Ever since her divorce, Denise had been looking for a dining- room table. It shouldn't have been so hard to drive out to Plymouth Meeting and buy a halfway adequate table at Ikea, but when she considered settling for approximately what she wanted, she realized that the sheet of varnished green Ping-Pong-table particle board that she'd been using for the last three years was itself approximately what she wanted. It was flat, horizontal, abusable, stable: a table. Of course, she hated it. It was ugly and an affront. It provided a reminder, every time she walked into her dining room, of how provisional her life was. It was like a sore. An ulcer in her home. But it did have the great advantage of already being in he…
Aisha Sabatini Sloan
Episode 22: “Form and Formlessness”
In an essay specially commissioned for the podcast, Aisha Sabatini Sloan describes rambling around Paris with her father, Lester Sloan, a longtime staff photographer for Newsweek, and a glamorous woman who befriends them. In an excerpt from The Art of Fiction no. 246, Rachel Cusk and Sheila Heti discuss how writing her first novel helped Cusk discover her “shape or identity or essence.” Next, Allan Gurganus’s reading of his story “It Had Wings,” about an arthritic woman who finds a fallen angel in her backyard, is interspersed with a version of the story rendered as a one-woman opera by the composer Bruce Saylor. The episode closes with “Dear Someone,” a poem by Deborah Landau.
Rachel Cusk photo courtesy the author.
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