On this program, two stories about powerful maternal instincts, and choices with very different outcomes.

Amy Hempel describes her story “Beg, SI Tog, Inc, Cont, Rep” as “the story of a friendship surviving very different choices.” As the narrator draws us into her many knitting projects (crafters will recognize the title as instructions for a pattern), we realize that they stand in for emotions she cannot express or completely acknowledge—a common thread among Hempel’s many tragic-comic narratives. The reader is Anika Noni Rose, who won a Tony Award for her performance in Caroline, or Change, and was nominated for a Tony for her work in the 2014 Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun. Film work includes Dreamgirls, Colored Girls, and The Princess and the Frog (voice).

Guest host Jane Curtin reads our second work, Galina Vroman’s “Sarah’s Story,” a provocative retelling of the Old Testament narrative of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac. The stakes are high, but the story is also gently humorous—and may recount the first instance of a husband being tactfully managed by his wife! In addition to her many years as a Selected Shorts reader, Jane Curtin’s successful television career includes the programs Saturday Night Live (original cast member), Kate & Allie, and Third Rock from the Sun.


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