Best Last Books


Manage episode 297989645 series 2607901
By Molly Fessenden, Marlon James, and Jake Morrissey. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

In this episode Marlon and Jake ponder the tricky question of the last books by authors who’ve … um … left this mortal coil. Which last books are actually worth reading? (Not many, it turns out.) From Roberto Bolaño to Penelope Fitzgerald, Sylvia Plath to Eudora Welty, Marlon and Jake discuss how an author's last book compares to their previous ones, how success and age changed how and what they wrote, and the wistfulness that comes when some last books are actually good and you wonder what the authors might have written next, if, you know, they hadn't died. Tune in for this and more, including Marlon and Jake’s surprising thoughts on James Thurber's humorous memoir, My Life and Hard Times.

Select titles discussed:

  • Maurice by E. M. Forster
  • Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
  • Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
  • The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  • The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño
  • 2666 by Roberto Bolaño
  • Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau
  • A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
  • Passage to India by E. M. Forster
  • Something Happened by Joseph Heller
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  • After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie by Jean Rhys
  • One Writer’s Beginnings by Eudora Welty
  • The Robber Bridegroom by Eudora Welty
  • The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty
  • “Where is the Voice Coming From?” by Eudora Welty
  • My Life and Hard Times by James Thurber
  • Typee by Herman Melville
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  • The Salt Eaters by Toni Cade Bambara

23 episodes