Weekly Short Stories

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

Passage | Kevin Jared Hosein | Literary Roadhouse Ep 135

Discussion Notes: Passage

Find this week’s story here:  Passage by Kevin Jared Hosein

Next week’s story:  The Mark on the Wall by Virginia Woolf

Rated: Clean

This week Anais and Gerald are joined by Josh Caporale of Literary Gladiators, a booktube channel where a panel of four discuss and debate works of literature. They’re quite similar to Literary Roadhouse, except they’re video-based and record episodes together. Check out Literary Gladiators’ Youtube channel!

Josh is also contributing author to Speculations From New Jersey, an anthology of fantastic stories published by Thrift Books in 2014.

Together, Josh, Anais, and Gerald discussed the Commonwealth Short Story Prize’s Caribbean regional winner, “Passage” by Kevin Jared Hosein.

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Psst: Full list of short stories discussed on the podcast >>

(REWIND) The Yellow Wallpaper | Charlotte Perkins Gilman | Literary Roadhouse Ep 49

Discussion Notes: The Yellow Wallpaper

This week we’re replaying an episode from our archive! We picked this story because it’s one of our favorite discussions to date. (Boy has our sound editing improved in the years since this episode aired!)

Find this week’s rewind story here:  The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Next episode:  Passage by Kevin Jared Hosein

Rated: Clean

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.

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Psst: Full list of short stories discussed on the podcast >>

The Diamond as Big as the Ritz | F. Scott Fitzgerald | Literary Roadhouse Ep 134

Discussion Notes: The Diamond as Big as the Ritz

Find this week’s story here:  The Diamond as Big as the Ritz by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Next week’s story:  Passage by Kevin Jared Hosein

Rated: Clean

And then there were two… Rammy’s got married recently and was on his honeymoon during the recording of this episode. Hooray, Rammy! Maya’s been dealing with some computer trouble. And so Gerald and Anais bravely soldier on, tackling a 15k+ word story on their own. Thankfully they both loved the colorful, decadent, and twisted plot of “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. They analyze the prose, characters, and themes, and reflect on how the use of absurdity played right into Fitzgerald’s greater commentary on wealth.

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Psst: Full list of short stories discussed on the podcast >>

The Dinner Party | Joshua Ferris | Literary Roadhouse Ep 133

Discussion Notes: The Dinner Party

Find this week’s story here:  The Dinner Party by Joshua Ferris

Next week’s story:  The Diamond as Big as the Ritz by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Rated: Clean

Rammy, Gerald and Anais rave about  “The Dinner Party” by Joshua Ferris,which was suggested by former guest Colette Sartor. The three hosts discuss the story’s sharply drawn characters, clever and entertaining dialogue, and plot twist. Rammy and Anais debate the line between a vividly drawn character and melodrama, and Gerald surprises himself by enjoying a story with an ambiguous ending.

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Psst: Full list of short stories discussed on the podcast >>

Stone Mattress | Margaret Atwood | Literary Roadhouse Ep 132

Discussion Notes: Stone Mattress

Find this week’s story here: Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood

Next week’s story:  The Dinner Party by Joshua Ferris

Rated: Clean

This week all four Literary Roadhouse hosts gushed about this superbly sharp and entertaining short story by Margaret Atwood. “Stone Mattress” inspired an in-depth discussion of excellent prose, characterizations and symbolism. The conversation turns contentious as the hosts debate the moral character of the protagonist’s former husbands.

Come for the discussion, stay for a blooper reel at the very end.

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Psst: Full list of short stories discussed on the podcast >>

Christmas Party | Russell Banks | Literary Roadhouse Ep 131

Discussion Notes: Christmas Party

Find this week’s story here: Christmas Party by Russell Banks

Next week’s story: Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood

Rated: Clean

Baylee Annis, Assistant to the Director at the Adirondack Center for Writing

Baylee Annis, Assistant to the Director at the Adirondack Center for Writing

This week Gerald, Rammy, and Anais are joined by Baylee Annis, Assistant to the Director of the Adirondack Center for Writing.  She is poet, essayist, journalist, and loves talking about words so much she made it her job to pass on her passion to others. She studied at Norwich University in Vermont and was one of a whopping two students who studied english, education, and sociology. An Adirondack native, she hasn’t had electricity or running water for three years in her adorable 128 sq ft house, and would have it no other way.

You can learn more about the Adirondack Center for Writing at adirondackcenterforwriting.org

The show quickly became a love fest! All four hosts gushed over the brilliant characters, prose, and plot of this classic Russell Banks short story. Baylee brought her Adirondack native experience to the conversation, commenting on how the community was one more character in the story. Meanwhile, Rammy and Anais debate why the protagonist briefly contemplated kidnapping a baby.

Have thoughts on this story?

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Psst: Full list of short stories discussed on the podcast >>

Landfill | Joyce Carol Oates | Literary Roadhouse Ep 130

Discussion Notes: Landfill

Find this week’s story here: Landfill by Joyce Carol Oates

Next week’s story: Christmas Party by Russell Banks

Rated: Clean Language, Sensitive Topic

Gerald, Maya and Anais discuss Landfill by Joyce Carol Oates. They struggle to discuss a story that too closely resembles a real life tragedy while painting an insensitive picture of the victim. For this reason, the story quickly became controversial after publication in 2006, and has raised ethical questions from literary critics.

Among those critical voices is Amardeep Singh’s, an Associate Professor of English at Lehigh University, and Anais’s former professor. We highly recommend you read his critique at his blog.  If you enjoyed Professor Singh’s critique, consider subscribing to his blog Electrostani.

We also apologize for the audio issues we experienced this week. We’re still an indie podcast and your contributions on Patreon go a long way in helping up cover or expenses and smooth out our production.

Have thoughts on this story?

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

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Psst: Full list of short stories discussed on the podcast >>

Sal Wants to Sleep | Serena Johe | Literary Roadhouse Ep 129

Discussion Notes: Sal Wants to Sleep

Find this week’s story here: Sal Wants to Sleep by Serena Johe

Next week’s story: Landfill by Joyce Carol Oates

Rated: Clean Language, Discussion of Suicide

Gerald, Maya and Anais discuss Sal Wants to Sleep by Serena Johe, a short story about a man named Sal who, as the title suggests, cannot sleep. Our hosts are divided in their opinions. On the positive end of the spectrum, Anais gives the most enthusiastic endorsement of this story, while Maya provides a more nuanced critique. The discussion touches on character, pace, theme, and veers into the question of euthanasia.

Have thoughts on this story?

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Psst: Full list of short stories discussed on the podcast >>

That Evening Sun | William Faulkner | Literary Roadhouse Ep 128

Discussion Notes: That Evening Sun

Find this week’s story here: That Evening Sun by William Faulkner

Next week’s story: Sal Wants to Sleep by Serena Johe

Rated: Explicit (clean language, adult themes)

This week the Literary Roadhouse hosts are joined by longtime listener

Richard Dennis, writer

Richard Dennis, writer

Richard Dennis. He is a retired corporate attorney who now lives and writes in northern Washington State. His short story “The Most Wanted” appears in the Winter 2018 edition of the literary journal Euphony. Previously, his story “Request for Reconsideration” appeared in the literary journal The Milo Review. Richard has studied with the Writers Studio Workshops and is currently working on his first novel.  

Richard recommended that Literary Roadhouse finally get around to reading Faulkner, dangit! And our regular hosts couldn’t be more grateful for his recommendation of “That Evening Sun.” This story’s unapologetic and poignant critique on racism in the American South fueled a lively conversation that could have gone on for hours.

If you want a host to pick up a story suggestion, drop a line in the comment section, on Twitter @litroadhouse, or in the FB group linked to below.

Interview with Richard

Anais sat down with Richard to discuss his writing and career shift from corporate lawyer to fiction author.  The interview is available to our patrons on Patreon.  

To become a patron, you determine how much to donate to Literary Roadhouse to keep our show going.

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Have thoughts on this story?

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We’re still a self-funded podcast. We work hard every week to bring you the best content possible.


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Psst: Full list of short stories discussed on the podcast >>

William and Mary | Roald Dahl | Literary Roadhouse Ep 127

Discussion Notes: William and Mary

Find this week’s story here: William and Mary by Roald Dahl

Next week’s story: That Evening Sun by William Faulkner

Rated: Clean

This week Gerald, Rammy and Anais discuss Roald Dahl’s short story “William and Mary.” This story’s unexpected turn toward horror and revenge thrilled all three hosts. In addition to discussing character, prose and plot, the hosts discussed whether or not they would undergo William’s procedure in death, and discuss longevity and ego.

If you want a host to pick up a story suggestion, drop a line in the comment section, on Twitter @litroadhouse, or in the FB group linked to below.

Have thoughts on this story?

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

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We’re still a self-funded podcast. We work hard every week to bring you the best content possible.


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Psst: Full list of short stories discussed on the podcast >>