May 24, 2017
Guest host Kate Burton presents four works reflecting on the experience of war. Lieutenant Colonel Chris Cohoes emailed his young sons while serving in Afghanistan. Matthew Modine reads one of his notes. A black soldier fights for independence during the Revolutionary War. Ruben Santiago-Hudson reads “A Soldier for the Crown” by Charles Johnson. In Robert Olen Butler’s “Mother in the Trenches,” a woman makes her way to France to be with her son. And Moacyr Scliar imagines war as just another day job in “Peace and War” read by Michael Cristofer.
May 15, 2017
From Julia Slavin's collection, The Woman Who Cut Off Her Leg at the Maidstone Club, a dark and funny story about not being able to leave your childhood behind. As you'll hear, reader Alec Baldwin finds the humor, absurdity and, ultimately, the humanity through his reading. Later in this episode, host Aparna Nancherla chats with Julia Slavin about the origins of "Covered."
May 9, 2017
Guest host Kate Burton presents three works about the roles of women. Margaret Atwood twists the tail of the fairy tale in "There Was Once," read by Jane Kaczmarek, Rene Auberjonois, and Zach Grenier. An actress is offered an unsympathetic part in "A Leading Role," by Tove Jansson, also read by Jane Kaczmarek. In Smith Henderson's "Treasure State," a young girl hitches a ride with runaway brothers. The reader is Michael Shannon.
May 3, 2017
Guest host Sonia Manzano presents three works about entering uncharted territories. An early John Updike fable, “The Different One,” imagines a bold bunny. It’s read by Michael Emerson. A gentrified town morphs into a dreamscape in Steven Millhauser’s “Coming Soon,” ready by David Morse. And Kirstin Valdez Quade’s essay “Youth From Every Quarter” looks at the harsher side of assimilation. It’s read by Manzano.
April 28, 2017
Actor Sam Underwood (The Following) reads a Sedaris story you're never going to hear on Public Radio. Also, guest host Lorin Stein (Editor of The Paris Review) talks to Sedaris about his work, and what stories he would love to hear on Too Hot For Radio.
April 26, 2017
Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents two sweet tales of happily ever after. In Maile Meloy’s “The Proxy Marriage,” the shy hero marries the love of his life over and over. The reader is Patricia Kalember. And Anne Meara performs “The Worm in the Apple,” John Cheever’s tale of a marriage so perfect no one can believe it.
April 18, 2017
Guest host David Sedaris two stories about learning from your mistakes. Isaiah Sheffer reads Tobias Wolff’s “Mortals,” in which a botched obit leads to a life lesson. In Edwidge Danticat’s “Reading Lessons,” read by Marsha Stephanie Blake, it is the teacher who is taught.
April 16, 2017
Guest host Lorin Stein, editor in chief of The Paris Review, introduces a story by the late English novelist and critic Angela Carter. Carter was known for her work reinventing fairy tales and counted among her fans director Neil Jordan, who made "In the Company of Wolves" into a movie, as well as author Neil Gaiman, who is heard on this episode talking about why he loves Carter's stories and introducing the reader, actress Rita Wolf. Later in the podcast, Lorin talks to Slate critic Laura Miller, about Carter's fascinating life and what fueled her work.
April 12, 2017
Guest host Kate Burton presents a cornucopia of funny pieces from the volume The Best of The Harvard Lampoon, include works by Patricia Marx and BJ Novak. Readers include Wyatt Cenac, Michael Emerson, Richard Masur, and Alysia Reiner.
April 5, 2017
Guest host Michael Cerveris presents two stories about untrue love. A devoted wife worships her sailor husband in Daphne du Maurier's "La Sainte-Vierge," read by Kathryn Erbe. And Paul Giamatti reads a sci-fi classic by Robert Sheckley, "Pilgrimage to Earth," in which a traveller from a distant planet comes to Earth to find love.
April 3, 2017
The first chapter of Hubert Selby, Jr's classic, Last Exit To Brooklyn is many things: it's profane, violent and contains a number of racial slurs. But it's also a window into the gritty life on a Brooklyn street written by a man who had lived a horrible life and had come out the other side. In a powerful reading, actor John Turturro (Do The Right Thing, Barton Fink, The Night Of) transports us to those mean, grim streets. Also in the episode, guest host Lorin Stein, Editor of The Paris Review, talks to novelist and screenplay writer Richard Price about what it was about Last Exit To Brooklyn and Selby as a person that made him a fan.
March 20, 2017
From the best-selling author Beautiful Ruins, a story about a drug dealing Portland con artist voiced by actor Denis O'Hare who seems to have the perfect scam going, until it all goes wrong. Jess Walter talks to Aparna about where he gets his inspiration from, reading his reviews, and how he handles the dreaded writer's block.