excerpt from The Good Housedownload
Hildy, the narrator of Ann Leary's The Good House, is a descendant of a Salem witch, making her living selling real estate in the fictional Wendover of Massachusetts' Gold Coast. In this excerpt from Leary's novel, Hildy demonstrates her power to judge character, background, and aspiration simply by looking at the landscaping of a seaside mansion. Moving within but also slightly outside the culture of wealth and ambition, Hildy assesses the tensions and anxieties of her surroundings with acerbic wit.
Pomp and Circumstancedownload
Sabine Heinlein's essay "Pomp and Circumstance" traces the challenges and successes in the life of a young blind man negotiating life in New York. Heinlein gives us a vivid sense of the world as this young man experiences it, as she follows him through certain key milestones. A version of the essay first appeared in the American Literary Review where it was awarded the 2011 non-fiction award.
Excerpt from Haven's Wakedownload
Ladette Randolph's novel Haven's Wake tells the story of a family reunited on the family farm after the death of their patriarch. Set in a Mennonite community in eastern Nebraska, the novel illuminates themes of faith and loyalty, belief and imagination, family and allegiance. In this excerpt, a son discovers the strange clay figures his father was building beside the lake where met his death.
A man and a woman, a car, and a long drive in the company of memories and ruminations. Religion, race, and the seductive power of persuasion all come together in Tiphanie Yanique's story "Oakland Gomorrah". The story's conclusion offers a particularly thought-provoking reflection on beliefs and history. "Oakland Gomorrah" appears in print in the current issue of the literary journal AGNI. Listen to the story here, and read along in print. The story is read aloud by Katrina Grigg-Saito.
Aine Greaney's "Sanctuary" is an eloquent meditation on the people and places that give us comfort, often in unexpected ways. With her mother's death as starting point, Greaney explores the notion of the individual in place and time, the connections that link us to history and to the present.
The Mating Behavior of Great Titsdownload
Joshua Malbin creates an avian drama for his short story "The Mating Behavior of Great Tits". It's a new genre, possibly with this story as its only example. Malbin's unusual story sets a drama of relationships and family in the world of birds, immersing the listener in one bird's struggle to establish a family and a place in his world.