Guest host Michael Cerveris presents four stories inspired by other books and authors.  

First, immigrants collide at Wal-Mart in Juan Martinez’s “Best Worst American.”  Martinez has published in Glimmer Train, McSweeney’s, and TriQuarterly, among other journals.  His story collection “Best Worst American” was published in February 2017.  He teaches literature at Northwestern University.   

Reader Cristin Milioti has appeared on Broadway in “That Face,” “Stunning,” and “Once.”  On television she had a featured role in “How I Met Your Mother,” and her film work includes “The Wolf of Wall Street.” 

An old friendship is strained in Namwali Serpell ‘s “Double Men.”  Serpell teaches in the English department of UC Berkeley.  Her fiction has been featured in McSweeney’s, The Believer, Bidoun, Callaloo, Tin House, and n+1.  Her story “Muzungu,” was selected for The Best American Short Stories 2009, and Serpell was shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing.  She is currently working on a book of essays, Face Books, and a novel, The Old Drift.

Reader Nikki M. James won a Tony Award for her work on “The Book of Mormon” and also appeared on Broadway in “Les Misérables.”  On television she’s appeared on “Law & Order SVU” and “The Good Wife,” among other shows.  

Franz Kafka is the source of the last two stories on this program.  First, humorist Seth Fried re-imagines Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis”–with a much happier outcome for poor Gregor!  Reader Jennifer Mudge appeared on Broadway in “The Philanthropist.”  Other theatre credits include “The Dutchman,” and “The Geometry of Fire.”  On television she’s appeared on “Law & Order,” “Boss,” and “The Big C” among other shows.

In our final work the late Italian futurist Dino Buzzati visits “Kafka’s Houses” on trip to Prague.  He couldn’t help himself–he was always being compared to Kafka, and wondered what the fuss was all about.

The reader is another SELECTED SHORTS and Broadway stalwart, Tony Roberts, whose many stage credits include “Barefoot in the Park;” “Promises, Promises;” “The Sisters Rosensweig;” “They’re Playing Our Song;” “Victor/Victoria;” “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife;” and “Cabaret.”


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