The Book Review

Celeste Ng on Race, Class and Suburbia

Episode Summary

Ng discusses her best-selling 2017 novel, “Little Fires Everywhere,” and Judy Blume discusses her adult novel “In the Unlikely Event,” from 2015.

Episode Notes

For the next few months, we’re sharing some of our favorite conversations from the podcast’s archives. This week’s segments first appeared in 2017 and 2015, respectively.

Before “Little Fires Everywhere” was a hit series streaming on Hulu, it was a best-selling novel by Celeste Ng, who is also the author of the novels “Everything I Never Told You” and, most recently, the dystopian “Our Missing Hearts.” Ng came on the podcast in 2017 to talk about “Little Fires Everywhere,” which addressed themes of race, class and privilege in a fictionalized version of Shaker Heights, Ohio, where she grew up. “There’s a real difference between the surface of things and what the true state of things is,” Ng told the host Pamela Paul during her appearance. “That’s sort of a theme throughout — everyone in here, there’s a difference between the surface of who they appear to be and who they actually are inside.”

Also this week, we revisit Paul’s 2015 conversation with the esteemed children’s book author Judy Blume, who visited the podcast to discuss the recent publication of one of her adult novels, “In the Unlikely Event.”

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