An abusive relationship defines a young woman’s life in Kate Elizabeth Russell’s brilliant debut.
On this episode, Russell discusses My Dark Vanessa (William Morrow, March 10), the “gut-wrenching” story of an affair between a 15-year-old student and her 42-year-old English teacher at a boarding school in Maine. The narrative flows between 2000, when the affair begins, and 2017, when the #MeToo movement forces Vanessa to “confront the abusive relationship that defines her sexual and romantic past” (starred review).
Russell and host Megan Labrise discuss My Dark Vanessa’s 18-year path to publication, critical trauma theory, and the surreality of learning that a Harvey Weinstein juror was threatened with dismissal for reading an ARC of the book.
Then children’s editor Vicky Smith, YA editor Laura Simeon, nonfiction editor Eric Liebetrau, and fiction editor Laurie Muchnick join with their reading recommendations for the week.
The Bear in My Family, written and illustrated by Maya Tatsukawa
Tigers, Not Daughters by Samantha Mabry
The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel
Fully Booked is produced by Cabel Adkins Audio and Megan Labrise.