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Eric and Medaya talk with queer writer Kristen Arnett about her new novel, With Teeth, which centers on the troubled relationships between Sammie, her wife, Monica, and their son, Samson. As Samson grows up, it becomes clear that he isn’t quite like the other children. He is emotionally aloof and prone to outbursts. As a teenager, he’s even more of a mystery: a loner and a threat to the image of a normal family that Monica is so desperate to present to the world. As the stay-at-home mom and narrative focal point, Sammie is tasked with trying to understand both her mysterious son and herself, as her marriage, and seemingly everything else, begins to deteriorate around her. As With Teeth spins through its insightful portrayal of queer parenthood, the struggle for identity and autonomy amidst the disintegration of a marriage, Kristen Arnett keeps us guessing until the final moment when it emerges that what we think we know about Sammie, Monica, and Samson might be wrong.
Also, Joan Silber, author of Secrets of Happiness, returns to recommend two recent novels Charles Baxter’s The Sun Collective and Margot Livesey’s The Boy in the Field.