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Reading the Russians with George Saunders



Guest host Kate Burton presents three Russian classics that reflect on the humor, humanism, and poetry of this great literary tradition, from an evening curated by author George Saunders. In addition to his award-winning short-story anthologies and novel, Saunders teaches at Syracuse University. In “After the Theatre,” by Anton Chekhov translated by Constance Garnett, a young girl writes imaginary love letters. The reader is Donna LynneChamplin. “The Porcelain Doll” by Leo Tolstoy translated by Aylmer Maude, is based on a letter he wrote to his young sister-in-law—about his own wife! BD Wong is the reader. Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “Bobok” again translated by Garnett, may remind some of Saunders’ own Lincoln in the Bardo. A dotty civil servant overhears the conversations of the dead, who are voiced by Becca Blackwell, Peter Jay Fernandez, Santino Fontana, Zach Grenier, Ann Harada, and Peter Mark Kendall.

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