Suzanne Akbari is an American who has just now returned to the United States after almost a quarter of a century in Canada. She’s a professor of Medieval Studies, and for a long time she was based at the University of Toronto, but has recently relocated to the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, NJ. Suzanne has written books on medieval history and literature, including several collaborative works—most recently, a book called How We Read: Tales, Fury, Nothing, Sound. She also co-hosts a literature podcast with Chris Piuma, called The Spouter-Inn. She has four kids and three cats.
Suzanne and Michael chat about the corporeal experience of music, discovering self confidence, converting to Islam as an adult, the appeal of strength, and the capacious and joyful embodiment of Missy Elliott's music.
Suzanne’s Five Songs.
Where Do the Children Play? by Cat Stevens.
One Way or Another by Blondie.
Forbidden Colours by David Sylvian with Ryuichi Sakamoto.
Work It by Missy Elliott.
XXXO by M.I.A.
How We Read: Tales, Fury, Nothing, Sound. (Free PDF!)
The Spouter-Inn, Suzanne’s podcast about “great books”, hosted with former guest Chris Piuma.
The Scene of the Scene: Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.
Suzanne and Michael both answered “deep questions” on a recent episode of The Opposite Of Lonely.