Art and literature is filled with idylls – picturesque and happy moments that can take the form of vacations, journeys or even a stolen afternoon. What is it about these brief moments that haunts us and can even change the course of lives? This week, Trevor and Paul delve into these question and share some of their favorite literary idylls.

They also unveil five surprise winners of a bonus giveaway from Open Letter Books!

Please enjoy the episode!


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  • The Birthday Party, by Laurent Mauvignier, translated by Daniel Levin Becker
  • Eastbound, by Maylis de Kerangal, translated by Jessica Moore
  • The Heart, by Maylis de Kerangal, translated by Sam Taylor
  • Framley Parsonage, by Anthony Trollope
  • The Small House at Allington, by Anthony Trollope
  • Barchester Towers, by Anthony Trollope
  • The Warden, by Anthony Trollope
  • Doctor Thorne, by Anthony Trollope
  • A Change of Time, by Ida Jessen, translated by Martin Aitken
  • A Postcard for Annie, by Ida Jessen, translated by Martin Aitken
  • The Children, by Ida Jessen, translated by Don Bartlett
  • A Month in the Country, by J.L. Carr
  • The Enchanted April, by Elizabeth von Arnim
  • Tess of the d’Urbervilles, the Thomas Hardy
  • The Mountain Lion, by Jean Stafford
  • The Go-Between, by L.P. Hartley
  • No Tomorrow, by Vivant Denon, translated by Lydia Davis
  • The Fortnight in September, by R.C. Sherriff
  • “Getting Closer,” by Steven Millhauser, from We Others
  • “Brokeback Mountain,” by E. Annie Proulx, from Close Range: Wyoming Stories
  • “A Day in the Country,” by Guy de Maupassant, translated by David Coward
  • To the Lighthouse, by Virginia Woolf
  • Jacob’s Room, by Virginia Woolf
  • “An Idyll in Winter,” by William Trevor, from Last Stories
  • “Down the River,” by Edward Abbey, from Desert Solitaire
  • The Ghost Writer, by Philip Roth
  • A Time of Gifts, by Patrick Leigh Fermor

About the Podcast

The Mookse and the Gripes Podcast is a book chat podcast. Every other week Paul and Trevor get together to talk about some bookish topic or another.

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