In each episode of Unbound, we hear stories from two different authors on a theme. Today’s episode is about nightlife—the soft glow of the jukebox, the clink of ice in a glass, the promise of romance and the threat of loneliness around every corner.
In our first story, Justin Torres introduces us to a young hustler who takes us inside a city bar frequented by older, more sophisticated men, including Norbert, the man who supports him, in “Starve a Rat.” Then we’ll head down to the dry counties of southern Kentucky, where you have to cross the border to order a drink. Just over the state line, the bright lights of the honky-tonks beckon in the opening of Holly Goddard Jones’ new novel “The Next Time You See Me.”
Justin Torres is the author of the novel We the Animals. He was selected for the National Book Foundation’s Five Under 35 honors in 2012. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he was the recipient of a Rolón Fellowship in Literature from United States Artists and the Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford. His work has appeared in Granta, Tin House, and Glimmer Train. Torres was raised in upstate New York. Among many other things, he has worked as a farmhand, a dog walker, a creative writing teacher, and a bookseller.
Holly Goddard Jones is the author of the short story collection Girl Trouble (Harper Perennial) and the novel The Next Time You See Me (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster). Her work has appeared in The Best American Mystery Stories, New Stories from the South, Tin House magazine, and elsewhere. She was a 2013 recipient of The Fellowship of Southern Writers’ Hillsdale Prize for Excellence in Fiction and a 2007 recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. A native of Russellville, Ky., she teaches in the creative writing program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
The third episode of Unbound airs at 7 p.m. Wednesday. It features Gwenda Bond and Patrick Wensink. Join us at 89.3 or stream at WFPL.org.
Unbound is made possible in part by the Bachelors and Masters Writing Programs at Spalding University. Read more credits and thanks.