PODCAST

After Love, After Work, After Grief: 'Afterlife'

BY MEGAN LABRISE • April 7, 2020

Legendary author Julia Alvarez presents her first adult novel in 14 years.

Alvarez built a legendary career telling varied, vivid stories of the Dominican American experience, beginning with How the García Girls Lost Their Accents (1991) and In the Time of Butterflies (1994).

On this episode, she discusses Afterlife (Algonquin Press, April 7), a story she describes as a “Book of Job” of Antonia Vega, a small-town Vermont English professor, recently widowed and retired, circa 2019. She’s striving to discover what the next chapter of her life will be—relying, in part, on her three sisters.

Kirkus: “Alvarez writes with knowing warmth about how well sisters know how to push on each other’s bruises and how powerfully they can lift each other up.” (starred review)

She and host Megan Labrise discuss what inspired the novel, how self-concept can shift with age and experience, how those we’ve loved and lost can continue to live through us, and the strange effects of pandemic and quarantine on book promotion.

Then children’s editor Vicky Smith, YA editor Laura Simeon, and fiction editor Laurie Muchnick join with their reading recommendations for the week.

Editors’ picks:

In the Woods by David Elliot, illus. by Rob Dunlavey (Candlewick)

Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know by Samira Ahmed (Soho Teen)

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel (Knopf)

 

Fully Booked is produced by Cabel Adkins Audio and Megan Labrise.

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