Author Karen Tongson talks with co-hosts Eric Newman and Kate Wolf about the tragic life and beautiful voice of Karen Carpenter, the singer who is Tongson’s namesake and whose star has never lost its luster for an enduring fanbase in the Philippines. What she unpacks in Carpenter’s story is a moving account of suffering and beauty, of longing for a world we may never reach save in soaring notes, and the practiced perfection of vocal harmony, a struggle resonant with queer and diasporic experience.

Also, Morgan Parker, author most recently of Magical Negro, returns to recommend poet Nabila Lovelace’s first collection, Sons of Achilles.