Anais Concepcion

The Trial for Murder | Charles Dickens | Literary Roadhouse Ep 114

Discussion Notes: The Trial for Murder

Find this week’s story here: The Trial for Murder by Charles Dickens

Next week’s story: Once Removed by Colette Sartor

Rated: Clean

The Literary Roadhouse hosts, sans Maya, discuss Charles Dickens’ short story “The Trial for Murder.” Surprisingly, all three hosts walked away from the story a bit ambivalent, or in Rammy’s case, confused. They discuss the characters, the plot, the themes, and what makes for a good ghost story and how the genre has evolved over the decades. Despite the overall ambivalence, Gerald and Anais pick out gems, moments of levity or wisdom that stayed with them. The show ends with a friendly modern ghost quiz.

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below! Or on Twitter @litroadhouse or on our Facebook page.

Also, don’t forget to rate the story! For the history of our goofy system, see Anais’ post “Read Short Stories or Ray Bradbury Cries.” On a scale of 1-6 Bradberries, how do you rate this story? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail.

Lastly, your reviews on iTunes help us grow. Please search Literary Roadhouse in iTunes and leave reviews for all of our shows.

After the Race | James Joyce | Literary Roadhouse Ep 113

Discussion Notes: After the Race

Find this week’s story here: After the Race by James Joyce

Next week’s story: The Trial for Murder by Charles Dickens

Rated: Clean

The Literary Roadhouse hosts, sans Maya, discuss James Joyce’s short story “After the Race.” All three hosts walked away from their first reading the story scratching their heads. However, through discussion they came to appreciate some of its finer points and the political moment in which this story was written and published. Anais’s heavy research helped guide the story’s political themes, while Gerald and Rammy latched on to some of the more universal themes of aspiration and class. When it came to prose, Joyce is, well, Joyce. Love him or hate him.

Wanna feel old? This story is over 100 years old!  ????

Also, Anais keeps calling Villona by the wrong name “Villanova.” D’oh!

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below! Or on Twitter @litroadhouse or on our Facebook page.

Also, don’t forget to rate the story! For the history of our goofy system, see Anais’ post “Read Short Stories or Ray Bradbury Cries.” On a scale of 1-6 Bradberries, how do you rate this story? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail.

Lastly, your reviews on iTunes help us grow. Please search Literary Roadhouse in iTunes and leave reviews for all of our shows.

Insomnia | Hannah Rahimi | Literary Roadhouse Ep 112

Discussion Notes: Insomnia

Find this week’s story here: Insomnia by Hannah Rahimi

Next week’s story: After the Race by James Joyce

Rated: Clean

The Literary Roadhouse hosts discuss another Carve Magazine story “Insomnia” by Hannah Rahimi. Because the story is of a style we’ve come to recognize as Gerald’s favorite, he loved it. Meanwhile, Rammy thought it was decent (damning with faint praise), and he proposed the adjective “creditable,” which both Gerald and Anais thought was too harsh. Anais liked it, but wanted more. This thirst for more leads to a discussion on the trend in modern short stories, and what it does well and what it could use more of.

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below! Or on Twitter @litroadhouse or on our Facebook page.

Also, don’t forget to rate the story! For the history of our goofy system, see Anais’ post “Read Short Stories or Ray Bradbury Cries.” On a scale of 1-6 Bradberries, how do you rate this story? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail.

Lastly, your reviews on iTunes help us grow. Please search Literary Roadhouse in iTunes and leave reviews for all of our shows.

Hills Like White Elephants | Ernest Hemingway | Literary Roadhouse Ep 111

Discussion Notes: Hills Like White Elephants

Find this week’s story here: Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway

Next week’s story: Insomnia by Hannah Rahimi

Rated: Clean

The Literary Roadhouse hosts discuss the podcast’s third Hemingway short story, “Hills Like White Elephants.” The story prompted yet another Literary Roadhouse debate about Hemingway, with Gerald as his most vocal champion. The conversation weaves through symbolism, prose, characters, and the history of abortion, of all things. Rammy found the dialogue “refreshing.” As for Maya, this was the first story she enjoyed by Hemingway, whereas Anais still wished he had given her more to chew on. Stay to listen to Gerald ace a Hemingway quiz and be accused of grading on a curve.

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below! Or on Twitter @litroadhouse or on our Facebook page.

Also, don’t forget to rate the story! For the history of our goofy system, see Anais’ post “Read Short Stories or Ray Bradbury Cries.” On a scale of 1-6 Bradberries, how do you rate this story? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail.

Lastly, your reviews on iTunes help us grow. Please search Literary Roadhouse in iTunes and leave reviews for all of our shows.

Swing Time | Zadie Smith | Literary Roadhouse Bookclub Ep 14

Discussion Notes: Swing Time

Next month’s novel: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Rated: Clean

On today’s show, Anais, Gerald, and Tamara discuss Zadie Smith’s Swing Time, a vibrant story about race, class, and long-term friendship. All three hosts gush about the novel’s characters and prose, and marvel at how astutely Smith draws her characters. When it comes to discussing plots, opinions diverge. Stay for nuanced recommendations about why to read this story, and for a discussion on what we want from fiction.

We’d like to hear from you

Did we miss something? Let us know what you think of the novel in the comment section below. Or, if you prefer, leave a voicemail by clicking on the feature to the right. By the way, we may play your voicemail on our next show, so tell us if you would prefer we did not.

Please leave an iTunes review! It helps us attract a wider audience and keep growing.

We (try to) air the first Friday of every month, and discuss the books on Twitter between shows using #LRHBookclub.

Kew Gardens | Virginia Woolf | Literary Roadhouse Ep 110

Discussion Notes: Kew Gardens

Find this week’s story here: Kew Gardens by Virginia Woolf

Next week’s story: Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway

Rated: Clean

The Literary Roadhouse hosts discuss Virginia Woolf’s “Kew Gardens.” The story left the hosts divided, with Gerald and Rammy craving more plot. All four hosts debate who the protagonist and the narrator are (the snail?!). The short work reminded Rammy of a painting, and the exercise took Anais back to a college-level art class. Meanwhile Maya gushes over one of her favorite authors of all time.

Listen to the audio version of this story here.

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below! Or on Twitter @litroadhouse or on our Facebook page.

Also, don’t forget to rate the story! For the history of our goofy system, see Anais’ post “Read Short Stories or Ray Bradbury Cries.” On a scale of 1-6 Bradberries, how do you rate this story? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail.

Lastly, your reviews on iTunes help us grow. Please search Literary Roadhouse in iTunes and leave reviews for all of our shows.

Monkey’s Paw | W.W. Jacobs | Literary Roadhouse Ep 109

Discussion Notes: Monkey’s Paw

Find this week’s story here: Monkey’s Paw by W. W. Jacobs

Next week’s story: Kew Gardens by Virginia Woolf

Rated: Clean

The Literary Roadhouse hosts discuss a classic horror story “Monkey’s Paw” by W. W. Jacobs. The story has become a pop culture reference and influenced many similar stories, and so our hosts couldn’t wait to meet the grandfather of ‘be careful what you wish for’ stories. Come for the horror, stay for a discussion on how to handle antiquated ideas on gender, race, and politics in older works of fiction. All in all, Rammy put it best when he said “This was a nice discussion.”

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below! Or on Twitter @litroadhouse or on our Facebook page.

Also, don’t forget to rate the story! For the history of our goofy system, see Anais’ post “Read Short Stories or Ray Bradbury Cries.” On a scale of 1-6 Bradberries, how do you rate this story? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail.

Lastly, your reviews on iTunes help us grow. Please search Literary Roadhouse in iTunes and leave reviews for all of our shows.

The Story of the Girl Whose Birds Flew Away | Bushra al-Fadil | Literary Roadhouse Ep 108

Discussion Notes: The Story of the Girl Whose Birds Flew Away

Find this week’s story here: The Story of the Girl Whose Birds Flew Away by Bushra al-Fadil.

Next week’s story: Monkey’s Paw by W. W. Jacobs

Rated: Clean

Maya, Gerald, Rammy and Anais analyze The Caine Prize for African Writing winner “The Story of the Girl Whose Birds Flew Away” by Bushra al-Fadil. Is a short story like a poem? Or a piece of art? Maya thinks it is, and she challenges Gerald to define a story. Gerald thought there wasn’t enough story, and too much chewy narrative, which is what Anais appreciated, though she had to let go of the question “why” several times. Rammy enjoyed the story, in particular the stunning visual metaphors.

You may also listen to audio versions of this story in English and Arabic on The Caine Prize website: caineprize.com/the-winner

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below! Or on Twitter @litroadhouse or on our Facebook page.

Also, don’t forget to rate the story! For the history of our goofy system, see Anais’ post “Read Short Stories or Ray Bradbury Cries.” On a scale of 1-6 Bradberries, how do you rate this story? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail.

Lastly, your reviews on iTunes help us grow. Please search Literary Roadhouse in iTunes and leave reviews for all of our shows.

The Wig | Han Dong | Literary Roadhouse Ep 107

Discussion Notes: The Wig

Find this week’s story here: The Wig by Han Dong.

Next week’s story: The Story of the Girl Whose Birds Flew Away by Bushra al-Fadil.

Rated: Explicit

The Literary Roadhouse hosts, minus Rammy, discuss The Wig by Han Dong. Maya loved the story, and got a lot out of what it says about our obsession with presentation. However, despite her best efforts, she couldn’t convince Gerald to love it too. Meanwhile, Anais really enjoyed the visuals, and other aspects which were enhanced by an interview with the author which she discusses on the show. For aspiring writers, pay attention to how the author introduces and draws a character that would unlikable in less deft hands.

Finally, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the game is about…wigs!

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below! Or on Twitter @litroadhouse or on our Facebook page.

Also, don’t forget to rate the story! For the history of our goofy system, see Anais’ post “Read Short Stories or Ray Bradbury Cries.” On a scale of 1-6 Bradberries, how do you rate this story? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail.

Lastly, your reviews on iTunes help us grow. Please search Literary Roadhouse in iTunes and leave reviews for all of our shows.

The Association of Small Bombs | Karan Mahajan | Literary Roadhouse Bookclub Ep 13

Discussion Notes: The Association of Small Bombs

Next month’s novel: Swing Time by Zadie Smith

Rated: Explicit themes and language

The Literary Roadhouse Bookclub is back after a (year) long hiatus! And we’ve made some behind the scenes staff and systems changes to return to a regular monthly schedule. We missed you, and hope you let your friends know the bookclub is back on.

If you missed us and want to help us thrive, consider contributing to our expenses at patreon.com/literaryroadhouse.

On today’s show, Anais, Gerald, and Tamara discuss Karan Mahajan’s sophomore novel The Association of Small Bombs, a gritty story that explores the character of terrorism in India. At first, our hosts struggle to piece together this fragmented story structure, but slowly, through deep discussion and analysis, begin to understand the clever theme and lessons embedded in the narrative. Along the way, they find a new appreciation for Mahajan’s celebrated novel.

We’d like to hear from you

Did we miss something? Let us know what you think of the novel in the comment section below. Or, if you prefer, leave a voicemail by clicking on the feature to the right. By the way, we may play your voicemail on our next show, so tell us if you would prefer we did not.

Please leave an iTunes review! It helps us attract a wider audience and keep growing.

We (try to) air the first Friday of every month, and discuss the books on Twitter between shows using #LRHBookclub.