Next weeks story is Black Box Jennifer Egan

Rated Explicit!

I do love a good debate and this story was electric. One one side we have Anais who had issues with the narrator having little emotional response or acknowledgement of her negative situation. One the other side of the ring we have Maya who says, “It’s true to her character and if there was a moral leaning it would be like every other story of abuse.” Then we have Gerald scratching his head and wondering what was the point. As if literature always has to have a point… oops, now you know who’s writing the show notes.

If you were on the fence about reading this story, just do it. Then listen to the podcast and argue with us. Oh come on, I know you do it.

Don’t forget, to rate the story! For the history of our goofy system, see Anais’ post “Read Short Stories or Ray Bradbury Cries.” If you want to design a Bradberry, we’d love to see it. On a scale of 1-6 Bradberries, how do you rate “Not From Here“? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail, and we will give the final tally on the next episode.

Listener’s last week gave The Nose by Nikolai Gogol 2 Bradberries.

Next weeks story is Black Box Jennifer Egan

3 comments on Not From Here – Angela Mitchell – Literary Roadhouse Ep 33

  1. Gerald Hornsby says:

    Hi Todd
    That’s interesting – likening the story to "Fast Car". My own feelings on this are that music, especially a single track, can be of a single moment, or a series of moments, or a place or a time or a person. I don’t know why, but the song Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay comes into my head – we have a person, "watching the tide roll away", with a little bit of backstory, but there is no end.
    However … I feel a story, even a short story, needs an ending. A character sketch is just that, and if something is classified as a story, there needs to be an ending, a character arc, a resolution of some sort.
    I may, of course, be totally wrong 😉

  2. Todd Williams says:

    I liked this story quite a lot; it had a very authentic ring to it and I felt quite close to the narrator. Having hung out with teen girls from broken homes (in my youth) I recognized the ennui and found it presented very authentically; I can picture the look Libby might have on her face most of the time.

    Her desire to be close to something “good” was very sad and I hope in the fictional future she escaped this life; perhaps the fact that she didn’t succeed in stealing anything from the house points towards she didn’t become the person who did that. She remains morally innocent at the end of the story (by my standards anyway) and I never got the sense that she was a bad person.

    Like Gerald I found the end very abrupt and unsatisfying but I agree with Maya that it is more of a character study than a story. I finally realized that I am ok with this; some stories can be like paintings of landscapes or instrumental music: beautiful, evocative but not full of any specific meaning.

    I thought this story was like a literary version of the song “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman.

    I am giving it 5 Bradberries…

    1. Maya Goode says:

      Hey Todd, we were planning our one year anniversary show and thought of you. Wanted to say hi! I hope everything is going well in your set of woods.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.