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The Ghost Variations, with Kevin Brockmeier


Preview award-winning author Kevin Brockmeier’s latest release, The Ghost Variations: One Hundred Stories.

On this episode of Arts & Letters, Brockmeier shares three stories from his latest project published by Penguin Random House. 

A certain Russian philosopher maintained that people are not born with their souls but must labor to create them. Anyone who fails to do so, he insisted, will dissolve upon dying into nonexistance.

Author Kevin Brockmeier

In addition to his latest book, The Ghost Variations: One Hundred Stories, Kevin Brockmeier is the author of the novels The Illumination, The Brief History of the Dead, and The Truth About Celia; the story collections Things That Fall from the Sky and The View from the Seventh Layer; the children’s novels City of Names and Grooves: A Kind of Mystery; and a memoir of his seventh-grade year called A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip. His work has been translated into eighteen languages.

The Ghost Variations: 100 Stories, available March 2021

He has published his stories in such venues as The New Yorker, The Georgia Review, McSweeney’s, Zoetrope, Tin House, The Oxford American, The Best American Short Stories, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, and New Stories from the South.

He has received the Borders Original Voices Award, three O. Henry Awards (one, a first prize), the PEN USA Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an NEA Grant. In 2007, he was named one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists. He teaches frequently at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he was raised.

Thank you to musicians John Spencer, Brad Byrd, Bark., and thank you to Iris Dement.  A special thanks for the beautiful soundscape by Amos Cochran.

Listen to the song "It's Your Grave" by Bark.
Listen to the song "See The Light" by Brad Byrd
Listen to the soundscape "Him" by Amos Cochran

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

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 & Story Editor: Mary Ellen Kubit Sound Mastering: Simon Sound Studio

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