Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

Episode 177: Evan Connell, Mrs. Bridge (with Lauren Grodstein)

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We welcome special guest Lauren Grodstein (author of, most recently, the novel Our Short History) to discuss a 1959 book that’s become something of a cult classic over the years, one of those books that many writers claim as a favorite. Not that Mrs. Bridge (and its sequel, Mr Bridge) was completely overlooked in its time. But Connell didn’t garner nearly the accolades that other sardonic chroniclers of the WASPy suburbs did (think Richard Yates and J.D. Salinger, both of whom were putting out their best-known work in the same era).

We talk about the book’s humor, and its short chapters, each of which is like a small vignette in the life of its title character. We speculate about why it wasn’t more popular in its time, and go back to look at what reviewers had to say when the novel first came out.

Of course we also talk about Lauren’s new book, which has been getting great reviews. It’s her fourth book, and we ask her about the work habits that allow her to put out so much writing while also teaching, raising a child, and doing all the other daily things required of humans on Earth. Plus our usual lightning-round questions!

As always, you can stream the episode right here on our site, by clicking on the little player below. Or download the mp3 file, and listen on your favorite device. You can also find us in the iTunes store, or wherever you normally get your podcasts. If you like the show, make sure to subscribe (for free!) so you never miss another episode.

Stream Episode 177:

Download Episode 177 (right-click, save-as)

Thanks for listening!

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Author: mikeingram25

writer, editor

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