The Easy Chair

with Laura Hurwitz

Author Laura Hurwitz reads you a story, continued week to week.

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    Co-host Jane Gross and I get together again after a too-long break for Heart to Heart, healing wisdom for creative souls (though really, for all listeners)! It’s been a while, and for Jane, life has taken some wild hairpin twists and turns, but always, there’s something to be learned, and Jane shares with you some hard-won insights on grieving, coping, and overcoming. It’s a very honest look at heartbreak, loss, anger, and new beginnings. Please join us for a deep, frank, and revealing look at life after upheaval.The sponsor of this week’s podcast is Rothy’s, the flats for women and girls that hit the trifecta- comfortable, stylish, and sustainable! Go to Rothys.com and enter code chair to get your new favorite shoes, free shipping with no minimum. I love my Rothys and I guarantee you will too!

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    This week on The Easy Chair, it’s a triumphant return to Mightier than the Sword, with my wonderful co-host Steph Spaulding! I’ve been out of town and Steph’s been both hard at work and under the weather, so it’s been a minute since our last MTTS episode, and there’s lots to talk about. I’ve been writing, Steph’s been reading, and this crazy, remarkable world keeps spinning. Being able to write over the past month has given me some insight into my own writing process, which might prove useful to fellow writers out there. Steph has a great (and surprising) reading suggestion for readers. And we both agree- unsolicited- that we love our Ritual vitamin subscriptions, so we are giving Ritual a free, heartfelt shout-out. Health is HUGE. So are words, and how we shape/interpret them.Tune in. And if you have any comments, observations, or questions, email us at We want to hear from you!

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    This week, I read Lauren Groff’s suburban nightmare/dreamscape story “Ghosts and Empties”. A young mother who has become “a woman who screams” walks every night in her eclectic old Florida neighborhood, exiting her house and tying up her sneakers, leaving her husband and sons as they make their way toward sleep. For her, the night reveals many fascinations- the tragic black swan family, the overweight young man reinventing himself on his treadmill, the sad attrition at the neighborhood nunnery. The night also harbors a devastating secret, personal, unacknowledged, that can’t be screamed away or walked off. Groff’s dramatic phrasing, powerful language, and vivid, surprising imagery will take your breath away. Take a listen.This week’s episode is brought to you by the world’s best electric toothbrush: Quip. Quip’s gentle sonic pulse action and brush heads that are delivered to your door on a dentist-recommended schedule are just a couple of reasons to love Quip. Get your first refill pack free by heading over to GETQUIP.com/EASYCHAIR. I love my Quip toothbrush, and I guarantee you’ll love yours.

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    This week on the podcast, I read my short story, “Orientation”. One memory that stands out for virtually everyone who has experienced going away to college is meeting your freshman year roommate for the first time. Jennifer, a sensitive, determinedly optimistic eighteen year old with a deep need to be liked, has never met anyone quite like Mara- cynical, straight-talking, self-protective – a person whose motto is me first, and when it comes to the feelings and perceptions of others, she doesn't seem to care. Their dorm room is small, but maybe, just maybe, there's room for growth- and compromise. There's a lot to unpack in this story, from an awkward gynecological self-examination (!?) to an equally awkward college mixer. This is a story you won't want to miss.This week’s sponsor is Ritual, the two vitamins taken one daily that supply vital nutrients that many women lack. I swear by my Ritual- it’s 100% transparent and builds a healthy foundation from the inside out. Start your ritual today by going to www.ritual.com/EASYCHAIR!

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    This week on The Easy Chair, “Schoolgirl”, an original short story by yours truly. It’s 1977, the summer of the infamous Model Wars between Eileen Ford and John Casablancas, the heads of the two most powerful modeling agencies in the world. Four young models just starting their careers are sent to Paris- and left to fend for themselves. It’s the story about the dark underbelly of an industry synonymous with enviable wealth and elegance, and cutthroat competition. For Lauren and her roommates Beth, Caro, and Kat, life lessons abound over a Parisian summer filled with three shedding cats, a slew of sketchy businessmen, and a surprising sense of sisterhood.The sponsor of this week’s episode is Rothys, the flat that is comfortable, stylish, and sustainable! New styles are constantly being created- and selling out. I love my Rothys and love even more that they are insanely soft, yet made from 100% recycled plastic. For free shipping and free returns and exchanges, go to rothys.com and use promo code chair. Get this deal while it lasts!

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    Today on The Easy Chair, I read a spine-tingling scary story perfect for the thick of winter: “Strawberry Spring” by Stephen King. A serial killer stalks the campus of a small New England college, murdering and dismembering female co-eds. Locals dub him Springheel Jack, a spectral figure who comes in with the fog and ice melt of Strawberry Spring, the false, early thaw that comes before the most brutal of winter’s storms. Our protagonist is as horrified and mystified as any of his classmates, but he has to admit that he finds the mists and shadows of Strawberry Spring oddly alluring. Warning: don’t listen to this story by yourself, late at night. The last line of this story is considered one of the best last lines of any short story. Tune in, and find out why.Sponsors of this week’s podcast are Quip, makers of the sleekest, most effective portable electric toothbrush ever. For my listeners: get your first refill pack FREE at GETQUIP.com/EASYCHAIR. Second sponsor: Brooklinen, maker of five-star hotel quality sheets, comforters, towels, available to you to enjoy at home! For $20 off your first order and free shipping, go to Brookinen.com and be sure to use promo code CHAIR.

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    Today on the podcast, I read Donald Barthelme’s hilariously morbid short story “School” along with “Five Short Stories”, an unconventional collection of short shorts by Lydia Davis. Hopefully these tales and tidbits will delight and amuse you… and stay with you long after you’ve heard them. Winter is long and cold, dark and dreary, and I believe most of us need a little boost, a shot in the arm, if you will. These quirky works by two incredibly gifted writers definitely and very positively redirected me. Banish the winter blahs...tune in!

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    This week on The Easy Chair, I read Miranda July’s brilliant, quirky short story “Roy Spivey”. It’s about an uncertain young woman who through being “a pushover” finds herself with a first-class upgrade, only to be seated next to a major heart-throb celebrity on a cross-country flight. From their casual flirtation, some very interesting things happen, and ultimately this serendipitous encounter changes her life in unexpected ways. July’s story is astonishingly unique. You’ve never heard anything quite like it- I if you’re like me, you won’t be able to get it out of your head. Tune in!This week’s episode is brought to you by Ritual, the daily vitamin for women. Think of it as the multivitamin, reinvented! Taking my Ritual vitamins is my very favorite daily habit- a healthy, easy-to-keep resolution for 2019. Start your Ritual today by going to ritual.com/EASYCHAIR today!

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    Aquaponics 101 (with Hannah Hurwitz). Climate change is a true national and global crisis, and one solution to the devastating environmental impact caused by our current way of producing food is aquaponics. What is aquaponics agriculture? (I’ll give you a hint: it involves water and fish). Hannah is working for an amazing start-up, Trifecta Ecosystems, and what they aim to do is transform spaces, from blighted warehouses to wasted classroom corners, into micro-farms that can 1.) Sustainably feed people and 2.) Protect the environment. Tune in to hear Hannah talk about aquaponics- the aspirational ideas behind it, the science supporting it, and the vast potential aquaponics holds for becoming, in the words of her current initiative, a City That Feeds Itself.This week’s podcast is brought to you by Quip, makers of the best, most effective yet gentle electric toothbrush ever. Order yours today at GETQUIP.com and if you use promo code EASYCHAIR, you’ll get your first refill pack FREE! Your mouth will thank you for it.

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    This week, on Mightier Than the Sword, Steph and I talk about New Year’s resolutions…and why, this year, we’ve decided against them. We are taking a different approach to 2019- a fresh start, for sure, but without the pitfalls and self-recriminations that often come with setting (and all too often, breaking) resolutions. Tune in to hear our takes on the pros and cons of the annual resolution tradition. We have some original ideas on how to make the New Year more of an opportunity than a challenge. As always, any questions, comments, and insights- let me and Steph know at week’s podcast is brought to you by Brooklinen, the folks who make getting into bed at night my favorite part of the day. I love the simple luxury of my Brooklinen sheets and comforter! You can get $20 off your first order and free shipping by going to Brooklinen.com, promo code CHAIR.

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    This week on The Easy Chair, I read the first chapter of my YA novel under consideration (working title, Sisterhood of the Porcelain God). Sophie is 18, a senior in high school, and her life should be poised for takeoff, but the eating disorder that has turned her life upside down since she was 13 makes forward momentum all but impossible. Publicly, she seems to be making progress, but privately, she is still locked in a fight for her life. This is the beginning of a difficult but important story. 30 million people suffer from eating disorders in the United States, and every 62 minutes, someone dies as a direct result of an eating disorder. Sisterhood is about Sophie’s journey. The road to recovery is marked by daily struggles for survival, and the people you meet along the way. Tune in! Let me know if you like what you’ve heard so far at

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    This week on The Easy Chair, “The Lochyville Horror”, the third progressive story created by the extended Hurwitz family. At our actual winter retreat at a rustic home in the Catskills, we team-wrote a story about a free-spirited family vacationing in the remote hamlet of Lochyville. After a lunch at Nancy’s Diner (the worst tuna east of the Hudson River) the family arrives at an ancient wreck of a house with no customer reviews on Airbnb (even though the owner, a blurry-imaged Mr. Fred Morton, has been a member since 2015). When the youngest family member, Ricky, hears the sound of rain on the roof despite the crystal-clear night, he gets out of bed to look into things, and… well, you’ll have to listen to find out. And here’s a New Year’s Day BONUS: if you are the first one to guess which part was written by my boy Jake, email me at If you’re right, I will personally ship you a free gift pack of my own Jake’s Mom’s Cookies.This week’s episode is brought to you by Ritual, the daily vitamin that fills in the gaps in every woman’s diet. Start your subscription today! Go to ritual.com/EASYCHAIR. Also bringing you today’s podcast is Quip. I love my Quip electric toothbrush, and over 1,000,000 happy, healthy mouths agree with me. Go to GETQUIP.com/EASYCHAIR to get your first refill pack free!

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    This week’s episode: Gift Giving, on Mightier Than the Sword! Co-host Steph and I give each other gifts that are unconstrained by budget or actual attainability. The expression “it’s the thought that counts” is what this exercise in generosity is all about. In addition to our mutual gift exchange, we talk about our favorite holiday movie and T.V. specials. Along the way I impressively quote the ghost of Jacob Marley and Steph beautifully reminds us that the rancor of current politics and pervasiveness of consumerism should not distract us from what the holiday season is all about: light, love, warmth, family, friends, and gratitude. It’s an episode that will have you genuinely embracing the spirit of the season.Any questions, comments, suggestions- please write us at We want to hear from you.

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    This week on The Easy Chair: Part Two of Seasonal Work, by Laura Lippman. This is the continuation and conclusion of Lippman’s poignant/painful short story told by Kyle, the 14 year-old stepdaughter of Gary, a con artist. The plan is in motion. The family has relocated to Baltimore, and the scam has begun. The kind social worker who comes back to check on Kyle and her siblings turns out to be something quite different. Who’s been playing who? It’s a surprising turn of events in this light and mostly dark holiday tale. The end of the story is a shocker, and you’re going to want to tune in what happens. This is a holiday story unlike any story you’ve heard before.This weeke’s episode is brought to you by Rothy’s flats, the perfect shoes for women and girls! I love my Rothy’s. They’re comfortable, stylish, and sustainable ( incredibly, they are made from recycled plastic bottles, but they are comfy as any show you're ever worn). Go to Rothys.com and enter promo code chair for free shipping, and no minimum. I guarantee you’re gonna love your Rothy’s, just like I do.

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    This week on The Easy Chair: Part One of an anti-holiday holiday short story: "Seasonal Work" by Laura Lippman. Grifter Gary and his four kids- three biological, one his step-daughter- take part in an annual holiday scam that’s working so far. Take off for a new city at Christmastime. Pretend the gifts you pretended to buy got stolen from your minivan. Local news coverage and a trusting public take care of the rest. Gary’s stepdaughter, narrator of the story, is a willing accomplice. Or is she? Tune in to hear me read this quirky, honest, unexpectedly resilient tale... to be continued next week.Today's episode is brought to you by Brooklinen. I just got my new Brooklinen comforter and slept like a baby for the first time since I was a baby! Brooklinen has some great gift ideas for this holiday season. If you go to brooklinen.com and use promo code chair, you’ll get $20 off your first order, plus free shipping. Go on, make yourself or someone you love blissfully happy!