Sunday, May 14, 2006

More Listening: For My Fellow Podcast Addicts

A couple podcasts worth sharing lately:

1. Thanks to Moorishgirl for her tip about the Pen America media archives. They also have a podcast subscription available, which you can paste into your ITunes or find within ITunes podcast search. One very inspirational discussion: the 4/28/06 installment of George Saunders interviewing Israeli short story writer Etgar Keret. Keret is hilarious, which you probably knew already but it was a great discovery for me. And moving too. He talks about the taboos of Israel--he got hassled for naming a kitten "Rabin" in a story--and about his father, a holocaust survivor. The message in school for Keret was that if you weren't in the holocaust, you can never understand. But his father amended that cultural bias, telling him that though the feelings of the holocaust were intense, they were the same feelings anyone has: fear, hunger, cold. This is a good thing for any writer to hear, that it is possible--and acceptable--to imagine the pain of another. Of course Saunders gets in a few zingers too, as usual. His take on writing programs and the stories they encourage: "if the marriage is in trouble, there has to be a sick tree in the front yard." Hope I quoted that right...enjoy the whole podcast.

2. Frank McCourt reads from TEACHER MAN on Authors on Tour Live. He's a lively speaker, and a teacher's life is full of material. Reminds me why I left that life behind. I do not miss grading papers.

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