Guest host Jane Curtin presents two stories featuring unconventional families.    A young girl is raised by a group of warm-hearted “Big Mamas” in Shay Youngblood’s touching coming of age story, “They Tell Me, Now I Know,” read by Viola Davis.

Georgia-born writer Shay Youngblood is author of the novels Black Girl in Paris and Soul Kiss and a collection of short fiction, The Big Mama Stories, from which this work came.  Her published plays “Amazing Grace,” “Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery,” and “Talking Bones” have been widely produced. Her other plays include “Square Blues,” “Black Power Barbie” and “Communism Killed My Dog.”  She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including a Pushcart Prize for fiction, a Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, an Edward Albee honoree.

Reader Viola Davis is an award-winning actor and producer whose many credits include her Tony winning performances in “Fences” and “King Hedley II.”  Films include “Doubt” and “The Help” and her Oscar-winning performance in “Fences.”   On television she has appeared in “Law & Order SVU”, and has a featured role on “How to Get Away with Murder.”

In Jai Chakrabarti’s “A Small Sacrifice for An Enormous Happiness,” forbidden love affair and a marriage of convenience promise two different futures.  The story was a selection for Best American Short Stories 2017, with guest editor Meg Wolitzer calling it “a powerful evocation of longing.”  Chakrabarti’s short fiction has also been anthologized in The O. Henry Prize Stories, and he is also a winner of the Pushcart Prize.

The reader is Bhavesh Patel, whose work in theatre also includes appearances in the Broadway premiere of “War Horse;” “India Ink;” “Present Laughter,” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at Shakespeare in the Park.  In 2013, he had a recurring role as conniving attorney Anthony Wright Edelman on the fifth season of “The Good Wife.”

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