Guest host Hope Davis presents a coming-of-age story by Nobel Prize winning author Alice Munro, and a quirky romance by Aimee Bender.
Munro was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2013. It was an acknowledgment of what her readers had always known—that her deceptively simple stories of small lives in small towns tell us a lot about what it is to be human. In the course of her long career she has published over a dozen short story collections. Other honors include the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, the Rea Award for the Short Story and the Man Booker International Prize.
SELECTED SHORTS has featured a number of Munro stories over the years, and the Nobel award was a good reason to celebrate her again. A special evening at Symphony Space included readings of two of her stories. Munro herself joined us via Google Hangouts, and chatted with another great contemporary Canadian novelist, Margaret Atwood. You can watch the Hangout here.
This program features “How I Met My Husband.” The narrator, a young girl from a rural community away from home for the first time, in her first job, grows up fast in the course of a summer. The story was first published in 1974 as part of Munro’s collection Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You. The reader is Amy Ryan. Ryan was nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe for her performance in Gone Baby Gone. Her work in television includes roles on The Wire, In Treatment, and The Office. On stage she has appeared in A Streetcar Named Desire, The Women, and Uncle Vanya, among other works
The second story on this program is Aimee Bender’s “The Meeting.” Its narrator, performed by Paul Hecht, is sure he’s met the wrong girl; but he can’t seem to stay away. Bender is the author of the short story collections The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, Willful Creatures, and The Color Master, and the novels An Invisible Sign of My Own and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. She teaches at the University of Southern California.