YRL superstar Roshani Chokshi’s latest is an extraordinary fairy tale for adults.
On this week’s episode, sponsored by Cambridge University Press, Roshani Chokshi joins us to discuss The Last Tale of the Flower Bride (Morrow/HarperCollins, Feb. 14), a riveting gothic fairy tale from the bestselling, award-winning author of books for young readers, including The Star-Touched Queen, The Gilded Wolves, and Aru Shah and the End of Time. Chokshi, a trained medievalist who often incorporates world mythology and folklore into her stories, pays tribute to Celtic goddess Blodeuwedd, among others, in chronicling the unlikely love story of a mysterious heiress and a poor scholar who meet in Paris.
Here’s a bit from our starred review of The Last Tale of the Flower Bride: “A fairy-tale scholar known only as ‘the bridegroom’ meets the mysterious, fabulously wealthy Indigo Maxwell-Casteñada when he asks to see a rare book from her family’s private collection. Almost immediately, he and Indigo embark on a whirlwind romance fueled by their mutual love of stories. But despite her passion for him, Indigo keeps the bridegroom at a distance, making him promise never to dig into her past.…[A]s in the best folktales, the issues at the crux of the otherworldly struggles here are simply, and painfully, human. A singular, unforgettable tale of love and magic.”
Host Megan Labrise asks Chokshi whether she considers The Last Tale of the Flower Bride to be a love letter—and to what or whom? They discuss the character of the bridegroom; acts of devotion in fairy tales; studying medievalism in college; love and monstrosity; the story of St. Dymphna; to what, if any, extent very successful young readers’ authors are discouraged from writing adult books; the moody and majestic Pacific Northwest; the attributes of an excellent storyteller; and much more.
Then editors Laura Simeon, Mahnaz Dar, Eric Liebetrau, and Laurie Muchnick share their top picks in books for the week.
The Sum of Us: How Racism Hurts Everyone (Adapted for Young Readers) by Heather McGhee (Delacorte)
Lasagna Means I Love You by Kate O’Shaughnessy (Knopf)
The Black Guy Dies First: Black Horror Cinema From Fodder to Oscar by Robin R. Means and Mark H. Harris (Saga/Simon & Schuster)
The Sun Walks Down by Fiona McFarlane (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Also mentioned on this episode:
The Sum of Us: How Racism Hurts Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee (One World/Random House)
The World Record Book of Racist Stories by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar (Grand Central Publishing)
To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American FosterCare by Cris Beam (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass (Putnam)
The Getaway by Lamar Giles (Scholastic)
The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson (Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins)
The Son by Philipp Meyer (Ecco/HarperCollins)
Thanks to our sponsors:
The Glass Witch by Sara Raztresen
Secrets of the Under-Under World by P.S. Whatever
Never a Cloud by Jo Brunini
The Maenad’s God by Karen Michalson
Turn This Conversation Around by Beth Wonson
Fully Booked is produced by Cabel Adkins Audio and Megan Labrise.