Tad Friend and the Art of Long-Form Journalism
In Conversation with John Burnham Schwartz on Sun Valley Writers’ Conference’s Beyond the Page
Welcome to Beyond the Page: The Best of the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference. Over the past 25 years, SVWC has become the gold standard of American literary festivals, bringing together contemporary writing’s brightest stars for their view of the world through a literary lens.
Every month, Beyond the Page curates and distills the best talks from the past quarter century at the Writers’ Conference, giving you a front row seat on the kind of knowledge, inspiration, laughter, and meaning that Sun Valley is known for.
Beyond the Page host John Burnham Schwartz talks with New Yorker staff writer Tad Friend, a longtime contributor to the magazine’s “Letter from California” and the author of two funny, poignant family memoirs, Cheerful Money and In the Early Times. In a notable testament to Friend’s curiosity, range, and talent, over the years his work has been chosen for The Best American Travel Writing, The Best American Sports Writing, The Best American Crime Reporting, and The Best Technology Writing – not to mention the James Beard award for feature writing he won in 2020. In this episode, a recent piece of Friend’s in the magazine about “a conservation N.G.O. that infiltrates wildlife-trafficking rings to bring them down” becomes a conversational prism for a larger discussion about the writer’s methodology and philosophy of long-form journalism.