Created with Sketch.
50 minutes | Dec 28, 2022
Episode 41 -- Don’t Say It: Language, Teaching, and Community
In this special "bookless" episode (in which we actually talk about many books), the Spoilers take on the question of language use in the classroom -- specifically, what do we do as teachers when material we want to use with students contains offensive and/or hurtful language? We decided to discuss this subject, first, because Anita had been thinking about it a lot and wanted to see what we thought, but also because we all happened to be in the same town together for the first time in almost three years and we needed to talk about something! None of us were finished reading The Cutting Season, so we had to figure out what else we could discuss for the episode. We settled on this question, and it did not disappoint. Our conversation touches on multiple aspects of teaching and ends up providing insight into how each of us understands our role in the classroom (whatever kind of classroom it may be). We hope you enjoy it! (THIS EPISODE CONTAINS OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE.)
65 minutes | Nov 22, 2022
Episode 40 -- Easy Does It: Walter Mosley’s DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS
It's been a while, but the Spoilers are back -- this time taking on the dangerous, seedy underworld of 1940s Los Angeles in Walter Mosley's classic novel about the factory worker turned private detective, Easy Rawlins. Not surprisingly, the conversation quickly turns to the racial and gender politics of the book. It's a spicy discussion that ends with an inevitable extended comparison of the book to Barbara Neely's Blanche on the Lam, a contest no novel can ever win because Blanche is just the GOAT. Still, we had fun with Devil in a Blue Dress, and anyone who loves mystery and detective novels should love this episode. Check it out.
56 minutes | Sep 17, 2022
Episode 39 -- Apparently, We Love Her: Toni Morrison’s SULA
The Spoilers have been on a roll lately, doing shows about books that have just blown us away -- and this show is no exception. In this episode we talk about Toni Morrison's perplexing and captivating heroine, Sula Peace. What a woman! Just when you think you hate her, you realize that apparently, you love her. The novel itself is filled with unforgettable characters and amazing moments, and we talk about a whole lot of them. All of this is to say that in the end, we all agree that damn it, we adore and really miss the great Toni Morrison, but we're glad she left us a novel like this one to remember her by. Girl, Girl, GirlGirlGirl.
63 minutes | Aug 2, 2022
Episode 38 -- Eloghosa Osunde’s VAGABONDS!: We Are the Majority!
In this episode, the Spoilers can't stop gushing about Eloghosa Osunde's new novel, VAGABONDS! Structured like a spiritual text that challenges the orthodoxy and self-righteousness of those who would deny freedom and life to those on the margins of Nigerian society, this novel expertly constructs a narrative of self-salvation, told from the perspective of the vagabonds of Lagos. In reading this novel the Spoilers realized an important truth: the marginalized are the majority, and when the revolution comes, when the end times arrive -- in is the vagabonds who are gonna party together in love! Check out our emotional show on this unforgettable novel.
60 minutes | Jul 4, 2022
Episode 37 -- Around the World, Around the Corner: Discombobulated Migrations in Namrata Poddar’s BORDER LESS
In another quiet episode, the Spoilers dig deep into issues of borders and migration both in Poddar's novel and in their own lives. It quickly becomes clear that while migration is a more immediate issue for some, it really impacts us all in significant ways. Whether you're venturing around the world or around the corner, we all have to reckon with the impact of moving and crossing boundaries in our lives. Check out this pretty personal episode to see what the Spoilers have to share about their own experiences.
63 minutes | May 23, 2022
Episode 36 -- Ghostly Reverberations: Louise Erdrich’s THE SENTENCE
In a bit of a quiet episode, the Spoilers revisit 2020 with Tookie, the protagonist of Erdrich's beautiful novel. The novel takes them back to the beginning of the pandemic, the murder of George Floyd, and the tumultuous summer that followed. But while Erdrich's book is about the haunting reverberations of the past, it is also about efforts toward individual and collective healing. It is about how we move through and respond to injustice and trauma, and how we can try to become whole again. It's about language and books and absolution and love. It's about the sentences we all carry and the ones we speak to each other when it seems like there is nothing that can be said. Damn it, Louise Erdrich! This book is too much!
60 minutes | Mar 30, 2022
Episode 35 -- Genre, Critique, and Relaxing Hair Grease: Zakiya Dalila Harris’ THE OTHER BLACK GIRL
In this episode the Spoilers engage in a crescendoing conversation about Harris' NYT best selling debut novel. Uneasy with their reading of the book, anxious about their commentary, and unsure if they are on steady ground, the Spoilers carefully inch forward, refusing any relaxing balm, eventually careening toward inevitable exasperation. You're going to love this sometimes quiet, sometimes rollicking examination of a definitely provocative but sometimes maddening novel. What's our final verdict? We plead the fifth!
57 minutes | Feb 16, 2022
Episode 34 -- Seams of Subjection: Afia Atakora’s CONJURE WOMEN
The Spoilers are back after a long hiatus, anxious to take on this compelling novel by Afia Atakora. Right from the git go they have a lot of questions to answer, but Crystal, Anita, and Todd eventually arrive at an acceptable understanding of this rich novel of slavery and the ties that bind together the enslaved and the enslavers on this plantation: when do they break and when do they hold fast?
64 minutes | Jun 18, 2021
Episode 33 -- No More Crumbs: Deesha Philyaw's THE SECRET LIVES OF CHURCH LADIES
The Spoilers are back with an intense conversation about Deesha Philyaw's award-winning story collection. We have a lot to say about it and all of it is good. Known for sidestepping the sexy stuff, the Spoilers bravely tackle the intimate elements of this often steamy text -- and just for good measure, Adriana says the d-word at least once. It's definitely worth a listen. You're welcome America!
62 minutes | May 9, 2021
Episode 32 --A Sister Souljah Seminar, or The Coldest Episode Ever
in this episode the Spoilers get nasty with Sister Souljah's classic tale of the ice-cold Winter Santiaga, one of the great characters of Black street lit. The crew is serious, funny, and informative as they employ their own impeccable skills to break down SIster Souljah's masterpiece -- and luckily no one gets cut in the process.
60 minutes | Mar 31, 2021
Episode 31 -- Chaste Heat and Sweet Potato Pie: Beverly Jenkins' JOSEPHINE
For this, our first foray into the romance novel genre, we went in craving a bodice ripper, but ended up with teenage dress mending -- only a little less hot. However, we must admit that the results of our reading of the great Beverly Jenkins' YA novel, Josephine, were more than satisfying! In this episode we discuss antebellum Michigan and the small town of Whittaker, where all the men have left to fight in the Civil War and the women have been left to fend for themselves. When a group of injured soldiers arrives to convalesce at the town's boarding house, I think we all know what comes next: intense courting! Respectable socializing! Thoughts of kissing! Heteronormativity! And choices, choices . . . As you might expect, this turns out to be a delightfully raucous episode with lots of puns, nervous laughter, and an overdose of food metaphors. Check it out!
60 minutes | Mar 13, 2021
Episode 30 -- There is a Balm: Robert Jones Jr.'s THE PROPHETS
In this rather intellectually searching episode, the Spoilers wrestle with Robert Jones' beautiful and challenging debut novel. We try to figure everything out at first, but ultimately settle upon a rather comfortable acceptance of un-knowing and dwelling in the wonder of ambiguity. Arriving at the conclusion that there has not really ever been a novel like this one (EVER!) doesn't take us too awful long -- and once we do get there -- look out. What could have been an hour of complaining becomes a literary love fest. This episode is all epiphanic bliss and profound discovery in real time, folks (perhaps hyperbole, but it felt good).
59 minutes | Jan 26, 2021
Episode 29 -- Black and White and Misread All Over: Nella Larsen's PASSING
The Spoilers welcome in the new year with a rollicking discussion of Nella Larsen's Harlem Renaissance classic, Passing in this episode -- and let me tell you they have some strong feelings about the characters in this book. As she does in the novel, the radiant Clare Kendry garners much of the attention, but we have plenty to say about Irene and her very complicated mind as well. We bravely tackle all things race and of course explore the intricacies of passing as well. Mostly we just do our best to answer Anita's questions (which are fantastic as usual). We laugh, we cry and no one dies in this entertaining episode -- perhaps there's some misadventure, but only the good kind (disclaimer: no one even comes close to crying).
65 minutes | Dec 24, 2020
Episode 28 -- Pass the Bone Salt, Please: Cherie Dimaline's EMPIRE OF WILD
This episode begins quietly, with the Spoilers in a contemplative mode, as they feel their way through the dark forest of Dimaline's intriguing new novel about a young Metis woman's search for her missing husband. White occasionally pausing to ponder theoretical subjects such as human morality, culture, belief, and the architecture of consciousness, the spoilers do their best to figure out the mysterious rougarou, bone salt, where Victor is, and the post-booty-call rustle at door that concludes the book. The end result is an always intriguing, increasingly hilarious exploration of connectedness, identity, and the wildness inside us all (we see you, Cecile).
57 minutes | Nov 27, 2020
Episode 27 -- Everybody Loves Radha: THE 40 YEAR-OLD VERSION
In a raucous holiday episode, the Spoilers laud Radha Blank's heartwarming tribute to New York City and creaky black knees. With a hilarious and Irreverent critical eye, the Spoilers have nothing but good things to say about this funny, insightful, and heartwarming film. They love Radha's edge, they love her dope AARP lyrics, and they LOVE D (don't even get us started on that love scene). This is an all-love episode with a sprinkle of wisdom here and there for seasoning. Frankly, it's exactly the kind of episode we envisioned when we started this whole thing 26 episodes ago -- just four friends talking and laughing about something they like. Hope you all enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed making it.
67 minutes | Oct 29, 2020
Episode 26 -- To Hell With THE HELP: An Unbridled Celebration of Barbara Neely's BLANCHE ON THE LAM
Let's just be honest: Blanche White is the best Black domestic detective there ever was. Don't worry if you haven't heard of her. Some of the Spoilers hadn't either. She's smart. She's bold. SHE'S THE BEST. In this episode we basically won't let Anita end the show because we can't stop talking about how much we love this book. Let this episode be your introduction to the wonderful world of Blanche White, creation of the late, brilliant Barbara Neely. The good thing is, when you finish this novel, there are still three more to read!
60 minutes | Sep 24, 2020
Episode 25 -- A Black, Black, Black Episode: John Lewis's MARCH, Volumes 1,2, & 3
The Spoiler are back in this special 25th episode talking everything from from Stuart Hall to BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. Once again the Spoilers struggle a bit with their non-mastery of the graphic subgenre, but in the end do a pretty dang good job talking about the text and the art of this wonderful piece series of books. Want to escape the temporal hellmouth that is 2020 for about an hour? Here's your chance. Join the Spoilers on an intense march through history as they embark on a mission to expand the chronology of the CIvil Rights Movement in the public imagination.
65 minutes | Aug 18, 2020
Episode 24 -- "No more backward steps": Elizabeth Acevedo's THE POET X
The Spoilers are back with a love-fest episode for the ages. Beginning with an profession of gratitude and love for our own faithful host, we then tackle questions of genre, religion, bilingualism and translation, sexuality, the body, refusal, performance, and finding your voice -- all in an amazingly supportive and affectionate way. Inspired by Acevedo's beautiful book, we remember fondly our own teen years, consider the lives of teens today, celebrate the strength and empowerment of women, and repeatedly express our admiration for Xiomara, Twin, and Aman. If I may say so, this episode is a joy to listen to, and may, in some small way, make you forget everything about the world right now that is making you want to weep uncontrollably. You're welcome, America. Enjoy.
59 minutes | Jul 22, 2020
Episode 23 -- Always Taking; Always Giving: Jewelle Gomez's THE GILDA STORIES
In this rangy episode, the Spoilers are introduced to an underground classic of Black feminist literature. With a main character like few others in literature, this novel leads the Spoilers into discussions of traditional vampire mythology, consent and violence, death and immortality, and the responsibility of vampire parenting. Along the way Anita quotes Sadiya Hartman and Ocean Vuong, Adriana introduces us to "Vamp Time," Todd introduces more anoying book-specific terms, and Crystal runs up the stairs in the middle of the episode? It all comes out ok in the end because in every Drip episode the Spoilers live forever! Join us . . . JOIN US . . .
63 minutes | Jun 22, 2020
Episode 22 -- What We Take With Us: Nnedi Okorafor's BINTI
Finally! The Spoilers get to talk about Todd's favorite book, BINTI -- and man was it work the wait. Times have been tough lately, but the Spoilers seem enlivened discussing this wonderful award winning novella. They tackle a mess of thorny issues, but they do a lot of laughing along the way. If you want to hear an extensive conversation about a shrimp ship, tentacle hair, ancient tech, and ritual clay application, this episode is for you. And really -- who doesn't want to hear about all that stuff? Mostly, the spoilers talk about being a teenager, the difficulty of leaving home, and those thing we never leave behind when we do.
Terms of Service
Your Privacy Choices
© Stitcher 2023