This month on the New Yorker Fiction podcast, Robert Coover reads Italo Calvino‘s short story “The Daughters of the Moon.” In his conversation with New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman, Coover says he teaches this story to expand his students’ understanding of straight narrative. It’s a rule-breaking story that feels both ancient and modern and covers many topics. Chief among these is waste and consumption.
In this world where every object was thrown away at the slightest sign of breakage or aging, at the first dent or stain, and replaced with a new and perfect substitute, there was just one false note, one shadow: the moon. It wandered through the sky naked, corroded, and gray, more and more alien to the world down here, a hangover from a way of being that was now outdated.
Have a listen and check it out for yourself.