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 22, 2017
Guest host Josh Radnor presents works by Carrie Brownstein and George Saunders. Brownstein reads from her memoir “Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl.” BD Wong performs Saunders’ “My Chivalric Fiasco,” about a goofy knight errant at a Renaissance Fair, and Anthony Rapp performs Saunders’ “Sticks”, a brief portrait of an eccentric dad. We also hear Brownstein and Saunders in conversation with Radnor.
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.
March 14, 2017
Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents four stories in which boys—and one girl—encounter adventures. David Hyde Pierce reads an excerpt from E.B. White’s classic about intrepid mouse Stuart Little; Malachy McCourt reads James Joyce’s tale of thwarted young love, “Araby;” in Andrew Lam’s “The Palmist” a teenager hears his future; the reader is James Naughton. And a father and daughter glide out of an airplane in “Flying” by Stephen Dixon, read by Thomas Gibson.
March 8, 2017
Guest host David Sedaris presents three stories about growing up and rites of passage. A young woman is drawn into a social charade in Joyce Carol Oates' "Nairobi," read by Alison Pill. Best friends re-examine their relationship in Amy Hempel's "The Most Girl Part of You," read by Kate Burton. And Rick Moody follows two brothers from childhood to maturity in "Boys," read by BD Wong.