If you haven’t read Jean Kwok‘s short story Where The Gods Fly, you should do so right away. Three reasons (actually five, but I am culturally nudged into saying three): a) It’s an extremely fine short story, and was recognised as such very recently by being shortlisted for the Sunday Times/EFG Short Story Award (the only award to offer the princely sum of £30,000 to its winning story). b) Jean’s choice for RMSYL (Tillie Olson’s I Stand Here Ironing) is very clearly the branch from which her cutting was taken in order to provide a starting point for WTGF. To read Kwok is to understand and benefit more from reading Olson, and vice-versa. These two stories, in tandem, read as a fascinating and exemplary model of literary cross-fertilisation over generations and between or through different cultures. I could say more about this, but I’d prefer you to read and then listen to the stories themselves. c) For those who do listen, apart from a wonderful heart-tendering response to the text, Jean concludes our discussion by producing one of the best rationales for reading short stories that I’ve ever heard. This one is so full of vitaminic value you could probably skip your 5-a-day regime (for those who see it as a regime) and just listen to the podcast.
As featured in…
"The title says it all. Poetry Pharmacy invites literary lovers to select a piece of writing which interests and revivifies them. Steve Wasserman, then trundles around to their home with his mobile recording studio in an attempt to translate the pleasure of the reading aloud experience to a wider audience.
“One of the joys of doing this is being open to the experience of how other people’s enthusiasms will wing their way into your life and get you all gee’d up about poems you might not have read before,” says Wasserman.
Anyone can take part, just email your suggestions to Steve. The only real requirement is that your selection has proved spine-tingling to you in some way which you'd like to explore.
Time to start practicing in the mirror methinks."
Poetry Pharmacy involves Steve Wasserman asking authors and non-authors alike, to read a piece of literature they love before leading a discussion on the piece. If you love submerging yourself in the imagination of others, come and celebrate this dying pastime."
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