Short Fuse Podcast #55: Talking to Author Meredith Hall about “Beneficence”

By Elizabeth Howard



Episode Summary

Meredith Hall

The horrific explosion of mass shootings across the United States sent us back to Meredith Hall’s debut novel, Beneficence.

Few writers know the human heart and the burden of grief as intimately as New York Times bestselling author Hall (Without a Map). Beneficence is a radiant novel of goodness and love that some critics described as “luminous.” (Arts Fuse review of Beneficence) With rare tenderness and compassion, this is the story of how a shattered family reclaims love and peace after the death of a child with a gun.

This episode of the Short Fuse podcast is an edited audio of a conversation host Elizabeth Howard had with Hall via a Zoom program at the Portsmouth Athenaeum on March 30, 2021.

Episode Notes

Godine Publisher

Godine is an independent publisher located in Boston, Massachusetts. In 2020, with new titles that range from Shaun Bythell’s memoir, Confessions of a Bookseller to Thomas W. Gilbert’s groundbreaking history, How Baseball Happened: Outrageous Lies Exposed! The True Story Revealed.  Founded in 1970, Godine is home to the Black Sparrow Press, founded in 1966 and relaunched in Spring 2020 with titles including Wicked Enchantment: Selected Poems by Wanda Coleman, edited by Terrance Hayes, and Summer Solstice: An Essay by Nina MacLaughlin.

The Portsmouth Athenaenum 

The Portsmouth Athenaenum is a library, gallery and museum founded in 1817 and located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Membership libraries were first created in the 18th century. While there were once hundreds of membership libraries across America and today there are fewer than 20. Today, the Portsmouth Athenæum maintains a library of over 40,000 volumes, an archive of manuscripts, photographs, objects, and ephemera relating to local history and sponsors exhibitions, concerts, lectures, and other educational and cultural programs.

Elizabeth Howard is the host and the producer of the Short Fuse Podcast. For her, there are no barriers between her life, work, art, and writing. She seeks collaboration, flexibility, spontaneity and responsiveness in the projects she designs and completes. As the host of the Short Fuse podcast she draws individuals into lively and provocative conversations around the arts: dance, theater, literature, music, and film.

Alex Waters is a media producer and editor for the Short Fuse Podcast, a music producer, and Berklee College of Music student. He has written and produced music and edited for podcasts such as The Faith and Chai Podcast and Con Confianza. He produces his own, as well as writes music and records for independent artists such as The Living. Alex lives in Brooklyn. You can reach him with inquiries by emailing

The Short Fuse Podcast is produced by the Arts Fuse. Email:

The Arts Fuse was established in June, 2007 as a curated, independent online arts magazine dedicated to publishing in-depth criticism, along with high quality previews, interviews, and commentaries. The publication’s over 60 freelance critics (many of them with decades of experience) cover dance, film, food, literature, music, television, theater, video games, and visual arts.

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