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On this week’s episode, the critics discuss Obvious Child, an indie rom-com starring Jenny Slate as a Brooklyn-based comic with a fledgling stand-up routine and an unwanted pregnancy. Does the film’s matter-of-fact presentation of abortion make it apolitical or too political? Next, inspired by a Slate piece from Ruth Graham that disparages adults for reading young adult fiction, the gabbers debate the merits of the genre for readers of all ages. And finally, they turn to a New Republic essay by Rebecca Traister advocating the reinstatement of Home Economics—for girls and boys. Should schools be teaching students to cook, clean and sew?
Links to some of the things we discussed this week follow:
- Dana’s review of Obvious Child on Slate
- Dana’s profile of Jenny Slate in New York magazine
- Knocked Up directed by Judd Apatow
- Juno directed by Jason Reitman
- Ruth Graham provokes debate on Slate, claiming that adults should be embarrassed to read YA literature
- Margaret Talbot profiles YA novelist John Green in the New Yorker
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
- Dana’s review of the film adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars on Slate
- The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
- His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
- The Divergent series by Veronica Roth
- The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
- I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
- Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
- Rebecca Traister advocates a gender-neutral return to Home Economics in the New Republic
Dana: Rachel Nuwer’s “Murder in Miniature,” a fantastic piece about dollhouse dioramas and forensic science on Slate.
Julia: The semi-forgotten Paul Simon album The Rhythm of the Saints.
Steve: Van Gogh studies, including Van Gogh: The Life by Steven Naifeh and George White Smith and The Portrait of Dr. Gachet: The Store of a Van Gogh Masterpiece, Money, Politics, Collectors, Greed, and Loss by Cynthia Saltzman.*
Outro: “Obvious Child” by Paul Simon
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This podcast was produced by Ann Heppermann. Our intern is Anna Shechtman.
Correction, June 17, 2014: This post originally misspelled author Cynthia Saltzman's last name.