Flannery O’Connor reads her most famous short story, “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” at Vanderbilt University in 1959.
In the only surviving recording of her voice, Virginia Woolf speaks on BBC on April 19th, 1937 giving a talk entitled “Craftmanship.��� Her talk would later be published as an essay in The Death of the Moth and Other Essays. Read a transcription of the recorded text here.
Kurt Vonnegut reads from the then yet-to-be-published novel Breakfast of Champions at the 92nd Street Y in New York in 1970. The crowd loves it.
James Joyce reads from Finnegans Wake (page 213, if you must know). Yes, it’s even more incomprehensible than the text.
Ernest Hemingway giving a reading called “In Harry’s Bar in Venice” sometime in the late ’50s.
A recording (done by the man himself, no less) of T.S. Eliot reading The Wasteland.
Truman Capote reading a section from his short novel, Breakfast at Tiffany’s , at the 92nd Street Y in 1963.
Jack Kerouac reading the last page of On the Road, to the smooth jams of some jazz.
William Faulkner reading from As I Lay Dying .
Allen Ginsberg reading “Howl” the way it was meant to be read.
David Foster Wallace reading his essay “The View from Mrs. Thompson’s,” from Consider the Lobster.
Anne Sexton reading her poem “The Truth the Dead Know.”
Vladimir Nabokov reading from Lolita — part 2, chapter 35. Listen to more here.
J.R.R. Tolkien reading “Chapter V: Riddles in the Dark,” from The Hobbit.
Aldous Huxley introduces and narrates a radio adaptation of Brave New World that aired between 1956 and 1957 on the CBS Radio Workshop. Find part two here.