Guest host Colum McCann curates a show with many takes on masculinity. Readings are drawn from the anthology, The Book of Men, created with Esquire magazine and the storytelling collective Narrative 4. Writers of both sexes and many nationalities were asked to explore the provocative topic “How to Be a Man,” and we include fourteen works here, with moods ranging from slyly humorous to somber.

Some are as brilliant and slight as a lit match, like Jason Porter’s apocalyptic teenage boy’s life list; some are vivid short character studies—Ayana Mathis sketches a fan dancer with a heart; Roddy Doyle offers a touching father-son story; McCann mourns a soldier through her grieving aunt. Some are literary tour de forces—Adam Haslett’s sums up the male experience one discreet eventful sentence at a time; Jessica Stoffer tells three love stories at once; Ben Fountain leads us inside the Statue of Liberty.

All, says host McCann, partake “of the fundamental democracy of the storytelling experience, where we cross borders and boundaries, and eventually discover ourselves.” Listen to the Show

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