Lorraine Hansberry's classic play A Raisin in the Sun endures for its insightful portrait of a black family in Chicago fighting for a better life. Inspired by her own family's experience with racial housing discrimination, it's a complex piece about who gets to get ahead, how, and why.And of course, we had to balance the gravity of this gem from Hansberry's brief but momentous career with a deep dive on where raisins come from.
Our voyage ends with Book 24, which includes one more amazing Odysseus lie and a heaping serving of deus ex machina. Then it's time to reflect on our journey from high school English students enduring a long reading assignment to olive-oiled men who love a good epic poem. Thanks for joining us on this trek through Emily Wilson's translation of Homer's Odyssey!
Caveat lictor: this episode contains mild spoilers for Drowning Ruth.Christina Schwarz's debut novel weaves together three main threads: historical fiction, melodramatic mystery, and sisterhood. The result is an interesting portrait of women in Depression-era Wisconsin striving for self-determination.Additional talking points include knock-knock tips, Jonathan Franzen's Oprah complaints, and the Tooth Fairy's pyramid scheme.
Madeline Miller's Circe is a great chaser for Emily Wilson's translation of The Odyssey, and it's an excellent exploration of a mythological character who has often been maligned. Miller's Circe is modern but also instantly recognizable and easy to reconcile with her classical depictions.
We're almost at the end of our long journey, but before we wrap up with Book 24 and our closing thoughts, we took some time to sit down with Emily Wilson and chat about her wonderful translation of Homer's Odyssey. Among other topics, we talked with her about her process, Telemachus' entertaining whining, and why all these boys are oiling themselves up all the time.