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Recent Episodes and Articles

Thomas McGuane reads David Means

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

On this month's fiction podcast, Thomas McGuane reads David Means' "The Tree Line, Kansas, 1934," and discusses it with The New Yorker's fiction editor, Deborah Treisman. It was first published in The New Yorker in 2010. McGuane’s own stories have been appearing the New Yorker since 1994 and his latest collection, “Crow Fair,” came out in March.
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Etgar Keret reads Donald Barthelme

Monday, March 02, 2015

On this month’s fiction podcast, Etgar Keret reads “Chablis,” by Donald Barthelme, which was published in The New Yorker in 1983. The story, which occupied a single page in the magazine, is a man’s anxious internal monologue about his wife, their young child, and his place within the family. “My wife wants a dog,” the story begins. “She already has a baby. The baby’s almost two. My wife says that the baby wants the dog.” Reading Barthelme’s stories aloud is particularly pleasurable, Keret says, because of Barthelme’s emphasis on voice. It creates “the illusion that if you just pick out the right voice” to read the words, then “the story will also become a little bit your story.” In conversation with the magazine’s fiction editor, Deborah Treisman, Keret also discusses the conflicting emotions of Barthelme’s narrator and explains how writing a short story is like surfing.
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Antonya Nelson Reads Tom Drury

Monday, February 02, 2015

On this month’s fiction podcast, Antonya Nelson reads Tom Drury’s “Accident at the Sugar Beet,” which appeared in the magazine in 1992 and later became part of Drury’s novel “The End of Vandalism.” The story follows Louise Darling, a resident of a small Midwestern town, through a series of dryly funny encounters with neighbors and friends, and sees her begin a romantic relationship with Dan Norman, the county sheriff. Along the way, she experiences small moments of grief and uncertainty, as when she looks in a bathroom mirror at a bar and suddenly feels “as if she had strayed far from the people she understood. On the other hand, she lived within twelve miles of where she was born.” Nelson says that the “people in this story remind me so much of my family. It’s so excellent to be in their company, for me. There’s a lot of deadpan humor and warmth without sentimentality. And, for me, it feels familiar and like something I want to hang on to and have out in the world.”
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Joseph O’Neill Reads Muriel Spark

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

In this month’s fiction podcast, Joseph O’Neill reads Muriel Spark’s “The Ormolu Clock,” which appeared in the magazine in 1960, when Spark was, O’Neill says, “at the peak of her powers.” The story portrays two rival guesthouses that sit beside each other in the Austrian mountains. One of the hotels (Hotel Stroh, owned by Herr Stroh) is falling into disrepair, while the other (Guesthouse Lublonitsch) is flourishing under the relentless work ethic of its owner, Frau Lublonitsch. Although Frau Lublonitsch owns many businesses and much land, she lives a spartan life. Her bedroom, however, into which the narrator steals a peek while staying at the guesthouse, is lavishly decorated with rich fabrics and the gilt clock of the story’s title. When the narrator notices Herr Stroh spying into her room from across the street, Frau Lublonitsch finds an unconventional way to defend her guest. “It’s a very weird story, in some ways,” O’Neill says. “It’s unclear where our sympathy or our understanding should ultimately settle.”
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Aleksandar Hemon reads “Pnin” by Vladimir Nabokov

Monday, December 01, 2014

On this month’s fiction podcast, Aleksandar Hemon reads and discusses Vladimir Nabokov’s short story “Pnin,” which was published in The New Yorker, in 1953, and became the opening chapter of his 1957 novel of the same name, about the Russian-émigré professor Timofey Pnin. Hemon, who relocated to the United States from the former Yugoslavia at the outset of the Bosnian war, and learned English by reading “Pnin” and other books by Nabokov, says that the author “is lauded for his language in English and Russian . . . but what is often misperceived is the actual care and insight he might have into his characters, particularly if they are displaced Russians.” In his conversation with the magazine’s fiction editor, Deborah Treisman, Hemon also discusses Pnin’s “complicated innocence” toward America, the authorial presence of Nabokov in the story, and whether the novel really was, as Nabokov claimed, a “brief, sunny escape” from “Lolita” ’s “intolerable spell.”
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David Gilbert Reads “Leg” by Steven Polansky

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

David Gilbert Reads “Leg” by Steven Polansky
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George Saunders Reads Grace Paley

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

George Saunders reads "Love" Grace Paley and "The Wretched Seventies" Barry Hannah
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Akhil Sharma reads Tobias Wolff

Monday, September 29, 2014

Akhil Sharma reads Tobias Wolff.
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Joyce Carol Oates reads Cynthia Ozick.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Joyce Carol Oates reads Cynthia Ozick.
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Miranda July reads Janet Frame.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Miranda July reads Janet Frame.
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Rebecca Curtis reads Leonard Michaels.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Rebecca Curtis reads Leonard Michaels.
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Tim Parks reads Peter Stamm.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Tim Parks reads Peter Stamm.
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Nathan Englander Reads John Cheever’s “The Enormous Radio”

Monday, September 29, 2014

Nathan Englander Reads John Cheever’s “The Enormous Radio”
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Jennifer Egan reads Mary Gaitskill

Monday, March 03, 2014

Jennifer Egan reads Mary Gaitskill.
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T. C. Boyle reads Donald Barthelme

Monday, February 03, 2014

T. C. Boyle reads Donald Barthelme
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Paul Theroux Reads Elizabeth Taylor

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Paul Theroux reads "The Letter Writers," by Elizabeth Taylor.
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Jonathan Safran Foer reads Amos Oz

Monday, December 02, 2013

Jonathan Safran Foer reads "The King of Norway," by Amos Oz
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Louise Erdrich reads Joyce Carol Oates

Friday, November 01, 2013

Louise Erdrich reads "Mastiff," by Joyce Carol Oates
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Jonathan Lethem reads V. S. Pritchett

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Jonathan Lethem reads "The Rescue," by V. S. Pritchett.
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Rick Bass reads Thomas McGuane

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Rick Bass reads "Ice," by Thomas McGuane.
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