Victor LaValle, credit: E Raboteau

Acclaimed, yet underappreciated author Victor LaValle has returned with his third book "Big Machine." The novel, unlike anything I've read before, is a tour de force that's really about redemption. In signature LaValle style, it's also laced with his comedic wit and knack for creating narrators whose journeys you enjoy following.

Books on the Root chatted with LaValle as part of our ongoing podcast series. The writer discussed the three books that changed his life, why "Big Machine" took him several years to write, and why horror turns him on.

For those craving a sneak peek of "Big Machine," you can also listen to LaValle read an excerpt.

is a writer, speaker, author of books for adults and youth, and the book columnist for The Root. Her most recent book is "The Message: 100 Life Lessons from Hip-Hop’s Greatest Songs." Visit her at