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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

Short Story Book Club: The Lottery by Shirley Jackson (with Anna Johnson) Your Favorite Book

In light of recent events, for the first week of airing, my guest and I will be donating a dollar to local abortion funds across several states for every listen this episode gets. You can feel free to spread the word or join me in the fundraising. If you'd like to match a portion of the listens, please reach out to me on instagram or twitter @yfbpodcast We're chatting about one of the most famous American short stories ever written, "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson. Anna and I chat about how unfortunately timely this story feels, some wonderfully unexpected moments while reading this story, our grievances against long-held American traditions, and so much more. Everything is spoiled, so consider yourself warned! There are also some lighter reading recommendations at the very end, so stay tuned for those.
  1. Short Story Book Club: The Lottery by Shirley Jackson (with Anna Johnson)
  2. This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (with Kristina Forest, author of Zyla and Kai)
  3. Airborn by Kenneth Oppel (with Jesmeen Kaur Deo, Author of TJ Powar Has Something to Prove)
  4. The Magical Language of Others by E.J. Koh (with Joseph Han, author of Nuclear Family)
  5. Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi (with Grace Shim, Author of The Noh Family)

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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