In Costume

Dec 6, 2020

Meet American short-story writer and novelist, Jeffrey Condran. Jane Austen reenactors, a surprise celebrity appearance, and Ava, who always looks just right, in costume... 

On this episode, J. Bradley Minnick interviews author Jeffrey Condran about his short story "In Costume" from his collection, Claire, Wading Into the Danube By Night

During the annual fundraiser for the Jane Austen Society in Bath, we meet main character, Ava, a hopeful actress and one of the reenactors dressed in period costume.

Author, Jeffrey Condran

With the surprise appearance of Hollywood screen actor Edward Emanuel, a flirtation begins. Will Ava become involved with the aging, yet attractive actor who could help her career? Or, will she resist being swept up in a moment of opportunity and romantic intrigue?

A woman wearing a pale yellow Regency dress—not an original, but a lovely imitation—sat smoking a cigarette among the wreckage of the tables and chairs, her careful hair beginning to fall apart. Ava was not unaware of the way she looked, her self-consciousness and ability to see herself as a cinematographer might was legendary among her friends. It was a point of affection, a reason to say, oh Ava, with a smile in your voice.

"In Costume" is from Condran's short story collection, Claire Wading Into the Danube By Night, published by Southeast Missouri State University. Examining the lives of Americans, both at home and abroad, the collection explores the nature of identity, intimacy, and the search for truth in these complex, transient lives of the new millennium. 

Jeffrey Condran is also the author of the story collection, A Fingerprint Repeated and the novel, Prague Summer, which received a 2015 Independent Publisher Book Award Silver Medal. His fiction and essays has appeared in journals such as The Kenyon Review and The Missouri Review, and he has been awarded the 2010 William Peden Prize and Pushcart Prize nominations. He is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and the co-founder of the independent literary press Braddock Avenue Books

Thank you to the actors who shared their voices with the episode: Meghan Condran, Brenda Booth, Len Holton, David Wallace, Richard Wells and Lawrence Smith as Edward Emanuel. A special thank you to Emmy-winning composer, Silas Hite for the amazing score.

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 Engineering/Mastering: Simon Sound Studio