Saturday, November 25, 2006

Edith Wharton Stories Performed

From Helene Davis:



New York, NY, November 22, 2006 - Symphony Space has released two new CD sets from its award-winning National Public Radio series, Selected Shorts: A Celebration of the Short Story: Falling In Love and Edith Wharton. The series, which presents Broadway and Hollywood actors reading classic and new short stories, is now in its 20th radio season.

EDITH WHARTON (2-CD set: running time, 2 hours)

EDITH WHARTON features five stories which were recorded live at the Mount, the Massachusetts home of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author. Edith Wharton (1862-1937) was best known for her stories and ironic novels about upper class people. Wharton's central subjects were the conflict between social and individual fulfillment, repressed sexuality, and the manners of old families and the 'nouveau riche,' who had made their fortunes in more recent years.
  • Mrs. Manstey’s View, read by Kathleen Chalfant. You are what you view - an Edith Wharton-era real estate story.
  • Roman Fever, read by Maria Tucci.What happened that night in Rome so long ago? The secret revealed.
  • The Reckoning, read by Brenda Wehle. The high price of marital harmony.
  • Xingu, read by Christina Pickles. Wild goings-on at a ladies' book group.

FALLING IN LOVE (3-CD set, running time 3 hours)

This new 3-CD set features the following stories, which were recorded live at Symphony Space in NYC:

  • Fires by Rick Bass, read by Ted Marcoux. In the Rockies a woman sets fire to a parched field to take the plunge into the pool of love.
  • The Winnowing of Mrs. Schuping by Padgett Powell, read by Christina Pickles. An eccentric southern dame cleans up her act and finds love.
  • The Lone Pilgrim by Laurie Colwin, read by Hope Davis. A New York artist longs for love and marital domesticity.
  • Melisande by E. Nesbit, read by Jane Curtin. A delicious fairy tale about a princess with a terrible curse.
  • Violets by Edna O’Brien, read by Fionnula Flanagan. A subtle portrait of a woman caught in an impossible affair.
  • Travis, B. by Maile Meloy, read by William Hurt. A Western love story between a lonesome cowboy and a city gal.

The CD sets are available on the Symphony Space website, at For information on any Symphony Space program or event, call (212) 864-5400.


For nearly 30 years, Symphony Space has been producing and presenting artistically and culturally diverse music, dance, literary, theatre, family, and film programs that bring artists and audiences together in an atmosphere of exploration and intimacy. One of New York’s preeminent and most reasonably priced cultural resources, and a leader in adventurous programming, its signature events include Selected Shorts: A Celebration of the Short Story, hosted by Isaiah Sheffer and nationally broadcast on public radio; Bloomsday on Broadway readings; Upper West Fest, a three-week cultural extravaganza involving more than twenty neighborhood institutions; and Wall to Wall music events and other marathons, which The New York Times called Symphony Space’s “annual gift to New York City.” Symphony Space’s programs reach audiences throughout New York and, via its touring and media program, the nation. Symphony Space also serves thousands of New York City schoolchildren each year via its Curriculum Arts Project, one of the oldest and most respected arts education programs in existence. Symphony Space’s Artistic Director is Isaiah Sheffer; Executive Director, Cynthia Elliott; and Managing Director, Peggy Wreen.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Haunted Mount?

From Capetown, South]- From novelist Edith Wharton's palatial mansion in Lenox, Massachusetts, to a Gold Rush shack in This Old House on Tuesday profiled 15 of the nation's spookiest houses - and offered some tips on how to hire a reliable ghostbuster.
. . .

Wharton, who died in 1937 at the age of 75, is said to still haunt her estate, called The Mount, sending indoor temperatures icy when she appears.