Poet Paisley Rekdal offers a nuanced consideration of cultural appropriation in art and life.
On this week’s episode, Paisley Rekdal discusses Appropriate: A Provocation (Norton, Feb. 16), “an astute, lucid examination of an incendiary issue” (starred review).
Utah Poet Laureate Rekdal brings more than 20 years’ experience as a poet and professor to bear on her latest book-length nonfiction. Written in the form of six letters to an imagined young writer, Appropriate addresses the questions of authorship and identity that writers (and readers) may want to ask themselves when contending with material outside their subject position: What is cultural appropriation? Is it defensible? If you can write in the voice of another, should you? What questions should you ask before beginning?
Rekdal and host Megan Labrise discuss possible definitions of appropriation, respectful and harmful forms of appropriation, the decision to structure the book as letters to a young writer, some of the people who helped Rekdal refine her ideas on the subject, the case of American Dirt, and much more.
And in a sponsored interview, Megan talks with debut author Kate Albus about A Place to Hang the Moon (Margaret Ferguson Books, Feb. 2), the story of three orphan siblings who seek a new beginning in the English countryside during World War II. Kirkus calls this moving middle grade novel, “A wartime drama with enough depth and psychological complexity to satisfy budding bookworms.”
Then editors Vicky Smith, Laura Simeon, Eric Liebetrau, and Laurie Muchnick join with their reading recommendations for the week.
My First Day by Phùng Nguyên Quang and Huynh Kim Liên (Make Me a World)
The Wide Starlight by Nicole Lesperance (Razorbill/Penguin)
Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor (Riverhead)
Days of Awe by Lauren Fox (Knopf)
Also mentioned in this episode:
Along the Tapajós by Fernando Vilela, trans. by Daniel Hahn (Amazon Crossing Kids)
Adventures to School: Real-Life Journeys of Students From Around the World by Baptiste Paul and Miranda Paul, illus. by Isabel Muñoz (Little Bee)
The Way to School by Rosemary McCarney with Plan International (Second Story Press)
School Days Around the World by Margriet Ruurs, illus. by Alice Feagan (Kids Can)
The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson (Doubleday)
Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach (Norton)
For more information:
James Nestor on Fully Booked
Mary Roach in Kirkus Reviews
Fully Booked is produced by Cabel Adkins Audio and Megan Labrise.