On this episode, we're excited to bring you Jill Bialosky in conversation with Lynn Steger Strong.
Lynn Steger Strong is the author of the novels Hold Still, Want, and her latest release Flight, available on Nov. 8th.
Jill Bialosky is a novelist and poet who is also the Executive Editor at W. W. Norton & Company. Jill's newest volume of poetry, Asylum: A Personal, Historical, Natural Inquiry in 103 Lyric Sections, was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and her memoir, History of a Suicide: My Sister's Unfinished Life, was a NYT Best Seller.
Lynn and Jill examine Jill's latest novel, The Deceptions, to take a deep dive into a variety of issues, such as personal power, shame, and the complicated ways patriarchal systems affect feminine sensibilities within the creative process, and inform their receptions in the world.
An explosive tale of art and myth, desire and betrayal, from New York Times best-selling author Jill Bialosky
Something terrible has happened and I don’t know what to do. An unnamed narrator’s life is unraveling. Her only child has left home, and her twenty-year marriage is strained. Anticipation about her soon-to-be-released book of poetry looms. She seeks answers to the paradoxes of love, desire, and parenthood among the Greek and Roman gods at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As she passes her days teaching at a boys’ prep school, spending her off-hours sequestered in the museum's austere galleries, she is haunted by memories of a yearlong friendship with a colleague, a fellow poet struggling with his craft. As secret betrayals and deceptions come to light and rage threatens to overwhelm her, the pantheon of gods assume remarkably vivid lives of their own, forcing her to choose between reality and myth in an effort to free herself from the patriarchal constraints of the past and embrace a new vision for her future.
The Deceptions is a page-turning and seductively told exploration of female sexuality and ambition as well as a human drama that dares to test the stories we tell ourselves. It is also a brilliant investigation of a life caught between the dueling magnetic poles of privacy and its appropriation in art and literature. Celebrated poet, memoirist, and novelist Jill Bialosky has reached new and daring heights in her boldest work yet.
"Arresting and powerful, Flight examines the possibility and pain of fierce love and hope in our time of looming existential threats.” — Lily King, New York Times bestselling author of Writers & Lovers
"Suspenseful, dazzling and moving.” — Rumaan Alam, New York Times bestselling author of Leave the World Behind
It’s December twenty-second and siblings Henry, Kate, and Martin have converged with their spouses on Henry’s house in upstate New York. This is the first Christmas the siblings are without their mother, the first not at their mother’s Florida house. Over the course of the next three days, old resentments and instabilities arise as the siblings, with a gaggle of children afoot, attempt to perform familiar rituals, while also trying to decide what to do with their mother’s house, their sole inheritance. As tensions rise, the whole group is forced to come together unexpectedly when a local mother and daughter need help.
With the urgency and artfulness that cemented her previous novel Want as “a defining novel of our age” (Vulture), Strong once again turns her attention to the structural and systemic failings that are haunting Americans, but also to the ways in which family, friends, and strangers can support each other through the gaps. Flight is a novel of family, ambition, precarity, art, and desire, one that forms a powerful next step from a brilliant chronicler of our time.
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