Episode129: Mightier than the Sword

This week on The Easy Chair, it’s yet another fabulous Mightier Than the Sword with co-host Stephanie Spaulding! This week, we’re talking about the flu epidemic, specifically that thoughtless jerk at the gym who insists on working out while hacking germs everywhere, and, most relevant to our writing-centered podcast, Mary Sues. In literary terms, a “Mary Sue” is the perfect female character. She is so beautiful she’s desired by all men and so smart everyone respects her opinion. She enters the narrative essentially without flaws and emerges unchanged and triumphant. It’s often said when a book features a Mary Sue the author is fulfilling a wish by inserting a character based on herself. Stephanie and I discuss the limited and arguable pros and multiple cons of this type of character, whether reading about them or writing them. And just so you know, gender doesn’t discriminate: along with Mary Sues, there are Larry Stews. We’d love to hear what you think of this persistent literary trope, and anything else you have on your mind. C'mon! Email us at to weigh in!