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The Make Meaning Podcast

Feb 16, 2024

Patrick Hicks is an Irish Catholic writer from Minnesota who has a deep fascination with the Holocaust. He has written three Holocaust novels and has conducted extensive research on the subject, visiting twelve different concentration camps and speaking with survivors. Patrick is also a professor at Augustana University in South Dakota, where he teaches writing and literature.


In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, host Lynne Golodner interviews Patrick about his newest book, Across the Lake. In his second time on the Make Meaning Podcast, Patrick explains what inspired this novel, driven by research on gender and violence. He reflects on the impact of writing about such a dark period in human history and the importance of standing up to fascism at any time, especially today. The interview concludes with a discussion on topics that engage students today and a look at the future of writing.


In this episode, Lynne and Patrick discuss: 

  • Inspiration for  Across the Lake

  • Braided narratives

  • How to create compelling characters that are starkly different from the author

  • Challenging yourself as an author

  • Why it’s so important for an Irish Catholic novelist to write about the Holocaust

  • Character development and story visioning

  • The art of naming characters

  • Gender differences in violence during the Holocaust

  • The impact on the author of writing about the Holocaust

  • The importance of addressing fascism and hatred in fiction

  • Contemporary students' interest in equality and progressivism


Links and Resources: 


Find Patrick Hicks:





If you enjoyed this episode, you’ll like these other Make Meaning Podcast episodes:

Episode 127 – Ly Tran – Writing Unapologetically 

Episode 123 – Karen Gordon – On Surviving the Surviving

Episode 117 – Steven Wingate – How to Find Your Voice Again & Again

Episode 102 – Patrick Hicks – How to Write Historical Fiction

Episode 68 – M.L. Liebler – H ow to Use Writing & Performance to be an Activist

Episode 61 – Merle Saferstein – How to Leave a Legacy Through Journaling