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 is Keenan Norris, author of the recent CHI BOY: Native Sons and Chicago Reckonings. This book combines elements of memoir, essays, and journalism to paint a portrait of the growth of Chicago told through the narratives of Black men. These include the author’s father, author Richard Wright, and former president Barack Obama. Set in the backdrop of the Great Migration, the novel challenges our ideas of past and present Chicago in new and intriguing ways.
Keenan chose the landmark history of the Great Migration as his all-time favorite book, The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. Wilkerson too combines genre in her depiction of the Great Migration, tracking the journey of three Black Americans fleeing the Jim Crow-era south for the promises of burgeoning northern cities. The book’s careful interviews and attention to detail helps make the movement both personal and universal, and stays engaging from beginning to end.
FINALE (for now): My Favorite Books of 2022 – Your Favorite Book
- FINALE (for now): My Favorite Books of 2022
- On Book Podcasting (Again!) with Julie Strauss (Best Book Ever Crossover)
- The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson with Keenan Norris (Author of Chi Boy)
- I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy with Deeba Zargarpur (Author of House of Yesterday)
- Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (with Ethan Chatagnier, author of Singer Distance)
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.
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