Ep. 286 Monsters by Claire Dederer — The Stacks Book Club (Brittany Luse)

We’re thrilled to welcome back podcaster Brittany Luse to discuss Monsters: A Fan’s Dilemma by Claire Dederer for The Stacks Book Club. We discuss how race does and doesn’t show up in the book, and what worked for us versus what didn’t. We also consider the nature of punishment and redemption when it comes to monstrous celebrities, and ask whose genius we miss out on when we make space for the monsters.

Be sure to listen to the end of today’s episode to find out what our book club pick will be for October 2023.


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Everything we talk about on today’s episode can be found below in the show notes and on Bookshop.org and Amazon.

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The Stacks x The Catherine Coleman Foundation Fundraiser

It’s Giving Tuesday, so what better day to kick off our annual fundraiser? This year, we’re supporting The Catherine Coleman Foundation, founded by MacArthur Genius Award winner and dear friend of the podcast Kiese Laymon in honor of his grandmother.

The Catherine Coleman Literary Arts, Food and Justice Initiative now permanently resides at the Jackson State University Margaret Walker Center after its start at The University of Mississippi in 2020. It gives emerging Mississippi writers new avenues for creativity along with a renewed connection with their community’s historical social justice movements. The initiative will offer programming and writing seminars led by JSU students, faculty and special guests aimed at honing the skills of its young people as readers, writers and editors.

Kiese explained the program’s mission in announcing its move to JSU: “My grandmama sent all her daughters to Jackson State. This initiative will continue to help young folks in Jackson become the next Danielle Buckingham or Leslie McLemore Jr., two of the greatest young artists in Mississippi… Our hope is to ritualize workshops and incredible food for young folks in our community who might not get a lot of time to write and read ‘creatively.’ We also want young people to consider the creativity that gets food from the land to the table in Mississippi.”

Kiese himself plans to match up to $50,000 in donations to the program for the next month.

Our Stacks community goal is to raise $25,000.

If you’re able, please join The Stacks in raising money toward expanding and supporting the literary arts for Mississippi youths. Consider forgoing one new book this month in favor of making a $25 donation to this incredible organization.