Spotlight on Fiction: MSU Libraries(Podcasts from The New Yorker)

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A monthly reading and conversation with the New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman...

Joshua Ferris reads Robert CooverFri, 01 May 2015 20:10:30 GMT
On this week’s Fiction Podcast, Joshua Ferris reads “Going for a Beer,” by Robert Coover, which appeared in the magazine in 2011. The story begins with a simple scene of a man drinking in a bar, then dashes forward in a drunken, eventful rush. It’s all over in about a thousand words. “It just can’t be denied that when you read this piece you can’t stop reading it,” Ferris says in conversation with the magazine’s fiction editor, Deborah Treisman. “It’s like an energy that just barrels over you, and you can’t stop it because it’s so immediate—and really beautiful.”
Duration: 00:24:39 Download file
Thomas McGuane reads David MeansWed, 01 Apr 2015 21:56:00 GMT
On this month's fiction podcast, Thomas McGuane reads David Means' "The Tree Line, Kansas, 1934," and discusses it with The New Yorker's fiction editor, Deborah Treisman. It was first published in The New Yorker in 2010. McGuane’s own stories have been appearing the New Yorker since 1994 and his latest collection, “Crow Fair,” came out in March.
Duration: 00:39:05 Download file
Etgar Keret reads Donald BarthelmeMon, 02 Mar 2015 21:19:59 GMT
On this month’s fiction podcast, Etgar Keret reads “Chablis,” by Donald Barthelme, which was published in The New Yorker in 1983. The story, which occupied a single page in the magazine, is a man’s anxious internal monologue about his wife, their young child, and his place within the family. “My wife wants a dog,” the story begins. “She already has a baby. The baby’s almost two. My wife says that the baby wants the dog.” Reading Barthelme’s stories aloud is particularly pleasurable, Keret says, because of Barthelme’s emphasis on voice. It creates “the illusion that if you just pick out the right voice” to read the words, then “the story will also become a little bit your story.” In conversation with the magazine’s fiction editor, Deborah Treisman, Keret also discusses the conflicting emotions of Barthelme’s narrator and explains how writing a short story is like surfing.
Duration: 00:30:52 Download file
Antonya Nelson Reads Tom DruryMon, 02 Feb 2015 19:29:15 GMT
On this month’s fiction podcast, Antonya Nelson reads Tom Drury’s “Accident at the Sugar Beet,” which appeared in the magazine in 1992 and later became part of Drury’s novel “The End of Vandalism.” The story follows Louise Darling, a resident of a small Midwestern town, through a series of dryly funny encounters with neighbors and friends, and sees her begin a romantic relationship with Dan Norman, the county sheriff. Along the way, she experiences small moments of grief and uncertainty, as when she looks in a bathroom mirror at a bar and suddenly feels “as if she had strayed far from the people she understood. On the other hand, she lived within twelve miles of where she was born.” Nelson says that the “people in this story remind me so much of my family. It’s so excellent to be in their company, for me. There’s a lot of deadpan humor and warmth without sentimentality. And, for me, it feels familiar and like something I want to hang on to and have out in the world.”
Duration: 00:53:34 Download file
Joseph O’Neill Reads Muriel SparkWed, 31 Dec 2014 16:08:20 GMT
In this month’s fiction podcast, Joseph O’Neill reads Muriel Spark’s “The Ormolu Clock,” which appeared in the magazine in 1960, when Spark was, O’Neill says, “at the peak of her powers.” The story portrays two rival guesthouses that sit beside each other in the Austrian mountains. One of the hotels (Hotel Stroh, owned by Herr Stroh) is falling into disrepair, while the other (Guesthouse Lublonitsch) is flourishing under the relentless work ethic of its owner, Frau Lublonitsch. Although Frau Lublonitsch owns many businesses and much land, she lives a spartan life. Her bedroom, however, into which the narrator steals a peek while staying at the guesthouse, is lavishly decorated with rich fabrics and the gilt clock of the story’s title. When the narrator notices Herr Stroh spying into her room from across the street, Frau Lublonitsch finds an unconventional way to defend her guest. “It’s a very weird story, in some ways,” O’Neill says. “It’s unclear where our sympathy or our understanding should ultimately settle.”
Duration: 00:48:24 Download file
Aleksandar Hemon reads “Pnin” by Vladimir NabokovMon, 01 Dec 2014 15:46:05 GMT
On this month’s fiction podcast, Aleksandar Hemon reads and discusses Vladimir Nabokov’s short story “Pnin,” which was published in The New Yorker, in 1953, and became the opening chapter of his 1957 novel of the same name, about the Russian-émigré professor Timofey Pnin. Hemon, who relocated to the United States from the former Yugoslavia at the outset of the Bosnian war, and learned English by reading “Pnin” and other books by Nabokov, says that the author “is lauded for his language in English and Russian . . . but what is often misperceived is the actual care and insight he might have into his characters, particularly if they are displaced Russians.” In his conversation with the magazine’s fiction editor, Deborah Treisman, Hemon also discusses Pnin’s “complicated innocence” toward America, the authorial presence of Nabokov in the story, and whether the novel really was, as Nabokov claimed, a “brief, sunny escape” from “Lolita” ’s “intolerable spell.”
Duration: 00:54:47 Download file
David Gilbert Reads “Leg” by Steven PolanskyTue, 04 Nov 2014 14:38:16 GMT
David Gilbert Reads “Leg” by Steven Polansky
Duration: 00:51:25 Download file
George Saunders reads "Love" Grace Paley and "The Wretched Seventies" Barry HannahWed, 01 Oct 2014 17:10:21 GMT
George Saunders reads "Love" Grace Paley and "The Wretched Seventies" Barry Hannah
Duration: 00:38:09 Download file
Nathan Englander Reads John Cheever’s “The Enormous Radio”Mon, 29 Sep 2014 22:03:00 GMT
Nathan Englander Reads John Cheever’s “The Enormous Radio”
Duration: 00:40:37 Download file
Tim Parks reads Peter Stamm.Mon, 29 Sep 2014 22:04:00 GMT
Tim Parks reads Peter Stamm.
Duration: 00:58:39 Download file
Rebecca Curtis reads Leonard Michaels.Mon, 29 Sep 2014 22:04:09 GMT
Rebecca Curtis reads Leonard Michaels.
Keywords: Rebecca Curtis, Leonard Michaels
Duration: 00:42:19 Download file
Miranda July reads Janet Frame.Mon, 29 Sep 2014 22:04:19 GMT
Miranda July reads Janet Frame.
Keywords: Miranda July, Janet Frame
Duration: 00:31:28 Download file
Joyce Carol Oates reads Cynthia Ozick.Mon, 29 Sep 2014 22:04:32 GMT
Joyce Carol Oates reads Cynthia Ozick.
Keywords: Joyce Carol Oates, Cynthia Ozick
Duration: 00:27:48 Download file
Akhil Sharma reads Tobias WolffMon, 29 Sep 2014 22:04:41 GMT
Akhil Sharma reads Tobias Wolff.
Keywords: Akhil Sharma, Tobias Wolff
Duration: 00:37:10 Download file
Jennifer Egan reads Mary GaitskillTue, 04 Mar 2014 02:29:41 GMT
Jennifer Egan reads Mary Gaitskill.
Keywords: Jennifer Egan, Mary Gaitskill
Duration: 00:53:08 Download file