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I've had a tremendous amount of difficulty choosing another author's reading to highlight from the tremendous AIR, Art International Radio program Channel 192.  The Lopate-Lethem-Sontag debate was fairly easy: it's one of my favorite recordings, capturing a discussion between two of my favorite writers talking about one of the literary figures who fascinates, excites, and annoys me most; it was a no-brainer, essentially.  Then I was struck by all the other tremendous shows on the site and couldn't fathom how to choose one over the other; they're largely all just terrific, and I didn't want to be unfair or myopic in my decision.

And so three presented themselves to me most forcefully; I'll give a brief presentation of two of them, but ultimately it's the third that, I suppose, I would recommend the most.  The first recording is of a reading by Richard Price.  I'm not particularly attracted to the genre-concerns of his writing, although I adore his dialogue and think he's just a great storyteller; but his voice is so much fun to listen to, and he brings even more life to the dialogue than is there on the page, that I couldn't help but recommend this recording.  Here he is reading from Lush Life; but I would almost rather recommend his reading at The Moth, which is just so funny and poignant and completely unexpected that it really deserves a listen.  I cannot find any independent audio recordings of it online, but it was included in an episode of This American Life and can be listened to in their archives; it is therein referred to as "Act One. The Fat Blue Line," from the 2008 episode "Got You Pegged," which can be listened to here.

Then there's another recording of the simply phenomenal writer Deborah Eisenberg as she reads from Twilight of the Superheroes, one of her best, and certainly her best-titled, collections; here is the audio for this reading.

But it is this recording of Vija Celmins and Eliot Weinberger discussing – far better than they need to, given the visceral and seemingly unspeakable nature of their collaborative work – The Stars.  It is a lovely discussion about a truly beautiful book; I recommend lending your attention both.  You may listen to it here; and, as usual, all highlighted words link to their respectively suggestive pages.

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Visual Arts




Vija Celmins
Richard Price
Eliot Weinberger
Deborah Eisenberg