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 Belinda Huijuan Tang, author of the debut novel A Map for the Missing. The novel spans time from the 1970s through the 1990s, in China as well as the United States, and centers family secrets and miscommunication along with the impact of pursuing one’s dreams. What does it mean to live a life of knowledge, and how easy is it to achieve that path?
Belinda chose Wang Anyi’s The Song of Everlasting Sorrow as her favorite book. Written in 1995 and translated from Chinese, this novel spans four decades in the life of Wang Qiyao, a former beauty queen who lives a life of heartbreak in both old and new Shanghai. The book is dense, complex, but also deliciously petty and joyful in its depictions of Wang Anyi’s hometown.
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.