Archive for the ‘checkthisout’ Category


This collection of short stories by Haitian writer Edwidge Danticat lives up to its considerable hype.  I love short stories as a literary form and I love writers who know what to do with them.  Danticat writes about women in Haiti, and the connection between the individual characters and the place they live – a place that is almost overwhelming to read about.  These stories are something new, something that I haven’t seen before, and that’s really exciting.  It is often said that the more specific an individual’s story is, the more universally resonant it becomes, because in that specificity exists the individual’s humanity.  Danticat’s work proves this yet again.  From the girl whose mother is jailed for witchcraft to the woman whose husband steals a hot air balloon, to the woman who finds a dead baby in the street and decides to keep it, Danticat creates profoundly human women in her stories.  She’s amazing.  Highly recommended.


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I recently discovered The Moth podcast. The Moth is a New York non-profit storytelling organization that puts on storytelling performances several times a year. The podcast features one story a week told live onstage, without scripts or notes. The stories range from hilarious to heartbreaking – Deborah Scaling Kiley’s Lost at Sea has to be heard to be believed. The Moth showcases not just stories, but the art of storytelling – something we just don’t appreciate enough. Want to be a master storyteller someday? Pull up a chair and this to this.

Also ridiculously cool is Librivox, which offers free audiobooks of public domain books read and recorded by volunteers. With almost 3000 titles in their catalogue there’s something for everyone. Is Tacitus easier to listen to than read?

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