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The Collected Stories of Grace Paley with Jami Attenberg

The Collected Stories of Grace Paley with Jami Attenberg

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.

See Also

Real Life by Brandon Taylor (with Naheed Phiroze Patel, Author of Mirror Made of Rain) Your Favorite Book

This was an intriguing one, fellas! My guest is Naheed Phiroze Patel, author of the new novel MIRROR MADE OF RAIN, and she and I chat in detail about former YFB podcast guest Brandon Taylor and his debut novel REAL LIFE. Yes, being a podcast guest is Brandon's only claim to fame, how'd you guess? In all seriousness, this book is a masterclass of carefully crafted scenes, excruciatingly awkward moments, and flat-out beautiful prose. I couldn't put it down. Naheed and I also chat about her book, including writing for an audience in different continents, the possibly ingrained sexism of Karva Chauth, the pros and cons of an MFA program, and so much more. Books discussed this episode: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee, Arlington Park by Rachel Cusk Buy Naheed's book: May Short Story Book Club: Follow the podcast on instagram and twitter @yfbpodcast. Reviews always appreciated!
  1. Real Life by Brandon Taylor (with Naheed Phiroze Patel, Author of Mirror Made of Rain)
  2. Wise Children by Angela Carter (with Nghi Vo, Author of Siren Queen)
  3. Short Story Book Club: The Worst Friend Date I Ever Had by Samantha Irby (with Jasmine Vyas)
  4. Gregor the Overlander with Vaishnavi Patel (Author of Kaikeyi)
  5. Azadi with Madhushree Ghosh (Author of Khabaar)

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.

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