EPISODE 17

Normal People Episode 8 with Lisa Lucas

May 30, 2020 - On this episode of The Adaptables, Abbe and Emma chat about episode 8 of the Hulu and BBC adaptation of Normal People by Sally Rooney. They’re joined by Lisa Lucas, former Executive Director at the National Book Foundation and Publisher of Pantheon and Schocken Books.

On this episode of The Adaptables, Abbe and Emma chat about episode 8 of the Hulu and BBC adaptation of Normal People by Sally Rooney. They’re joined by Lisa Lucas, former Executive Director at the National Book Foundation and and Publisher of Pantheon and Schocken Books.

Abbe, Emma, and Lisa discuss the perfect vacation read, interiority, the nuanced character developments that are sometimes lost in the adaptation, and more.

You see Connell wanting things. You see him wanting her. You see him wanting to go to Trinity. You see him wanting to write. But you never ever actually see him communicate that—you see it in his eyes, you see it in his body language, you see it in the action he takes, he applies, he submits to the literary magazine. You know, he’s doing stuff that communicates his desire, but he never actually says anything about desire. And this is him saying: ‘I want. I want the world. I want experiences. I want money.’
—Lisa Lucas

Discussion breakdown:

– Intro and how Lisa read Normal People for the first time in Bali (we’re not jealous, you are) (0:25–6:19)
– Lisa’s Role at the National Book Foundation = A Book Nerd’s Dream (6:20–8:19)
– Episode recap (8:20–9:12)
– *Siamo in Italia!* Marianne’s divine villa (9:13–10:52)
– A brief interlude for Marianne and Connell’s utter and shocking lack of communication (10:53–12:06)
– Step aside Luca Guadagnino (12:07–12:48)
– Things We Should’ve Spoken About But Never Did Part 1 – the glaring class disparities between Marianne and Connell and how it shaped their experiences (12:49–17:01)
– The Underrated Email Exchange: the fan that stokes Marianne and Connell’s cerebral chemistry (17:02–19:11)
– Return of Jamie the Jerk (19:12–21:13)
– All the ways Jamie is a d*ckhead at dinner (21:53–26:05)
– Why does Marianne put up with morons? And a dissection of her collegiate glow-up in the book vs. the series (26:06–28:30)
– Things We Should’ve Spoken About But Never Did Part 2 – Marianne opens up to Connell about the abuse inflicted on her at home (28:31–32:46)

Marianne Fringe Report:

✂ We’d be lying if we said that we didn’t want to steal each and every piece from Marianne’s vacay wardrobe. While a triple outfit change in a single day is bordering on excessive, every ensemble in this episode—right from the strappy Sabrina dress to the 60s Jane-Birkin-inspired floral A-line tunic to the revered little white dress—is giving us major holiday FOMO.

The Adaptables is a podcast from Read it Forward and Penguin Random House that dives into your favorite book-to-screen adaptations. This season, we’re watching the Hulu and BBC adaptation of Normal People by Sally Rooney. Join hosts Abbe Wright and Emma Shafer as we interview authors, insiders and each other, about what makes an adaptable great, why watching and reading are important self-care rituals, and the many other books and shows we are binging and loving right now. Because at The Adaptables, we love to watch what we read. (Warning: there will be spoilers.)

Send us an email or voice recording to AdaptablesPod@Gmail.com. What did you think of the episode? Are you watching the show? Is Normal People a successful adaptation of the book?

Follow @ReadItForward on Twitter and Instagram, follow Lisa Lucas on Twitter and Instagram at @likaluca and follow National Book Foundation on Twitter at @nationalbook. Tweet your thoughts on this episode and other adaptations you love. Leave us a review on Apple Podcasts!

NEXT UP: We’ll recap Episode 9 with comedian Rebecca Leib.

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