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Parables & Problems


On this episode of Arts & Letters, we’ll be featuring writer Adam Ehrlich Sachs, whose book Inherited Disorders: Stories, Parables & Problems is a series of one hundred and seventeen fictional pieces.

The book chronicles the sometimes competitive and often dyspeptic relationships between fathers and sons--the imprint each leaves upon each--the idea of outrunning each other's shadow.

Sachs takes a close look at beguiled fathers and the sons who attempt to negotiate their inheritances: financial and intellectual; inheritances of talent; prestige, philosophy.

“Probably no pianist in history has suffered as devastating a sequence of calamities as befell Pavel Hronek, the brilliant doomed Czech. Just months after debuting to great acclaim with his father's Concerto in B Minor, Hronek lost the pinky finger of his right hand in what he described as an eating incident at a Prague restaurant. Critics declared his career over; Hronek himself announced his retirement. Yet less than a year later he made a glorious return with his father's Concerto for Nine Fingers. . .”
Credit photo by Lulu Liu
Author Adam Ehrlich Sachs

Author Adam Ehrlich Sachs is a writer in Pittsburgh. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, n+1, and Harper's, among other places. For his first book, Inherited Disorders, he was named a finalist for the 2017 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature and received a 2018 NEA Literature Fellowship. His second book, The Organs of Sense, is forthcoming from FSG.

Thank you to musicians, singers and songwriters Iris DeMentScott Wollschleger and Kevin Sims, with a piano performance by Ivan Illic, Abbie Strauss, and Mark Curry. 

A special thanks to Stephen Wells of Birthday Club for the amazing score.

Thank you to Stickyz Rock 'n' Roll Chicken Shack for keeping music alive and well in Arkansas.

Listen to the song "Oh, How Good" by Iris DeMent


Listen to the song "Hinei Ma Tov" by Abbie Strauss


Listen to the some of the score by Stephen Wells of Birthday Club


 This episode is dedicated to Daniel R. Minnick. Thanks Dad for everything!!

Generous funding for this episode was provided by the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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Executive Producer & Host: J. Bradley Minnick Producer: Mary Ellen Kubit Recorded by: Christopher Hickey Interns: Kaitlin Strain & Josh Enloe

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