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The Drum

Issue 17. October 2011

LEAH HAGER COHEN The Grief of Others


The New York Times Book Review called Leah Hager Cohen "one of our foremost chroniclers of the mundane complexities, nuanced tragedies and unexpected tendernesses of human connection." Her reading of the prologue from The Grief of Others clearly demonstrates why she deserves the label. In this brief opening scene, Cohen describes with microscopic and eloquent detail the features of a newborn and the love his mother feels for him. Cohen raises moving questions about the fragility of life and about the limits of our ability to name the events and emotions of our experience. (8:40)

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MICHAEL KULA excerpt from The Good Doctor


Michael Kula's novel The Good Doctor opens at the 1917 Wisconsin State Fair where a young veterinarian learns that tragedy has come into his life. With precise and powerful detail, Kula evokes the physicality of the world of David Roberts--both the strength of the body and its vulnerability that becomes all too apparent as the novel begins. (27:41)

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STEVE MACONE Who's Walking Who


Steve Macone's "Who's Walking Who" is a wry and hilarious love letter to his local Market Basket grocery store, with its chaos, its crowds, and the various mysteries of its organizing principles. He spots the foibles of human behavior there--his own and those of others--and identifies the strange beauty of this place "where everything meets and touches". (16:33)

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EMMA FORREST excerpts from Your Voice in My Head


Emma Forrest's memoir Your Voice in My Head chronicles her descent into darkness and her relationship with the therapist who helped her find her way back out. In the Prologue and the excerpt of Chapter Four that she reads here for The Drum, Forrest writes movingly of being a teenaged girl with a dangerous fixation on Millais' painting of Ophelia. She writes with restraint of powerful emotions, and describes her younger self's disturbing desire for annihilation with intensity and insight. (5:58)

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Daniel Gewertz' "Revere, 1972" is one of our featured stories for the October round of Zip-Code Stories. "Revere, 1972" involves a carnival game, a revelation, and a stranger's kindness. To hear an interview with Daniel in which he talks about the motivation behind the story, click here and listen to the Radio Boston program for October 10, 2011. To hear the other Zip-Code Stories submitted by listeners to WBUR and fans of The Drum, visit The Drum's playlist on Broadcastr. (3:59)

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Vanessa Tardiff's "Brookline Night" was one of our featured stories for the October round of Zip-Code Stories. "Brookline Night" describes just that. A story of a mother and a daughter, Vanessa's piece explores the connection between place and person, and the shifting between the familiar and the strange. To hear more Zip-Code Stories submitted by listeners to WBUR and fans of The Drum, listen to our playlist on Broadcastr, an innovative platform for sharing geo-tagged audio. (3:36)

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BARRY JAY KAPLAN Marco Sells His Book


Barry Jay Kaplan takes on the world of publishing in his short story "Marco Sells His Book." A group of friends is shaken by news that an underserving member of their Thursday night salon has reached what they view as premature success. The launch party for Marco's novel is shot through with jealousy and social strategizing, but comes to an encouraging conclusion. (11:36)

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short fictionmediumrelationships

theme: comedy

theme: crisis

theme: relationships

theme: family

genre: essay

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short fiction


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