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 Jami Attenberg, whose first memoir I Came All This Way to Meet You examines a writing life in its broadest sense. Attenberg looks back on her writing career in the context of her travels, and the nonlinear format allows her to explore topics such as anxiety, gentrification, forming and losing relationships, and many others. And as her attention to detail and narrative voice brought her acclaim as a fiction writer, she brings these same qualities to nonfiction, with marvelous result.
Attenberg is our first guest to choose a collection of short stories for the show, this being the collected works of Grace Paley. We discuss Paley’s eschewing of conventional setup in her writing, along with her close analysis of motherhood and domesticity, all set in noisy urban settings with a rotating cast of memorable characters. Attenberg also shares her experiences creating and thinking about memoir, the exhaustion that comes with social media, and numerous other topics.
Sula by Toni Morrison (with Saeed Jones, Author of Alive at the End of the World) – Your Favorite Book
- Sula by Toni Morrison (with Saeed Jones, Author of Alive at the End of the World)
- Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward (with Joe Meno, Author of Book of Extraordinary Tragedies)
- Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger (with Adam Levin, Author of Mount Chicago)
- The Song of Everlasting Sorrow by Wang Anyi (with Belinda Huijuan Tang, Author of A Map for the Missing)
- A Death in the Family by James Agee (with Jean Thompson, Author of The Poet's House)
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.
Malavika Praseed is a writer, book reviewer, and genetic counselor. Her fiction has been published in Plain China, Cuckoo Quarterly, Re:Visions, and others. Her podcast, YOUR FAVORITE BOOK, is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and various other platforms