26 episodes

Craft Talk Book Club is a podcast for writers who want to improve their craft by reading great books. Each month, Nicole Breit (Spark Your Story Lab creator and Best American Essays notable essayist) and Mary Adkins (The Book Incubator founder and HarperCollins novelist) choose a recently published novel or memoir to unpack the craft choices made by the author—which they discuss over four weekly episodes. Together, we’ll read and learn from some of the best writers publishing today.

Craft Talk Book Club Nicole Breit & Mary Adkins

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 4 Ratings

Craft Talk Book Club is a podcast for writers who want to improve their craft by reading great books. Each month, Nicole Breit (Spark Your Story Lab creator and Best American Essays notable essayist) and Mary Adkins (The Book Incubator founder and HarperCollins novelist) choose a recently published novel or memoir to unpack the craft choices made by the author—which they discuss over four weekly episodes. Together, we’ll read and learn from some of the best writers publishing today.

    We’re Taking a Break!

    We’re Taking a Break!

    Mary and Nicole are taking a break before season 2. Catch up on The Idiot by Elif Batuman before they return later this year. See you next season!

    • 1 min
    ”Persephone’s Children”, part 4: Proximal vs emotional distance...

    ”Persephone’s Children”, part 4: Proximal vs emotional distance...

    A common challenge for writers of memoir is how to create emotional safety while bringing readers in close. One of the ways McCandless does this is by including photos, artifacts and documents as a starting point for essaying. Nicole + Mary discuss the many ways McCandless brings a sense of play to her exploration of difficult truths in Persephone's Children.

    • 16 min
    ”Persephone’s Children”, part 3: What holds it all together?

    ”Persephone’s Children”, part 3: What holds it all together?

    Persephone's Children doesn't follow a traditional narrative arc; it doesn't even have a consistent first-person narrator. And yet the story McCandless tells feels perfectly cohesive. Nicole and Mary consider key elements that unify the book and speculate on the placement of a visual metaphor that gave them pause.

    • 16 min
    ”Persephone’s Children”, part 2: Hermit Crab Essay 101...

    ”Persephone’s Children”, part 2: Hermit Crab Essay 101...

    A contract, a word search, a play, a grimoire. How does a writer go about finding the right container to shape their story? Mary and Nicole discuss their favorite essays in Persephone's Children, why they work so well, and how a writer might discover the right form to tell their own vulnerable stories.

    • 15 min
    ”Persephone’s Children”, part 1: Mosaic memoir, deconstructed.

    ”Persephone’s Children”, part 1: Mosaic memoir, deconstructed.

    What is a mosaic memoir? And why go about writing one vs a traditional straightforward narrative? Nicole + Mary dig into the ways crafting a memoir-in-essays helped Rowan McCandless grapple with difficult subject matter like racism, intergenerational trauma, and domestic abuse.

    • 13 min
    ”Black Cake” by Charmaine Wilkerson: Symbols

    ”Black Cake” by Charmaine Wilkerson: Symbols

    Perhaps the most significant and explicit symbol in this novel is black cake, and it's rich (pun intended) indeed. In this final episode discussing Black Cake, we unpack Wilkerson's choice to build a world around this one dessert, and all the implications of that choice.

    • 11 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
4 Ratings

4 Ratings

kd4538 ,

LOVE this podcast

I think this idea for a podcast is genius! The hosts bring such enthusiasm and curiosity to the books it makes me want to go back and read them again. This is a book club for anyone who gets frustrated with book clubs that never actually discuss the book! Highly recommend!

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