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 Nghi Vo, author of The Chosen and the Beautiful and most recently, Siren Queen. Combining 30s Hollywood with fairyland rules, Siren Queen shows us the dark side of celebrity and what it means to craft a persona for public consumption, and what it takes to climb to the top. The book is part Faustian legend, part Gatsbyesque glamour, and ultimately an aesthetic all its own.
Nghi chooses a book she picked up at a Barnes and Noble over twenty years ago, a book she’s read over and over until the cover fell off, Angela Carter’s last novel Wise Children. This book is a haphazard, chaotic telling of a deeply dysfunctional family, with humor and darkness thrown in throughout, and ultimately a book that left us speechless at many, many points. We discuss all things celebrity culture and the morality of performance, along with plenty of laughs along the way.
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.