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New York Stories



Guest host Kate Burton presents five works that celebrate the energy and endurance of New York City. “The Lower East Side of Manhattan” by Victor Hernández Cruz is a symphonic poem to the past and present of an iconic neighborhood. It’s performed by Sonia Manzano. The narrator of Colum McCann’s “Dessert,” performed by F. Murray Abraham, has a chance encounter at a crucial moment in the city’s history. You don’t know Brooklyn—and neither does the main character of Vinson Cunningham’s comic odyssey “Home to Flatbush,” performed by Wyatt Cenac. At the height of pandemic isolation, two women form a bond in “Recognition,” by Victor LaValle, performed by Karen Pittman. Our final work is an excerpt from Jazz, Toni Morrison’s love letter to the city, set in 1920s Harlem. The reader is Anika Noni Rose.

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