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Audio Shorts from NPR and Symphony Space

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For a while now NPR has been quietly (so to speak) podcasting Symphony Space's Selected Shorts series in New York, where actors read short stories on stage. Here's some highlights for your listening pleasure:

John Updike

Philip K. Dick

Michael Chabon

Wet Asphalt favorite Brian Evenson

Italo Calvino

John Hodgman, Giving It Away

John Hodgman's Areas of My Expertise, which I reviewed positively, is being given away for free in audiobook format from the iTunes Store. It's a very funny book, and well worth the price. Enjoy.

See also: my summary of John Hodgmania.

Three Recommendations

Three recommendations today:

First is short fiction from the latest issue of Harpers magazine, Sans Farine by Jim Shepard, about an executioner during the French Revolution. In telling the story of a man whose very profession is hijacked by the revolution's proclivity towards beheading the innocent, Shepard manages to humanize the Terror without ever being melodramatic or emotionally manipulative. It's quite something.

Second is Tom Bissell's essay on Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises in the most recent issue of the Believer, which is shorter than most of Bissell's pieces for that magazine, but no less great. Read an excerpt at the link above.

Third, an interview with Alan Moore by the "Fanboy Radio Network." As to be expected by a radio show with that title, the hosts and the callers are all falling all over themselves to lick Alan Moore's buttcrack; nevertheless, they get some wonderful information out of him about his work and the history of comics, and the whole thing is worth listening to. Besides, if you're going to lick anyone's butt crack, it might as well be that guy.