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Your Favorite Book with Ethan Chatagnier

Your Favorite Book with Ethan Chatagnier

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?

Our guest this week is Ethan Chatagnier, whose debut novel Singer Distance effortlessly combines the space age paranoia of the 1960s, theoretical math, and the high stakes of a love unfulfilled. The book challenges the idea of what it would mean to communicate with another planet, presenting an alternate history where this contact has been made and scientists believe they’ve cracked the latest Martian math challenge set for Earthlings to understand.

Ethan chose a book that also blurs the lines between literary and science fiction, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. This seminal work by the Nobel Laureate defies most summaries, with its slowly unfolding plot and piecemeal storytelling. This is one of few YFB episodes that dives headfirst into spoilers, so for those who have not read Never Let Me Go, it’s highly recommended before listening, and a highly recommended book in general.

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: 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 and other platforms are also very much appreciated.

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