Na Zhong on Iris Murdoch’s The Bell


Welcome to Lit Century: 100 Years, 100 Books. Combining literary analysis with an in-depth look at historical context, host Catherine Nichols chooses one book for each year of the 20th century, and—along with special guests—takes a deep dive into a hundred years of literature.

Na Zhong and Catherine Nichols discuss Iris Murdoch’s 1958 novel The Bell. They discuss Murdoch’s characters and the unique ethical quandaries of the book, as well as Murdoch’s love of swimming and the size of the bell itself.

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A native of Chengdu, China, Na Zhong is a fiction writer who now calls New York her home. Her work has been recognized by organizations such as MacDowell and the Center for Fiction. Additionally, she serves as a columnist at China Books Review and is the co-founder of Accent Society. She has finished her first novel.

Catherine Nichols is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in many places, including Jezebel, Aeon, and Electric Literature. She lives in Brooklyn.





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