Miracle and Wonder: Conversations with Paul Simon is unlike any artistic portrait you’ve ever heard before. Recorded over a series of 30 hours of conversation between Simon, Malcolm Gladwell, and Broken Record podcast co-host Bruce Headlam, the conversation flows from Simon’s music to his childhood in Queens, NY, his frequent collaborators including Art Garfunkel, and the nature of creativity itself. Gladwell and Headlam traveled from the mountains of Hawaii to Simon’s own backyard studio to record an artist they’ve idolized since childhood.
Archival audio tracks and never-before-heard live studio versions are woven throughout the audiobook alongside distinctive commentary about Simon’s songwriting and beloved hits like “The Boxer,” “The Sound of Silence,” and “Graceland.” Between conversations, Gladwell deploys his signature blend of historical research and social science in an attempt to understand how a boy from 1940s Queens conjured near-perfect songs over an incredible 65-year career. Along the way he gathers reflections on Simon’s particular genius from the likes of Sting, Herbie Hancock, Renee Fleming, Jeff Tweedy, Aaron Lindsey, and Roseanne Cash.
The result is an intimate audio biography of one of America’s most popular songwriters. Brimming with music and conversation, Miracle and Wonder is a window into Paul Simon’s legendary career, what it means to be alive as an artist, and how to create work that endures.