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New Episode of Your Favorite Book with Nicola DeRobertis-Theye

New Episode of Your Favorite Book with Nicola DeRobertis-Theye

Welcome to another installment of a collaboration between the Chicago Review of Books and the Your Favorite Book podcast. Malavika Praseed, frequent CHIRB contributor and podcast host, seeks to talk to readers and writers about the books that light a fire inside them. What’s your favorite book and why?

This week’s guest is Nicola DeRobertis-Theye, author of The Vietri Project. This novel combines millennial disillusionment, historical and present-day Rome, the resurfacing of childhood trauma, and a healthy dose of intrigue. Gabriele, a 25 year old woman struggling with purpose after graduating from college, travels to Rome in search of Vietri, a former client of hers at the bookstore where she worked. Gabriele knows nothing of Vietri other than his taste in dense academic books, and her quest brings her not only knowledge of Italy’s sordid colonial past, but also brings her face to face with family she left behind, as well as her own sense of self. This is an introspective novel with a strong sense of setting and nuanced characterization. If you’ve been yearning to travel, this might be the book for you.

Nicola reflects on an all-time favorite book, Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin. This dense, ambitious project, somewhat overshadowed by Atwood’s speculative fiction, is a blending of genre and narrative style in its own right. Comprised of newspaper clippings, character recollections, and a novel within a novel, readers piece together the disintegration of a family and the legacy its members have left behind. DeRobertis-Theye shares her story of reading The Blind Assassin as a teen, finding new insight in the book as an adult, the other writers that have influenced her prose style, and so much more.

All episodes of Your Favorite Book are spoiler-free, and we invite fans of Margaret Atwood and new readers alike to listen and engage in this discussion.

See Also

Listen to this episode of Your Favorite Book at the link below, and stay tuned for more episodes with other writers in the weeks to come. If you enjoy this episode, check out other episodes of Your Favorite Book on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or other major podcast platforms.

Real Life by Brandon Taylor (with Naheed Phiroze Patel, Author of Mirror Made of Rain) Your Favorite Book

This was an intriguing one, fellas! My guest is Naheed Phiroze Patel, author of the new novel MIRROR MADE OF RAIN, and she and I chat in detail about former YFB podcast guest Brandon Taylor and his debut novel REAL LIFE. Yes, being a podcast guest is Brandon's only claim to fame, how'd you guess? In all seriousness, this book is a masterclass of carefully crafted scenes, excruciatingly awkward moments, and flat-out beautiful prose. I couldn't put it down. Naheed and I also chat about her book, including writing for an audience in different continents, the possibly ingrained sexism of Karva Chauth, the pros and cons of an MFA program, and so much more. Books discussed this episode: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee, Arlington Park by Rachel Cusk Buy Naheed's book: https://bookshop.org/books/mirror-made-of-rain/9781951213602 May Short Story Book Club: https://lithub.com/inventory/ Follow the podcast on instagram and twitter @yfbpodcast. Reviews always appreciated!
  1. Real Life by Brandon Taylor (with Naheed Phiroze Patel, Author of Mirror Made of Rain)
  2. Wise Children by Angela Carter (with Nghi Vo, Author of Siren Queen)
  3. Short Story Book Club: The Worst Friend Date I Ever Had by Samantha Irby (with Jasmine Vyas)
  4. Gregor the Overlander with Vaishnavi Patel (Author of Kaikeyi)
  5. Azadi with Madhushree Ghosh (Author of Khabaar)
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