Guest host Jane Curtin presents two stories about ‘the first time.’
Rick Moody’s playfully inventive “The Grid” uses the idea of Thomas Edison’s invention for threading electrical power throughout the country as an extended metaphor. In the story, a first kiss leads to a whole interconnected network of lovers and the moments in their lives before, during and after that first kiss. Moody’s other works include the novels Garden State, The Ice Storm, and The Four Fingers of Death, and the story collections The Ring of Brightest Angels Around Heaven (which includes “The Grid”), Demonology and Right Livelihoods.
Appropriately, “The Grid” was performed at the Getty Center in Los Angeles by Josh Radnor, whose hit television series, How I Met Your Mother, traces a marriage back to its beginnings.
This program’s second story, Martha McPhee’s “Anaconda,” doesn’t refer to the South American snake, but to a card game that threatens to upset the balance of power in a family. A housewife deserted by her husband is raising three willful girls, and her married swain is teaching them to play poker, a game, that, he says, will teach them to “be tough, and to trust.” “Anaconda” was first published in The New Yorker. McPhee is also the author of the novels Bright Angel Time, Gorgeous Lies and L’America. She is the daughter of the distinguished non-fiction writer John McPhee.
“Anaconda” was performed at the Getty Center in Los Angeles by Lindsay Crouse. Crouse’s long career includes roles in the films Places in the Heart and House of Games, and and was in guest-starring roles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Alias, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Columbo, Criminal Minds and Law & Order. LISTEN TO THE SHOW