[The JRB Daily] Listen to the new episode of Read This!—featuring The Shadow King and The Water Dancer

The new episode of Read This! is out now—find out what’s hot in the world of books!

In this episode, we travel to nineteen-thirties Ethiopia with a new book called The Shadow King, and we take a look at the novel everybody has been waiting for: the debut work of fiction by legendary essayist and non-fiction writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Water Dancer.

In the November issue of The JRB, which is out now, Efemia Chela reviews The Shadow King, by Ethiopian–American author Maaza Mengiste, writing that: ‘It fools us into thinking we are not alone with a book in a corner of the house but leafing through the personal archive of a dedicated rememberer, thrilling to the layered, secret nature of it.’

For this episode of Read This!, Efemia joins The JRB Editor Jennifer Malec in the studio to chat about the book.

Later in the show, Wamuwi Mbao gives us his impressions of The Water Dancer, the debut work of fiction by award-winning writer Ta-Nehisi Coates.

You can also read Wamuwi’s review of the book in the latest issue of The JRB, where he calls it ‘a depth charge aimed at the submerged wreckage of Southern slavery’, and read an exclusive excerpt from the book here.

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The previous episodes of the show are also available at the links above.

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After you’ve had a listen, tell us, via a quick text, what you are reading this month, and let us know what you think of our recommendations. You can also share Read This! with your friends, by simply forwarding the voice note in WhatsApp.



Volume’s voice note show What’s Crap on WhatsApp?, which debunks the viral fake news and misinformation spread on the app, was the winner of the 2019 Poynter Institute’s Fact Forward Innovation Fund.

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