act as if they are the reality.

Yeah, absolutely. And afresh area it gets glace is we’re all active central some anecdotal or another. We all accept an abstraction of who we are, and what affectionate of action we’re living, and what the apple is about us. I don’t know, how do you acquaint if your simulation is real? What does it beggarly to be absolute in those conditions?

And I admiration if we charge the simulation. So there’s a — I’m appealing abiding it’s a Ted Chiang story. And if it’s not, absolve me.

If it’s not, it should be.

If it’s not, it should be. But it’s a story, basically, about a technology that allows the apple to be recorded through your eyes. You can absolutely go aback and see everything, all the time.

That’s the new Jennifer Egan novel, too.

That is. Yes. “The Candy House” does this, too.

“The Candy House,” yeah. Aforementioned idea.

Yes, which is an amazing novel.

It’s great. I adulation it.

Yeah. But his point, which additionally advance how anamnesis works in the apperception — I mean, anamnesis is this accomplishment of amalgam stories, and we adapt it to actualize the acceptance we charge to assemble to animate a amusing action — is that if we couldn’t simulate our accomplished anymore, if we couldn’t appearance it into story, it would be absolutely destructive. And I anticipate that’s true.

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You beggarly in the faculty that it would aloof be anarchic and chaotic and aloof affectionate of abuse us from the past?

I think, but additionally it adeptness be annihilating to our faculty of self. I mean, the cocky is a adventure of the things we’ve triumphed over, and the things we’ve lost, and the things we’ve done wrong, or the things maybe we did do amiss but don’t appetite to believe.

And we accept to, on some level, be the heroes of that story. We accept to be able to abstract acceptation from it. And I wonder, if we had too abutting a almanac of what absolutely happened, if we’d be able to do that, if it would breach our meaning-making faculties.

It might. Yeah. Because I was cerebration as you were talking, so abundant of beatitude depends on what affectionate of adventure you’re cogent about yourself. So you’re right. If there were actual bright affirmation that your adventure was wrong, afresh that could be devastating. I could see it.

One of the tensions, it seems to me, in the way we allegedly amusement the analytic agony of acquirements action is a simulation is that we’re consistently artifice from action into simulations. I’m a parent, and the affliction affair I do as a ancestor is acquisition my kids cutting and alpha attractive at my phone, animate that will not accompany me happiness.

Yeah, same.

Knowing that annihilation on my buzz —

You aloof accept to leave sometimes.

You aloof accept to leave.

Sometimes that’s the abandoned way to do it.

But video games, television, books — I bethink it as a absolute epiphany in my developed life, acumen that I acclimated books to escape from my ancestors aback I was young. It was a safe way cipher could allocution to me. And how do you anticipate about that drive for escape into simulation?

As a novelist, I’m in favor of it. Please escape into my book.

But you apperceive what, for me, that absolutely speaks to my acquaintance of autograph a novel, not aloof account a novel, area — in my antecedent life, I was a dancer. That was what I went to academy for. It was abreast dance. That is actual abundant a accumulation activity. You’re there with a army of bodies who you accept to accord with at chic at 8:30 a.m. in the winter. And it’s algid and affectionate of miserable. And you accept to admonish yourself you adulation it.

When I started autograph actively in my aboriginal 20s, there was article about actuality able to escape into the admirable activity of a novel, which is to say, into this affectionate of clandestine apple area I ascendancy everything. And it’s up to me what the characters do. The artifice is absolutely in my hands. There’s article about that that can feel like refuge.

And it absolutely did aback I started writing, which was a actual difficult time in my life. I acquainted an answer of that autograph “Sea of Tranquility,” which I got into in ardent in March 2020, which was hell in New York City. That was aloof a absolutely considerately abhorrent time. So I was actual aware, autograph in this book, of — I don’t apperceive if irony is absolutely the appropriate chat — but the parallels in talking about assimilation in a novel, which is acutely a simulation, which we escape into at will, both as readers and writers.

And you wrote this book, which to my adeptness is the aboriginal one with a appealing bright Emily St. John Mandel character.


And you wrote at the time aback there was the atomic ascendancy — I’m psychoanalyzing you now, so acquaint me to —

Everybody does. Go for it.

— spiral off.

But you do it at the time aback there’s the atomic ascendancy over your own absolute life, right? You’re writing, as I accept it, during the pandemic. And I admiration if there’s article to that that — I mean, you able into a abundant added claimed affectionate of atypical writing, of amalgam the apple that some adaptation of yourself lived in at a time aback the apple had become absolutely uncontrollable and non-manageable. And I admiration what it was like to toggle amid those realities — the apple you could control, that you had a adaptation of yourself in, and the apple that you lived in and couldn’t.

Yeah, there’s apparently article to that. There was a action of toggling amid the absoluteness of lockdown and the absoluteness of affiliated travel, which had been my acquaintance appropriate up until the pandemic. Like, I catholic appropriate up to the end.

Yeah, those sci-fi autofiction sections, which for any admirers who don’t apperceive the appellation — autobiographical fiction — which I anticipate of abandoned as fiction that’s aloof hardly added acutely based on the action of the writer. I anticipate we consistently draw from our own adventures in our fabulous characters.

My cerebration there was — so to aback up a little bit, this was apparently about two or three months afore the pandemic. I started animate on these little bits of autofiction about an columnist on tour. And area that came from is that on the one hand, I feel immense acknowledgment for accepting to animate this life.

At the aforementioned time, bodies say such absorbing things to me aback I’m on the road. And by interesting, I aloof beggarly sexist, really. I should aloof stop euphemising here. And I’d capital to address about some of my crazier interactions, because they were aloof affectionate of awe-inspiring and alluring and generally belted on surrealism.

So I’d started autograph these fragments, but afresh the communicable hit, and I absitively to address a time biking novel. And I thought, well, maybe it’ll be affectionate of absorbing to put this through the lens of sci-fi, and accept that columnist on the alley in the year 2300, and afresh action aback home to a moon colony. So it was partly that.

It was partly additionally aloof a admiration to address about Covid-19 and what it was like actuality a ancestor in the pandemic, both the existential terror, but additionally aloof the acumen of it — you know, the absoluteness of aggravating to do assignment while befitting a baby adolescent sane, and attempting to admit some action against apprenticeship during those months.

It’s absolutely admirable how you address about parenting in “Sea of Tranquility.” And one of the things that happened for me during the communicable — so my son was built-in about absolutely a year afore the communicable hit. So he was one aback it hit. And afresh we had addition adolescent about six months ago.

And it afflicted my faculty of the pandemic, but I was abashed some added things that it afflicted that I capital to ask you about, which is accepting accouchement absolutely afflicted my faculty of words, and what they do and what they can do. And I anticipate I’ve been, you know, absolutely bound in a abode with kids during this accomplished period.

So let me ask you a adaptation of that question, which is, how has — as somebody who works with words, and afresh watches accent develop, how has actuality a ancestor afflicted your faculty of what accent can and can’t do?

I adulation that question. It does accord you added of a faculty of the adeptness of it, I guess, area — I accept this abhorrent anamnesis of aloof actuality annoyed and short-tempered, and adage article a little bit aciculate to my babe aback she was apparently about two, and aloof watching her face in a slow-motion collapse. And it’s like a knife to the affection and I will never lose that memory.

So aloof the affliction you accept to booty with a accent to not say the wrong, adverse affair that your adolescent will bethink consistently or that will abuse them on some axiological level.

I accept to say, actuality a ancestor afflicted my writing, not necessarily for the better. It did not accomplish me a bolder writer.

I wrote “Station Eleven,” which is a atypical area 99 percent of the citizenry dies, afore I had a child. I don’t anticipate I could address it now because apperception the apple accident with your adolescent or your accouchement in it is aloof orders of consequence added abhorrent than apperception it accident aback you don’t accept a child.

And that’s not to advance in any way that bodies afterwards accouchement don’t accept these acutely allusive relationships. Of course, they do. But it’s aloof a altered thing.

Kids, for me, accept befuddled my acceptance in accent in a way I didn’t apprehend it to. I’m absolutely addled by how abundant accent obscures for them. My son is three. He’s got a lot added accent than he did a year ago.

And I’m not abiding what he’s able to acquaint me is added accurate than it was a year ago. I absolutely watched the way accent armament him to put a adventure to animosity that maybe don’t charge a story, or area he doesn’t absolutely apperceive what the adventure of them are.

Sometimes I’ll watch him adeptness for something.

It’s acutely not why he’s agitated today, but it’s an accepted acumen why he can be agitated in general. And it absolutely makes me admiration how abundant we do it as adults. We’re aloof bigger at it, so the seams in our storytelling become beneath visible.

That’s article that I allocution about a lot with my daughter, who is now six — because, you know, big animosity are big. This abstraction that it’s OK if you don’t apperceive why you’re upset. And that absolutely scares her. It absolutely freaks her out.

So I admiration if — I don’t appetite to advance there’s article attached about language. Because that’s all we accept to interface with the world. But there’s article about acquirements accent that I feel like it makes them added abashed of the anarchy that lies about language, the things that you can’t say, or can’t explain, or can’t express, aloof this abstraction of free-floating angst. Not actuality able to acquaint the adventure is alarming to them.

In some ways, it’s alarming to me, right? The action of not actuality accepted is absolutely hard. And you see that with accouchement in a absolutely abysmal way — that annoyance of not actuality understood. But as somebody who spends my accomplished action aggravating to be accepted and aggravating to accomplish others apprehensible for understanding, it’s absolutely painful.

And the funny absurdity of language, to me, is it makes us so abundant added understood, and at the aforementioned time, accustomed the adeptness it gives us, the abstraction that there are still things that we cannot accomplish added bodies accept becomes somehow added arresting because now it feels like our fault.

Right. Is that why we address books? That adeptness be. I’m aloof action to absorb 300 pages aggravating to get you to accept the feeling.


One of the things I admired — so to adapt for this, both myself and my producer, Annie Galvin, we apprehend “Station Eleven” and apprehend “Sea of Tranquility.” And one of the things that was absolutely abstruse about it that Annie said was that account those books is like pre-grieving a ailing actuality who we apperceive will die, area the ailing actuality is Earth. And I’m analytical if that abstraction of pre-grieving — of aggravating to use accent to appear to a faculty of advancing affliction — resonates for you.

Absolutely. I feel that a lot, which I don’t beggarly to complete maudlin. But do you anytime accept the action of afflicted the present moment, area you know, you’ll be in a abundant conversation, or you’re sitting with your acquaintance who you’re not action to see afresh for several weeks, or it’s aloof one of those bewitched evenings area the lighting is great, and everybody’s wonderful, and there’s music playing, and you feel like you’re array of floating?

And that moment of anguish aback you apprehend that it’s action to be gone and you’re action to absence it — I feel that all the time. And I don’t beggarly to advance a sad action or annihilation like that. But yeah, that’s actual present for me.

It reminds me of the Buddhist abstraction that beatitude is so anxiously affiliated to sorrow. The added you attach to happiness, the added can be and will be taken from you. And it’s the attrition to that demography that causes so abundant pain.

Yeah, that makes sense. Because I don’t appetite to edgeless myself to those moments, like acquaint myself it’s OK that they’ll be gone, because that devalues that admirable moment in some way.

So because I don’t apperceive that anybody audition this will accept apprehend your books, I capital to ask you to apprehend two passages — one from “Station Eleven,” and one from “Sea of Tranquility” — that I absolutely adulation and I anticipate get to this action of pre-grieving that I appetite to allocution about. So could you apprehend “An Incomplete List” from “Station Eleven“?

I would adulation to. That is my admired affiliate for readings. OK, let’s see. “An Incomplete List.”

“No added diving into pools of chlorinated baptize lit blooming from below. No added brawl amateur played out beneath floodlights. No added balustrade lights with moths aerial on summer nights.

No added trains active beneath the apparent of cities on the admirable adeptness of the electric third rail. No added cities. No added films, except rarely, except with a architect drowning out bisected the dialogue, and abandoned afresh for the aboriginal little while until the fuels for the architect ran out, because auto gas goes dried afterwards two or three years.

No added screens animated in the half-light as bodies accession their phones aloft the army to booty photographs of concert stages.

No added concert stages lit by candy-colored halogens. No added electronica, punk, electric guitars. No added pharmaceuticals.

No added authoritativeness of actual a blemish on one’s hand, a cut on a feel while chopping vegetables for dinner, a dog bite. No added flight. No added towns glimpsed from the sky through aeroplane windows, credibility of adumbration light. No added attractive bottomward from 30,000 all-overs and apperception the lives lit up by those lights at that moment.

No added airplanes. No added requests to put your tray table in its cocked and bound position. But no, this wasn’t true. There were still airplanes actuality and there. They stood abeyant on runways and in hangars. They calm snow on their wings.”

Can we allocution about time machines? Account that access takes me aback to the “Station Eleven” tour. That was the access I consistently apprehend because it was consistently my admired chapter. And aback I apprehend it, it feels like a affectionate of transport, like I’m aback on 100 altered stages, account that and — yeah, to a lot of altered crowds.

I adulation that access so much, and it consistently moves me so much. But aloof on that point of time machines, I apprehend a allotment afresh about art as time batteries. And this idea, which I anticipate — it absolutely works for me for music — that assertive kinds of art authority time in them, and that aback you appear to them again, you get to absorb a little of that array energy.

There’s music I apprehend that will aloof — it holds some added acquaintance in it. And every time I comedy it, I get to accept a little bit of the acquaintance again. And I activate it to be a absolutely able idea.

Absolutely. Yeah. There’s this one R.E.M. song that every time I comedy it, I’m transported aback to actuality 18 years old, walking to the grocery abundance in winter in this one adjacency I lived in for a few months in Toronto. And that was the song I would consistently accept to.

Yeah, it’s so powerful. There’s addition access in “Sea of Tranquility,” the access about the brier that I’d adulation for you to read. And to set this up, this arena takes abode in the year 2203, and the appearance actuality is the columnist who lives in a antecedents on the moon, but is in the average of a book bout on planet Earth.

OK, sure.

“In the Republic of Texas, the abutting afternoon, she capital to go for a airing again, because on the map, her hotel, a La Quinta that faced addition La Quinta, a parking lot amid them, was aloof beyond the alley from a array of restaurants and shops. But what the map didn’t appearance was that the alley was an eight-lane freeway with no bridge and affiliated traffic. Mostly avant-garde hovercraft, but additionally the occasionally, defiantly retro, wheeled auto truck.

So she absolved forth the freeway for a while with the shops and the restaurants animated like a delusion on the added side. There was no way to cantankerous afterwards risking her life. So she didn’t. Aback she got aback to her hotel, she acquainted article abrading her ankles.

And aback she looked down, her socks were acicular with little birds — astonishingly sharp, black-brown stars like miniature weapons that had to be extracted actual carefully. She set them on the board and photographed them from every angle. They were so altogether adamantine and shiny, that they could accept anesthetized for biotech.

But aback she pulled one apart, she saw that it was real. No, absolute wasn’t the chat for it. Aggregate that can be affected is real. What she saw was that it was a affair that grew — a cast-off from some abstruse bulb they didn’t accept in the moon colonies. So she captivated a few of them in a sock, and anxiously stowed the beat abroad in her attache to accord to her daughter, Sylvie, who was bristles and calm that affectionate of thing.”

Something I adulation about both of those passages is their focus on baby things. The brier — I mean, I don’t anticipate about burrs. And to the admeasurement I do, it’s not usually positively. The fluorescence of the basin in the “Station Eleven” passage.

One of my admired curve in all abstract is from Marilynne Robinson’s “Gilead,” area her narrator says in a letter to his son, “This is an absorbing planet. It deserves all the absorption you can accord it.” I’ve absolutely anticipation of accepting that tattooed.

But it’s so adamantine to accord it the absorption you apperceive it deserves. And this feels like such a arresting struggle. And as somebody who acutely thinks a lot and maybe is able to pay it the absorption it deserves, why do you anticipate that is? Why is it adamantine to see it now?

It’s adamantine to be abandoned with your thoughts, which agency that we do aces up our phones aback we’re alone. That’s allotment of it. Sometimes I don’t appetite to observe. Sometimes I’m traveling and I badly absence my daughter. And I attending at Twitter aloof to feel affectionate of numb, you know, is the accuracy of the matter. Aloof get me out of absoluteness a little bit, so I handle it better.

But autograph is article that armament me to pay absorption in a way that I anticipate is apparently good. I feel like that’s article autograph fiction has accustomed me is — I don’t apperceive if added of a accommodation for advantageous attention, but added of a admiration to pay absorption aback I’m aggravating to anticipate about what’s real, which is glace because we were aloof talking about simulations.

But maybe a bigger way of putting it — what makes a arena feel real? Like, what is the absolute thing? What is the ablaze and the basin or the weird, adamantine little brilliant alleged a brier that gets bent in your beat in Texas? What’s the affair the appearance notices that says article about the appearance and is a way of acquainted the world? That’s what it is for me.

Is that absolute to you as you move through the world? It’s article I adulation so abundant in how fiction is written, that consistently feels apocryphal to me, as a actuality affective through the apple — that the characters airing into these rooms, and what they see is the ataxia of cilia on the admirable dejected shirt of the actuality continuing in the background, and it carriage — It’s like a lot of Proust madeleines?

And I feel like I’m aloof blundering through the world, about seeing anything. I can’t alike acquisition the things I’m absolutely attractive for aback I’m attractive for them. It has generally created the faculty of alternation in me, in my acumen of, is anybody abroad walking about seeing the way the caliginosity abatement on the bank except for me?

Or is cipher accomplishing that, and that’s what makes the biographer so acceptable at their job?

That’s interesting. You apperceive what, I anticipate photography absolutely gave me a lot in that way. A acquaintance of abundance gave me a camera aback I was accepting a bad time. I was like 20 or so, and aloof ashore in the amiss burghal and afresh heartbroken, and aggregate was hard.

And he gave me a camera, and I activate absolute abundance in a time aback aggregate on the macro akin of my action acquainted terrible, and absorption on these little micro details.

And I anticipate article about that adeptness accept helped in acceding of advantageous absorption to the capacity of the world, area if I’m walking with a camera, which I consistently am now, because we’ve all got phones, there’s one allotment of me that’s consistently attractive for the absorbing disregarded thing.

And sometimes it’s aloof a awe-inspiring little detail. Like, I adulation seeing surfaces in burghal environments that accept lot of layers and things action on, like a aperture that has bristles years’ account of graffiti and stickers and absorbing archeological layers. I adulation that affectionate of thing, like seeing if there’s article absorbing I could apprehension in that. And I anticipate that’s the aforementioned aptitude that I use in autograph fiction.

So I’ve been cerebration about your books and attention, and the way the accomplishments calamities of the plots — the communicable in “Station Eleven,” the ecology crisis that sends so abounding bodies to animate in amplitude colonies in “Sea of Tranquility” — advice the clairvoyant pay absorption to what could be absent on Earth. And then, I happened to see — I don’t apperceive if you’ve apparent this yet — “Everything Everywhere All At Once“?

Not yet. It’s on my list, though. I’ve heard it’s amazing.

Remarkable movie, but it’s multiverse fiction. There’s a lot of simulation fiction out there appropriate now, including yours. There’s time bend fiction, like “Palm Springs.” There aloof seems to me appropriate now to be a huge bang in multiverse and simulation plots.

And I was absorption about this on Twitter, and the philosopher C. Thi Nguyen had this absorbing abstraction about it, area he said, “If Greek tragedy is the announcement of the worldview that things are blighted and fixed, multiverse and another acquaint acceptance are an announcement of a worldview of abysmal accident in the appearance of your life.”

And it additionally occurred to me that actuality acquainted of accident is a way to force yourself to pay attention, to apprehend like this all could not accept happened, and it all could go away. Do you anticipate there’s article to that?

I do. And I acquisition myself cerebration if allotment of this is a acknowledgment to the pandemic. I’m aloof cerebration aloud here. But if our absorption in post-apocalyptic fiction over the accomplished 15 years or so has to do with a assertive ambiguity about how we feel about our technology, because that’s what’s afflicted in the aftermost 15 years, which I accept it is — I anticipate our ambiguity about technology explains a lot about our absorption in post-apocalyptic fiction.

If that’s true, I admiration if our absorption in time-weirdness, time loops, contingencies, multiverse — if that maybe is a acknowledgment in some way to the two years we’ve aloof lived through, area — I don’t apperceive about you, but I run the counterfactuals all the time about the alpha of the Covid-19 pandemic.

What if admiral had taken those aboriginal letters of this alarming new virus in Wuhan seriously? What if that hadn’t been suppressed and hadn’t been accustomed to advance about the apple and change everything, and put all of us in this accompaniment that acquainted like abeyant animation?

Something that’s appear up a lot, as I’ve been traveling in the account of “Sea of Tranquility,” is bodies allocution about how the communicable has angled their faculty of time. And it’s article about, decidedly the antithesis of the aboriginal aeon where, we were aloof affectionate of ashore at home.

And I bethink this bookseller. I anticipate it was in Washington D.C. She was cogent me that she’d had a altogether during the communicable and didn’t absolutely accept it— like didn’t accept that she was the abutting age. It’s like because it acquainted like time wasn’t affective abroad it was declared to. And at the aforementioned time, you apperceive like, I was not a time biking biographer before.

Neither was my friend, Emma Straub, who aloof appear a time biking novel. I apperceive of added arcane novelists autograph time biking novels. And then, right, we accept the access of multiverses. Yeah, there adeptness be article there — that it’s adamantine in a moment like this not to anticipate through the contingencies and the counterfactuals.

You accept a abundant — I appetite to go aback to the abstraction of post-apocalyptic fiction because you accept a abundant vignette, in “Sea of Tranquility,” of altered characters absorption or canonizing musings about why we accept so abundant post-apocalyptic fiction now. And it got me cerebration about it.

And one of the things I admiration about the acceptance of this affectionate of fiction is that I anticipate bodies accept that we could lose everything, that altitude could change everything, that nuclear war could end everything, that a communicable can end everything. And yet, we additionally feel how adamantine it is to act as if we could lose everything. We say it and we don’t accept it.

You accept this admirable band in “Sea of Tranquility,” anecdotic the alpha of a affliction there. “We knew it was coming, and we were airy about it. We deflected the abhorrence with absent-minded bravado.”

And I anticipate there’s article about the allure of post-apocalyptic acceptance appropriate now as aggravating to force us to feel article we accept we should be added able to feel. Because if we’re added able to feel it, we could added ably act on it.

Yeah, what I like about that is it’s adjoining to, but not the aforementioned thing, as the best accepted approach about it, which is that our absorption in these acceptance has to do with our all-overs about the abundantly abounding times we animate in, to which the rejoinder, which — you know, I gave all of my “Station Eleven” lecture. It’s all in there. All the best genitalia are in there. The acknowledgment to that is we’ve consistently acquainted like the apple is ending. But I like your adaptation better. I’ll accept to anticipate about that.


One way “Station Eleven” and “Sea of Tranquility” acquainted to me like actual altered books is that “Station Eleven” — I mean, they are, of course, actual altered books. But “Station Eleven” seems to me to be allurement the catechism of, what if there’s a pandemic, a calamity, and aggregate changes?

And “Sea if Tranquility” acquainted to me like it was allurement a catechism that in abounding agency is added natural, accepting lived through the aeon we’ve lived through, which is, what if we lived through a calamity — and it’s beneath so than the 99 percent afterlife amount of the “Station Eleven” plague, but still abundant of the Earth became uninhabitable — and annihilation absolutely changes? We’re still the aforementioned bodies action about our aforementioned lives. Is that how your cerebration changed?

It adeptness be. Yeah. Because it was affectionate of absorbing to see what didn’t change in Covid, area hell is still added people. The band in “Station Eleven” — “hell is the absence of the bodies you continued for” was still additionally true.

Other bodies are still abundantly annoying. Like, your job bothers you. You breach yourself, I think, is what I’m accepting at here. And maybe this speaks a little bit to the things I aloof didn’t apprehend autograph “Station Eleven,” not accepting lived through a communicable — was the amount to which association is disrupted alike from a actual low bloodshed rate. And also, yeah, aloof the things that don’t change, that you know, we’re still fundamentally ourselves, alike in periods of catastrophe.

My best acquaintance works on crisis response. He works on refugee crises, wars, famines — I mean, the affliction things that happen. And article he consistently tells me is that you can’t — we otherize bodies who go through these extremes of animal acquaintance so abundant that bodies still accept to animate lives amidst it. They still accept to accomplish dinner. They still accept to get, you know, their kids dressed in the morning, and somehow they do. That in abounding ways, the scariest affair about animal beings and animal association is how abundant we can get acclimated to.

Absolutely. Yeah. I had a absolutely adamantine time animate for the aboriginal three weeks of March in 2020, because I animate a mile from a hospital in Brooklyn. And it was aloof affiliated ambulance sirens, and aloof this atmosphere of death, really.

And then, I got acclimated to it and started autograph a book. And like, I don’t adulation that. The assignment meant a lot to me, but the way you aloof acclimatize to these considerately alarming affairs — it’s both hopeful and acutely adverse in some way.

It connects to article you were adage a few account ago about aggravating to acquisition the baby moments that accomplish things feel real. It is, on one level, awfully alarming to me that we’ve had about a actor Americans die, to say annihilation of bodies globally, of Covid-19. And we aloof go on.

Our backroom are accustomed and disconnected in the agency they consistently were. We didn’t canyon annihilation all that absorbing to change the post-pandemic reality. We can’t alike acquisition — I mean, I’m a backroom person. We can’t alike acquisition the affiliation to canyon the pandemic-preparedness spending we charge to pass. It’s all — I would accept never absurd we could accept so abundant disruption and afterlife and so little would change.

And at the aforementioned time, for a lot of bodies who went through this, area afterlife did not blow their lives really, really, absolutely anon — aback you allocution to them about it, I feel that what keeps this aeon so absolute are baby things bodies absent — animate music, the adeptness to hug their friends. That the affair that makes it feel different, that time has amorphous affective again, is the acknowledgment of these baby things.

And it seems to me to add weight to your point that there’s a pettiness to what makes action comprehensible, and what makes a moment feel absolute to us. The big ones — if we captivated all the aggregate all the time, we couldn’t function, so we accept to accept this added micro calibration that we’re operating on.

Absolutely. Yeah, that’s article I anticipate about a lot — is that, look, action is details. It’s accepting up at a accurate time and advancing breakfast and abrasion your child’s beard while she watches PBS Kids. That’s what comprises your day.

And then, your year is fabricated out of days, and your action is fabricated out of years. And there is article to that. I don’t know. To your point, the way that it’s become normal, that some admirable cardinal of Americans aloof die every distinct day of Covid-19, I don’t apperceive how to blanket my arch about that. I don’t like that that’s somehow OK with us, or OK abundant that we’re action about our lives as if, you know, these crazy cardinal of deaths weren’t aloof happening.

I’ve reflected a lot on whether that should be as hasty to me as it is. And in a way, it goes aback to the abstraction that we were talking about earlier, that we already animate in our own simulations, but never anticipate of it that way. But we will die.

I will die. You will die. Our parents will die. Our accompany will die. Our admired ones will die. I can’t alike accompany myself to say, our children. And we apperceive it. We apperceive it in a way we apperceive annihilation else. I don’t apperceive what I will accept for breakfast tomorrow, I don’t apperceive what I will accept for cafeteria in two hours, and I apperceive I will die.

And we go on with action as if we don’t. Cafeteria feels a lot realer to me than death. And I doubtable we charge to. That otherwise, it would aloof be paralyzing. I’ve approved to do airy practices of added approved battle with death, apperception on death. There’s a lot of practices about this. And I acquisition them a little hardcore to do over continued periods of time. It’s aloof a little — you afresh accept to somehow about-face aback into talking to bodies who are alive.

Yeah. Right, right.

So maybe it’s not surprising, right? We’re ambidextrous with the actuality that anybody will die all the time, and we’re actual acquired to not aloof sit there, never acceptance our admired ones out of our sight, because we apperceive one day, we’ll never see them again. We somehow accept to go about life.

Yeah. And that’s — you know, we were talking about parenting earlier. One of the abstruse moments in pregnancy, whether it’s yourself or your admired one, is that there is a aboriginal heartbeat. And that implies there’s action to be a last.

And I bethink grappling with that afore my babe was born. Like, oh, god, we are talking about a bound cardinal of heartbeats here. And — but actuality an able ancestor requires putting your alarm abroad in a box, and behaving as admitting the apple wouldn’t end if that baby were to end on your watch.

How do you put your alarm away? Are you somebody who struggles or struggled with death, anxiety, an admirable faculty of mortality? How do you — what are your practices for action on?

Writing fiction area I annihilate off the absolute population.

There is article about autograph fiction that helps me accord with it. I’m not a depressed person. I don’t anticipate about afterlife all the time. But I — yeah, I accept consistently had a absolutely acute acquaintance of mortality.

I don’t anticipate I’m abashed to die, but I am actual abashed of my adolescent dying or anybody who I love. What I abhorrence is the accompaniment — if afterlife is a blind of actuality on one ancillary and the bodies I adulation best in the apple actuality on the other.

And I anticipate I do accord with that through my fiction. You know, there are a lot of ghosts. There are non-linear structures, area — you know, in “Station Eleven,” a appearance dies on folio two or three.

But afresh we get to appear aback to them and get to absorb the accomplished book with them, because it’s non-linear. So that adeptness be one way of ambidextrous with it on some level. I address about ghosts in “The Glass Hotel,” which I anticipate I aloof like the abstraction of some affectionate of continuation. And I address about multiverses. You know, what if there’s a cosmos area she didn’t die? Like, that idea.

I consistently like audition about this. I feel like everybody has strategies actuality that we never allocution about. I bethink with such accuracy the moment as a adolescent I abstruse what afterlife was and I became adorning for years, basically.

How old were you? Do you remember?

I — not old. Like, seven — article — six, article like that. I mean, I can — I bethink the allowance I was agitated in.

Oh, wow. OK.

The aboriginal abode I lived in. And I had an cutting abhorrence of afterlife for a actual continued time. And weirdly, what bankrupt me not of abhorrence of afterlife — I don’t appetite to die — but of its anchor on my action was mystery. I can’t accept that we all aloof go to heaven. I don’t accept in some of the basal added religious comforts.

But to our beforehand chat about why I don’t buy the simulation hypothesis, I did activate to accept that abject absoluteness is so abundant weirder than we accept it to be. It is so unknowable, that it opens achievability for everything, including death, to be unknowable.


And somehow, I activate I could eventually booty some abundance in not knowing, like, accurate agnosticism. And that eased it a little bit for me, which is, I think, one acumen I adulation account books about multiverses and time travel. And I acquisition an ever agnostic appearance of actuality a animal actuality overwhelming. So I charge article that injects agnosticism into it.

Yeah, the adorableness of the abstruseness of the universe. I was aloft absolutely afterwards religion, and I’ve never been a religious actuality at all. So I’ve never had heaven either. I’ve never had a able set of account about what any affectionate of afterlife adeptness attending like.

But there’s article abating about the alienation of the universe. I apperceive that’s a awe-inspiring affair to say, but partly, aloof for scale. Like, you know, you’re a tiny atom in this absolutely aloof universe, and that puts your problems into perspective. And yeah, I like the mystery, too. There is this awe-inspiring affectionate of adorableness in not knowing.

I’ve heard you call “Sea of Tranquility” as added abstract a atypical than “Station Eleven.” “Station Eleven” is post-apocalyptic, and “Sea of Tranquility” — we animate in colonies on the moon, and that’s better. We accept hover cars. That’s great.

But article that addled me about both books is that the bodies in them are mostly decent. I apperceive there are exceptions, decidedly in “Station Eleven.” But your appearance of added animal beings, decidedly beneath duress, seems about sunny. And I wondered if that was — if that acquainted accurate to you.

Yeah, you apperceive what? It does. I bethink the 2003 blackout in New York City. And that was affectionate of beautiful. It was cool inconvenient, and I bethink it actuality absolutely hot. Like, your A.C. didn’t work. But neighbors who had never announced to anniversary added aggregate alfresco on the artery and played cards by candlelight. Like, it was lovely.

The hurricanes in New York Burghal a few years ago — Irene and Sandy — there was such a advancing calm to advice bodies who bare advice in those moments.

I bethink a lot of acceptance about chief citizens abandoned in aerial rises — like, things like that — and bodies aloof mobilizing about the burghal to advice added people.

I do anticipate we accept that instinct. I anticipate that some of the acceptance that we’ve captivated about catastrophes accept accustomed us the amiss abstraction about how bodies behave. Like, “Lord of the Flies,” for archetype — you know, that’s affectionate of extreme, but I anticipate that book is beneath acceptable than bodies affectionate of animate it out. Because best sane bodies don’t appetite abandon and commotion and disengagement. They appetite some affectionate of aegis and accord and some affectionate of connection. I anticipate best of us are analytic for affiliation a lot of the time, and that’s area we’re acceptable to go in a adverse circumstance.

It reminds me of this book by Rebecca Solnit, “A Paradise Congenital in Hell,” which is all about the agency bodies appear calm afterwards calamity. As you say, the affirmation is absolutely there. We’ve apparent it. Bodies don’t aloof abatement into “Lord of Flies” aback things are appealing bad.

My faculty of what we apperceive is that they abatement to “Lord of Flies” aback things are a little bit bad and accepting worse at a abiding rate.

You’d think, right? But then, we go aback to the simulation problem.

Yeah, well, acquaint me, what is the — acquaint me how you anticipate about those altered scales of behavior.

Well, not so abundant that, but aloof your animadversion that you’d anticipate we’d accomplish altered choices afore things get so bad. But we’re active in altered realities, politically, in this country, certainly. And we will not accomplish the appropriate choice, because bisected of us accept that we’re active in a absolutely altered situation. You know? So I don’t apperceive how to accommodate that. I do apperceive that bodies advice anniversary added aback things get absolutely bad. But we don’t abstain the bad thing. We run against the crisis and afresh advice anniversary added out.

I’ve heard you say that a beating on your autograph aboriginal on was you didn’t pay abundant absorption to character, and so you absolutely assignment to do that — assignment to watch bodies closely, and anticipate about how they behave. And that seems accordant here.

I apperceive we talked a bit about attractive for the capacity in the scene, but what has your convenance of celebratory added animal beings to try to body a archetypal of how bodies act been like? What accept you apparent and appear to accept that you didn’t before?

As a novelist, I feel like my characters will arena apocryphal unless there’s a lot of acceptable and a lot of evil, affectionate of, in everybody. Angry is absolutely the amiss word. That’s a little too extreme. But a two-dimensional appearance has to accept both acceptable and bad, or you know, they’re apparent and boring. Yeah, I’ve aloof consistently been captivated in people.

And that adeptness appear from accepting been acutely shy as a child, and accepting that affair of action like you charge to beam added bodies to accept how to be a person. You know, like, how do you allocution to somebody at a party? Let me abstraction the situation. Like, that affectionate of instinct.

And I do feel like my ancient characters in my ancient books were not as well-developed as they could be. And maybe that’s partly aloof the action of acceptable a bigger writer, aloof in the faculty that you become bigger at anything, the added you do it.

So my sixth book is abundant bigger than my first. And conceivably appearance development aloof goes forth with that. But I do acquisition myself absorbed by bodies aloof celebratory them, watching how they collaborate with anniversary other.

I absorb way too abundant time on Reddit. I like watching how bodies collaborate with anniversary added there. It’s generally absolutely absorbing acceptance and absorbing reactions. I apprehend that makes me complete a bit like an anthropologist, and maybe you accept to be if you’re autograph fiction.

We’ve talked a bit about, obviously, simulations and people. I capital to talk, afore we end, a little bit about time travel. And one of the absorbing things to me in “Sea of Tranquility,” is that we get time travel, and a point there is agreement, that we mostly can’t do it.

And in that way, time biking becomes a little bit like nuclear weapons. We accept it. It’s a absolutely amazing technology in assertive ways, but terrifying, and so there seems to be a about almighty acceding to not blend with the time stream.

Do you anticipate that’s how it would comedy out? Like, what would it do to us, I think, psychologically, is what I’m asking. To apperceive that it is accessible to biking in time, but not be accustomed to. I anticipate that would be absolutely hard.

Yeah. I anticipate that would breach us, to go aback to the doubtful hypothetical. Brainstorm if you absent your child, and the technology existed to go aback to the day afore and anticipate it. You would do anything. You would breach into every defended facility, and allurement everybody, and accomplish that happen.

I anticipate it would be psychologically devastating. And therefore, it would accept to be secret. You know, it would be this actual clandestine program, you know, at some ability about that about cipher knew about.

I anticipate that’s a acceptable abode to appear to a close. So consistently our final catechism — what are three books you would acclaim to the audience?

The aboriginal one is a atypical that aloof came out afresh from a baby press. It’s alleged “Scary Monsters” by Michelle de Kretser. It’s got a absolutely absorbing structure. It’s about two novellas. There’s abandoned a actual slight overlap, but they’re anxious with the aforementioned accommodation about clearing and xenophobia. And it’s aloof absolutely affectionate of agonizing and beautifully written. I absolutely admired it.

The additional is a atypical that adeptness be the abandoned book I’ve apprehend alert in the aftermost 10 years or so, alleged “Ill Will,” by Dan Chaon which — for any admirers who are unfamiliar, his aftermost name spelt like “chaos,” but with an N instead of an S.

It’s a absolutely awful book. It’s abundantly compelling. And yeah, I aloof — it’s one of those books that stays with you. I anticipate about it all the time. The aftermost one is an earlier book. It’s alleged “Suite Française” by Irène Némirovsky. It’s this beautiful, actual lucid, and acutely accounting atypical about the Nazi aggression of Paris that was accounting added or beneath contemporaneously.

And yeah, it’s aloof the best startlingly admirable book. And it’s the book that I’m abandoned consistently affectionate of aiming against as a writer, in acceding of book appearance and structure.

Emily St. John Mandel, your new book is “Sea of Tranquility.” Acknowledge you actual much. This was a absolute pleasure.

This was absolutely fun. Acknowledge you.

Thank you for listening. If you appetite to abutment the show, you can leave a analysis in whatever podcast app you’re alert on, or accelerate the appearance to a friend, ancestors member, a frenemy. It absolutely does advice us.

“The Ezra Klein Show” is a assembly of New York Times Opinion. It is produced by Rogé Karma, Annie Galvin and Jeff Geld. This adventure is fact-checked by Michelle Harris and Rollin Hu. Original music by Isaac Jones. Mixing and engineering by Jeff Geld. Our controlling ambassador is Irene Noguchi, and appropriate acknowledgment to Shannon Busta, Kristina Samulewski and Kristin Lin.


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