Storytelling

LeVar Burton Reads

LeVar Burton and Stitcher

+116 FANS

The best short fiction, handpicked by the world’s greatest storyteller. In every episode, host LeVar Burton (Reading Rainbow, Roots, Star Trek) invites you to take a break from your daily life, and dive into a great story. LeVar’s narration blends wi...Show More

Best
Newest
Looking for recently uploaded episodes
Episode 5: "What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky" by Lesley Nneka Arimah

47:07 | Jul 11th, 2017

A mathematician has discovered a formula that explains the universe and makes it possible to manipulate human bodies and emotions. "What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky" is the title story of Lesley Nneka Arimah's collection from Riverhead Boo...Show More

Episode 11: "The Paper Menagerie" by Ken Liu

51:52 | Aug 29th, 2017

An immigrant mother tries to bond with her American-born son by creating a magical paper menagerie. This story appears in Ken Liu's collection THE PAPER MENAGERIE AND OTHER STORIES, available now from Saga Press. Thanks to our presenting sponsor Audi...Show More

Episode 6: "Graham Greene" by Percival Everett

51:34 | Jul 18th, 2017

A man is contacted by a 102-year-old woman with an unusual and seemingly impossible request. "Graham Greene" appears in Percival Everett's collection HALF AN INCH OF WATER, available from Graywolf Press.Thanks to our presenting sponsor Audible. Start...Show More

LIVE! in Chicago: "The Winds of Harmattan" by Nnedi Okorafor

1:01:01 | Apr 24th, 2018

A young woman discovers her destiny as a Windseeker. Recorded on the LeVar Burton Reads LIVE! tour. With accompaniment by the legendary instrumentalist and kalimba player Kahil El'Zabar, and featuring a conversation with Nnedi Okorafor. This story ap...Show More

Episode 24: "Childfinder" by Octavia Butler

40:07 | Apr 3rd, 2018

A telepath uses her skills to mentor children with psionic ability. "Childfinder" is available in e-book format in the collection UNEXPECTED STORIES, published by Open Road Media. The story is copyright Ernestine Walker-Zadnick. Thanks to our present...Show More

Episode 23: "A Fable with Slips of White Paper Spilling from the Pockets" by Kevin Brockmeier

33:44 | Mar 27th, 2018

An ordinary man finds himself unexpectedly in possession of an extraordinary power. This story appears in Kevin Brockmeier's collection THE VIEW FROM THE SEVENTH LAYER. Thanks to our presenting sponsor Audible. Start your free trial and get a free au...Show More

Episode 21: "My Dear You" by Rachel Khong

43:42 | Mar 13th, 2018

As she filters through memories and relationships, a young woman navigates a new plane of existence. Find more from the author at www.rachelkhong.com. Thanks to our presenting sponsor Audible. Start your free trial and get a free audiobook at audible...Show More

Episode 20: "The Great Wide World Over There" by Ray Bradbury

50:58 | Mar 6th, 2018

A visitor's arrival delivers both wonder and heartache to a rural community. This story appears in Ray Bradbury's collection THE GOLDEN APPLES OF THE SUN.

Episode 19: "Different Kinds of Darkness" by David Langford

45:09 | Feb 27th, 2018

A group of children form a secret society around a mysterious and powerful artifact. This story appears in David Langford's collection DIFFERENT KINDS OF DARKNESS. Thanks to our presenting sponsor Audible. Start your free trial and get a free audiobo...Show More

Episode 8: "The Second Bakery Attack" by Haruki Murakami

43:36 | Aug 1st, 2017

Cursed with an unbearable hunger, a newlywed couple goes to drastic measures to break its spell. "The Second Bakery Attack" appears in Haruki Murakami's collection THE ELEPHANT VANISHES from Vintage Books, and is available as an audiobook from Pengui...Show More

Episode 7: "Chivalry" by Neil Gaiman

44:27 | Jul 25th, 2017

An elderly widow purchases the Holy Grail at a second-hand store, and becomes wrapped up in an epic quest. "Chivalry" appears in Neil Gaiman's collection SMOKE AND MIRRORS: SHORT FICTIONS AND ILLUSIONS from William Morrow, which is available on Audib...Show More

Episode 4: "Empty Places" Part Two by Richard Parks

34:49 | Jul 4th, 2017

In the conclusion to our story, Jayn risks death when he infiltrates the queen’s chambers, and discovers the real reason for his mission. "Empty Places" was collected in FANTASY: THE BEST OF THE YEAR (2005). Thanks to our presenting sponsor Audible. ...Show More

Episode 3: "Empty Places" Part One by Richard Parks

47:19 | Jun 27th, 2017

An accomplished thief is approached by a wizard who wants to send him on an unusual mission. The two embark on a journey together, matching wits along the way. "Empty Places" was collected in FANTASY: THE BEST OF THE YEAR (2005). Thanks to our presen...Show More

LIVE! in New Jersey: "Driftglass" by Samuel R. Delany

1:00:49 | Feb 5th

As a new frontier is explored on the ocean floor, an amphiman is haunted by a deep sea accident from his youth. Recorded live at the Scottish Rite Auditorium with musical accompaniment by Kendrah Butler. "Driftglass" is contained in AYE, AND GOMORRAH...Show More

LIVE! in DC: "A Dark Night" by Edward P. Jones

50:38 | Jan 29th

A stormy evening leads to a dark night of the soul. Recorded live at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington, D.C. with musical accompaniment by Élise Cuffy. "A Dark Night" appears in Edward P. Jones' collection LOST IN THE CITY.

LIVE! in Dallas: "In the City of Martyrs" by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam

50:48 | Jan 22nd

A fantasy tale about a royal family, a flower seller, and a shocking discovery. Recorded live at the Majestic Theatre with musical accompaniment by Zhenya Rock.  This episode is sponsored by Calm (www.calm.com/LEVAR).

LIVE! in Toronto: "Four Stations in His Circle" by Austin Clarke

54:44 | Jan 15th

Language Advisory: This story contains adult language. An immigrant from Barbados strives to shake off his past, buy his dream house, and climb the ranks in Toronto. From the collection CHOOSING HIS COFFIN. Recorded live at the Hot Docs Podcast Festi...Show More

LIVE! in Atlanta: "The Vishakanya's Choice" by Roshani Chokshi

51:13 | Jan 8th

After spending years in isolation with her vishakanya sisters, a poison maiden is given her first deadly mission. © 2015 Roshani Chokshi, as first appeared on BookSmugglers.com. Recorded live at Variety Playhouse in Atlanta, with musical accompanimen...Show More

LIVE! in Austin: "Asymmetry" by Kendra Fortmeyer

46:52 | Dec 18th, 2018

While suffering through a breakup, a woman encounters a strange figure. Recorded live in Austin at the Paramount Theatre, with musical accompaniment by Peter Tran of Curved Light.

LIVE! in Brooklyn: "Playing Nice with God's Bowling Ball" by N.K. Jemisin

57:16 | Dec 11th, 2018

In this fantastical police procedural, detectives are perplexed when a young boy confesses to a murder. "Playing Nice with God's Bowling Ball" was originally published in the August 2008 issue of Jim Baen’s Universe. N. K. Jemisin's new collection is...Show More

Episode 36: "Morning Child" by Gardner Dozois

31:40 | Oct 9th, 2018

Two people reconnect in a post-apocalyptic world. © 1984 by Gardner Dozois. Originally published in OMNI. Used by permission of the author’s Estate and the Estate’s agents, the Virginia Kidd Agency, Inc. This episode is sponsored by Bona Floor...Show More

Episode 35: "Yiwu" by Lavie Tidhar

53:04 | Oct 2nd, 2018

For a humble shopkeeper in Yiwu, it’s a living, selling lottery tickets. Until a winning ticket opens up mysteries he’d never imagined. This episode is sponsored by Bona Floor Cleaners (www.bona.com), The Great Courses (www.thegreatcoursesplus.co...Show More

Episode 34: "Singing on a Star" by Ellen Klages

48:41 | Sep 25th, 2018

A kindergartner travels through a portal to a fantastic and eerie new world. This story appears in Ellen's collection WICKED WONDERS. This episode is sponsored by Sierra Club (www.beyondcoal.org/stories), Bona Floor Cleaners (www.bona.com), Calm ...Show More

Episode 33: "The Cell Phones" by Karen E. Bender

30:33 | Sep 18th, 2018

A Rosh Hashanah service is interrupted by voices clamoring for attention. This story appears in the forthcoming collection THE NEW ORDER. This episode is sponsored by Bona Floor Cleaners (www.bona.com), The Great Courses (www.thegreatcoursesplus....Show More

Introducing Wolverine: The Long Night

04:48 | Sep 12th, 2018

A little something extra for you this week: a preview of Marvel’s first scripted podcast, Wolverine: The Long Night. The first episodes are out right now, free, wherever you get podcasts.

Episode 32: "Jackalope Wives" by Ursula Vernon

49:46 | Sep 11th, 2018

A brooding young man is captivated by a magical creature who dances in the firelight. This story appears in JACKALOPE WIVES AND OTHER STORIES by T. Kingfisher. This episode is sponsored by Sierra Club (www.beyondcoal.org/stories), Bona Floor C...Show More

Episode 31: "Fyrewall" by Stefani Cox

42:36 | Sep 4th, 2018

In a future version of Los Angeles, a woman and her ragtag crew must repair a critical piece of technology or let the city burn to the ground. This episode is sponsored by The Great Courses (www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/levar) and The Great Americ...Show More

Episode 30: "Fantaisie Impromptu No. 4 in C#min, Op. 66” by Carlos Hernandez

48:38 | Aug 28th, 2018

A reporter travels to Miami to investigate the fringes of science and faith. This story appears in THE ASSIMILATED CUBAN'S GUIDE TO QUANTUM SANTERIA. This episode is sponsored by The Great Courses (www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/LEVAR) and Google Pl...Show More

Episode 29: "Multo" by Samuel Marzioli

39:05 | Aug 21st, 2018

A man remembers a supernatural force from his childhood. Listen to ad-free episodes one week early, plus exclusive bonus episodes, only on Stitcher Premium. For a free month of listening, go to stitcherpremium.com/levar and use promo code 'LEVAR'. ...Show More

Episode 28: "Fires" by Rick Bass

41:46 | Aug 14th, 2018

In this meditative tale, a runner spends a summer training in a remote mountain town. This story appears in the collection FOR A LITTLE WHILE by Rick Bass, published by Little, Brown & Company.  Listen to ad-free episodes one week early, plus exclusi...Show More

Episode 27: "The Last Cheng Beng Gift" by Jaymee Goh

34:50 | Aug 7th, 2018

A family matriarch takes up residence in the Underworld. Listen to ad-free episodes one week early, plus exclusive bonus episodes, only on Stitcher Premium. For a free month of listening, go to stitcherpremium.com/levar and use promo code 'LEVAR'. ...Show More

Episode 26: "Sea Girls" by Daniel Wallace

45:16 | Jul 31st, 2018

Two teenagers deal with family issues... and a stranded sea creature. Listen to ad-free episodes one week early, plus exclusive bonus episodes, only on Stitcher Premium. For a free month of listening, go to stitcherpremium.com/levar and use promo co...Show More

Episode 25: "Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience TM" by Rebecca Roanhorse

54:52 | Jul 24th, 2018

A tour guide leads virtual reality “experiences” for tourists who want to know what it’s like to be Native American. Think Black Mirror meets Westworld. Listen to ad-free episodes one week early, plus exclusive bonus episodes, only on Stitcher Premiu...Show More

LeVar Burton Reads Returns July 24th!

03:45 | Jul 17th, 2018

Take a deep breath, and prepare yourself for season 3 with a sneak peek of the first episode!

LIVE! in Portland: "The Fliers of Gy" by Ursula K. Le Guin

1:01:03 | Jun 19th, 2018

An interplanetary tale about those who take flight, and those who do not. Recorded on the LeVar Burton Reads LIVE! tour. This story appears in Le Guin's collection THE UNREAL AND THE REAL: SELECTED STORIES, VOLUME TWO: OUTER SPACE, INNER LANDS. With ...Show More

LIVE! in Seattle: "Black Betty" by Nisi Shawl

1:01:57 | Jun 5th, 2018

The story of Betty, and her struggle to be fully understood by her new family. Recorded on the LeVar Burton Reads LIVE! tour. With accompaniment by Gretchen Yanover, and featuring a conversation with author Nisi Shawl. This episode is brought ...Show More

LIVE! in Los Angeles: "Money Tree" by Nalo Hopkinson

45:47 | May 22nd, 2018

A young man sets out to uncover sunken treasure and make his fortune, and his sister must pick up the pieces. Recorded on the LeVar Burton Reads LIVE! tour. With accompaniment by vibraphonist Justin Thomas, and featuring a conversation with the autho...Show More

LIVE! in San Francisco: "As Good as New" by Charlie Jane Anders

1:04:09 | May 8th, 2018

A young woman unexpectedly finds herself with the fate of the world in her hands. Recorded on the LeVar Burton Reads LIVE! tour. With accompaniment by Astronauts, etc. keyboardist Anthony Ferraro, and featuring a conversation with Charlie Jane Anders...Show More

Bonus: "The Power of a Wish"

28:16 | Apr 10th, 2018

LeVar Burton Reads will be back soon with brand new episodes! But first, LeVar introduces the new podcast The Power of a Wish.

Episode 22: "The 5:22" by George Harrar

37:18 | Mar 20th, 2018

When a fellow passenger on his usual train goes missing, a man begins to wonder if everything is as it seems. Find more from the author at www.georgeharrarbooks.com. Thanks to our presenting sponsor Audible. Start your free trial and get a free audio...Show More

Episode 18: "Furry Night" by Joan Aiken

48:33 | Feb 20th, 2018

An elderly lycanthropist retires to his estate in the English countryside, but his rest is disturbed by a rowdy village tradition. "Furry Night" is copyright © 1976 by Joan Aiken. Available in THE PEOPLE IN THE CASTLE by Joan Aiken, published by Smal...Show More

Episode 17: "The Baboon War" by Nnedi Okorafor

45:41 | Feb 13th, 2018

A group of schoolgirls have a disturbing and life-altering encounter with the animal kingdom. "The Baboon War" appears in Nnedi Okorafor's collection KABU KABU. Thanks to our presenting sponsor Audible. Start your free trial and get a free audiobook ...Show More

Episode 16: "Mrs. Perez" by Oscar Casares

47:18 | Feb 6th, 2018

When a burglary deprives her of her most prized possession, a woman discovers just how resilient and assertive she can be. "Mrs. Perez" appears in Oscar Casares' collection BROWNSVILLE: STORIES from Back Bay Books. Thanks to our presenting sponsor Au...Show More

Episode 15: "Unassigned Territory" by Stephanie Powell Watts

44:40 | Jan 30th, 2018

A young Jehovah's Witness spends a blistering hot afternoon preaching door-to-door to hostile homeowners, and questioning her future. Copyright © 2011 by Stephanie Powell Watts, used by permission of Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Than...Show More

Episode 14: "The Truth About Owls" by Amal El-Mohtar

50:39 | Jan 23rd, 2018

A young girl explores her own power, and finds kinship with a bird of prey. Find more from the author at amalelmohtar.com. Thanks to our presenting sponsor Audible. Start your free trial and get a free audiobook at audible.com/levar.

Episode 13: "Repairing the World" by John Chu

50:29 | Jan 16th, 2018

Description: Two friends are tasked with protecting a world that is literally ripping at the seams. Find more from John Chu at johnchu.net. Thanks to our presenting sponsor Audible. Start your free trial and get a free audiobook at audible.com/levar.

Sneak Peek: James Baldwin and The Paris Review Podcast

11:01 | Nov 15th, 2017

LeVar announces the launch date of Season 2! Plus, he's paying tribute to the author James Baldwin with a re-enactment of a historic interview. Hear a preview of that appearance now, and subscribe to The Paris Review podcast to hear the complete epis...Show More

Bonus Episode: "Goat" by James McBride

1:10:20 | Oct 24th, 2017

A well-meaning teacher discovers a student's talent, and in the process of helping out his family, bites off more than she can chew. Recorded live at the Now Hear This festival. This story appears in James McBride's collection FIVE CARAT SOUL, availa...Show More

Episode 12: "No Man's Guns" by Elmore Leonard

48:40 | Sep 5th, 2017

In a classic Western tale, a newly-discharged soldier runs into trouble on his journey home, and must fight for his innocence and his identity. "No Man's Guns" by Elmore Leonard. Copyright © 1975, 2004 Elmore Leonard, used by permission of The Wylie ...Show More

Episode 10: "Navigators" by Mike Meginnis

44:59 | Aug 22nd, 2017

A father and son become immersed in a video game with a unusual philosophical goal -- one that's unlike any game they've played before. "Navigators" appears in THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES 2012. Thanks to our presenting sponsor Audible. Start your...Show More

Episode 9: "1000-Year-Old Ghosts" by Laura Chow Reeve

33:54 | Aug 15th, 2017

 A grandmother teaches her family to deal with difficult memories in a unique way -- by pickling them in jars. "1000-Year-Old Ghosts" appears in the new anthology PEN AMERICA BEST DEBUT SHORT STORIES 2017. Thanks to our presenting sponsor Audible. St...Show More

Bonus Episode: A Conversation with Lesley Nneka Arimah

29:37 | Aug 8th, 2017

Today, a special bonus episode featuring a wide-ranging conversation between LeVar and Lesley Nneka Arimah, author of "What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky". Thanks to our presenting sponsor Audible. Start your free trial and get a free audiob...Show More

Episode 2: "The Lighthouse Keeper" by Daisy Johnson

32:46 | Jun 20th, 2017

The story of a solitary life by the sea, and a woman’s courage. "The Lighthouse Keeper" is part of FEN: STORIES, available from Graywolf Press. Thanks to our presenting sponsor Audible. Start your free trial and get a free audiobook at audible.com/le...Show More

Episode 1: "Kin" by Bruce McAllister

35:03 | Jun 13th, 2017

A young boy contacts an alien assassin in the hopes of saving his sister’s life. "Kin" is part of Bruce McAllister's collection THE GIRL WHO LOVED ANIMALS. Thanks to our presenting sponsor Audible. Start your free trial and get a free audiobook at a...Show More

Introducing… LeVar Burton Reads

02:43 | Jun 2nd, 2017

A sneak peak of “LeVar Burton Reads,” coming June 13th!