This morning as I walked my usual path in our neighborhood—feet crunching on unraked leaves, eyes squinting into a strong early November sun, face soaking in unusual fall warmth—I listened to writer Karen Russell read and discuss Mavis Gallant’s New Yorker short story “From the Fifteenth District.”
The New Yorker Fiction Podcast is one of my favorite ways to discover new authors and pick up some craft tips. The length of about 40-50 minutes is perfect for a stroll. and because I listen to that particular podcast only when walking, I realized this morning that I’m practicing temptation bundling.
In a summer 2016 New Yorker interview about balancing humor and horror, Russell said of Gallant’s short story:
One of my favorite short stories is Mavis Gallant’s “From the Fifteenth District.” In it, the dead are haunted by the living. One ghost complains that her widower husband keeps calling her “an angel”—she hates this bogus, patronizing word. It’s a monocular capture of her life. This got me thinking about eulogies—someone ascribing a single, static identity to you, posthumously. We do it to one another all the time, of course.
Do you have a favorite podcast that inspires or informs your writing?