The Henry Miller Memorial Library in Big Sur

Imagine you’re lying on the ground in the middle of a redwood forest at night, bundled up in your blankets and looking up at the stars. Then you hear a voice floating in the darkness — someone is telling a story, one of many you’ll hear that night. The Henry Miller Memorial Library at Big Sur features radio stories every Sunday as part of its “Big Sur Sound and Story” weekly series, where radio producers like the Kitchen Sisters play some of their favorite pieces in the hushed darkness of Mother Nature’s “auditorium.”

Magnus Toren, executive director of The Henry Miller Memorial Library
Bob Carlson, host and producer for UnFictional, a radio show featuring the work of independent producers that airs on KCRW in Los Angeles
Nikki Silva, radio producer with The Kitchen Sisters, curators of the inaugural night of the Big Sur series and co-producers of "The Making Of..." series with KQED
Brendan Francis Newnam, co-host of the Dinner Party Download, a pop culture radio show produced by American Public Media

  • Fyza Parviz

    A couple of months ago I took my mother to visit big sur and the Henry Miller library. My father who was visiting our home in Pakistan brought for me his copies of nexus pexus from the 70s and I was surprised to learn that my Pakistani parents were fans and readers of Millers work 🙂

    Really excited about this story telling series in the library!

  • Robert Thomas

    I became aware of the depth and vivacity of Henry Miller on reading his essay Reflections On The Death Of Mishima (Capra, 1972) and novel Black Spring (Obelisk, 1936). It became obvious to me that Miller had been dismissed in America by phony intellectuals who couldn’t escape their own puritanical North American fascination with what seemed prurient to them. Thank goodness I escaped that.

    “Here in my opinion is the only imaginative prose writer of the slightest value who has appeared among the English-speaking races for some years past.”
    – George Orwell

  • Sarah

    CS Lewis said of stories that they help us to feel that “we have got out”–our experiences are too small on their own; and we need to hear other stories to help us come into larger contact with reality, especially those realities that are beyond our daily lives.

  • Robert Thomas

    I look forward to new editions of The Moth every week. Thanks, KQED.

  • Pete

    Are all the stories recorded, or do you have live stories as well? Do you ever have ballad singers?

  • Fay Nissenbaum

    About the WOLF story(Brendan, it is pronounced WOOLF, not “woof”), the background music under the reading is way too intrusive and doesn’t fit the idea of a wolf talking. Music can make the piece (the way it does in The Graduate), but it has become a trend on radio to bump the background music up, and I find it intrusive to the reading of the story when it’s potted up too loud. Music in little flourishes and as effects, is best -which is the traditional way in radio production, correct me if I’m wrong… Personal production beefs aside, great show – would love to hear another installment.

  • wolfhope

    I did not catch the author’s name or the book’s title about the wolf. Can anyone tell what they are?

    • Brendan

      The author’s name is John Brandon and the book is called A Million Heavens.

  • lisafoster68

    Did anyone catch the name of the podcast that the seance story came from? Dying to hear it in it’s entirety!

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor