119. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

Pack your bags and get ready for an adventure. This week, we’re discussing E. L. Konigsburg’s Newbery award-winning novel From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, a 1960s romp about a pair of siblings who find refuge and mystery at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. From the Mixed-Up Files is a story simple in prose, yet imbued with rich descriptions and detail to leave a lasting impression. In today’s episode, we talk about our own mixed-up, nostalgic memories of reading Mrs. Frankweiler, the alluring nature of Konigsburg’s novel for generations of readers, and the need to have our own private “somethings.” Plus, we help you dive deeper into the world of art and art forgery with a novel in translation and prepare for beach reading with a summer-y story about two teenage misfits, first love, and their creative endeavors.

We’re learning to be better, more critical and thorough readers of classic and contemporary literature, and there’s still time to join us for the last month that we’re reading children’s classics! Sign up to join our community of nerdy readers where we host bonus mini-episodes, lectures, seminars, and book clubs. Head on over to patreon.org/novelpairings to join our Classics Club today. Annual subscriptions are now available at a discounted price.

Pairings Timestamp: 39:22

Listen HERE.

Books Mentioned:

Portrait of an Unknown Lady by María Ganzia

Now That I Found You by Kristina Forest

Possession by A. S. Byatt

The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish

Now is Not the Time to Panic by Kevin Wilson

All the Beauty in the World: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Me by Patrick Bringley

Metropolitan Stories by Christine Coulson

1 thought on “119. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg”

  1. LOVE your podcast so much–I think I might use your format for a teaching assignment: asking students to do modern pairings for texts we read! I know this is annoying of me, but I had to point out that the poets in A.S. Byatt’s Possession are Victorian poets, not Romantic. I promise I’m not being pedantic about this; it does make a difference to the plot–the works and style of the two periods are pretty different, and so were the social expectations for poets of the two periods. Think how wild and unconventional Shelley and Byron were, both socially and sexually, compared to Tennyson or Browning or Barrett Browning. I think that RH Ash is a sort of mix of Robert Browning and Tennyson, but I’m less sure about Christabel LaMotte–maybe Emily Dickinson and Christina Rossetti? Would love to know what you both think!


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