Part of a podcast series

The Wheeler Centre

View all episodes in this series

Andrew Sean Greer: The Less We Know

Listen to Andrew Sean Greer: The Less We Know

When his novel Less won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Andrew Sean Greer tweeted, he ‘had just persuaded a dog to let me put her into polka dot pajamas (not my dog)’. He literally didn’t believe the news.

Readers clearly feel otherwise. Less tells the story of Arthur Less – a writer fearing his own mediocrity and middle age, who takes on a series of far-flung literary engagements in order to avoid the wedding of a significant ex. With understated eloquence, the book’s narrator is generous to its subject, making for a joyful and nuanced celebration of human complexity. It spent six months on the coveted New York Times bestseller list.

Photo of Benjamin Law and Andrew Sean Greer

Benjamin Law and Andrew Sean Greer — Photo: Jon Tjhia

Beyond the runaway success of his latest novel, Greer is a novelist, short story writer and writing teacher whose books frequently explore themes of love and time. His other books, including The Confessions of Max Tivoli and The Story of a Marriage, have earned him critical praise for their sensitive, lyrical prose.

Last May, Greer joined Benjamin Law to talk about the ways in which writing can express our hunger for language, for the world, and for each other.


Portrait of Andrew Sean Greer

Andrew Sean Greer

Andrew Sean Greer is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of six works of fiction, including the bestsellers The Confessions of Max Tivoli and Less. Andrew has taught at a number of universities, including the Iowa Writers Workshop, been a TODAY Show pick, a New York Public Library Cullman Center Fellow, a judge for the National Book Award, and a winner of the California Book Award and the New York Public Library Young Lions Award. He is the recipient of a NEA grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for Less. He lives in San Francisco.

Portrait of Benjamin Law

Benjamin Law

Benjamin Law writes books, TV screenplays, columns, essays and feature journalism. He’s the author of the memoir The Family Law (2010), the travel book Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East (2012) – both nominated for Australian Book Industry Awards – and the Quarterly Essay on Safe Schools, Moral Panic 101 (2017). 

He also created and co-wrote three seasons of the award-winning SBS TV series The Family Law, and his sold-out debut play Torch the Place (Melbourne Theatre Company) ran February–March 2020.

The Wheeler Centre

Subscribe to the Wheeler Centre's podcast to hear full recordings of our talks – featuring the best in books, writing and ideas.