Where We Live: The New Yorker fiction podcast

By Melanie Yarbrough

Believe it or not, I only recently subscribed to the New Yorker‘s fiction podcast. I’ve always been a fan of reading aloud, much to my roommates’ chagrin, and this is the Astin Martin of story time: Well-known New Yorker authors reading other well-known New Yorker authors’ stories aloud then discussing the stories. You get to hear authors as readers, and not just readers of their own work in a bookstore or on a stage, but readers of fiction in general and lovers of the genre. It’s a wonderful opportunity as both a reader and a writer, especially to further blur the line between the two until it no longer matters or is capable of existing.

I work outside of the city, and each morning and afternoon I spend an hour on public transportation. The commute has allowed me the limit of distractions I needed to do the reading I’ve always meant to do. Case and point: I read Andrew Porter’s The Theory of Light and Matter in one day of commuting, which felt both good and terribly disappointing to have read that genius collection in such a short amount of time. What do I do when I’ve finished an entire physical book in one day’s commute? I switch to the New Yorker‘s always satisfying fiction podcast. To give you a little taste (Warning: May cause tearing up or abrupt laughter in public places where you are alone and seem to have no reason to be displaying these emotions), here’s the Tobias Wolff classic “Bullet in the Brain” as read and discussed by T.C. Boyle. Feel free to let us know in the comments section which has been your favorite so far, a combination you’d like to hear, or the story and author you’d choose if given the opportunity. I’d read “La Vita Nuova” by Allegra Goodman. A girl can dream, right? So indulge and tell us, who would you pick?

Check out the monthly podcast, featuring stories from the New Yorker archives chosen by a current fiction writer, at iTunes or through their Feeds page.

The Where We Live series is chance to travel to all the different places that writers and readers live, in a deeper sense than simply geography, but the mental and emotional space they inhabit during their creative lives. Interested in contributing your own Where We Live? Check out previous entries and send us what you got.

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One thought on “Where We Live: The New Yorker fiction podcast

  1. Shane says:

    Commenting on one’s own blog is always a classy move.

    I’ve got a couple favorite readings that have already been done. The first New Yorker fiction podcast recorded, and indeed the first one I ever listened to, featured Richard Ford reading John Cheever’s Reunion. That got me hooked on the podcast over a year ago. I also love Louis Erdrich reading Lorrie Moore’s Dance in America. It’s a gorgeous story, and Erdrich reads it with the delicacy it deserves.

    If I could personally read a story for the New Yorker fiction podcast, it would definitely be Raymond Carver’s Where I’m Calling From. This is Carver at his absolute best. Every time I read this I’m awed by Carver’s ability to craft a story. If you’ve never read Where I’m Calling From, I suggest you click on the link above. Just so good.

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