Your Favorite Book with Jean Thompson – Chicago Review of Books


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 Jean Thompson, author of many novels, former National Book Award finalist, and most recently the author of The Poet’s House. This book explores the sordid lives and falsehoods of poets in California through the eyes of a young admirer, a woman entrenched in blue-collar life but fascinated by poetry. The book takes on the blurred lines of mentorship, the elitism of poetry, and the differences between loving writing and writers themselves.

Jean chose a book first and foremost for its prose style, so unique and unlike a great deal of contemporary writing. James Agee’s A Death in the Family, his posthumous Pulitzer Prize winning masterpiece, takes the simple and magnifies it to Biblical proportions. The death of a family patriarch shatters the suburban ideals within, and we witness the internal and external carnage in one way or another.

This is our season finale, but Your Favorite Book will be back in mid-August with more interviews.

See Also


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

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



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