Guest host David Strathairn presents two stories about hard times. In Daniel Alarcon’s “Republica Y Grau,” read by Strathairn, a young boy is trained as a beggar. Alarcon was born in Lima, Peru, the setting for this vivid story. His debut novel, with a title we like, Lost City Radio, was published in 2007, and his most recent is At Night We Walk in Circles. He has been recognized as a “Best Young American Novelist” by Granta, and his work has been published in The New Yorker, Harper’s Granta, and the Virginia Quarterly Review among other venues. He is a Visiting Writer at Mills College and a Visiting Writer at California College of the Arts, and is the executive producer of the Spanish language podcast “Radio Ambulante.” “Republic Y Grau” is read by host David Strathairn, whose many credits include his Oscar-nominated performance in “Good Night and Good Luck;” “LA Confidential”, “Lincoln,” “Passionfish,” and “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” On television he has appeared in “Alphas,” “Hemingway and Gellhorn,” and “Blacklist,” among other programs, and his work on Broadway includes “The Heiress.”
In M.T. Sharif’s “The Letter Writer,” an eccentric is caught up in a Kafkaesque farce in post-revolution Iran. M.T. Sharif was born in Iran and came to the United States in the late 1970s. He has advanced degrees both in Creative Writing and English Literature. He teaches Creative Nonfiction and Expository Writing, and is currently at work on a novel. His stories have appeared in The Best American Short Stories, The Henfield Prize Stories, Agni, The Antioch Review, Index on Censorship, Other Voices and The Literary Review.
The reader is Joe Morton, whose many film and television appearances in roles in “Brother from Another Planet,” “Speed,” and “Eureka.” He’s currently appearing in “Scandal.”