Amy Bloom's Chequered Stories

Amy Bloom's new collection, Where the God of Love Hangs Out, offers a confiding tone that adapts well to being read aloud. Characters confess their current imbroglios and reminisce about their former clinches in language that is self-examining, wise, and often ruefully funny. These are stories of grownups whose hearts are still in flux and whose sensuality is not inhibited by age. Bloom brings unusually fresh and evocative language to her makeout scenes, whether the characters involved are midlife or mid-discovery, and she blends the emotional with the physical in a realistically human way. When her characters talk about sex they can be both frank and squirmily funny. One of the podcasts is labelled "Explicit," perhaps because it was originally broadcast on the radio, but the actual text is racier.

Bloom Audio Interview
Bloom was interviewed by the Guardian Books Podcast for London's Jewish Book Week in a tri-author podcast that also features Amoz Oz and Jonathan Safran Foer. Bloom's lively 8-minute interview begins at Minute 23, and if you're short on time I encourage you to fast forward straight there. She talks to Sarah Crown about Where The God of Love Hangs Out as a collection and riffs on the transgressive nature of love. Bloom also displays her wit when questioned about women writers and "the domestic sphere" and rhapsodizes about the particular demands of the short form. You can listen to the Oz, Safran Foer, and Bloom interviews online here or download the podcast (for a while, anyway) from The Guardian Books Podcast on iTunes.

Bloom Profiled in Prose
If you intend to read the collection, I recommend postponing the following link because it gives away too much in advance, but once you've read the stories I recommend checking out this charming profile of Bloom by Emma Brockes for the Guardian.

In-Law Confessions
You can listen to Bloom read the entirety of the multi-stranded title story, "Where the God of Love Hangs Out" at the Guardian Books website (audio runs about 32 minutes). The audio of "Where the God of Love Hangs Out" should also be available for downloading from The Guardian Books Podcast on iTunes for another month or two.

Midlife Makeout
You can also listen to Bloom read a 10-minute excerpt of her story "Your Borders, Your Rivers, Your Tiny Villages" (the title is a line from a Pablo Neruda poem) on this KQED: The Writer's Block podcast from 3/9/2010. For a while you can download the audio from iTunes here. You may also want to read an uncensored excerpt from the same story on Random House's website.

FTC Disclosure: No goods were received for this post. All the podcasts listed are free.