Guardian podcasts: Anita Desai reads The Postmaster by Rabindranath Tagore and A.S. Byatt reads Penelope Fitzgerald’s At Hiruharama

I went for a run this morning and included a podcast of Anita Desai reading ‘The Postmaster’ by Rabindranath Tagore .   A quiet, meditative reflection on empathy (or the lack thereof). Very simple, very short. The Guardian’s selection is quite good.

Satyajit Ray turned the story into a short movie, available (un-subtitled) on YouTube:

Yesterday on a run I heard A.S. Byatt reading Penelope Fitzgerald’s  ‘At Hiruharama.’  The humor here more broad, but the theme of the story quite similar.  Formally, Fitzgerald’s is more complex, with multiple narrating voices embedded in the story.  And is quite clever in winking with the reader… you’ll know what I mean when you get to the part about “Throw Nothing Away.”

But both nicely build the sense of foreboding: something very tragic might happen.  They close on a smaller note.

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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