The Audio Book Club on American Wife
Our critics discuss Curtis Sittenfeld's new novel.
Updated Friday, Sept. 12, 2008, at 11:38 AM
To listen to the Slate Audio Book Club discussion of Curtis Sittenfeld's American Wife, click the arrow on the player below.
The Audio Book Club kicks off the fall books season with a discussion of Curtis Sittenfeld's American Wife, a sprawling novel based largely on Laura Bush's life. The story of a shy, book-loving girl from Wisconsin who winds up as the president's spouse, American Wife asks what it might be like to have married a man who doesn't share your political values. Slate culture critic Meghan O'Rourke, Slate contributor and NYU professor Katie Roiphe, and Slate Deputy Editor Julia Turner debate the merits of Sittenfeld's novel. Does Sittenfeld, author of best-seller Prep, illuminate anything about Laura Bush's life? Does the novel have any power as fiction, or is it interesting only insofar as it has factual relevance? The 45-minute conversation explores these and many other questions.
If you'd like to get an early start on the next book-club selection, we've chosen David Carr's The Night of the Gun, a reported memoir about being an addict. Watch for—and listen to—our Audio Book Club about The Night of the Gun in early October.
You can also listen to any of our previous club meetings by clicking on the links below *:
Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
Netherland, by Joseph O'Neill
Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
Beautiful Children, by Charles Bock
All the King's Men, by Robert Penn Warren
Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
Tree of Smoke, by Denis Johnson
The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama
The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
The House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton
Independence Day, by Richard Ford
The Emperor's Children, by Claire Messud
The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan
Beloved, by Toni Morrison
Everyman, by Philip Roth
Saturday, by Ian McEwan
The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion
Questions? Comments? Write to us at email@example.com. (E-mailers may be quoted by name unless they request otherwise.)
* To download the MP3 file,right-click (Windows) or hold down the Control key while you click (Mac), and then use the "save" or "download" command to save the audio file to your hard drive.
Meghan O'Rourke is Slate's culture critic and an advisory editor. She was previously an editor at The New Yorker. The Long Goodbye, a memoir about her mother's death, is now out in paperback.
Katie Roiphe, professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University, is the author most recently of Uncommon Arrangements: Seven Marriages, and the forthcoming In Praise of Messy Lives.