Sunday, April 12, 2009

Fiction Podcasts

For almost two years now, the New Yorker has featured monthly fiction podcasts on their website. Each month, a writer who publishes fiction in the magazine selects a story from the archives, reads it, and discusses it with Fiction Editor Deborah Treisman.

It's often a pleasure to hear these writers' voices, to listen to the way they emphasize words and shape the language of the stories. Their comments about the stories are also interesting, though usually not too strenuous. 

I tend to like the shorter ones—20-25 minutes. Here are five I'd recommend:

Very short, very powerful. Ford's voice is interesting.

This story lulls you then opens a trap door. 

It's a pleasure to listen to Hemon's Bosnian accent reading Malamud's unfancy prose.

I like Shteyngart after hearing him read and discuss this story, which put me in a distant and mostly pleasant place. 

An eerie story, eerily read as well, in which Welty ventriloquizes the murderer of Medgar Evers. 

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