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Children Needn't Be Bored This Sunday

Filed under: The Katharine Wheel: On Fiction   Tagged: , , , , , ,

For those of you who, like Ishmael, are suffering from a damp, drizzly November in your soul and require a strong moral principle to prevent you from deliberately stepping into the street and methodically knocking people’s hats off, I’ve got just the thing: this month’s fiction podcast from The New Yorker features a reading of Jean Stafford’s story “Children Are Bored on Sundays,” which appeared in the magazine in 1948.

I was surprised and pleased to see Stafford singled out. Although many of her stories have not dated well, she wrote some gems that have endured. I wouldn’t have chosen “Children,” but I can see why Als finds it emblematic of her work, as well as personally meaningful. Perhaps for the next podcast he’ll go with my own favorite, “In the Zoo.

(By the way, I wonder why Als chose the story? I thought only fiction writers chose stories for the fiction podcast, but Als, a staff writer and theater critic for the magazine, isn’t a fiction writer, as far as I know. Maybe there’s a surprise in store for us.)

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2008 Webby Awards Official Honoree