Read Weird Podcast, Episode 02: “A Message from the Emperor” by Franz Kafka

Hooray, it’s another episode of the Read Weird podcast! Join us every other week for a conversation about writing, reading, and teaching weird and experimental fiction.

In this episode, we discuss the short story “A Message from the Emperor” by Franz Kafka, and Lindsay recounts her formative experience reading Karin Tidbeck’s short story “Beatrice”.

Subscribe for fortnightly episodes of Read Weird via iTunesStitcher, TuneIn, or the podcatcher of your choice.  For more notes on this episode, see below. Stay weird!

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Read Weird Podcast, Episode 01: “Dinner” by Amelia Gray

Welcome to the first episode of the Read Weird podcast! Join us every other week for a conversation about writing, reading, and teaching weird and experimental fiction.

In this episode, we talk about our philosophy of weirdness, discuss the short story “Dinner” by Amelia Gray, and recount Carlea’s formative experience reading Aimee Bender’s The Girl in the Flammable Skirt.

Subscribe for fortnightly episodes of Read Weird via iTunes or Stitcher.  For more notes on this episode, see below. Stay weird!

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Weird Rec: “Ancient Ham” by Meredith Alling

I may not want Meredith Alling to cook dinner for me anytime soon, but she can write me a story any day.

In “Ancient Ham,” a delectable morsel of flash fiction, Alling tells the story of a magic ham with predictive powers.  “Once a year,” we’re told, “the Ancient Ham crawls out of the sewer to sit on a curb and answer questions.”

People flock to the Ancient Ham to ask it yes or no questions.  How, you might ask, does a ham answer such questions?  Well, one simply pokes the Ancient Ham with sewing needles laden with offerings, and then the Ancient Ham bobs left for no, right for yes.

“Ancient Ham” is especially brilliant in the way the story’s heart emerges in the last few lines.  I won’t spoil the ending for you, but just know that it has me bobbing to the right, just like the Ancient Ham.

Yes, you should read this story; yes, this writer is fab; yes, I am salivating over the prospect of Alling’s forthcoming debut collection.

Click here to read “Ancient Ham,” published on Tin House‘s blog, The Open Bar.