February 2nd, 2015
Episode 196 of 234 episodes
On this month’s fiction podcast, Antonya Nelson reads Tom Drury’s “Accident at the Sugar Beet,” which appeared in the magazine in 1992 and later became part of Drury’s novel “The End of Vandalism.” The story follows Louise Darling, a resident of a small Midwestern town, through a series of dryly funny encounters with neighbors and friends, and sees her begin a romantic relationship with Dan Norman, the county sheriff. Along the way, she experiences small moments of grief and uncertainty, as when she looks in a bathroom mirror at a bar and suddenly feels “as if she had strayed far from the people she understood. On the other hand, she lived within twelve miles of where she was born.” Nelson says that the “people in this story remind me so much of my family. It’s so excellent to be in their company, for me. There’s a lot of deadpan humor and warmth without sentimentality. And, for me, it feels familiar and like something I want to hang on to and have out in the world.”
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