Hollywood Soiree

July 25, 2014

Take a Seat with guest host Robert Sean Leonard

On this program, guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents four stories about sitting down to a meal, or a drink, with surprising results. First, the novelist Henry Miller tells us about the dinner party from Hell in “Soiree in Hollywood.” The notoriety of Miller’s complicated, sexually charged novels—The Tropic of Cancer, Black Spring, and The […]

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Robert Sean Leonard

July 18, 2014

‘Cannolis and Carroll’ with guest host Robert Sean Leonard

For a food-themed series of programs, performed live at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, SELECTED SHORTS presented a wide range of funny, provocative, and touching works in which food, and the eating of food, plays a big role. Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents two of them on this show. The first is Ann […]

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Robert Sean Leonard

July 11, 2014

Peas, Pancakes & Pretensions with Guest Host Robert Sean Leonard

Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents three food-related works from a special program performed at the Getty Center in Los Angeles: “Drama at Dinner.” When Polonius says “brevity is the soul of wit,” he could have been predicting the writer Lydia Davis, whose pearl-sized stories recently gained her the Man Booker International Prize for achievement […]

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Walking the Dog

July 4, 2014

Dogs and Dates with guest host Parker Posey

John Lithgow walks the dog, and Rick Moody tweets for love, in two stories presented by guest host Parker Posey. First Lithgow reads Lydia Millet’s charming “Sir Henry,” about a dignified dachshund, his aloof dog walker, and his celebrity owner, David Hasselhoff. She discusses the story in an interview with SHORTS’ literary commentator Hannah Tinti, […]

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David Sedaris and David Rakoff

June 27, 2014

A Tribute to David Rakoff

Guest host David Sedaris presents a program celebrating the late writer and actor David Rakoff. Rakoff read often for SELECTED SHORTS, and in this special tribute show, featuring two of his performances, we hear his exceptional ability to pull emotion and meaning out of a text, without getting in its way. David Sedaris, who was […]

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June 20, 2014

Love and Longing with guest host Cynthia Nixon

We reprise a popular show from last season. Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents readings of three stories whose characters hope for love. In Rick Bass’s “Fires” a rural recluse is ignited by a long-distance runner. “Fires” is set in a remote part of Northern Montana, and literary commentator Hannah Tinti notes that Bass is an […]

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June 13, 2014

Illusions with guest host Neil Gaiman

Guest host Neil Gaiman introduces two tales of illusion. In “Miracle Polish,” by Steven Millhauser, the protagonist buys a gimmicky product from a door-to-door salesman that changes his life—or does it? Gaiman likens Millhauser’s disconcerting fantasy to the fairy tale “Snow White,” in which the heroine’s wicked stepmother demands reassurance from her mirror. In “Miracle […]

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June 9, 2014

Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize: We Have a Winner!

The 2014 Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize was awarded to Michael Sforza for his story “No Voltage On A Quiet Street.” The theme of the contest was “Tales After Dark,” and it was judged by Rick Moody. Sforza’s work has appeared in literary journals in England, India, and the United States. He enjoys listening […]

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1980s Cassette Tapes

June 6, 2014

We’re So Excited (About the ’80s)! with guest host Hope Davis

Oh, the self-indulgent ’80s: the era of conspicuous consumption, the era that brought us Madonna, and Rubik’s cube, and made the word “like” into verbal punctuation. But it was also the decade in which some of our best contemporary writers came into their own. Writers like Ann Beattie and Donald Barthelme—each a winner of the […]

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heroes and villains

May 30, 2014

Heroes and Villains with guest host Hope Davis

Guest host Hope Davis introduces three tales about heroes, heroism, and challenge. In Larry Doyle’s “Reboot Me” a superhero with too many powers and not much sense needs rebranding. And you can help. Doyle comes by his comic chops honorably— he worked on the comedy series Beavis and Butt-head and The Simpsons, as well as […]

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