Episode 9: Hannah Pittard

Hannah Pittard

Discussion Questions

  • A recurring theme throughout the novel is that of anonymity. It is the subject of Mark’s book in progress; as Maggie’s anxieties intensify, Mark sometimes feels “it was like he was living with a stranger.” The “college girl” whose murder so disturbs Maggie is never named, rendering her death somehow impersonal. What do you think was Pittard’s intention in highlighting this idea? What effect did it have on the “atmosphere” of the book?
  • Why do you think the author chose the title Listen to Me? Do you think the couple has trouble listening to each other?
  • Do you agree with Mark that modern technology and the Internet are a scourge, reducing quality of life? Would it be better for Maggie not to know about the terrible stories she reads online, even though they’ve still happened?
  • Mark and Maggie each have a separate, unpleasant encounter with the same would-be cowboy at a gas station. Why do you think they each declined to tell the other about their encounters? How might the story, or the characters’ feelings, have changed if each knew about the other’s encounter?
  • In their various squabbles, did you find yourself siding with either Mark or Maggie in particular?

To read an excerpt from the book, click here.

Book Club Bites

Whether you’re gathering with a group, or reading solo, try our recommendations for a cocktail and snack that pair perfectly with the book.

Book Club Extras

Spotify Playlist

Recommended Books

HANNAH PITTARD is the author of the novels Reunion—a LibraryReads selection, Chicago Tribune Editor's Choice, BuzzFeed Top 5 Great Book, People Best New Book, TimeOut Chicago Must-Read, and Good Housekeeping Hot New Novel—and The Fates Will Find Their Way. Her stories have appeared in the American Scholar, McSweeney's, and other publications. She teaches fiction at the University of Kentucky's MFA Program in Creative Writing.
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