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New Episode of Your Favorite Book with Brandon Taylor

New Episode of Your Favorite Book with Brandon Taylor

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 episode marks the Season 2 finale, and our guest is Brandon Taylor, Booker prize nominee and the author of the new story collection Filthy Animals.Taylor weaves together stories of caregiving, grief, and discomfort, presenting us with humanity in all its messiness. From dancers in a fraught relationship to babysitting gone wrong, this collection leans in close to the tenuous nature of human connection. A mix of interlocking stories and standalones, the collection is shocking, heartbreaking, and deeply thoughtful.

For this episode, Brandon chose Jane Austen’s final novel Persuasion. He discusses discovering the works of Jane Austen while in a darkened lab studying C. elegans, and enumerates all the ways Persuasion is her magnum opus. The novel follows Anne Elliot, single and nearly geriatric at twenty-seven, coming to terms with her family’s faltering finances. Enter Captain Wentworth, wealthy and dashing, and Elliot’s former fiance (jilted years ago due to his lack of money and connections, at the suggestion of Anne’s loved ones). What follows is classic Austen in humor and wit, with a surprising gravitas and maturity.

Brandon discusses Persuasion at length, including the relatability of its plot, masterful dialogue, and its statements on love and companionship. We also chat about the process of crafting a short story collection (are you a singles artist or an album artist?), learning to appreciate ballet from an unlikely source, navigating awkwardness in life and in art, and so much more.

See Also

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson with Keenan Norris (Author of Chi Boy) Your Favorite Book

For this, our last formal interview episode for Your Favorite Book, I'm delving back into nonfiction and into some serious topics. THE WARMTH OF OTHER SUNS deserves all its accolades, not only for its extensive research on the Great Migration in Jim Crow era America, but on the attention to narrative detail and approachable, readable tone. My guest, Keenan Norris, touches on specific migrations and how the city of Chicago impacted several important Black historical figures, including Barack Obama and Richard Wright. Together, the two of us touch on the surprising results of research, what it means to learn something that should've been taught in schools, and so much more. Find Keenan at his website: https://www.keenannorris.com/ Follow the podcast on instagram and twitter @yfbpodcast
  1. The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson with Keenan Norris (Author of Chi Boy)
  2. I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy with Deeba Zargarpur (Author of House of Yesterday)
  3. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (with Ethan Chatagnier, author of Singer Distance)
  4. The House of Mirth with Sara Bennett Wealer (Author of Grave Things Like Love)
  5. Sula by Toni Morrison (with Saeed Jones, Author of Alive at the End of the World)

Listen to this episode of Your Favorite Book at the link above, 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. Reviews on Apple Podcasts are also very much appreciated.

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