Weekly Short Stories

Each week The Literary Roadhouse podcast hosts deeply read and discuss one short story.

Three Questions | Leo Tolstoy | Literary Roadhouse Ep 54

Three Questions

Next week’s story is In The Act Of Falling by Danielle Mclaughlin

Rated Clean

Maya couldn’t join the podcast for this episode. Anais, Gerald, and Rammy dug into this story without the Tolstoy fan girl, and discovered divergent opinions. Three Questions surprised Anais and Gerald by being a short parable, which is not what one expects of Tolstoy. for this reason, the story left them wanting more. Meanwhile, Rammy was happy as a clam with this morality tale. And while this short story received mixed reviews from our hosts, nonetheless the themes and lessons are timeless and well received. How would you have answered the three questions?

During the discussion, we also debate the merits of children’s morality tales versus adult morality tales. Let us know your thoughts on what makes for adults themes versus children’s themes. We’re curious to hear your opinion in the comment section below.

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 Three Questions? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail, and we will give the final tally on the next episode.

Thank You Ma’am | Langston Hughes | Literary Roadhouse Ep 53

Thank You Ma’am

Next week’s story is Three Questions by Leo Tolstoy

Rated Clean

This week we discuss a lovely story by Langston Hughes about a teenager whose attempts at robbery are defeated by the kind woman who was to be his victim. This simple, clean story of compassion won us over. However, through discussion we discovered it lacked some of the layers we’ve seen in other pieces. Still, simplicity could work in the story’s favor. It worked for some hosts, and less so for others. Listen to hear a discussion on when less is more.

Also, the story led to a timely discussion about how children are treated differently in modern culture, and what we as a society may have lost. Additionally, the racial themes in the text also reflect current times, and our hosts explore them in the conversation.

Share with us your thoughts.

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 Thank You Ma’am? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail, and we will give the final tally on the next episode.

It’s Our Anniversary!!! Come Join the Party Sun Feb 7 at 12PM PST

 

Blab is a social video conferencing app that works on iPhone or desktop. It allows up to four people to talk on live streamed video with a great chat system for listeners to get together or ask questions. But the best part is that you can request to join the video if you have headphones and an iPhone or computer with webcam. We used blab for our 1 year anniversary party and Got to talk to a random guest and… Gabriel, maya’s ex boyfriend from the late 90’s about all things art, literature, film and wine.

To be alerted to the next Live Blab follow us at Blab.im/literaryroadhouse

Discussing Escape From Spiderhead | George Saunders | Literary Roadhouse Ep 52

Next week’s story is Thank You Ma’am by Langston Hughes

Rated PG-13 for Adult Themes

Tamara WoodsThis week Tamara Woods joins us as a guest co-host. She is new to the Literary Roadhouse family and will be the host of an upcoming show. You can find out more about Tamara, her poetry and the Reverie Journal at tamarawoodsauthor.com

Escape from Spiderhead is a story about a many who is part of clinical drug trials as part of his imprisonment. As we analyze the story, we discussed questions of consent, murder, and the definition of love. Maya, Anais and Gerald all loved the story, but both Tamara and Rammy had issues being sucked into the story, or with George Saunders use of languag. Rammy found it a bit explicit for his taste.

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 Escape from Spiderhead? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail, and we will give the final tally on the next episode.

The Story of A Painter | Ludmilla Petrushevskaya | Literary Roadhouse Ep 51

The Story of a Painter

Next week’s story is Escape From Spiderhead by George Saunders

Rated PG-13 for light swearing

This week we discuss The Story of a Painter, a complex Russian short story that straddles the line between Magical Realism, Fairy Tale and a story of madness. Anais had a very different and interesting read of the story compared to the rest of us. Is the painter mad, or does a magical canvas that traps anything painted into the canvas really exist? Meanwhile, Gerald surprised us with his thoughts after several re-readings of the story. Rammy like it a good deal. Maya loved the writing and found the fairy tale aspects charming while still maintaining many layers beneath a strong moral. So what is the difference between mental illness narrative, magical realism and fairy tale? Listen to hear Maya, Rammy, Anais, and Gerald tackle the question.

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 The Story of a Painter? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail, and we will give the final tally on the next episode.

This Week in Literature – Coming Soon

Maya Goode host of This Week in Literature

Coming Soon!

Maya Goode finds the best in weekly literary news and brings it directly to your ears.

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Stripped Down Poetry – Coming Soon

Tamara Woods host of Stripped Down Poetry

Coming Soon!

Tamara Woods takes you on a trip into the stories behind poetry with readings and discussions with emerging and established poets.

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Monstress | Lysley A. Tenorio | Ep 50

Next weeks story is The Story Of A Painter by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya

Rated PG-13 for light swearing & joke about porn titles

Monstress is a short story about a couple in The Phillipines who make monster flicks, and how the fall of local cinema at the feet of Hollywood affects their relationship. He is the movie maker; she plays his varied, grotesque monsters. During the discussion Anais and Maya analyze whether the couple love one another and what the actual point of the story is. Gerald is frustrated by the man’s seeming lack of emotional competence and love for the woman. While Rammy enjoyed the soft relationship moments and humor. The podcast finishes with a fun horror movie quiz. There is very light swearing and an off hand joke about porn titles. It is probably fine for upper level HS and above.

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 Montress? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail, and we will give the final tally on the next episode.

 

 

The Yellow Wallpaper | Charlotte Perkins Gilman | Literary Roadhouse Ep 49

The Yellow Wallpaper

Next week’s story is Monstress by Lysley A. Tenorio

Rated PG for one mention of the word sex without details or explanation

We really enjoyed this in depth discussion of The Yellow Wallpaper, an important part of the American short story cannon about mental illness and the treatment of women. Written in the late 1800’s this story seems to bridge an old-fashioned writing style, and more modern tension and tones. It is full of symbolism that allowed us to delve deep into the many aspects of this masterpiece. In addition, listening to Rammy figure out the story on air is both fascinating and educational about the process of understanding fiction. I hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did.

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below, or leave a comment using the voicemail function to the right. We may read your voicemail on air, so if you don’t want us to do so, tell us.

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 The Yellow Wallpaper? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail, and we will give the final tally on the next episode.

Prepositions | Lionel Shriver | Literary Roadhouse Ep 48

Prepositions

Next week’s story is The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Rated Explicit

Whoa, Gerald courted controversy with this story of two widows. The story’s narrator recounts the difference between her widowhood. Her her husband died on 9-11, while her friend’s  husband died in 9-11. That little change in preposition had made all the difference in these two women’s lives. After a few pauses and some gallows humor, we dove deep into this story of sympathy and privilege. Prepositions sparked the first tension between Maya and Rammy over whether a story that is sympathetic to envy is a good or bad position for a story to take. It’s no surprise the story caused tension among our hosts, as the story deals with thorny issues of morality and class. We soon discovered that how the reader interprets the story depends largely on their own experiences with loss and class.

How do you feel about the narrator’s plight? Let us know.

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 Prepositions? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail, and we will give the final tally on the next episode.