It’s the ninth episode of Required Reading With Tom and Stella! This podcast, which is hosted by Tom Panarese (Pop Culture Affidavit, In Country) and Stella (Batgirl to Oracle: A Barbara Gordon Podcast, The Batman Universe) is two teachers talking about literature. Each episode, we will be taking a look at a single work, analyzing it, criticizing it and deciding if it’s worth its place in the canon.
This time around, we look at Rainbow Rowell’s award-winning YA novel Eleanor & Park.
Required Reading Podcast Page at Two True Freaks
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If you’d like to learn more about Rainbow Rowell or Eleanor & Park, you can check out her website: rainbowrowell.com
And here’s the intro song for the episode: “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division
2 thoughts on “Episode 9: Eleanor & Park”
I just listened to Eleanor & Park episode, thanks I needed a bit of closure. I’m here now because I felt a little frustrated that I couldn’t chime in to say this:
When Eleanor tries to have sex with Park in the truck, I wondered if it was a callback to their conversation/argument earlier in the book about Tina being his first girlfriend and first kiss – Park keeps saying “it doesn’t matter” and Eleanor counters “But you’ll always remember.”
Libby, I think that could be part of it but honestly, I feel the character of Park is largely a ‘manic pixie dream boy’. Rowell creates family history and his own crisis but he never takes off being more than this idealized character there to serve Eleanor, for me. I saw the refusal as another example of his morals and hope. Idealistically, the boy in the backseat would turn down advances creating a much more romanticized image than something… tawdry, which Park was also the antithesis of.
(I’ve tried to write an email time and time again regarding this episode but always end up deleting it. It’s technically well written but I didn’t enjoy it though I feel it may cater to a specific demographic that I’m simply not currently in.)