Book Fight!

Tough love for literature


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Episode 169: Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea

Welcome back, listeners, to our weekly podcast that occasionally talks about good books, instead of books that, frankly, have very little reason to exist. Sorry, one of us is still a bit salty about that one. But this week we’ve got a veritable classic: Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, which nearly everyone agrees is great, except perhaps Tom, but that’s only because he has questionable taste.

Mike has been wanting to revisit Rhys’s 1966 novel for some time now, since it often comes up in discussions of fan fiction: the book is a sort of prequel to Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, telling the story of Rochester’s first wife, who in that novel is presented as a “madwoman in the attic.” Rhys explores her fractured family life in Jamaica, her Creole heritage, and the early stages of her marriage to Mr. Rochester.

In the second half of the show, we debut a new segment about academic writing called “Do What?” Also: a quick installment of Fan Fiction Corner. Prepare to have your motor revved, listeners!

As always, you can stream the episode right here on our site, by clicking on the little player thingy below. Or download the mp3 file directly. You can also find us in the iTunes store, or wherever you get your podcasts. We welcome your feedback: shoot us an email, leave a comment here on the site, or find us on social media (we’re on both Twitter and Facebook these days).

Thanks for listening!

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Episode 130: John Knowles, A Separate Peace

One of us read this famous WWII coming-of-age novel in high school, while the other is encountering it for the first time. Will it hold up to adult scrutiny? Should today’s high school students still be forced to read it? And are the two main characters totally gay for each other?

Answers to these and other pressing questions on this week’s Book Fight!

SeparatePeace

As always, you can stream the show right here on our site, by clicking on the little player thingy below. Or visit us in the iTunes store, or wherever you get your podcasts, where you can subscribe (for free!) and never miss another weekly installment.

Stream:

Download Episode 130 (right-click, save-as)

Thanks for listening!