The Drum

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GREGORY SPATZ Hit Me

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A group of high-school boys tests each other and themselves with the game of knuckles. From the pain of knuckles, to the release of getting high, to the sweet pleasure of a Charleston Chew, these boys feel everything, and try to pretend they can choose what they let in. "Hit Me" is a story--beautifully performed by Spatz--about aggression, recklessness, and surprising weakness. (34:36)

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JOANNA RAKOFF Reading with Edan Lepucki at Brookline Booksmith

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Joanna Rakoff reads from My Salinger Year and Edan Lepucki reads from California at Brookline Booksmith. Listen in as these two writers read from their work and answer questions about driving through LA during a blackout that seems to presage apocalypse, about the experience of working in J.D. Salinger's agency, and about the shift from novel to memoir, third-person to first. (49:11)

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RODDY DOYLE Reading at Brookline Booksmith

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Booker-Prize-winning author Roddy Doyle reads from his latest novel The Guts in this recording of an event at Brookline Booksmith on February 6, 2014. Jimmy Rabitte, the protagonist of Doyle's first novel The Commitments, is now middle-aged and facing the difficult task of telling his wife he has cancer. Doyle's trademark spare and witty dialogue anchors the scene. Following the reading, Doyle discusses topics ranging from how he writes dialogue, the Irish recession, and footballer Wayne Rooney, all in his inimitably wry style. (46:28)

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Books, Actually What If?

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Books, Actually is The Drum's collection of interlaced stories set in and around the Boston Book Festival. A thief, a teenaged poet, a coxswain, and a disgruntled author are just a few of the characters created by Boston authors Catherine Elcik, Ethan Gilsdorf, Katrina Grigg-Saito, Ted Weesner, Becky Tuch, Clarence Lai, Stace Budzko, and Henriette Lazaridis Power. Hear them all, or go directly to a selected story. Elcik (00:31), Gilsdorf (6:20), Lai (11:47), Power (17:12), Weesner (22:51), Tuch (29:23), Budzko (35:39), Grigg-Saito (37:17), Elcik (42:21). (46:20)

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NICK DYBEK Three Summers

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In a summer rental shared by two families, a boy and a girl in Nick Dybek's "Three Summers" search for treasure in the secret corners of the house. Parents search for a different kind of treasure--a shared history whose adventure and romance now eludes them. Over the course of three summers, both adults and children wrestle with the pull of the past and the allure of the imagined. "Three Summers" appears in print in the Fall 2013 issue of Ploughshares, and in text on Ploughshares online. The story is read aloud for The Drum by David Mawhinney. (39:16)

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LIONEL SHRIVER Reading at Brookline Booksmith

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In this recording of her June 19 appearance at Brookline Booksmith, acclaimed novelist Lionel Shriver reads from her new novel Big Brother and discusses issues surrounding obesity in our culture. In her introduction to a short reading, and in her answers to audience questions, Shriver speaks with passion and insight about such topics as personal responsibility, government missteps, and the power of family and sibling relationships. (57:22)

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TIPHANIE YANIQUE Oakland Gomorrah

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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. (33:50)

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JUDITH MCCORMACK Creation Stories

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Judith McCormack's "Creation Stories" appears in the current issue (Issue Number 43) of the Harvard Review. "Creation Stories" is the tale of a relationship and the law--social laws, laws of attraction, and the laws that govern the creation of facts and identity. In McCormack's narrative, Elisabetta and Miles meet en route to a legal conference in Sicily, and proceed to build a connection founded as much on omission as communication. The story is read aloud by Katrina Grigg-Saito. (45:41)

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HENRIETTE LAZARIDIS The Clover House, Chapter One

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Henriette Lazaridis Power's novel The Clover House follows a Greek-American woman who discovers the secrets to a wartime family tragedy when she returns to Greece to sift through an inheritance. In the novel's first chapter, Callie Brown determines to make the trip to Greece, motivated by her mother's attempts to keep her away, and by her own unease about her recent engagement. For more about the book, visit www.henriettepower.com. (47:32)

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JEN BERGMARK Turn of the Century

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"The world will end soon." So says the protagonist of Jen Bergmark's "Turn of the Century." An old rock and roller who views himself as a has-been, the singer is fascinated by Nostradamus and by predictions that the millennium will send us all into chaos. He looks ahead to New Year's of 2000 as the confirmation of the ending he has experienced in his career and his life. But when a young concert promoter recognizes him at an LA flea market, his life, like the century, takes a different turn. (44:08)

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COLETTE SARTOR Dress Shoes

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Colette Sartor's "Dress Shoes" recounts a relationship tested by one friend's transition from male to female. From Elke's perspective, we feel her longing and her sense of loss as her friend Ralph drifts away from her, forming a new bond. "Dress Shoes" is about sexuality--Elke's and Ralph's--but it is also about control, identity, and about the various ways in which we try to make our marks, literal and figurative, on ourselves and on others. (45:09)

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BOSTON BOOK FESTIVAL The Fiction: Time is. . . panel

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Courtesy of the Boston Book Festival, the Time Is. . .  panel with Jennifer Egan, Lawrence Douglas, and Peter Mountford, moderated by Henriette Lazaridis Power. The discussion took place in the Sanctuary of Old South Church on Saturday, October 15th, 2011. The panelists discussed issues like the structural choices they made in handling narrative time in their novels, the relationship between memory and identity in their work, the way their characters manipulate history and time, and how as novelists they represent time itself. Listen through to the end to hear the discussion include physics, the Big Bang, and narrative craft. (1:00:07)

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