Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

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Episode 140: Gregoire Bouillier, The Mystery Guest

Mike first read this book roughly a decade ago, and recently decided to revisit it after randomly plucking it from a shelf and reading the inscription, which he’d totally forgotten about. The short work of (more or less) nonfiction tells the story of a rather unusual party invite brokered by the narrator’s ex-girlfriend. He thinks she might want to give things another go, but soon enough realizes he’s allowed himself to get his hopes up for nothing.


Bouillier is perhaps better known for his first book, Report on Myself, a thin volume about (among other things) the author’s childhood. He also gained some notoriety several years ago when his former girlfriend, Sophie Calle–who features in The Mystery Guest–put together an art installation, Take Care of Yourself, based on the breakup note Bouillier wrote her.

We talk about small-scope books, and Bouillier’s idea of a “report” as its own literary genre. We’ve also got a short installment of Fan Fiction Corner that includes a writing prompt, if any of our listeners want to take a crack at it. You can email us your attempts, if you’d like, and maybe we’ll share some on a future episode.

As always, you can stream the episode right here on our site, or download the mp3 file directly. Or visit us in the iTunes store, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Thanks for listening!

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