Joyce Carol Oates

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.

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

Mastiff | Joyce Carol Oates | Literary Roadhouse Ep 84

Discussion Notes: Mastiff

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

Next week’s story: It Had To Be Murder by Cornell Woolrich.

Rated: Clean.

This week Gerald and Anais strongly disliked the story, while Rammy had lukewarm feelings. Thus, poor Maya was left all alone to defend the brilliance of this story! For Anais, the narrates personality grated her and provided to redeeming qualities as a balm. Meanwhile, Gerald found the prose a bit too sparse. In defense of the story, Rammy pointed to a few effective descriptions which elicited emotional responses. Maya, the strongest champion of the story, believed that the very things which annoyed Gerald and Anais were intentional and part of the story’s greater theme.

Did Maya manage to convince?

Did 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.

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