fiction

5: Flashback

Nikhil ChopraTom talks with very short story writer Christine Gentry about flash fiction and an imagined memoir based in her father’s life.

The concentration and brevity of her stories is anything but an accommodation to the short attention span of the contemporary reader.  Instead, Gentry’s one-page pieces ask you to read closely, fill in gaps, and actively contribute to the meaning of the story.  Her longer project seeks to explore and articulate the untold stories of a reticent father.

2: Pulp Fiction

Tom talks with historian and writer Allan Converse about his novel-in-progress, The Dying Nude.

Valentine “Val” Cowan, the novel’s hard-boiled heroine, investigates the murder of a left-leaning modern dancer in a detective story that brings 1950s New York to life. Communism, organized crime, abstract expressionism, burlesque performance, beats and bohemians, and the city’s (largely underground) lesbian community form the rich setting for Allan’s contribution to crime fiction.

1: Pandemic

Cat SearsIn this, our first episode, Tom talks with fiction writer Cat Ennis Sears about a trio of stories set during the 1918 flu pandemic.

Cat’s stories, enriched by her careful research, present three lives changed forever by the deadly virus:  a soldier in South Carolina, an Irish immigrant working as a street conductor, and a bereaved housewife forced to leave her cabin on the Manitoba prairie to seek work as a “mill girl.”

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