Susan Choi: Trust Exercise

“It’s about love and sex and power and the betrayal between friends that they’re never able to forget.”

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Spoilers and secrets have a lot in common, but what happens when a book’s structure is the spoiler? How do you talk about something like that without giving too much away? Don't look at us for the answer. In this episode we spoil the hell of National Book Award winner Susan Choi's novel Trust Exercises.

An amazing narrative accomplishment, Choi's book asks probing questions about the exact nature of truth, honesty and secrets. But it also asks questions about structure and form and finally one of the biggest questions for a writer these days: Exactly what makes a book a novel?

Susan Choi’s first novel, The Foreign Student, won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction. Her second novel, American Woman, was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize and was adapted into a film. Her third novel, A Person of Interest, was a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award. In 2010 she was named the inaugural recipient of the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award.

About the Host

Amanda Stern is Bookable’s host. Founder of the popular literary event series Happy Ending at Joe’s Pub in New York City, Stern is also a writer. Happy Ending ran for more than a decade and was selected as New York’s best book-related series by New York Magazine, The Village Voice and NY Press. The New York Times Magazine singled out Happy Ending as a force keeping “downtown New York alive.”


This episode was produced, mixed, and sound-designed by Andrew Dunn, with editorial help from Beau Friedlander. Our host and co-producer is Amanda Stern. Author and book illustrations by Ella Friedlander.

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