"Improbable Cargo" follows the "frozen-water trade" connecting India and the northeastern United States--from a personal perspective. Vijee Venkatraman muses on her life at each end of this journey of blocks of ice across oceans, and on how something as transient as ice could create a bond that lasted centuries. A version of this essay appeared in the Harvard Book Store's essay collection Paige Leaves.
The Last Thing To Godownload
A violent flood provides the backdrop for the tentative relationship developing in Jackson Culpepper's "The Last Thing To Go." As the storm waters surge, a young man searching for stability--and for connection with the young woman he meets at church--confronts new questions about himself and about the nature of love and salvation.
One City One Story: Anna Solomon's The Lobster Mafia Storydownload
"The Lobster Mafia Story," by Anna Solomon, is the Boston Book Festival's choice for this year's One City One Story, a project to promote reading and to create community around a shared reading experience. It's a poignant tale set in motion by a widow's dreadful secret about a long-ago murder. The story is read aloud by The Drum's editor, Henriette Lazaridis Power. Anna Solomon will appear at the Boston Book Festival on October 27 to discuss the story.To download the audio recording of "The Lobster Mafia Story," right-click on the download button beside the play button, and save the mp3 to your computer.
Laura Bridgman, The First Famous Blind Deaf-Mutedownload
Kimberly Elkins' "Laura Bridgman" offers a fascinating fictionalized account of an actual historical moment. As she meets the young girl who is being groomed to take her place as a celebrity, Bridgman muses on the vagaries of fame and reputation. Elkins' piece raises interesting questions about the rivalry among the senses (or their loss), and the strange power that can be wielded by disability.
The narrator of Kevin Brown's "One Life" returns to Hong Kong after his wife's death from SARS with the sole mission to contract the disease himeslf so that he can be reunited with her. We follow the narrator through the city as he reflects on his marriage, and ponders the strange situation of trying to stay alive so that he can court a particular kind of death. "One Life" is read aloud by Actors' Shakespeare Project actor Bill Barclay.