Ep. 72 - When Every Performance Could Be Their Last, with Megan Abbott

Book Dreams

23-09-2021 • 34 mins

Hidden behind an Olympic gymnast’s smile or a classical ballerina’s serene grace is a darker reality, one involving grueling work and, often, physical and emotional pain. Megan Abbott, Edgar Award-winning author of the recent novel The Turnout, explores the insular worlds of gymnastics, ballet, and cheerleading and uses them to spotlight the damage that patriarchy can inflict on girls. Megan discusses with Eve and Julie how these microcosms reflect our tortured and damaging treatment of female sexuality generally and girls’ bodies more specifically. They talk, too, about the fleeting nature of beauty, and of our bodies’ strength, and why that adds to the appeal of these worlds. Megan also addresses various responses to actions taken by Simone Biles to protect her mental health during the Olympics, and how those responses highlight how far we have--and haven’t--progressed. Megan Abbott is the Edgar Award-winning author of the novels Give Me Your Hand, You Will Know Me, The Fever, Dare Me, The End of Everything, Bury Me Deep, Queenpin, The Song Is You, and Die A Little. Megan's writing has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, and The Believer. Her work has won or been nominated for the CWA Steel Dagger, The International Thriller Writers Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Formerly a staff writer on the HBO series The Deuce, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, Megan is now a co-creator, executive producer, and showrunner of the USA Network show Dare Me, which was based upon her novel. Find us on Twitter (@bookdreamspod) and Instagram (@bookdreamspodcast), or email us at contact@bookdreamspodcast.com. We encourage you to visit our website and sign up for our newsletter for information about our episodes, guests, and more. Book Dreams is a part of Lit Hub Radio and the Podglomerate network, a company that produces, distributes, and monetizes podcasts. For more information on how The Podglomerate treats data, please see our Privacy Policy. Since you’re listening to Book Dreams, we’d like to suggest you also try other Podglomerate shows about literature, writing, and storytelling like Storybound and The History of Literature. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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