Katie Kitamura has a theory about grief:
“Part of being around people who are in grief is that even when it’s completely sincere, it’s still a performance. It’s very hard when you are grieving to not be aware of how your grief is going to be interpreted when other people are around”
It’s an astute observation and one that animates her latest novel A Separation.
A Separation follows an unnamed narrator, only recently separated from her husband, Chris, who gets a phone call from her mother-in-law that Chris has gone missing in Greece and that our narrator must track him down. The real mystery of the book is not where has Chris disappeared to and why, but whether the narrator should even be searching for him in the first place.
Told through a chilling first-person narration, A Separation explores the distance and intimacy that comes with searching for someone you are separated from and the grief that such a hunt can carry.
Join us this week as we talk about unreliable narrators, writing about grief and A Separation by Katie Kitamura.
As always, we close the show with recommendations.
Katie recommends The Mountain, an upcoming short story collection by Paul Yoon. “[The stories] kind of migrate — there’s a path of migration but both through time and through space. They are really beautifully observed.”
MJ recommends Evicted by Matthew Desmond. “It is this incredible investigation into poverty and the practice of eviction in America, and how eviction really is a destabilizing force in America that not only destabilizes families but also whole communities.”
Aliza recommends Feud, Ryan Murphy’s current show on FX. It’s about the creation of the movie Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. “I LOVE it. As a series, it is so well done; as social commentary, it is so well done; the actors in it are amazing.”
Peter recommends the new Comedy Central show Detroiters, “It is freaking hilarious.” He also recommends the FX show Legion. “It is exceptionally interesting television. Even when the story makes no sense, it is still mesmerizing to watch.”
And we have a bonus team recommendation: this video of a girl professing her love to a broken water boiler, which she thinks is a friendly robot. “My emotions were not prepared for this video. It is adorable.”