October 2nd, 2013
Episode 159 of 232 episodes
On this month's fiction podcast, Jonathan Lethem reads "The Rescue," by V. S. Pritchett, which was first published in The New Yorker in 1973 and can be found in Pritchett's "Complete Collected Stories." (Lethem's most recent fiction in the magazine, "The Gray Goose," was excerpted from his new novel, "Dissident Gardens.") In his discussion with The New Yorker's fiction editor, Deborah Treisman, Lethem says that Pritchett is a "total sorcerer," a writer who lets readers into a world that seems stable and then "pulls the rug out from under" them, changing where the story is going and what they think of the characters. "The Rescue," which is narrated by a sixteen-year-old girl whose mother brings home an awkward boy named Ellis to help her plan the town's annual pageant, is, according to Lethem, a perfect model for the way Pritchett tends to "overturn expectations."
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