Why Does Everyone Love Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

Discussing new and classic works.
April 11 2014 10:31 AM

The Audio Book Club Wonders Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Slate’s critics debate Maria Semple’s comic best-seller.

This month, Dan Kois, Emily Bazelon, and Meghan O’Rourke discuss Maria Semple’s best-selling comic novel Where’d You Go, Bernadette. Our critics discuss the novel’s unique epistolary/documentary structure; hash out whether its satire of upper-crust parents is biting or toothless; and debate whether a comic novel has the same requirements of plot coherence and consistency as a non-comic one. Also, everyone wishes there was more stuff about architecture. Listen along!

Next month’s Audio Book Club will discuss Jenny Offill’s short novel of domestic dissolution Department of Speculation. Read the book (or listen to it!) and join us for our discussion on May 9.

Advertisement

The Audio Book Club is sponsored by Squarespace.com.

Visit our Audio Book Club archive page for a complete list of the more than 70 books we’ve discussed over the years. Or you can listen to any of our previous club meetings through our iTunes feed.

---

Podcast produced by Abdul Rufus and Andy Bowers.

Emily Bazelon is a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine and the author of Sticks and Stones

Dan Kois is Slate's culture editor and a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine.

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.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Natasha Lyonne Is Coming to the Live Culture Gabfest. Are You?

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Crime

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
Behold
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Honcho Says Celebs Who Keep Nude Photos in the Cloud Are “Stupid”
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 2 2014 9:19 AM Alibaba’s Founder on Why His Company Is Killing It in China
  Life
Outward
Oct. 2 2014 9:58 AM No Word Yet From the Supreme Court on Gay Marriage 
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 2 2014 10:36 AM How Bad Will Adam Sandler’s Netflix Movies Be?
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 2 2014 9:49 AM In Medicine We Trust Should we worry that so many of the doctors treating Ebola in Africa are missionaries?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?