Episode Archives

The Palm Tree Bandit | Nnedi Okorafor | Literary Roadhouse Ep 162

Discussion Notes: The Palm Tree Bandit

This week’s story: The Palm Tree Bandit by Nnedi Okorafor

Next week’s story: Three Friends in a Hammock by April Ayers Lawson

Rated: Clean

Andy, Gerald, and Anais discuss “The Palm Tree Bandit” by Nnedi Okorafor. This African fairytale enchants all three hosts alike. Anais appreciated the story’s feminist themes that were cloaked in a vibrant village that felt both modern and timeless. Andy enjoyed the local legend of the Palm Tree Bandit who manifests with fantastical features, while Gerald appreciated the framing device’s clever ability to keep the story within certain expectations. But could the child-friendly narrative hold all three hosts’ attentions for long?

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The Demon Lover | Elizabeth Bowen | Literary Roadhouse Ep 161

Discussion Notes: The Demon Lover

This week’s story: The Demon Lover by Elizabeth Bowen

Next week’s story: The Palm Tree Bandit by Nnedi Okorafor

Rated: Clean

Andy, Gerald, and Anais discuss “The Demon Lover” by Elizabeth Bowen. “The Demon Lover” is Bowen’s most anthologized story. Published in 1945, this frightful tale is set in World War II London in an area of Kensington that’s been bombed and near deserted.

True to form, the Literary Roadhouse hosts have much to debate about this spooky story. Anais proposes a psychological reading of the demon.  Does she manage to convince her co-hosts? Or, as Andy wonders, does it even matter? Will this new interpretation of the story help Gerald see past some issues he had with the prose?

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Poetry | Greg Jackson | Literary Roadhouse Ep 160

Discussion Notes: Poetry

This week’s story: Poetry by Greg Jackson

Next week’s story: The Demon Lover by Elizabeth Bowen

Rated: Clean

Katie Hagaman, Author

Katie Hagaman, Author

This week we welcomed Katie Hagaman as a guest to discuss “Poetry” by Greg Jackson.

Katie Hagaman is an author and illustrator from the mountains of North Carolina. Having written for well over a decade for personal enjoyment, two years ago she decided to take her pursuits a step further and publish some of her works. To date, she’s released two children’s books, Haven’t You Heard? and In This Book You Will Find, as well as book one of her new series of novels entitled, The Awakening.

 

 

 

https://katiehagaman.wixsite.com/mysite-1 
Twitter: @hagaman_kl
Instagram: @klhagaman
Goodreads Author Page

Gerald, Anais and Katie discuss “Poetry” by Greg Jackson. The story reflects on the impulse to create and tell stories and to connect with others, and the desire to rebuff the fear of death by turning experiences into myths. Its depth provided a fertile ground for discussion, though the discussion was not above speculating over whether or not the main characters’ relationship was doomed to fail.

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The Seraph and the Zambesi | Muriel Spark | Literary Roadhouse Ep 159

Discussion Notes: The Seraph and the Zambesi

This week’s story: The Seraph and the Zambesi by Muriel Spark

Next week’s story: Poetry by Greg Jackson

Rated: Clean

Gerald, Andy and Anais discuss Muriel Spark’s celebrated short story “The Seraph and the Zambesi” which beat nearly 7,000 entrants to win a short story competition in The Observer in 1951. Anais loved the story, but Gerald and Andy struggled to enjoy it. Can Anais convince them of literary story’s merits?

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Bread and Wine | Mike Chapman | Literary Roadhouse Ep 158

Discussion Notes: The Hanging Stranger

This week’s story: Bread and Wine by Mike Chapman

Next week’s story: The Seraph and the Zambesi by Muriel Spark

Rated: Clean

We start the episode by sharing some sad news. Our founding co-host Maya Goode passed away suddenly on April 26th. You may listen to our audio tribute at the top of the episode or read our tribute here.

We recorded today’s episode before Maya passed, and were able to carry on none the wiser to the dark news to come.

Gerald, Andy and Anais had a great time deeply exploring the religious themes in this quantum-physics heavy science fiction story. Anais draws parallels to an episode of Futurama and the Isaac Asimov story “The Last Question” which we also discussed on this podcast. Gerald loved the twist. Andy loved the conceit of “the echoes.” Stay for a fun game in which Andy and Gerald try to eat a god.

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The Hanging Stranger | Philip K. Dick | Literary Roadhouse Ep 157

Discussion Notes: The Hanging Stranger

This week’s story: The Hanging Stranger by Philip K. Dick

Next week’s story: Bread and Wine by Mike Chapman

Rated: Clean

Sean McMahon, authorThis week we welcomed Sean McMahon as a guest to discuss “The Hanging Stranger” by Philip K. Dick.

Sean is the author of The Restarter Series; a story about life, death, tequila…and time travel set amidst the backdrop of Norfolk, England. He recently released The Dark Restarter, book two of the series.

 www.restarterlodge.com
Twitter: @restarterlodge
Instagram: @restarterlodge
Facebook: @restarterlodge

Anais and Andy joined Sean in today’s discussion and the trio went deep into the metaphors and themes. Though the story is well received, Andy, the Philip K. Dick superfan, was disappointed that there weren’t more twists. Come for the deep literary discussion, stay for the Philip K. Dick fun facts.

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

Saint Bus Driver | J. E. McCafferty | Literary Roadhouse Ep 156

Discussion Notes: Saint Bus Driver

This week’s story: Saint Bus Driver by J. E. McCafferty

Next week’s story: The Hanging Stranger by Philip K. Dick

Rated: Clean

Gerald, Anais and Andy discuss “Saint Bus Driver” by J. E. McCafferty from the Winter 2019 issue of Carve Magazine. This episode is full of laughs, because the story is surprisingly funny despite the fact that it is centered around a death. There’s a lot of religious references that offer a unique perspective on what it is to be a saint, and what it is to hold a saint close to your heart.

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(REWIND) The Swimmer | John Cheever | Literary Roadhouse Ep 99

Discussion Notes: The Swimmer

This week we’re replaying an episode from our archive! We picked this story because it’s one of our favorite discussions to date.

Find this week’s rewind story here: The Swimmer by John Cheever.

Next week’s story: Saint Bus Driver by J. E. McCafferty

Rated: Clean

Maya couldn’t join us this week, but never fear, Gerald, Rammy, and Anais tackle John Cheever’s classic short story “The Swimmer.” While Gerald and Anais enjoyed the broad commentary on suburban and married life, Rammy hoped for more specifics on The Swimmer missteps to better understand the downturn in his fortunes. When it comes to prose, our hosts remark on Cheever’s skill in maintain a mystery without frustrating the reader and touching on dark themes while keeping the tone light.

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Exquisite Corpse | T Magazine | Literary Roadhouse Ep 155

Discussion Notes: Exquisite Corpse

This week’s story: Exquisite Corpse by Zadie Smith, Rebecca Curtis, Mohsin Hamid, R.L. Stine, Rivka Galchen, Nicholson Baker, Anthony Marra, David Baldacci, Elif Batuman, James Patterson, Hanya Yanagihara, Joshua Ferris, Ben Marcus, Jenny Offill, Adelle Waldman

Next week’s story: Saint Bus Driver by J. E. McCafferty

Rated: Explicit

Gerald, Anais and Andy discuss “Exquisite Corpse” a story written piece by piece by 15 renowned authors for New York Times Magazine. While all three hosts struggled to enjoy the fragmented, sprawling, nonsensical story that resulted, they had a blast discussing the absurd plot and characters. Instead of evaluating the piece as a story, they evaluated it as a game. They leave the conversation with a deep appreciation for the thankless effort of R. L. Stine, who heroically tried to get a story back on rails. Did he succeed? You be the judge.

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The Second Bakery Attack | Haruki Murakami | Literary Roadhouse Ep 154

Discussion Notes: The Second Bakery Attack

This week’s story: The Second Bakery Attack by Haruki Murakami

Next week’s story: Exquisite Corpse by Zadie Smith, Rebecca Curtis, Mohsin Hamid, R.L. Stine, Rivka Galchen, Nicholson Baker, Anthony Marra, David Baldacci, Elif Batuman, James Patterson, Hanya Yanagihara, Joshua Ferris, Ben Marcus, Jenny Offill, Adelle Waldman

Rated: Clean

Gerald, Anais and Andy discuss “The Second Bakery Attack” by Haruki Murakami. This is easily one of our strangest episodes. The short story’s whimsy and playfulness infected our hosts and the conversation meanders from Wagner to the Looney Tunes animated short “What’s Opera, Doc?”

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