The Sears Christmas Wish Book was (truly) great American literature

00:00 / 00:51:13

“The Sears Christmas Wish Book was, for me, a kind of foundational text — a secular counterpoint to the Bible stories I learned around that time in Sunday School. I paged through the holiday catalog’s 620 glossy pages as if they amounted to an intoxicating graphic novel of desire, rich with abundance and possibility.” – Rolf Potts, from “Literature of Desire”

In this episode Rolf reads an audio version of his Christmas-themed essay “Literature of Desire,” and discusses the wonders of the Sears Christmas Wish Book with novelist Tod Goldberg (@todgoldberg). Tod is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen books, including the novel Gangsterland, which is currently being developed into a television series. He is also the director of the University of California-Riverside Palm Desert Low-Residency MFA, and the co-host of the Literary Disco podcast.

Introduction (00:35 – 11:20)

Literature of Desire essay (11:20 – 32:20)

Sears Wish Book memories (32:20 – 50:10)

This episode was sponsored by the Paris Writing Workshop, an intensive one-month course in the artistic heart of Europe.

The Deviate theme music comes from the title track of Cedar Van Tassel’s 2017 album Lumber.

Note: We don’t host a “comments” section, but we’re happy to hear your questions and insights via email, at

Listen on Google Play Music
Available on Stitcher
Get it on iTunes