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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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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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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DUSTIN LONG Icelander

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In Dustin Long's novel Icelander, the daughter of a local legend of the investigative arts searches for her dog while avoiding her biological impulse to solve the mystery of her best friend's recent murder. Icelander hums with Norse legend, an alternate reality and a cast of supporting characters including a "rogue library-scientist," a pair of philosophical investigators, and a many-faced villain. Built on mazes of time, language, and narrator, this literary fireworks display shows you what might happen if Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple had been penned by Nabokov then run through Hitchcock's lens. (41:21)

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theme: comedy

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genre: essay

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