Anais Concepcion

Episode 1: How We Started Podcasting

A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine. I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

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Referential | Lorrie Moore | Literary Roadhouse Ep 95

Discussion Notes: Referential

Find this week’s story here: Referential by Lorrie Moore.

Next week’s story: Martha, Martha by Zadie Smith.

Rated: Clean

Rammy is back! He joins Gerald, Maya, and Anais in discussing Referential by Lorrie Moore. The hosts unpack this raw story that at times veered too deep into the bleak. However, powerful prose and well drawn characters saved the story from being overwhelmed by that bleakness. In general, the hosts agreed this time, with Rammy the most disappointed by the lack of plot. Still, this portrait of loneliness and mental illness is a must read.

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below!

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 Ways You Are Gone | Kami Westhoff | Literary Roadhouse Ep 94

Discussion Notes: The Ways You Are Gone

Find this week’s story here: The Ways You Are Gone by Kami Westhoff.

Next week’s story: Referential by Lorrie Moore.

Rated: Explicit

Gerald, Maya, and Anais discuss The Ways Your Are Gone by Kami Westoff, a story about the various ways that someone can be absent from a loved one’s life. While the hosts agree on the quality of the story, the deftness of the writing and the realism of the narrator, they disagree, loudly, on the narrator’s likability. On the one hand, Maya and Gerald defend the narrator’s bleak vision of the future as a coping mechanism for loss. Unconvinced, Anais finds it offensive to the memory of the person lost. In the end, the hosts muse on how their conversation mirrors real world discussions on how to mourn. What do you make of how we mourn, and how the narrator mourns, specifically?

Next week Rammy returns!

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below!

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.

Nightfall | Isaac Asimov | Literary Roadhouse Ep 93

Discussion Notes: Nightfall

Find this week’s story here: Nightfall by Isaac Asimov.

Next week’s story: The Ways You Are Gone by Kami Westhoff.

Rated: Clean

Gerald, Maya, and Anais discuss Isaac Asimov’s classic and much-celebrated short story “Nightfall.” Boy do the hosts bicker on this episode! Anais loved the story, Maya hated it, and Gerald liked it, but without Anais’s bright-eyed enthusiasm. The hosts debate ad nauseum whether it’s more important to have great prose or great plot. Yes, we want and deserve both, but the lack of which is easier to tolerate? So what’s more important to you, the language or the idea?

 

And yes, the hosts did manage to find time to discuss the themes of the actual story, and draw parallels between this fictional world and ours.

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below!

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.

And It Is My Fault | Janet Towle | Literary Roadhouse Ep 92

Discussion Notes: And It Is My Fault

Find this week’s story here: And It Is My Fault by Janet Towle.

Next week’s story: Nightfall by Isaac Asimov.

Rated: Clean Language on the Podcast, Adult Themes in the Story

Gerald, Maya, and Anais discuss Carves Magazine’s Raymond Carver Contest, Fall 2016 Winner, “And It Is My Fault” by Janet Towle.  The story lured in all three hosts with its beautiful language and three dimensional characters. However, the ending stumped our hosts and left them feeling somewhere between puzzled and hungry for more.

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below!

You may have noticed this episode is late. As you know, we produce this podcast ourselves in our spare time and have to cover all expenses we incur, such as hosting and editing. To help make our episodes more regular, consider supporting us at patreon.com/literaryroadhouse.

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 Goophered Grapevine | Charles W. Chesnutt | Literary Roadhouse Ep 91

Discussion Notes: The Goophered Grapevine

Find this week’s story here: The Goophered Grapevine by Charles W. Chesnutt.

Next week’s story: And It Is My Fault by Janet Towle.

Rated: Explicit.

Our hosts discuss a short story classic from The Atlantic, The Goophered Grapevine by Charles W. Chesnutt. Gerald, Rammy, and Anais could not stand the dialect used to tell the bulk of the story, and Maya valiantly defended the use of such dialect as best she could. While Maya herself admits the dialect is a distraction, she wondered if it served as a preservation of a long gone diction. Perhaps following the old adage ‘if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all’, Rammy and Gerald were unusually quiet on this episode. And finally, the hosts do dissect the representation of black spirituality in fiction, and how author’s intentions color their reception of an author’s work.

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below!

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.

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

Herding Vegetable Sheep | Ekaterina Sedia | Literary Roadhouse Ep 90

Discussion Notes: Herding Vegetable Sheep

Find this week’s story here: Herding Vegetable Sheep by Ekaterina Sedia.

Next week’s story: The Goophered Grapevine by Charles W. Chesnutt.

Rated: Clean.

Our hosts discuss Herding Vegetable Sheep by Ekaterina Sedia. Rammy couldn’t join us this week, and thus Gerald is left alone to defend this story we quite enjoyed from the critics: Maya and Anais. Although the ladies didn’t like the story as much as Gerald did, they liked some pieces of, but couldn’t agree on which parts. Maya enjoyed some of the hyper-detail oriented descriptions, but felt the prose lacked rhythm. While Anais felt the story touched on too many themes without exploring any one in enough depth. Gerald disagreed on all fronts, giving the score high marks and defending it as best he could.

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below!

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.

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

The Last Question | Isaac Asimov | Literary Roadhouse Ep 89

Discussion Notes: The Last Question

Find this week’s story here: The Last Question by Isaac Asimov.

Next week’s story: Herding Vegetable Sheep by Ekaterina Sedia.

Rated: Clean.

This week our hosts discuss The Last Question by Isaac Asimov. From the beginning, Rammy and Anais loved this story and could hardly contain their excitement. Gerald started lukewarm and slowly grew to love the story as well, particularly for the subtle and clever ways that humans the Mulivac evolve over time. Meanwhile Maya could concede that the story’s twist ending was satisfying, but the lack of deep characterizations were not. Bad news for Maya, however, as Anais’s love of the story and Asimov’s ideas means that she’ll try to get more Asimov on the show. Poor Maya!

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below!

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.

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

The Street | H. P. Lovecraft | Literary Roadhouse Ep 88

Discussion Notes: The Street

Find this week’s story here: The Street by H. P. Lovecraft.

Next week’s story: The Last Question by Isaac Asimov.

Rated: Clean.

This week our hosts discuss H. P. Lovecraft’s The Street, a departure from Lovecraft’s infamous alien horrors. The Street’s a supernatural story dripping with a xenophobic political message. Unable to accept the politics, all four hosts struggled with how to criticize the story. Maya focused on the language and did her best to separate the art from the artist. Rammy and Anais rejected that approach on the premise that the art itself is the vehicle for politics they couldn’t support. Meanwhile, Gerald tried to follow in Maya’s footsteps, but couldn’t quite look past the story’s racism. Despite these difficulties, the hosts manage to analyze the language and craft and enjoy a fun alien personality quiz at the end.

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below!

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.

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

White Light | Vanessa Garcia | Literary Roadhouse Bookclub Ep 12

Discussion Notes: White Light

Next month’s novel: The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan

Rated: Explicit themes and language

On today’s show, Anais, Gerald, and Maya gush over this literary novel that delves into the artistic process, loss, body image, and relationships, both romantic and familial.

The hosts analyze the novel’s characters, themes, motifs, and framing devices. All three hosts were impressed with the way traditional and visual art is threaded throughout the novel to highlight emotional beats and themes. In particular, Maya loved the poetics and raw craft. As for Anais, the astute renderings of fictional characters so they resembled people she'[s encountered in life was hair raising. Meanwhile, Gerald fawned about the depth of the themes which lurked beneath a simple plot.

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.