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New Episode of Your Favorite Book with Morgan Jerkins

New Episode of Your Favorite Book with Morgan Jerkins

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 Morgan Jerkins, author of Caul Baby. This novel combines folklore and Black womanhood with gentrification and healthcare disparity, creating an unforgettable work of magical realism.The book follows the Melancon family, born with a layer of skin (the caul) that protects them from harm and imparts good fortune on those that carry it. The Melancons choose to sell pieces of their caul to ensure their safety and social standing, and for years this occurs without issue. Until the day they refuse sale to a pregnant Black woman and she loses her pregnancy. This sets into motion a series of events, including the adoption of a caul-bearing girl, that shakes the Melancon family and the Harlem community to its core.

In this pandemic, with our society questioning the nature and importance of employment, Morgan’s mind went to Temporary by Hilary Leichter as an all-time favorite book. This short, idiosyncratic novel follows an unnamed narrator that exists as a temporary worker. She fills in for roles that need filling, everything from a barnacle on a rock to Chairman of the Board. Jobs, relationships, friendships, these are as fleeting as a few hours of PTO. The goal is steadiness, but as the novel progresses, we wonder if steadiness is a reality or just a means to an end.

Morgan shares her thoughts on moving from nonfiction to fiction, the status of gentrification in Harlem, millennial work culture, and so much more. And as always, the episode is spoiler-free.

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.

The Shadow of the Wind with Maxwell Dunn Your Favorite Book

That no series rule I have? Well, I may need to rethink it, if Book 1 can be as good as this. I sat down with bookstagrammer Maxwell Dunn and talked about a book he's read five times, THE SHADOW OF THE WIND by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Despite this book having more  Goodreads review than I ever thought possible, I hadn't heard of it and was so, so pleasantly surprised. This book is a love letter to literature, with dark academia vibes and a warm autumnal feeling. And a lot of postwar trauma. And some really crazy family dynamics. It's a complex book and we cover a lot in the episode! Huge spoiler warnings for this one, if you want to avoid spoilers, skip the parts between 25:30 to 33:00. Max and I also chat about book to movie adaptations, an ill fated trip to Barcelona, what constitutes YA literature, and so much more.  Follow Max on Instagram @welldonebooks Follow the podcast on instagram and twitter @yfbpodcast Books we discuss: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, The Angel’s Game, The Prisoner of Heaven, and The Labyrinth of the Spirits all by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
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