03 LAST20120617By Gerard Woodward. It was the pride of the American railroad - if you could find it.

A young man visits his cousin Neil and his wife Lou before setting off to continue his tour of the American Mid-West. He remembers Union Station as 'one of the oldest and most significant stations in the country, on the historic, transcontinental railroad, the first to span the continent from coast to coast.' But when he gets as far as the bus-station, the locals find it hard to give him directions...

Written by Gerard Woodward, and read by Patrick Kennedy.

Gerard Woodward was born in London in 1961. After studying painting and anthropology, he published three prize-winning collections of poetry before turning to novel-writing. His first novel, August, was shortlisted for the 2001 Whitbread First Novel Award, his second, I'll Go To Bed At Noon, for the 2004 Man Booker Prize. Since then he has published another collection of poetry, We Were Pedestrians (shortlisted for the 2005 T.S Eliot Prize) and become Lecturer in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. His collection of short stories, Caravan Thieves, was published in March 2008. A Birthday Cockatrice appeared in an earlier Sweet Talk series for BBC Radio 4 - The Foods of Love and Hate (2008). Nourishment, his new novel, will be published in September 2010. Gerard lives in Somerset.

Producer: Jeremy Osborne

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.