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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.

Your LEAST Favorite Books Your Favorite Book

It's the one year anniversary of the Your Favorite Book podcast, and to celebrate me sticking with something for a whole 12 months (and of course celebrating all you wonderful listeners), I decided to have a little fun. We're talking about LEAST favorite books today, the ones that disappoint, frustrate, enrage, and bore you. The ones that make you doubt literature as a whole (okay, maybe that's a little dramatic). We have my musings on least favorites through time, takes on disappointing and problematic literature, and coming back to books you may have hated once. But the best part, we have GUEST SUBMISSIONS from listeners and former podcast guests alike, some which were submitted via audio and some as written rands (read by yours truly). With least favorite books come ranting about endings, so below are the books that have endings revealed. Listen at your own risk! But honestly, maybe you hate these books along with us. Maybe you think we're totally wrong. In that case, feel free to let us know! I always welcome honest criticism, as well as rants of any kind, even if they're about how dumb I am. Books with Endings Mentioned: The Girl with the Green Ribbon, Our Only May Amelia, Jane Eyre, The Rum Diary, Robinson Crusoe Follow the podcast on instagram and twitter @yfbpodcast. We'll be back to our regular interview episodes next week, with a VERY special guest!
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  4. Persuasion with Brandon Taylor (Author of Filthy Animals)
  5. 50th Episode Special: Book Recommendations!
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