Podcast Episode 47: Caroline Zancan (author of We Wish You Luck)

We wish you luck

In Episode 47, Caroline Zancan (author of We Wish You Luck) discuss her time getting her MFA at the Bennington Writing Seminars, how her job as an editor at Henry Holt impacted her as an author, and the allure of campus novels.

This post contains affiliate links (plus: here’s your Amazon Smile-specific affiliate link), through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).


This episode is sponsored by Book of the Month. Use the code SARAHSBOOKSHELVES at checkout to get your first book for just $9.99!

This month, I chose You Are Not AloneThe Holdout, and Anna K. Check out my commentary on all the February picks to help choose the right book for your reading taste.


  • What parts of Caroline’s experience at a low-residency MFA Program she incorporated into We Wish You Luck.
  • The allure of campus novels.
  • The value of having a degree from a MFA Program (and the ways it doesn’t help you).
  • Why she chose to tell the story in the collective voice and to leave the three main characters’ perspectives out of the collective.
  • How her job as an Editor impacted her as an author and, conversely, what she learned as an author that she took back to her editorial job.
  • How the “book shopping” process works for someone who works in publishing.
  • Some funny Goodreads reviews of Ulysses.
  • How publishers factor events like elections into their publishing calendars.

Caroline’s Book Recommendations

Two OLD Books She Loves 

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T Love

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

*Note: when we recorded, there was no cover or full blurb about this book available from the publisher. Since recording, you can now see the cover on Goodreads, which interestingly, features an actual photo of Hillary Clinton (how is this legally possible?!)!

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Caroline

Caroline Zancan

Caroline Zancan is the author of the novels Local Girls and We Wish You Luck. She is a graduate of Kenyon College and holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. A Senior Editor at Henry Holt, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their children.

Next Episode

Mini Episode featuring Genevieve Trono (@genthebookworm)…airing February 26.

Support the Podcast

  • Support on Patreon – When you support the podcast on Patreon for $5/month, get bonus podcast episodes and other goodies!
  • Share
    If you like the podcast, I’d love for you to share it with your reader friends…in real life and on social media (there’s easy share buttons at the bottom of this post!).
  • Subscribe
    …wherever you listen to podcasts, so new episodes will appear in your feed as soon as they’re released.
  • Rate and Review
    Search for “Sarah’s Book Shelves” in Apple Podcasts…or wherever you listen to podcasts!


book podcast

Pin this post…

We Wish you luck


Get Weekly Email Updates!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Alison Holliday wrote:

    Hi Sarah. Love this episode . Caroline’s book was amazing and “the Holdout” is next on my list. You have the author listed as Graham Greene instead of Moore though. I only noticed when I went to Goodreads to look up the reviews.

    Posted 2.20.20 Reply

Get Weekly Email Updates!

Join our mailing list to receive all new blog posts in one weekly email. Plus, news of special updates and offers!

You have Successfully Subscribed!