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S.D. JONES The Ideal Reasoner

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S.D. Jones' short story "The Ideal Reasoner" gives a comic and touching twist to relationship trouble, as a Shelockian AI creates upheaval in a marriage--only to bring about a surprising resolution. (22:19)

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ANDREA JOHNSTON Feeding Champion

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When a robber encounters a hungry Golden Retriever while breaking into a house, the encounter evokes a poignant monologue about how to treat a dog and how not to stock a refrigerator. And Andrea Johnston's "Feeding Champion" is about much more than that. It's about the responsibilities we have towards each other, and about how we do what's right even when promises change. (9:29)

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ALEC SOLOMITA Squirrel

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In 1970, the narrator and his several brothers drive off in a Duster to defend their mother's honor. The fact that most of them are high plays some role in the confusion that ensues. Alec Solomita's "Squirrel" is a tale of sibling allegiances and misunderstandings, told with tenderness and wit. (20:17)

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GUY THORVALDSEN Horny For Construction

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Two men work to remove a heavy cast-iron tub from a bathroom. They are both middle-aged; one is a teacher, a writer. In Guy Thorvaldsen's essay "Horny For Construction," working with your hands is full of lessons--about rewards and process, but also about what Thorvaldsen calls "small disagreements with the universe". (15:02)

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EVA DUNSKY But That's Not The Way It Feels

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The Wednesday Fiasco is how Eva Dunsky refers to the sudden end of an adolescent relationship. "But That's Not The Way It Feels" is a wry account of a break-up, tinged with the melancholy wisdom of Jim Croce and youthful perspective. (9:49)

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KATY LASELL Fen

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A swamp is home to an imagined panther named "Fen" in Kate Lassell's eponymous story. Narrated by a precocious kid named Judith, the story follows a father and daughter fighting to preserve a threatened marsh--and working to sustain their small family after a tragic loss. (11:52)

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PHIL SHRECK MAILBOX

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A thing as ordinary as a mailbox becomes the focus of all of one man's passions in Phil Shreck's eponymous story. Russell tilts not at windmills but at his mailboxes, old and new, and at a deep-seated sense of inadequacy. Shreck reads his darkly funny story aloud in a brilliant performance. (22:56)

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AUSTIN SEGREST Two Poems and an Interview

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Football and a bong are the ostensible subjects of Austin Segrest's two poems "Wingback" and "The Big Bong". Segrest's poetry is both playful and serious here, classically grounded and utterly contemporary. After reading the poems, he speaks with Poetry Editor Kirun Kapur about his sources of ideas, his approach to writing, and his current non-poetry obsession: tennis. (8:18)

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LINDA CUTTING What Matters

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A hospital fundraiser is the scene of a chance meeting in Linda Cutting's "What Matters". Ailments small and large spark a lighthearted flirtation that leads a man and a woman to connect. (3:01)

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CAITLYN KINSELLA MuseFlash 2014

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The careful parsing of a phone message leads to a blossoming but perplexing romance. Caitlyn Kinsella's "It's Me" finds humor and poignancy in the intricacies of interaction. (2:50)

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JOANNA RAKOFF Reading with Edan Lepucki at Brookline Booksmith

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Joanna Rakoff reads from My Salinger Year and Edan Lepucki reads from California at Brookline Booksmith. Listen in as these two writers read from their work and answer questions about driving through LA during a blackout that seems to presage apocalypse, about the experience of working in J.D. Salinger's agency, and about the shift from novel to memoir, third-person to first. (49:11)

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ANDREA ROBERTSON The Greenbriar Ghost

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A house haunted by a mother's yearning for excitement is the setting for Andrea Robertson's "The Greenbriar Ghost". Named for a woman whose ghost does haunt the narrator's Southern town, Zona tries to find her own place in a world of signs and warnings, messages from beyond, and the sometimes more troubling messages from within her own family. (29:39)

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theme: comedy

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genre: essay

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short fiction

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