Thomas Mallon may be our generation’s Allen Drury — the top fictional chronicler of political life in Washington, D.C. His new book is Finale, a Novel of the Reagan Years.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Mallon describes what fiction can do that nonfiction can’t, how he handles the famous problem of Reagan’s personal unknowability, and what he thinks of Dutch, the controversial book by Edmund Morris that blends fiction and nonfiction in its coverage of Reagan.

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