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The Drum

Issue 45. February 2014



"At Hundred Islands National Park, I Count Only One Island" is The Drum's inaugural poem, by Aimee Nezhukumathatil. Nezhukumathatil reads the poem and then answers questions from Poetry Editor Kirun Kapur, about the poem's origins, her non-writing obsessions, and more. (4:22)

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KIM TRIEDMAN excerpt from The Other Room


A pink mitten and a balky boiler are some of the poignant details of this scene from Kim Triedman's novel The Other Room. The loss of a child registers through the eerie combination of the normal and the uncanny, adding up to mounting pressure on the husband and wife who have survived. (5:55)

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Jennifer Haigh reads "Favorite Son" from her recent collection News From Heaven. It's here that the collection's title appears--in a story of hopes and disappointments shared by an entire town and by the sons and daughters left with the town's poignant legacy. "Favorite Son" explores the ways in which a certain kind of faith and trust can turn into betrayal. (26:39)

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RODDY DOYLE Reading at Brookline Booksmith


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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TRACY WINN Another Way to Make Cleopatra Cry


A lost purse sets in motion this fast-paced, voice-rich story of opportunism and desperation seen through the wary eyes of a little girl. Dragged around the bars and backstreets of Lowell, Massachusetts by her father's girlfriend, Kaylene watches over her sister Cleopatra and the girlfriend's son as they go in search of the purse and its promise of a better life. Tracy Winn's "Another Way to Make Cleopatra Cry" offers a vivid sense of what it means when observation is your only resource. (24:31)

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It's after a cataclysm of some sorts, a post-apocalyptic moment etched in miniature in Jody Azzouni's "The Ghostzoo". As a father and his daughter eke out an existence from the meager remnants of their former world, the little girl plays with a dollhouse. She learns as she plays about the world that is lost to her, until new arrivals start a new and perplexing cycle of creation and disappearance. (13:30)

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theme: comedy

theme: crisis

theme: relationships

theme: family

genre: essay

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