Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill: Book club guide and discussion.

Have You Been Dying to Talk to Someone About Dept. of Speculation? We’ll Talk to You!

Have You Been Dying to Talk to Someone About Dept. of Speculation? We’ll Talk to You!

Discussing new and classic works.
May 9 2014 11:48 AM

The Audio Book Club Visits the Dept. of Speculation

Slate’s critics debate Jenny Offill’s novel of art’s struggle with domesticity.

This month, Dan Kois, Jessica Winter, and Meghan O’Rourke discuss Jenny Offill’s slim but potent novel Dept. of Speculation. Does the novel’s bifurcated structure work? Is its theme of the difficulty of making art when facing the daily struggles of domesticity resonant? What does that title mean, anyway? Listen along!

Next month’s Audio Book Club will discuss Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel of Nigerians going west, Americanah. Read the book (or listen to it!) and join us for our discussion on June 6.


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.

Dan Kois edits and writes for Slate’s human interest and culture departments. He’s the co-author, with Isaac Butler, of The World Only Spins Forward, a history of Angels in America, and is writing a book called How to Be a Family.

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.

Jessica Winter is Slate’s features editor and the author of the novel Break in Case of Emergency.