Unbound: Tania James and Kyle Minor on ‘Alternate Histories’

Today’s episode considers the alternate history. What if things had been different in our lives? What if the people we think we know, know nothing about who we are, or were? And what happens when they try to find out?

In our first story, a girl’s father returns to his family after years working abroad. At first, he’s a stranger, but who was he before he came home? Tania James introduces us to the girl and her father in  “The Gulf.” Then Kyle Minor begins at a man’s end – a funeral home, survivors, a suicide — and moves backwards to the answer all of the questions left behind in “The Question of Where We Begin.”

Today’s authors: 

Tania James is the author of the short fiction collection Aerogrammes and Other Stories (Knopf, 2012). Her debut novel Atlas of Unknowns was published by Knopf in 2009, and was a New York Times Editor’s Choice, an Indie Next Notable, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and a Best Book of 2009 for The San Francisco Chronicle and NPR. Atlas was also shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian literature. Tania was raised in Louisville after a brief stint in Chicago. She graduated from Harvard University with a degree in filmmaking and received an MFA from Columbia’s School of the Arts. From 2011-2012, she was a Fulbright fellow to India living in New Delhi. Now she lives in Washington, D.C.

Kyle Minor is the author of the short story collection In the Devil’s Territory (Dzanc Books). His next collection, Praying Drunk, is forthcoming from Sarabande Books.  He is the winner of the 2012Iowa Review Prize for Short Fiction and the Tara M. Kroger Prize for Short Fiction, one of Random House’s Best New Voices of 2006, and a three-time honoree in the Atlantic Monthly contest. His work has appeared in The Southern Review, The Iowa Review, Best American Mystery Stories 2008, Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers, Forty Stories: New Voices from Harper Perennial, and Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013. He has also done reporting for Esquire, and writes a biweekly audiobooks column for Salon.

The sixth episode of Unbound airs at 7 p.m. Monday. It features Claire Vaye Watkins and Tessa Mellas. 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.

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