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Ask a Bookseller: 'The Guest Lecture,' a late-night philosophical debate

A book cover called The Guest Lecture
Martin Riker’s new novel “The Guest Lecture."
Courtesy of Martin Riker

Riley Rennhack of Deep Vellum Books in Dallas, Texas is a self-proclaimed “book nerd—not an econ person,” so she was surprised by how much she enjoyed Martin Riker’s new novel “The Guest Lecture.”

Its premise is simple: A feminist economist is up the night before she’s meant to give a lecture of John Maynard Keynes, and she doesn’t feel ready.

She’s been recently denied tenure, and Keynes’ famous optimism feels far out of reach. As her husband and child sleep nearby; she lies awake, speaking to her own fictional version of the famed economist, arguing against his ideas and practicing for the next day’s big event.

“It's just really well written and entertaining,” says Rennhack. “I found it educational, and I was laughing, which is my favorite kind of book. I weirdly couldn't put it down, and I've never said that about an economics lecture before.”

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