Are podcasts the new novels? Stephanie, Michelle and Jimmy podcast on a podcast: S-Town, the new hit show from the team that bought you Serial and This American Life. They discuss John B. McLemore, Alabama, Southern Gothic, tattoos, and why fact really is stranger than fiction.
The Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why, based on the popular book of the same name by Jay Asher, has attracted a huge amount of controversy because of its graphic depiction of teenage suicide. While some mental health groups have argued that its content could be triggering to young viewers, others have argued that the series has raised important areas of discussion around bullying and mental health issues for teenagers. This week, Stephanie and Michelle are joined by one of their students, Bohdi Byles, to discuss the television series.
Why was the CIA involved in literature? Stephanie and Michelle talk to Dr Alys Moody about the Congress for Cultural Freedom, a CIA-funded group that financed a whole range of literary activities in the mid-twentieth century. They ponder shadowy government organisations, cover-ups, and what happens when a bunch of writers find out that the CIA is funding their conferences.
Why is Harry Potter the global sensation that it is, twenty years after the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone? Stephanie and Michelle chat with fantasy expert Dr Kirstin Mills about Harry Potter and the internet, other fantasy literature you should be reading, and why Rowling just can't seem to let Harry go.
The Handmaid's Tale : Offred the Unman of Atwood's Dystopic Future or the woMan of Today's Feminist Nightmare
On the eve of the new television adaptation, Stephanie and Michelle discuss Margaret Atwood's feminist classic, The Handmaid's Tale. Why does this novel, published in 1985 but rapidly rising up the bestseller lists in 2017, still continue to speak to us so urgently today?
Paul Beatty's The Sellout and Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad are two of the most talked about American titles of the past few years, with Paul Beatty winning the Booker Prize in 2016 and Colson Whitehead taking home the 2016 National Book Award. This week, Stephanie and Michelle discuss The Sellout and The Underground Railroad, and think about why these books have resonated so widely with audiences around the world at this particular moment in time. In this episode, Stephanie predicts that The Underground Railroad will win the Pulitzer Prize, which has now come to pass. Stephanie enjoys being right.
The fourth season of the BBC adaptation of Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch recently aired. So what did our hosts think? We join special guest Dr. Jimmy Van to discuss all things Holmesian.
What was your favourite book of 2016? Stephanie and Michelle discuss their top three picks.